Tag Archives: Martin Scorsese

399. The Irishman

The gangster genre is dominated by men, but in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman the most important position is held by a woman who utters barely a dozen words.

398. Rome, Open City

Rome Open City began filming as Auschwitz was liberated and Roberto Rossellini’s film marks a crucial step in the creation of art in the wake of the Holocaust.

395. The Conversation

It is said a film is made three times; writing, filming and editing. In which case, editor Walter Murch deserves enormous credit for this masterpiece.

394. Amarcord

Like many Fellini films, Amarcord is a contradiction; an account of his youth yet a complete fabrication, a vivid realisation of the past, but also a dream.

393. City Lights

Four years after the advent of sound in cinema, Charlie Chaplin insisted on making a silent movie the entire plot for which hinged on not being able to see.

385. Unforgiven

Originally titled Whore’s Gold, Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning western exposes the psychosis, bigotry and misogyny at the heart of the genre’s mythology.

384. Gomorrah

Matteo Garrone’s adaptation of Roberto Saviano’s book on the Neapolitan camorra smacks down the innumerable movies that have marketed the Mafia mythology.

379. Midnight Cowboy

Released in 1969, Midnight Cowboy mixes avant-garde with mythology to examine male identity, intimacy, sexuality and trauma.

372. A Man Escaped

Robert Bresson’s masterpiece is a perfect example of less is more; natural acting, minimal music, off-screen sounds and restricting yourself to a 50mm lens.

362. Last Tango in Paris

There are several good reasons to watch Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial drama. Not all of them make for palatable viewing.

351. Heat

Ever since its release in 1995, Heat has been held as the greatest ever heist movie. But it has another, completely different film living and dying inside of it.

330. Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Werner Herzog’s hallucinatory telling of a Conquistador’s search for El Dorado etches a landscape of greed on the human face.

329. The Godfather Part II

Less a sequel and more a cloak that wraps itself around the original, it has a son haunted by the memory of his dead father.

327. The Godfather

Regarded as the greatest gangster picture of them all, the passing years continue to reveal new layers and meanings in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

323. Saturday Night Fever

While mostly remembered for John Travolta’s dancing, his white suit hides misogyny, racism, homophobia and gang rape.

321. Die Hard

What makes a classic film? The plot’s originality, director’s vision, or the star’s magnetism? Paradoxically, any, all, yet none of the above. It’s the audience.

319. 2001: A Space Odyssey

For all its groundbreaking effects and narrative innovation, this owes a debt to a romantic fantasy and a Soviet propaganda film.

317. The Cook the Thief his Wife & her Lover

First seen as a critique of Thatcherism, this now lives in the era of MeToo and Time’s Up.

316. The Marriage of Maria Braun

In The Marriage of Maria Braun, Rainer Werner Fassbinder mixed Hollywood melodrama, historical drama and political indictment.

311. Peeping Tom

Reviled upon its release and long out of circulation, the influence of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom is now to be found in the most unexpected places.

306. Bicycle Thieves

Many films enjoy exaggerated reputations, but it is almost impossible to underestimate the beauty, truth and importance of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

304. The Gospel According to Matthew

How did a blasphemous, homosexual, Marxist, atheist manage to make the greatest film about the life of Jesus Christ?

296. Un Chien Andalou

This film lasts seventeen minutes, features mutilation, insects and dismemberment. Yet it is one of the most influential ever made.

288. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

With his Palme d’Or winning masterpiece, Jacques Demy wove more than a musical. He delivered a socially relevant story worthy of tragic opera.

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