Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BBC Surveyed 177 Critics For Their List of the 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century

Here are the 100 greatest films of the 21st century according to 177 respondents to the BBC's poll of movie critics, reviewers, etc. The methodology, etc. is here.

We're thrilled here at AFS that our Artistic Director Richard Linklater is represented twice on the list, and that we have shown so many of the films on this list - or are scheduled to. There will certainly be disputes and heated conversations, and that's what such lists are for, but perhaps, to paraphrase Andrew Sarris, we are too close to our own times to adequately judge our own creative products.

Have fun:

100. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
100. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
100. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
99. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
98. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
97. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
96. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
95. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
94. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
93. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
92. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
91. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
90. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
89. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
88. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
87. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
86. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
85. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
84. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
83. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
82. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
81. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
80. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
79. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
78. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
77. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
76. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
75. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
74. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
73. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
72. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
71. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
70. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
69. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
68. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
67. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
66. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
65. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
64. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
63. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
62. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
61. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
60. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
59. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
58. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
57. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
56. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
55. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
54. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
53. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
52. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
51. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
50. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
49. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
48. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
47. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
46. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
45. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
44. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
43. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
42. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
41. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
40. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
39. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
38. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
37. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
36. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
34. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
33. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
32. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
31. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
30. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
29. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
28. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
27. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
26. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
25. ​Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
24. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
23. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

Listen Here: The Weirdest Cash-In Album Ever Made By An Actor

Peter Wyngarde (born Cyril Louis Goldbert on this day in 1933, though the year is disputed) is certainly an unusual figure in the British theater. Rail-thin, baroquely outfitted, and equipped with a mellifluous voice, he makes an unforgettable first impression, glanced through a window, in THE INNOCENTS (1961). He was a flamboyant figure who, ironically, cultivated an impression as a ladies man, and, if he had been a good actor in his youth, he was more of a character man in middle age, where our story begins.

Here's an interview in which you get a sense of the man's public persona and acting talents:

But he was a big, entertaining performer, and perfect for the small screen, where he starred as the pulp novelist and bon vivant Jason King in the British ITC show DEPARTMENT S (1969-70) and JASON KING (1971-72).

With Jason King, Wyngarde found a character who he could ride to the top of the ratings. He was named "The Man With The Sexiest Voice In Television" by the Sun newspaper, and was considered a national sex-symbol. At the same time, his handlers allegedly had their hands full extricating him from vice-squad trouble in London.

At the height of his fame, Wyngarde was persuaded to record an album. The result, a spoken word-over-music effort, is one of the strangest things ever, and oddly compelling. The presumptuous, politically incorrect Wyngarde does not come across very sympathetically, but that's part of the historical appeal of the record. It's not something you'll want to hear more than once, other than to play it for friends and baffle them too.

Here's one of the less offensive tracks. If you care to explore further, don't say we didn't warn you.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Austin's Experimental Response Cinema Featured In Chronicle, Local Showcase Next Tuesday at AFS Cinema

ERC's Scott Stark and Rachel Stuckey

The Austin Chronicle today turns their screens spotlight on a group that has been bringing avant-garde and experimental cinema to Austin for four years now, and who will be presenting a showcase of local Austin Filmmakers at the AFS Cinema on Tuesday, August 23 at AFS Cinema. If you are interested in learning more about everything Experimental Response Cinema does, visit their site here, and by all means come to the event.

Here's the article and the trailer:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Watch This: John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk Wasted on National TV

"This is the reason I didn't join a fraternity." - Dick Cavett

During the filming of John Cassavetes' HUSBANDS (1970) the director/star and his other cast members Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara really got into character as a trio of middle aged ne'er-do-wells. When it came time to promote the film they took that same drunken abandon with them onto the Dick Cavett show. This is, along with Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal's conflict on Cavett's show, and the Oliver Reed/Shelley Winters war on Carson, one of the best examples of talk-show appearances gone wrong. Among other mayhem, Cassavetes gives Falk a horsey-ride and Gazzara kisses Cavett. Later, they become sincere. Gazzara discusses the work of Orson Welles at length, and compares Cassavetes to him. The three then bring up excellent points about filmmaking and life, though in slurred voices.

At one point the crowd turns on the guests and chants, "WE WANT DICK!"

Enjoy responsibly:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Watch This: An Exercise in Speed, Danger and Romance from Claude Lelouch

Filmed 40 years ago, in August 1976, in one take, with director Claude Lelouch at the wheel, zipping through Paris, this is a high-concept, but high-reward film.

It was a bit of a goof. The director, having just acquired a high-tech camera mount for use in his new feature, decided to try it out in a short film. The whole thing was done very quickly, as you'll see. Rumors persist that he was later arrested. It is not known if these are true. It certainly was dangerous and irresponsible. But also pretty cool.

There is a Wikipedia article about the production here.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Skip Film School, Just Watch this Hourlong Samuel Fuller Doc Instead

OK, maybe don't actually skip film school, at least if you've already enrolled. But you should be able to test out of at least 4 semesters with the knowledge and insight that can be had in this documentary about the great writer/director Samuel Fuller (born on this day in 1912).

Fuller was an all-American iconoclast, a no-bullshit believer in the power of free institutions with a tough-minded, skeptical, but always humanist viewpoint. This film, featuring large doses of Fuller's wisdom, as well as insights from Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and others, can tell you 80% of what you really need to know about the art form of which Fuller was such a great master. Fuller is one of the great raconteurs, and a real character. The wisdom pours from him as unfettered as smoke from his cigars.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Penny Lane's New Movie is NUTS!

"Nothing to see here. Just a medical miracle!"

That headline is a statement of fact, not opinion, although...

The new film NUTS!, directed by Penny Lane, will be screening at the AFS Cinema on Thursday, August 18. The director will take part in a Skype Q&A after the movie.

Lane, whose last film, OUR NIXON, was a 100% archival portrait of the disgraced President using only home movies shot by his worshipful aides, tells a very different story this time, about another charlatan, in another era. It's one of the most bizarre, but true, stories you will ever hear.

In her words:
NUTS! is a feature length documentary [directed by Penny Lane] about Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire in Depression-era America with a goat testicle impotence cure and a million watt radio station. 
Using animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a hilariously unreliable narrator, NUTS! traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth and influence in Depression-era America. 
Along the way, he transplants tens of thousands of goat testicles; amasses an enormous fortune; is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas; builds the world’s most powerful radio station; invents junk mail, the infomercial, the sound-truck and Border Radio; hosts some epic parties; and annoys the heck out of the establishment, until finally his audacious actions force the federal government to create regulations to stop him. 
How he does it, and what happens when it all comes crashing down, is the story of NUTS!
And here is Lane discussing the film and showing some clips: