Monday, April 12, 2010

Favorite Films: The 1980's

1. Fanny and Alexander (1982) Ingmar Bergman - Ingmar Bergman is one of my favorite filmmakers to ever take a breathe of air. His films are stark, spiritual, searching, existential, human. From the 1950s through Fanny and Alexander, his last film, until his real last film, Saraband, in 2003, Bergman represented all that was beautiful and difficult in world cinema. It was Bergman in The Seventh Seal that gave us the iconic image of death playing a game of chess for a young knight's life after the crusades, during the plague years in Europe. It is, however, this film, Fanny and Alexander, that is his magnum opus. The film combines the best attributes of his humanist pictures of the 70s and his spiritual/existential pictures of the 50s and 60s. It is a gigantic film that clocks in at either 3 hours or 5 hours, depending on the version of the film you watch; the three hour version plays very fast for a film that length, the five hour version fills in the blanks and takes a little more time (obviously) but if one has the allotted time, it is a beautiful film, and was Bergman's preferred version. Ingmar Bergman died in July, 2006, and left behind him an extensive, prolific, but masterful catalogue of films that have been loved and devoured by cinephiles throughout the world for decades, and will continue to be among the names at the top of the auteurs list forever.

The Rest:

After Hours (1985) Martin Scorsese
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) Woody Allen
Do the Right Thing (1989) Spike Lee
Fitzcarraldo (1982) Werner Herzog
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Woody Allen
Raging Bull (1980) Martin Scorsese
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982) Steven Spielberg
Ran (1985) Akira Kurosawa
Secret Honor (1984) Robert Altman
Wings of Desire (1988) Wim Wenders

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