Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Greatest Films of All Time: The Directors

All of the men in this photograph either directed, wrote (Carriere) or produced (Silberman) films listed in the Greatest Films of All Time. From a 1972 lunch given by George Cukor for Luis Buñuel.


Anybody can direct a picture once they know the fundamentals.
Directing is not a mystery, it's not an art.

The main thing about directing is: photograph the people's eyes.

John Ford

This is the third in a series of posts on my exploration of the world's Greatest Films of All Time. The initial post included an Introduction and Films 1-20. The second post included Films 21-50.

Briefly, I researched and compiled 30 lists of Greatest Films from various sources around the globe, including critics such as Roger Ebert and Jonathan Rosenbaum; popular magazines like Time and Time Out (UK); films journals such as Sight & Sound, Cahiers du cinema, Kinovedcheskie Zapiski (Russia); and a range of Film Archives from countries like China, India, Ecuador, Israel, Greece, and Finland.

The 30 polls produced a total of 580 films. When films weren't ranked in the polls, I assigned a numeric value depending on the total number of films included (eg. 100 films = 20 points). So, the list I'm presenting is not a ranking of films I personally think are the greatest of all time. It's simply a reflection of results from across 30 polls voted on by hundreds of other people.

My quest was twofold: To see which works were considered the masterpieces of cinema from a variety of international sources, and to see if and how the perception of great films and great directors varied from one region of the world to another.

The Directors

The most eye-opening part of my exploration of the Greatest Films of All Time was digging through the results by Director. While the Top 200 Films on my list provided some surprises, the overall landscape wasn't that different from what I expected. Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Seven Samurai, Tokyo Story, À bout de souffle, Rules of the Game, 8 ½ . . . they were all there. Some of the exact rankings may have surprised me, and many of the cultural differences were new to me, but the list of titles didn't challenge my concept of world cinema.

Akira Kurosawa

As I started looking at directors, however, I was genuinely surprised by some of the results, and, as the process went on, my own thinking about cinema was actually transformed. It became clear, for example, that some directors whose names we have attached to one or two "important" films actually created numerous works of exceptional quality over the span of their careers. We may not discuss these other titles very much, if at all, but they were good enough to be selected by someone somewhere as being among the greatest motion pictures ever.

My own quest to compile a list of the greatest films of all time is, I think, part of the problem. I am guilty, along with other list-makers, of burying alive many fantastic films. So, yes, we know Fritz Lang's M or Metropolis from numerous polls and books on cinema. But what about his other work?

Luckily, some polls can also un-bury films. As it turns out, Fritz Lang had six other titles that were mentioned at least once. Did you have any idea that after 30 polls and 580 total movies that Fritz Lang would rank fifth (tied) in Total Films Mentioned, ahead of Bergman, Kurosawa and Fellini? How often do we drop his name in a conversation about cinema? Because Metropolis was made in 1927 and M in 1931, don't we exile Lang to that shadowy land of "silent movies" or "really old movies"? Yet his last film was made in 1960, and two of his later works - The Tiger of Eschnapur (1959) and Moonfleet (1955) - were listed among 100 Greatest Films by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Cahiers du cinema respectively.

I don't mean to imply that the number of films included on the list equals greatness. For one thing, some directors are simply more prolific than others. Andrei Tarkovsky (Andrei Roublev) has 11 films listed on IMDB; Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) has 172. Some directors may have many films of high quality but few that we consider truly great. For that reason, I'm listing both the total number of titles from all 580 films mentioned, and then the titles from the Top 200. There were several differences between the lists.

I also tracked the overall number of times that a director was mentioned. This may be an even better gauge of their current reputation. John Cassavetes and Francis Ford Coppola both had five films listed, for example. But Cassavetes was only mentioned six times in total, whereas Coppola was mentioned 30 times. I find it interesting that Cassavetes is respected enough to have five films mentioned, but that no one can really decide which film of his to call "the greatest." Only A Woman Under the Influence (1974) was chosen twice. Perhaps this signals that the director made an important contribution to cinema through his life and overall body of work, but not necessarily with a single film.

Howard Hawks had 11 films in the Greatest Films of All Time. Here he's with Angie Dickinson on the set of Rio Bravo (#62)

Ultimately, of course, one can't measure greatness with a lot of numbers on a spreadsheet. That's not the purpose of my exploration. What I hope is that by seeing some of these numbers, we can be challenged to re-think our ideas about cinema, to question perceptions we may have formed a long time ago, to see certain movies and directors in a fresh way. Most of all, I hope we can make little discoveries and be intrigued enough to explore some cinematic paths we hadn't previously considered.

Total Films Mentioned (out of 30 polls - 580 titles)

There were 31 directors who had at least five films mentioned. I've listed them in numerical order. When there was a tie, I listed them in alphabetical order.

1. Jean Luc Godard – 12
2. Howard Hawks – 11
3. Luis Buñuel – 10
4. Alfred Hitchcock - 9

5. (TIE)
Charlie Chaplin – 8
John Ford – 8
Stanley Kubrick – 8
Fritz Lang – 8

9. (TIE)
Yasujiro Ozu – 7
Jean Renoir – 7
Alain Resnais – 7
Luchino Visconti – 7
Orson Welles – 7

14. (TIE)
Ingmar Bergman – 6
Robert Bresson – 6
Federico Fellini – 6
Ernst Lubtisch – 6
Satyajit Ray - 6
Jacques Rivette – 6
Roberto Rossellini – 6

21. (TIE)
John Cassavetes – 5
Francis Ford Coppola – 5
George Cukor – 5
Rainer Werner Fassbinder – 5
Akira Kurosawa – 5
Kenji Mizoguchi – 5
F.W. Murnau – 5
Max Ophüls – 5
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger – 5
Josef von Sternberg – 5
Billy Wilder - 5

Quite frankly, I was astonished by the top three results. My guess probably would've been Hitchcock and Bergman at #1 and #2, and then, I don't know - maybe John Ford.

As it turns out, I had just started reading Richard Brody's new book on Jean Luc Godard when I analyzed the directors included in the 30 polls. Not only was I stunned by Godard having the most films, but I was also surprised by some of the titles mentioned. Many of his 1960s films showed up, but four of his later films appeared, including: Sauve qui peut (la vie) [Every Man for Himself] (1980), which Godard considered his "second" first film after years of experimenting in video; Passion (1982) ; King Lear (1987); and Nouvelle Vague (1990).

Godard is hardly a blip on the radar in the U.S. right now. Yet, a combination of the results of these polls, and the elucidation of his later work in Brody's book, made me re-evaluate his career. I still believe his work in the 1960s remains vitally important in the history of cinema, serving as a kind of dividing line between an old and a new cinema. But I'm beginning to wonder if 50 years from now, his later career may also prove revolutionary, even though we can't see its implications at this point in time. Brody raises several fascinating and challenging questions about the very nature of cinema and its relationship to society that he claims Godard has been tackling in his post-1960s work, largely in isolation, and often with few people seeing the actual films. In some ways, I'm reminded of Coltrane's last years, producing music that people are still - 40 years later - barely catching up with. Could that be the case with Godard? I don't know. But instead of ignoring his later work, as I've done for the most part, I've decided to start watching some of the films.

I was also impressed that Godard did well across the world. He was one of only two directors, along with Buñuel, who had four or more films mentioned in all three major regional groupings: US/UK, Europe and Asia. The National Film Archive of India especially liked Godard, choosing five of his films in its Top 100, more even than native son Satyajit Ray, who only had four. He also showed up in Russia and Venezuela, and, in total, appeared in 24 out of the 30 polls.

Other directors didn't have the same global results. Howard Hawks, for example, had 11 films mentioned overall, but only one showed up in the Asian polls: Red River (1948). And, in total, he only appeared in 12 out of the 30 polls.

Several other directors were mentioned numerous times overall but didn't do very well in the Asian polls. Bergman, Kubrick, Powell & Pressburger, Visconti, and Wilder only had one film each that was mentioned. The directors mentioned most often in the Asian polls (out of 135 films):

1. Godard – 6
2. Satyajit Ray – 5
3. (TIE)
Buñuel – 4
Kurosawa – 4
Ozu – 4
4. (TIE)
Antonioni – 3
Chaplin – 3
Fellini – 3
Hitchcock – 3
Lang – 3
Mizoguchi – 3

Belgian director Chantal Ackerman, one of only three women with films in the Top 200. Her 1975 effort, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, was the highest ranked film by a woman director, at #143, and maybe the movie with the longest title.

Total Films Mentioned in the Top 200

But what about the Top 200? Having a movie mentioned once by a film archive in a small country is one thing, but what about the titles mentioned most often? The results were different than the overall list of 580 films, but there were still some surprises. Here are the directors with four or more films listed in the Top 200 Films:

1. Buñuel – 7
2. (TIE)
Bergman – 5
Chaplin – 5
Fellini – 5
Godard – 5
Hitchcock – 5
Kubrick – 5
3. (TIE)
Bresson – 4
Dreyer – 4
Ford – 4
Kurosawa – 4
Powell & Pressburger – 4
Ray – 4
Visconti – 4
Wilder – 4

If you had told me when I started this exploration that Luis Buñuel would wind up with the most films in the Top 200, and with two more than the next closest director, I would've figured you were either Spanish or slightly insane, or both (Hugo, where are you?!) Again, I would have guessed Hitchcock. Maybe that's a cultural prejudice. Though, obviously, Hitch did just fine for himself in these polls. But the results for Buñuel have definitely challenged my own notions of cinema. I feel like re-watching some of his films now, and investigating ones I've never seen. And maybe I'll finally read his autobiography, My Last Sigh, which was given to me as a gift by a good friend (thank you!) and which La Reina recently read and loved.

Even the list of Buñuel's films that showed up in the Top 200 surprised me:

#63 - Âge d'or, L' (1930)
#69 - Viridiana (1961)
#97 - Un chien andalou (1929)
#107 - Olvidados, Los (1950)
#173 - Hurdes, Las [Land Without Bread] (1933)
#174 - Charme discret de la bourgeoisie, Le (1972)
#178 - Ángel exterminador, El (1962)

Portrait of Luis Buñuel. Salvador Dalí. 1924. Oil on canvas.

His two collaborations with Salvador Dalí, L'age d'or and Un chien Andalou, make a certain amount of sense because of their incredible innovation and historical significance, though I personally wouldn't place both of them that high. But Las Hurdes and Los Olvidados? I was expecting the likes of Belle du jour (1967), which eventually showed up at #284, and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), which didn't show up at all. And I was disappointed to see that my personal favorite, The Exterminating Angel, way down at #178. It's among my own 100 Favorite Films.

There weren't many other surprises for me in the Top 200 Films. Perhaps seeing Visconti with four titles listed. Especially considering the fact that none of his films showed up in a single US/UK poll. Why the seemingly Anglo-American disregard for his work? I have to confess, I've never seen any of his films. (The Angel of Cinema suddenly appears in my darkened bedroom, whipping me with knotted strips of film for my cultural sins. "And I strike thee again for not seeing any Rossellini, Ozu or Murnau!" s/he cries. "How dare you write about the Greatest Films of All Time when you haven't even learned your basic Cinematic Catechism!" "Have mercy!" I cry, pleading that I've seen all 30 of Fred Astaire's musicals. "I love - just poorly and with bad aim!")

As for you Truffaut fans, I don't know what to tell you. Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player messenger. Only three films were mentioned overall: Les Quatre cents coups [The 400 Blows] (1959) at #25, Jules et Jim (1962) at #73, and La Nuit américaine [Day for Night] (1973) at #482. For whatever reason, at this point in time, (Wait, did I just quote Elton John?) Truffaut's reputation seems to be in a bit of a down cycle.He showed up in 15 of 30 polls, but only on five outside of the non-regional and US/UK lists. Even the French seem to have mixed feelings about his work these days. While Cahiers du cinema included The 400 Blows in its list of100 films (#57 tied), the Cinémathèque Française didn't choose any of his works in its list of 20 Greatest Films, despite Truffaut's strong history with the institution. He did, however, wind up with two films in the overall Top 100 compilation of 30 polls, an impressive achievement.

And Truffaut certainly did better than Louis Malle, who, shockingly, didn't have a single film listed. Man, Ascenseur pour l'échafaud [Elevator to the Gallows] (1958) should've been mentioned by someone for the Miles Davis soundtrack alone. A wonderful film noir utilizing jazz extremely well. Not to mention My Dinner with Andre (1981) and Au revoir les enfants (1987). I'm surprised that none of these films were included in lists by Roger Ebert (100 films), Time magazine (100), Time Out (100) or the IMDB Classic Film Board (200). Not one Malle film out of 500 titles! I guess Time had to make space somewhere for Finding Nemo (2003).

François Truffaut

[NOTE: For the Greatest Films of All Time project, I used Ebert's book Great Movies (2002), which includes 100 unranked films. I also read but did not include Great Movies II (2005), because 200 unranked films would have had little numeric value and, I thought, dilute Ebert's voice, which I think is an important one. I recommend both books. His website also includes 200 Great Movies, but the list has at least one change from the print version - Babel (2006). Ebert does list Malle's My Dinner with Andre and Au revoir les enfants on his web site - they must have been in the 101-200 list from Great Movies II.]

Total Votes Received (30 polls - 580 films)

Here are the Top 20 directors by total votes received (how many times overall their films were mentioned):

1. (TIE)
Alfred Hitchcock - 48
Orson Welles – 48

3. Federico Fellini – 46

4. (TIE)
Jean Luc Godard – 44
Jean Renoir – 44

6. Charlie Chaplin – 40

7. Akira Kurosawa – 38

8. Carl Dreyer – 37

9. Ingmar Bergman – 36

10. Stanley Kubrick –35

11. Sergei M. Eisenstein – 34

12. Fritz Lang – 33

13. Luis Buñuel – 31

14. Francis Ford Coppola – 30

15. (TIE)
John Ford -29
D.W. Griffith – 29
F.W. Murnau – 29

18. Billy Wilder – 28

19. Kenji Mizoguchi – 26

20. Satyajit Ray – 24

Finally, Hitchcock winds up on top, though he has to share the honor with Welles.

Orson Welles filming The Lady from Shanghai (1947) on Errol Flynn's yacht

Has any major American artist been as rejected and neglected by his own country as Orson Welles? When people talk about great 20th Century American artists - T.S. Eliot, Hemingway, Plath, Toni Morrison, Pollock, Gershwin, Astaire, Dylan, Billie Holiday, Coltrane, Ellington, etc. - does Welles ever get mentioned? Cinema has been called the 20th-century art form. Orson Welles not only created the Greatest Film of All Time (and on his first try), but his work receives more votes in polls from around the world than any other director with the exception of Alfred Hitchcock. Yet we was exiled by Hollywood and still exists on the periphery of American film for most people. His treatment in and by the United States remains a great mystery.

Interesting that Godard and Renoir, the two titans of French cinema, wind up with an equal number of votes.

One director I haven't mentioned yet is Charlie Chaplin. I often think of him as a performer, but he ranked 5th (tied) in Total Films Mentioned, 2nd (tied) in Films in the Top 200, and 6th in Total Votes Received. In the end, only Godard and Hitchcock really did better in their numbers. Chaplin also did well across all regions, and appeared in 24 out of 30 polls. I notice he had a big goose egg, however, in the 1995 Filmoteca Vaticana list of Ten Greatest Films. One wonders if his political sympathies didn't go down well in the John Paul II era.

Buñuel drops down in this list, but still winds up ahead of figures like Ford and Wilder. I'm still amazed a bit by his excellent results in these polls.

Sadly, however, he's the only Spanish filmmaker who did well. Victor Erice had two films mentioned, El sol del membrillo (1992) and El espíritu de la colmena [Spirit of the Beehive] (1973), but neither one broke the Top 200, which, in the case of Spirit of the Beehive, is a travesty. And one of the biggest surprises for me was how poorly Pedro Almodóvar did in the polls. Only Hable con ella (2002) appeared anywhere - Time magazine and Cahiers du cinema - but it also couldn't break into the Top 200. One theory on Almodóvar's results: Many of these polls were done in 1995, when his reputation may have been at a low point. I was in Spain at that time, and he didn't seem nearly as respected as he had been back in the 1980s. It wasn't until Todo sobre mi madre won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in March 2000 that his reputation seemed to turn around. The Time magazine and Cahiers du cinema polls came out after that, for example.

Julio Medem (Los amantes del Círculo Polar), my favorite recent Spanish director, didn't have a single film chosen, nor did longtime director Carlos Saura (Cría cuervos), which was really a surprise. While Spanish cinema has never been on a par with that of France or Italy, I do think it was seriously under-represented in these polls. I don't know if that's a problem of film distribution, bad press, a weak industry, or what.

I'll talk about other younger directors, such as Tarantino, Lynch, Kar Wai Wong and Yimou Zhang in a future post, when I look at the Greatest Films of All Time by years/time periods.

Next up, though, I'll present the 51-100 Films.

Until the next reel. . . .

17 comments:

crystal said...

So Eisenstein got a mention.

Until I saw the lists, I hadn't realized how few foreign films I've seen - or "good" foreign films, anyway. Do ninja and king fu movies count? :) I've probably seen mor Japanese/Chinese films than the wvrage person, but less French/Spanish.

Garpu said...

When I was at the PCA/ACA conference last year, I think they had a couple panels on martial arts flicks. I can't find my program at the moment, or I'd double check. I didn't make it to them...was pretty sick that weekend, it was the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Easter, and the interesting panels were during mine.

cowboyangel said...

"king fu" - you may have just started a new genre: royalty who know and practice kung fu. I see Richard the Lionhearted, on his journey back from the Holy Land, fighting papal ninjas. Templars employing the martial arts! You could be on to something. :-)

Three recommended Spanish films - they should all be on Netflix: Spirit of the Beehive, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Lovers of the Arctic Cirlce.

Some French films to consider, if you haven't seen them already: Children of Paradise, Grand Illusion, Breathless, Jules and Jim.

And, yes, kung fu and ninja movies count. I'm guessing that in a few short years, we'll start seeing more academic papers on the subject, as they've been so popular in the last decade. Give it a little more time. One day people will be arguing over which ones really belong in the Top Ten Films of All Time.

Eisenstein was certainly too important not to get mentioned. Battlship Potemkin wound up #3! Also mentioned were Ivan Groznyy I (1944) and II (1958), Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Oktyabr [October] (1928)

Liam said...

The picture at the top is great.

I've seen a couple of films by Visconti, and they're very beautiful visually, but they never really grabbed me. All my Spanish film buff friends drool over Death in Venice, for example, but I found it really boring, even though I loved the book.

I have yet to see great non-Kurosawa Japanese films, e.g., Tokyo Story.

The best thing about Lovers of the Arctic Circle is, of course, the subtitles.

cowboyangel said...

Garpu,

What did you present at the conference?

cowboyangel said...

Liam,

Yeah, I especially like Buñuel and Hitchcock next to each other, neither looking particularly comfortable.

I forgot you had done the subtitles to Lovers - that's great. I like Tierra more, as it reminds me a lot of Spain, but it seems that people in the U.S. respond better to Lovers. Perhaps because Tierra is more Spanish. I have no idea how an American who's never lived in Spain would respond to Vacas or Ardilla Roja.

I think I'm going to give Visconti's Il Gattopardo a shot - Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon. Have you seen that one?

If it's boring, I figure I can at least admire Cardinale's beautiful acting.

I've tried twice now to watch Tokyo Story, and both times the DVD had issues. A sign, perhaps. I may go with the video version next time.

My non-Kurosawa Japanese film experience is limited. It's an area I want to explore more.

cowboyangel said...

Liam,

Why do you think Spanish cinema was so poorly represented in 30 polls from around the world? One Almodovar, no Medem, no Saura, no Bardem, no Secdleto de la tlompeta.

I mean, Finding Nemo made the damn list.

cowboyangel said...

For example, Ebert's Great Movies lists 200 Films and it looks like there's nothing from Spain apart from a few Buñuel. He has movies like Amadeus, Color Purple, JFK, Moonstruck... I liked Amadeus and Moonstruck, but neither one comes anywhere near Spirit of the Beehive.

I just looked at Jonathan Rosenbaum's Top 100. He's supposed to be such a great critic, and he includes a lot of foreign and unusual films. Get this - NOTHING from Spain, not even a Buñuel movie! That's plain weird.

I wonder if there isn't a bit of prejudice involved here. I can understand American film fans not knowing much about Spanish cinema, but when two important critics seem to totally neglect it, that's very strange.

Liam said...

I'd like to hear what you think about Il Gattopardo -- maybe I should give it another chance. Part of the problem is I hate dubbing -- so when you have Burt Lancaster playing a Sicilian nobleman...

I don't know what the problem is with Spanish cinema. It's pretty well represented in rental places that have big foreign sections. Maybe it's because Almodovar grabbed all the attention. Maybe it's because you have old pretentious hacks like Vicente Aranda grabbing all the subsidies for promotion abroad. I have to admit that I think some of the more well-known names in Spanish cinema -- Almodovar, Saura -- are overrated. Bunuel is amazing, but most of his films were made in France and Mexico.

It's probably all Franco's fault.

crystal said...

I think the only Spanish film I've seen is Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (was that Spanish?)

Speaking of Japanese, I think you guys have totally overlooked the Japanese science fiction-horror genre - stuff like Mothra and Gojira (Godzilla), and the Mushroom People :)

A great non-Kurasawa film is Samurai Trilogy by Inagaki .... very long, though. Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes. And there are all those Babycart movies like Shogan Assassin (I think this was the inspiration for stuff like The Road to Perdition), and the Zatoichi series movies.

Liam said...

And what about Pasolini?

cowboyangel said...

Crystal,

I think the only Spanish film I've seen is Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (was that Spanish?)

Close. It was Brazilian. :-) You should check out the ones I mentioned, then. And, of course, The Exterminating Angel, though I'm not certain that's on DVD yet - for some reason.

Actually, I remember that Godzilla was included on the list of Greatest National Films from the Film Archive in Japan. I'll check for others.

I have fond memories of Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster.

Samurai Trilogy is great. I still want to be Toshiro Mifune when I grow up. Haven't seen the others you mention. I'll definitely keep them in mind.

cowboyangel said...

Liam,

I agree that Almodovar and Saura are overrated - though I shouldn't say that of Pedro, as I haven't seen anything he's done since Tacones lejanos (1991). But Matador and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown are still much better than Finding Nemo or other films I've seen on these lists. And that doesn't explain the disregard for Erice, though at least he was mentioned.

It probably was Franco's fault to some degree. I don't get the sense that innovative film-making was really on his list of things to accomplish.

Interesting that the Spanish have done so well at painting, yet haven't produced a great cinema. Kurosawa was a painter originally. And, obviously, Renoir had some good genes. I believe there is a connection. You'd think some of that great Spanish painter stuff would've rubbed off on more of their filmmakers. Bunuel has it, Erice has it.

Jeff said...

I find the dissing of Truffaut to be an outrage, but it just goes to show how much you can be a child of your age. I remember when Michelangelo Antonioni was considered a genius. Who remembers him now?

Regarding the Spanish films and directors... You guys didn't care much for Carmen or El Amor Brujo?

How about Mario Camus as a director (Los Santos Inocentes)?

cowboyangel said...

Jeff,

Antonioni hasn't exactly fallen into oblivion. I believe he made the front page of the New York Times last year when he died.

And Truffaut is respected as well. Again, he had two films listed in the Top 100. I don't think he deserves more than that. There's simply too much great cinema out there. I am surprised that he didn't have more films listed in general.

I think part of the issue with Truffaut is that he isn't seen as much of an innovator. And, as Liam commented on in the first post, that's always a big deal to people putting together canons. It's the same in music and literature. Fair or not. Of the New Wave directors, Truffaut most followed the Hollywood models that he and his friends (Godard, Rivette, Rohmer, Chabrol) spoke of so highly when they were young critics. That's probably one reason his films resonate with Americans. But he didn't really go beyond those models. Which might not be a big deal for other directors, but he was part of a group that turned the film world upside down.

I haven't seen anything by Mario Camus. At least that I'm aware of. Liam probably knows his work. I don't remember if his name came up in any of the polls. I'll check.

cowboyangel said...

Liam, I just now noticed your question about Pasolini. What about Pasolini? Indeed, what about Pasolini. . . .

The homosexual Marxist Catholic had four films mentioned. I don't remember right now which ones or how they ranked. I'll check.

cowboyangel said...

Liam and Jeff,

Mario Camus didn't show up in any of the polls. I notice, though, that Santos Inocentes has an 8.3 rating at IMDB, which is impressive. After that, however, he only has one other film rated above 7 - La Colmena (1982). Of course, it's IMDB, so the ratings always have to be taken with a truckload of salt. Again, I leave it to Liam to speak on Camus - he may know more about him and may have even subtitled some of his films.

As for Pasolini, he had four films on the list. Il Vangelo secondo Matteo did the best, mentioned three times and winding up ranked #165. The other three films were mentioned once each: Accattone (chosen by the Cinémathèque Française for its Twenty Greatest Films - over anything by Truffaut - interesting, no?); Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (chosen by the Vatican) and Uccellacci e uccellini (which was next to last on the list, just above Sound of Music, chosen by the IMDB CFB.)

Wait, I'm sorry, Salò was chosen by The Village Voice poll, not the Vatican. My mistake. In fact, that and Il Vangelo secondo Matteo both showed up in the Village Voice 100 Greatest Films of the 20th Century. So he did well with the Village Voice crowd. (No comment.) That was a strange poll. Two by Pasolini and zero by Fellini. I blame Jonathan Rosenbaum, who was one of the many critics o nthat one.