Beyond the Canon

Iain Stott is at it again over at his blog The One-Line Review. Several months ago he invited a select group of cineastes to participate in a poll the purpose of which was to find, consensusly, “The 50 Greatest Films.” Unhappy with the fairly predictable results (Citizen Kane was #1, Vertigo #2, 2001 #3 etc.), Mr. Stott […]

Top 50 Countdown – #1

-1- Once Upon a Time in the West Year: 1968 Director: Sergio Leone And so my Top 50 Countdown finally comes to an end. Except it doesn’t. After all, I want to do justice to my favorite film. I have much to say about Leone’s great Once Upon a Time in the West and so look for […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 10-2

-10- Once Upon a Time in America Year: 1984 Director: Sergio Leone   With shootouts, murders and Prohibition speakeasy parties aplenty, Once Upon a Time in America is, no question, a virtuoso genre piece, but Leone also manages to transcend the gangster genre, transforming it into an exploration of the unreliability of memory, the subjectivity […]

Top 50 Countdown – #11

-11- McCabe & Mrs. Miller Year: 1971 Director: Robert Altman     Altman’s stated intention in making McCabe & Mrs. Miller was to “destroy all the myths of heroism”, and the result is so thorough a revision of Western movie mythology that the abiding impression one is left with might best be described by an […]

Top 50 Countdown – #12

-12- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Year: 1966 Director: Sergio Leone    “The Good”  Clint Eastwood as Blondie, a super cool bounty hunter “The Bad”  Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes, a super bad mercenary “The Ugly”  Eli Wallach as Tuco, a super talkative trickster   Leone’s nihilistic, survival of the richest view […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 15-13

  -15- Singin’ in the Rain Year: 1952 Director: Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen Thanks to Comden-Green’s knowing screenplay, which sharply satirizes Hollywood types and hilariously parodies the industry’s awkward transition to sound pictures, Singin’ in the Rain is one of the best movies about movies ever made, whether in the musical genre or not. […]