Some favorites seen for the first time in 2019

(Versão em português aqui)

A few remarks on the first 25 and then the remaining are only listed.

Beggars of Life (William A. Wellman, 1928)2019fav001
William Wellman had just recent directed the very popular Wings, when he take the opposite direction and made this film about two young lovers on the run in the middle of American train hobos. In some ways, it suggests the social films made during the great depression inclusing Wellman’s own masterpiece Wild Boys of the Road that revisit much of the same territory. Rough, very unsentimental and with beautiful performance from Louise Brooks that is far away from the work she would do for Pabst and Hawks a little later.

Sadie Thompson (Raoul Walsh, 1928)
2019fav002
A dissolution tale with a large variety of registers. A triangle of different worldviews that Walsh allows space to resonate. In the middle of all a illuminated Gloria Swanson. It is also a rare opportunity of seeing Walsh on screen a little before the accident that ended his acting career.

The Last Flight (William Dieterle, 1931)
2019fav003
This was the first American film from William Dieterle and some of its force comes from how it remains suspended between two continents.  The masochist pragmatism in front of the remains of war come from US, but the sense of desperation comes from Europe that serve as stage from the conflict and amplifies everyone’s impotence.

Other Men’s Women (William A. Wellman, 1931)
2019fav004
Wellman filming the romance between American working class men in the middle of train lines that are cinematographic as usual. It remind me of the best Jean Renoir did in his Popular front days.

Safe in Hell (William A. Wellman, 1931)
2019fav005
One of the best things about Wellman’s movies from this era  i show ecletic they are both in subjects and even inside themselves changing registers with great freedom. Safe in Hell is almost exactly reversal of Other Men’s Women from its focus on women to its exotic near abstract setting. Like many of the director’s films, it is a movie about civilization and its frontiers, here filtered through a woman dealing with a place where no pretenses of it arrived. Safe in Hell movies with assurance between the moral dramaand a specificity of gesture in the many negotiations that Dorothy Mackail need to stabilish through its short duration.

Transatlantic (William K. Howard, 1931)
2019fav006
One of those multiplot movies centered in a single space, here a transatlantic. Much like Safe in Hell, it is a film about notions of civilization in a space It is suspended. The film moves with ease between its many plots while tying the moral knot around Edmund Lowe’s gambler. Great cinematography work from James Wong Howe and atmospheric and menancing direction by the underrated William K. Howard.

Four Hours to Kill! (Mitchel Leisen, 1935)
2019fav007
Leisen is usually linked to comedy, but he worked well in other registers like this delicious thriller with a single setting and closed time frame (a theater lobby, the four hours of the title). Very neurotic with the many subplots feeding in the main revenge tale. Another excellent work from Richard Barthelmess as the waiting prisoner who moves the action, it was his last leading role and there’s some to be written about his six years as leading man on talkies as there’s a thematic consistence and ambition both aesthetic and social politic in them that is very unusual.

Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo (Sadao Yamanaka, 1935)
2019fav008
One of the pleasures of this year’s was watching the two Sadao Yamanaka I hadn’t seenwith his light touch even in the middle of desperate material.And there’s something about his community portrait that is fascinating as well

Angel (Ernst Lubitsch, 1937)
2019fav009
Love and the ending of reason. As often in Lubitsch from good manners arrives the most violent of movies.

Strange Cargo (Frank Borzage, 1940)
2019fav010
From the religious allegory to a sense of arriving at a world. It is very close to what Borzage would achieve later in Moonrise and has a stronger desperation that the romantic material might at first not suggest.

Gentleman Jim (Raoul Walsh, 1942)
2019fav011
A good part of the films Raoul Walsh did in his first years at Warner between 1939-1942 suggest a revisit of ideas and situations that he had made his own in the the early 30s bu in a key that add a good shot of melancholia. Gentleman Jim is a boxing film full of energy, much because of a perfect employed Errol Flynn, but it never escapes a certain bitterness, the certainty that its belle époque is an illusion that belong only to movies.

Driftwood (Allan Dwan, 1947)
2019fav012
Half religious parable, half eccentric small town film. So Fordian that Francis Ford is in the supporting cast. It even has a subplot with a dog trial.

Children of the Beehive (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1948)
2019fav013
Going from the sweet children film to the horror one when we move from WWII winners to its losers. Portrait of a country in ruins literally and emotionally by way of the children who play through its remains.

Sound of the Mountain (Mikio Naruse, 1954)    
2019fav014
Pure poison about Japanese family by way of the all-wrong gaze of its well-meaning but out of place patriarch. Naruse producing a kind of anti-Ozu years before the new wave provocateurs.  One of Setsuko Hara’s best performances.

The Eternal Breasts (Kinuyo Tanaka, 1955)
2019fav015
Kinuyo Tanaka was beyond one of the great actresses of Japanese cinema, the first woman to direct in the country, I saw two of the six movies she did between 1953 and 1962 (Love Letter that I saw a few years ago is also pretty good) and this one is a gem. A masochist film that moves strongly towards death but finds a larger view along the way.

Decision at Sundown (Budd Boetticher, 1957)
2019fav016
High Noon turned upside down. Above all else because Boetticher direction couldn’t be more simple and direct. One of his better acted movies as well.

Othon (Danielle Huilet, Jean-Marie Straub, 1970)
2019fav017
Straub/Huillet and the word. One of the great musicals only through the sonority of the spoken words.  A film of all times.

Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety, 1973)
2019fav018
One of the great dramas of the Third World filmmaker i show to better absorb artistic influences from the colonial powers while steal dealing with imperialism. Mambety’s film is a New Wave couple’s adventure about colonial affliction that is all the stronger for recognize all the violence inherent to its process.

Dialogue of Exiled (Raul Ruiz, 1975)
2019fav019
Speaking of colonial affliction here we get Raul Ruiz losing any pretenses while filming the neurosis of Chilean exiles after Pinochet’s coup. Exile is complete annihilation of any idea of normalcy.

Muddy River (Kohei Oguri, 1981)
2019fav020
The world’s misery through a child’s gaze. Not a film about the naïve of childhood, but of the harsh negotiations of two kids in a hostile world.

School in the Crosshairs (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1981)
2019fav021
Scanners reimagined through Japanese society fascistic tendencies by way of juvenile anime.

Berenice (Raul Ruiz, 1983)
2019fav022
Ruiz playing Wellesian shadow games. On how to extract so much out of minimal scene elements.

Alexandria Again and Forever (Youssef Chahine, 1990)
2019fav023
On filmmaking and power. The director’s gaze, all those who appear in front of his camera and all those who labor behind it. Among Chahine’s autobiographical work I think this is t6he one with the most inventive ideas.

Samba Traoré (Idrissa Ouedraogo, 1992)
2019fav024
A thriller about the exact moment his actions will caught up with its main character. An invaluable film not about guilty but responsibility of what’s to come.

Fragile as the World (Rita Azevedo Gomes, 2001)
2019fav025
A forbidden love and the filmmaker’s generous gesture of making it eternal by placing its young lovers in the world as unforgiven as it might be.

The Salvation Hunters (Joseph Von Sternberg, 1925)
2019fav026

The Kid Brother (Ted Wilde, 1927)
2019fav027

Speedy (Ted Wilde, 1928)
2019fav028

Linda (Dorothy Davenport, 1929)
2019fav029

Where East is East (Tod Browning, 1929)
2019fav030

The Wild Party (Dorothy Arzner, 1929)
2019fav031

City Girl (F.W. Murnau, 1930)
2019fav032

A Lady to Love (Victor Sjostrom, 1930)
2019fav033

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)
2019fav034

Possessed (Clarence Brown, 1931)
2019fav035

Beauty and the Boss (Roy Del Ruth, 1932)
2019fav036

Red-Headed Woman (Jack Conway, 1932)
2019fav037

What Price Hollywood? (George Cukor, 1932)
2019fav038

Baby Face (Alfred E. Green, 1933)
2019fav039

The Mayor of Hell (Archie Mayo, 1933)
2019fav040

The Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz, 1933)
2019fav041

Queen Christina (Rouben Mamoulian, 1933)
2019fav042

The Silver Cord (John Cromwell, 1933)
2019fav043

Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (Roy Del Ruth, 1934)
2019fav044

Four Frightened People (Cecil B. De Mille, 1934)
2019fav045

Imitation of Life (John M. Stahl, 1934)
2019fav046

No Greater Glory (Frank Borzage, 1934)
2019fav047

Hands Across the Table (Mitchel Leisen, 1935)
2019fav048

After the Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1936)
2019fav049

Priest of Darkness (Sadao Yamanaka, 1936)
2019fav050

Stand-In (Tay Garnett, 1937)
2019fav051

At the Circus (Edward Buzzell, 1939)
2019fav052

Son of Frankentein (Rowland V. Lee, 1939)
2019fav053

Seven Sinners (Tay Garnett, 1940)
2019fav054

Manpower (Raoul Walsh, 1941)
2019fav055

The Shepherd of the Hills (Henry Hathaway, 1941)
2019fav056

Destination Tokyo (Delmer Daves, 1943)
2019fav057

The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson, 1943)
2019fav058

A Good Lad (Boris Barnet, 1943)
2019fav059

Johnny Come Lately (William K. Howard, 1943)
2019fav060

I’ll Be Seeing You (William Dieterle, 1944)
2019fav061

Reign of Terror (Anthony Mann, 1949)
2019fav062

Tomahawk (George Sherman, 1951)
2019fav063

Welcome, Mr. Marshall! (Luis García Berlanaga, 1953)
2019fav064

Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse, 1955)
2019fav065

Flowing (Mikio Naruse, 1956)
2019fav066

Star in the Dust (Charles F. Haas, 1956)
2019fav067

Gunman’s Walk (Phil Karlson, 1958)
2019fav068

Dead Eyes of London (Alfred Vohrer, 1959)
2019fav069

The Demon (Brunello Rondi, 1963)
2019fav070

The Ghost (Riccardo Freda, 1963)
2019fav071

The Indian Scarf (Alfred Vohrer, 1963)
2019fav073

The Magnificient Adventurer (Riccardo Freda, 1963)
2019fav072

Zatoichi’s Vengeance (Tokuzô Tanaka, 1966)
2019fav074

Cruces sobre el Yermo (Alberto Mariscal, 1967)
2019fav075

Massacre no Supermercado (J.B. Tanko, 1968)
2019fav076

Three Sad Tigers  (Raul Ruiz, 1968)
2019fav077

Demons (Toshio Matsumoto, 1971)
2019fav078

What’s the Matter with Helen? (Curtis Harrington, 1971)
2019fav079

Payday (Daryl Duke, 1973)
2019fav080

Killer Cop (Luciano Ercoli, 1975)
2019fav081

Light of Africa (Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1975)
2019fav082

The Suspended Vocation (Raul Ruiz, 1978)
2019fav083

Mueda, Memory and Massacre (Ruy Guerra, 1981)
2019fav084

Mur Murs (Agnes Varda, 1981)
2019fav085

Search (Amir Naderi, 1981)
2019fav086

The Horse Thief (Tian Zhuangzhuang, 1986)
2019fav087

Bu Su (Jun Ichikawa, 1987)
2019fav088

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
2019fav089

Nach Jerusalem (Ruth Beckermann, 1991)
2019fav090

Lumumba: Death of a Prophet (Raoul Peck, 1992)
2019fav091

Love – Zero = Infinity (Hisayasu Satô, 1994)
2019fav092

Haircut (Joaquim Sapinho, 1995)
2019fav093

Goshogaoka (Sharon Lockhart, 1998)
2019fav094

The Joy of Life (Jenni Olson, 2005)
2019fav095

The Last of Crazy People (Laurent Achard, 2006)
2019fav096

Men at Work (Mani Haghighi, 2006)
2019fav097

Montparnasse (Mikhaël Hers, 2009)
2019fav098

Last Screening (Laurent Achard, 2011)
2019fav099

It All Starts at the End (Luis Ospina, 2015)
2019fav100

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