Writer - Director
|Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
|F for Fake
|Zapruder Kennedy Assassination Film
|The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
|The Manchurian Candidate
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
A genre busting film by New York beatnik Kubrick that used documentary techniques and satire to create a story about the end of the world as we know it. Satirist Terry Southern obviously spiced it up in this perfect storm of talents including Peter Sellers in peak form.
The Nordic angst of Munch and others made flesh and blood by Bergman. Like a rogue magician he made boring profound.
F for Fake
A pioneering tour de force that ushered in the age of so called "mockumentaries" and exemplified Welles' unending examination of the mechanics of cinema.
Zapruder Kennedy Assassination Film
An unprecedented collision of film and history. One of the most controversial and examined films ever shot. A runner up in this morbid Mondo Cane, cinema verité category, is Eva Braun's home movies which I exposed in Cannes in 1973.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Old school Americana at its finest with a meta and Rashomon edge. A quaint plea for the importance of a free press enhanced by discreet hero John Wayne and oozing villain Lee Marvin.
When Keaton steps into his own movie narrative he dragged cinema into Modernism. A much imitated and influential quantum jump in film ideas. And funny!
With this film Cocteau spearheaded the mainstream understanding and delight in Surrealism. He also in my opinion triggered the impending French New Wave with the motorcycle gang from Hell and the radio broadcasting from the underworld. He unlocked some of the handcuffs on conventional cinema.
The Manchurian Candidate
An astonishingly prescient thriller raising the frightening curtain on conspiracy theory, mind control, political corruption, modern fascism and contemporary evil.
Beautifully crafted, it was taken off release after the killing of JFK. It completes Frankenheimer's startling trilogy with Seconds and Seven Days in May.
Experimental and ground-breaking in story and technique, it is still constantly imitated.
Modern psychiatry was a star of the film along with closeups of blood going down drains, designed by Saul Bass.
After Janet Leigh took a shower and was murdered twenty minutes into the film, cinema and showers changed forever.
One must always remember Hitchcock's bizarre and dark sense of humour. As a kid in Melbourne I saw the trailer where he personally was in the Psycho bathroom, looked into the toilet and said: Terrible things happened here!
A study of the Holocaust that leaves the viewer shocked, bewildered and deeply saddened by this journey into the heart of darkness. No one film can ever encapsulate the Holocaust but Shoah gets honours in a distinguished group.
I believe there is truth to the idea that the subject of the greatest paintings is art itself. This applies also to cinema since clearly the greatest films grapple with the complex mechanics and art of cinema. Keaton did it with gags. Hitchcock did it with shock. Cocteau with surrealism and so on.
I heard Welles in person say a director is someone "who presides over accidents."
Every director knows what he means, but one still tries the Sisyphean task of bending reality to one's vision.
My hat is also off to noble failures like Preminger's Skidoo and note brilliant films like To Be or Not to Be by Lubitsch, the Great Dictator by Chaplin, Spielberg's Jaws, Tarkovsky's Solaris and the first feature film ever made: Australia's The Story of the Kelly Gang, 1906 (sic) directed by Charles Tait in Melbourne.
Thank you for inviting me to participate.