Top films from the past 2005 (2)
23. The Chess Player (Raymond Bernard, 1927) I love big-budget silent historical melodramas. This one involves Polish independence, Catherine the Great, and the famous chess-playing automaton, The Turk.
22. Police (Maurice Pialat, 1985) A terrible confession: Nearly all French crime films, no matter how good they are, do not convince me. At bottom, there is always something in quotation marks about them, as if the French movie is "doing" an American crime movie in the same way someone would "do" an impression. However, this one is the exception. A French crime movie that is actually about cops and criminals.
21. I Was Born, But... (Yasujiro Ozu, 1932) I love how fogeyish the kids are.
20. Les Mysteres du chateau du De (Man Ray, 1929) Probably the best "I shot this last weekend at my friend's house" film.
19. Don Juan (Alan Crosland, 1926) More silent big-budgetism, this time with John Barrymore as Don Juan. Every set looks like a 20s movie palace.
18. Female Convict 701 -- Scorpion (Shunya Ito, 1971) No one does Hell on Earth movies like the Japanese. (I think this comes from being the only country to be atom bombed.) Also, no one did New Wave as well as the Japanese.
17. Legong: Dance of the Virgins (Henri de la Falaise, 1935) Like Tabu, a docu-tale of doomed love in the tropics, but this time in beautiful two-strip Technicolor. Comes on DVD with both original and new gamelan score (both excellent).
16. Alias Jimmy Valentine (Maurice Tourneur, 1915) A bank robbery sequence that can stand alongside Heat.
15. Foxy Brown (Jack Hill, 1974) She got her black belt in bar stools.