Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet

Here is my contribution to the Cinematic Alphabet même that's been floating around lately. I ended up spending more time thinking about this than I had anticipated, and as my buddy Jake Cole mentioned in his recent post, for such a simple and meaningless game it was pretty agonizing trying to whittle the many, many options for most of the letters down to a sole choice. I have also abided by the rule of only selecting one movie per director, but even with that it pained me to have to leave off some of my favorite directors, names such as Jacques Tourneur, Douglas Sirk, Nicholas Ray, Howard Hawks, Yasujiro Ozu, Terrence Malick, Jean-Luc Godard, Powell/Pressburger, David Fincher, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean Renoir, Eric Rohmer, Josef von Sternberg and it goes on, people who have all made some of my very favorite movies, but for whatever reason didn't manage to find a spot on here.

As it stands I'm pleased with how the list shaped out, but it goes without saying that for many of these letters there could have been any one of many titles chosen. However, as of right now, these are my favorites - minus X, which was only filled in for the sake of completion.

A is for All the Vermeers in New York (Jon Jost, 1990)

is for Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980)

is for Cemetery Man (Michele Soavi, 1994)

is for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972)

is for eXistenZ (David Cronenberg, 1999)

is for F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1975)

is for Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii, 1995)

is for Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

is for The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)

is for Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990)

is for The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes, 1976)

is for Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)

is for Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

is for Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983)

is for Out 1, noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971)

is for Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004)

is for Quatermass and the Pit (Roy Ward Baker, 1967)

is for Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 1962)

is for The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953)

is for Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

is for Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)

is for Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

is for White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

is for X-Men (Bryan Singer, 2000)

is for Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)

is for Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)


Jon said...

Your choice of Nostalghia is a great one. I'm reminded of how engrossing and meditative it is. Need to watch that one again soon.

Dean Treadway said...

A briliant collection. I'm coming back to your blog, for sure, and am linking it with filmicability. I think you'd like my CINEMA GALLERY collection...

Drew McIntosh said...

Thanks, Jonny. It was the last of Tarkovsky's features I got around to, and it really blew me away.

Thank you very much, Dean, for both the kind words, and for linking your Cinema Gallery! What a fantastic collection!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Excellent choices here, several I've not seen and must track down. Great call on RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN!

Drew McIntosh said...

Thanks, Rupert!

Joe Baker said...

Very eclectic list! Well done.

Drew McIntosh said...

Thanks a lot, Joseph!

Sam Juliano said...

Typically (for you) extraordinary list. I am with you on so many here, and am particularly thrilled to see Ophuls' underexposed LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, one of my favorite films of all-time.

Drew McIntosh said...

Thanks a ton, Sam. Glad to hear some love for Letter! It's amazing, as pretty much any Ophuls film is of course.

Unknown said...

Great list, great choices. Of course, I'm a little late to the party but I recently threw up my own A-Z list. Someone somewhere should enjoy: