The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Thursday, December 26, 2013
THE YEAR I BECAME A TEENAGER: I've told you my favorite films of
2003 and 1993. Now it's time to drop by the Reagan era.

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences looked back at 1983, it gave its Best Picture award to an all-star weepie called Terms of Endearment. It's a fairly capable production, but I like these better:

1. Sans Soleil
Written and directed by Chris Marker

A strange and lovely essay-film about Africa, Japan, festivals, robots, Hitchcock, and much more. No other movie in the world is like this one.

2. Videodrome
Written and directed by David Cronenberg

"It's just torture and murder. No plot, no characters. Very, very realistic. I think it's what's next."

3. The King of Comedy
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Paul Zimmerman

This and Videodrome would make an interesting double bill.

4. Tender Mercies
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Written by Horton Foote

Robert Duvall plays a country singer who's down on his luck. If you don't think that sounds great, you might be reading the wrong blog.

5. Zelig
Written and directed by Woody Allen

"It shows exactly what you can do, if you're a total psychotic."

6. Pauline at the Beach
Written and directed by Eric Rohmer

I don't know if honest self-deception is possible, but that's what the final scene seems to show.

7. The Meaning of Life
Directed by Terry Jones with Terry Gilliam
Written by Jones, Gilliam, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin

Holds nothing sacred, save sperm.

8. El Sur
Directed by Victor Erice
Written by Erice, from a novel by Adelaida García Morales

"That was the first time Dad left home in the middle of the night without a word to anyone."

9. El Norte
Directed by Gregory Nava
Written by Anna Thomas

I swear I didn't deliberately tweak this so El Norte would be immediately adjacent to El Sur.

10. A Christmas Story
Directed by Bob Clark
Written by Clark, Leigh Brown, and Jean Shepherd, from the novel by Shepherd

My father watches this every year, and I can't say I blame him. I like the shopping mall Santa scene best.

Honorable mentions:

11. À Nos Amours (Maurice Pialat)
12. John Cage (Peter Greenaway)
13. Carmen (Carlos Saura)
14. Trading Places (John Landis)
15. The Store (Frederick Wiseman)
16. Risky Business (Paul Brickman)
17. Local Hero (Bill Forsyth)
18. Rockit (Kevin Godley, Lol Creme)
19. Smorgasbord (Jerry Lewis)
20. Chance Encounters (James Williams)

Of the films of 1983 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in My Brother's Wedding.

The last time I published a list for this year, I didn't include an honorable mentions section. Also, I was under the impression that Sans Soleil had been released in 1982. So there's been a few changes.


posted by Jesse 1:09 AM
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