HEY, HEY, LBJ, HOW MANY FLICKS DID YOU SEE TODAY?: So far
I've reeled off my favorite films of 2005
Onward to the '60s.
When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences looked
back at 1965, it gave its Best Picture award to The Sound of Music
. It's hip to denigrate that movie, but I'm willing to
. I'm not going to put it on my list, though:
Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Polanski, Gerard Brach, and David Stone
The most claustrophobic and horrific of Polanki's
claustrophobic horror movies.
2. The Saragossa
Directed by Wojciech Has
Written by Tadeusz Kwiatkowski, from a novel by Jan Potocki
A story within a story within a story within a...
3. The Battle of
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Written by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas
In the '60s, would-be Guevaras watched this to teach
themselves revolution; four decades later, the Pentagon screened it for tips on
fighting terror. Whatever else they found in it, both groups got to see one
hell of a movie—a film so utterly unflinching in its amorality that it feels
more like a dispassionate documentary than a propaganda picture.
4. The Loved One
Directed by Tony Richardson
Written by Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood, from a
novel by Evelyn Waugh
The Duck Soup of
pet cemetery movies.
5. King Rat
Directed by Bryan Forbes
Written by Forbes, from a novel by James Clavell
"If you don't want to eat it, you can sit and watch.
It's a free prison!"
6. It Happened Here
Written and directed by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo
An alternate-history tale in which Britain falls under Nazi rule.
A story about life under occupation, and the ease with which people in such a
situation can become collaborators.
7. A Game with Stones
Written and directed by Jan Švankmajer
The stones of the title arrange themselves into simple
shapes, into more intricate patterns, and eventually into human beings who
swallow each other. If that doesn't sound good enough to belong on one of these
lists, well, it isn't easy to describe the plot of a Dali painting either.
8. The Spy Who Came
in from the Cold
Directed by Martin Ritt
Written by Paul Dehn and Guy Trosper, from a novel by John
In Le Carre's bleak story, the intelligence agencies of the
Cold War aren't entirely separate—more like competing forces within one vast
9. Mickey One
Directed by Arthur Penn
Written by Alan Surgal
The most surreal mob movie I've seen, and a prototype for
the conspiracy thrillers of the '70s.
10. Simon of the
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Julio Alejandro
A meditating monk faces off with the devil. This being
Buñuel, there's no reason to assume the devil will lose.
11. Chimes at
Midnight (Orson Welles)
12. Looking for
Mushrooms (Bruce Conner)
Sweet Charlotte (Robert Aldrich)
14. For a Few Dollars
More (Sergio Leone)
15. Major Dundee
16. The Pawnbroker
17. Time Piece (Jim
18. The Hand
Of the films of 1965 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in Red Beard, Le Bonheur, A Fugitive from the Past, and The Shop on Main Street.