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ICM Forum's Favourite Directors 2020 [RESULTS]

500<400, Favourite 1001 movies, Doubling the Canon, Film World Cup and many other votes
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prodigalgodson
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#481

Post by prodigalgodson »

Lakigigar wrote: March 9th, 2021, 2:01 pm Tarkovsky is like the Dostojevsky in movies, you can say.
You can say, but, as someone who's actually seen a Tarkovsky film, I can disagree. Other than characters explicitly representing different philosophical standpoints in Brothers Karamazov and Stalker, I don't see much similarity. Tarkovsky's project, at a fundamental level, seems to be a melding of the spiritual and sensual realms, and FD's never struck me as a particularly sensory writer. From that standpoint, insofar as the mediums can be compared, for giants of Russian literature Tolstoy may be a better counterpart (I'm no expert, only read War and Peace myself), but Tarkovsky's style leans less toward historical realism and more toward abstract poetry.
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tobias
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#482

Post by tobias »

Torgo wrote: March 10th, 2021, 2:31 am
tobias wrote: March 9th, 2021, 11:09 pm
St. Gloede wrote: March 9th, 2021, 12:47 pm Until Criterion released the Human Conditions trilogy in 2009 (a few years before our poll started) only Seppuku, Samurai Rebellion and Kaidan were widely available. Since then more or less his entire filmography has slowly been dusted out and presented back into the canon.
The moment I came here it was always obvious that the board loves Kobayashi, so the high placement doesn't really surprise me. I assume a lot of it rests on the Human Condition which is basically the length of 5-7 "normal" feature films. If you take that into account his filmography doesn't seem more restricted than Kubrick's necessarily. I also rank Feuillade rather highly despite having seen only 2 of his films. I assume it's the same effect here (also this board really loves long and grounded narratives, especially if war is involved).

That being said I haven't seen The Human Condition. I've always thought it looks great but I've never gotten around to it. Not being very impressed by Kwaidan or Seppuku didn't really help to make it a priority (I liked both but neither left a lasting impression).
May I add for further reference that
- On RateYourMusic, which has also a solid film database (rather artsy), the 300 best films of all time include Seppuku (#6) and The Human Condition 3 at #29 (1 & 2 at #75 and #209), while the two other big films also make it to ranks of 200-300
- On IMDb, his key films have insane ratings of 8.4-8.8 - something that you don't even see in the filmography for Bergman or so - and with Seppuku finally entering the Top 250 after years in the dark, no less than at #29
- On Letterboxd, in the 250 Greatest there's Harakiri at #4 and Human Condition 3 at #8 (further Conditions apply to #18 & #43)

.. so, it's not just a forum mafia thing :)
You're right, I concur. Apparently even I gave Seppuku a 9/10 on IMDB back when I watched it in 2015.
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tobias
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#483

Post by tobias »

prodigalgodson wrote: March 10th, 2021, 4:16 am
Lakigigar wrote: March 9th, 2021, 2:01 pm Tarkovsky is like the Dostojevsky in movies, you can say.
You can say, but, as someone who's actually seen a Tarkovsky film, I can disagree. Other than characters explicitly representing different philosophical standpoints in Brothers Karamazov and Stalker, I don't see much similarity. Tarkovsky's project, at a fundamental level, seems to be a melding of the spiritual and sensual realms, and FD's never struck me as a particularly sensory writer. From that standpoint, insofar as the mediums can be compared, for giants of Russian literature Tolstoy may be a better counterpart (I'm no expert, only read War and Peace myself), but Tarkovsky's style leans less toward historical realism and more toward abstract poetry.
Isn't Dostojevsky more commonly compared to Tarkovsky's idol, Bresson?
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tobias
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#484

Post by tobias »

St. Gloede wrote: March 10th, 2021, 12:14 am
tobias wrote: March 9th, 2021, 11:39 pm
OldAle1 wrote: March 9th, 2021, 6:26 pm

That fact all by itself is strong confirmation of the arthouse bias of this forum.
Is it? Hong Kong is maybe a different story but mainland China has very few directors that are popular in the west and most of them tend to be more along the lines of what people call arthouse as well.
The top 5th generation filmmakers like Kaige Chen and especially Yimou Zhang has had a lot of support by Western critics.
Doesn't that kind of prove my point though? Kaige's only remotely widely seen film in the west is Farewell my Concubine and it's in the same ball park as Yi Yi in terms of IMDB votes. His other major film (which I think is fantastic) can barely be found in anything but old VHS rips (or maybe it's some low quality DVD transfer). Zhang is the big exception having worked with American A list actors on huge blockbusters and with Hero he even has a film that is very popular among more casual film fans (but then again Taiwan has the even more popular Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Maybe I'm the wrong person to talk about this because I find the term arthouse kind of weird but my understanding is that even most of Yimou's and Kaige's filmography would fall in that nieche, highly regarded by critics but not remotely as widely seen by the general western audiences as HK crime-flicks or martial-arts-movies. With Yimou I'm sort of separating his filmography here. The stuff that was big with critics was mainly what he did before House of Flying Daggers. The stuff that was popular with general audiences is probably starting with Hero. I know Kaige also made wuxia films and the likes but they never seem to have generated major traction in the west.
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#485

Post by OldAle1 »

tobias wrote: March 10th, 2021, 3:03 pm
prodigalgodson wrote: March 10th, 2021, 4:16 am
Lakigigar wrote: March 9th, 2021, 2:01 pm Tarkovsky is like the Dostojevsky in movies, you can say.
You can say, but, as someone who's actually seen a Tarkovsky film, I can disagree. Other than characters explicitly representing different philosophical standpoints in Brothers Karamazov and Stalker, I don't see much similarity. Tarkovsky's project, at a fundamental level, seems to be a melding of the spiritual and sensual realms, and FD's never struck me as a particularly sensory writer. From that standpoint, insofar as the mediums can be compared, for giants of Russian literature Tolstoy may be a better counterpart (I'm no expert, only read War and Peace myself), but Tarkovsky's style leans less toward historical realism and more toward abstract poetry.
Isn't Dostojevsky more commonly compared to Tarkovsky's idol, Bresson?
Yes - Pickpocket, obviously, but also I think A Man Escaped and some others have some debt to the dour Russian. Lav Diaz is also very much a Dostoevsky acolyte - Norte is a loose adaptation of Crime and Punishment, and Melancholia opens with a Dostoevsky quotation. I think Paul Schrader probably is a Fyodor fan as well, certainly Taxi Driver and some of his films as director seem indebted to his particular views on faith, guilt and redemption.
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prodigalgodson
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#486

Post by prodigalgodson »

OldAle1 wrote: March 10th, 2021, 4:27 pm
tobias wrote: March 10th, 2021, 3:03 pm
prodigalgodson wrote: March 10th, 2021, 4:16 am
You can say, but, as someone who's actually seen a Tarkovsky film, I can disagree. Other than characters explicitly representing different philosophical standpoints in Brothers Karamazov and Stalker, I don't see much similarity. Tarkovsky's project, at a fundamental level, seems to be a melding of the spiritual and sensual realms, and FD's never struck me as a particularly sensory writer. From that standpoint, insofar as the mediums can be compared, for giants of Russian literature Tolstoy may be a better counterpart (I'm no expert, only read War and Peace myself), but Tarkovsky's style leans less toward historical realism and more toward abstract poetry.
Isn't Dostojevsky more commonly compared to Tarkovsky's idol, Bresson?
Yes - Pickpocket, obviously, but also I think A Man Escaped and some others have some debt to the dour Russian.
And Four Nights of a Dreamer is based on White Nights. I think Bresson's a pretty solid stylistic analog to Dostoevsky, adaptations aside (L'argent is also based on a Tolstoy story lol).
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#487

Post by clemmetarey »

prodigalgodson wrote: March 10th, 2021, 8:03 pm
OldAle1 wrote: March 10th, 2021, 4:27 pm
tobias wrote: March 10th, 2021, 3:03 pm

Isn't Dostojevsky more commonly compared to Tarkovsky's idol, Bresson?
Yes - Pickpocket, obviously, but also I think A Man Escaped and some others have some debt to the dour Russian.
And Four Nights of a Dreamer is based on White Nights. I think Bresson's a pretty solid stylistic analog to Dostoevsky, adaptations aside (L'argent is also based on a Tolstoy story lol).
And A Gentle Woman is based on Dostoevsky's A Gentle Creature :)
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#488

Post by prodigalgodson »

Oh yeah! And there's The Devil Probably, maybe his most Dovstoevskian ever despite being very rooted in contemporary issues.
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Lakigigar
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#489

Post by Lakigigar »

I have never read Dostoevski and never seen a Tarkovsky, so yeah. Might be a be a weird comparison, but it's because I both saw them as artists who created heavy philosophical, very deep, (dark?) and introverted work and art. But if you might go in more detail, there might still be a certain distinction.

I saw Bresson more as like in terms of filming (not in terms of ideas, but in terms of filming) more as someone who is similar to Nietzsche. But that might also be a weird comparison, but it's because the kind of movies he make is quite unique form what i've seen (although i haven't seen much from that time, and not from France aside of maybe le salaire de peur and le trou). His actors aren't even professional. He certainly has quite a distinct style, but i might not be knowledgeable enough, esp. about Nietzsche to make that comparison. But i think they both share some elements of nihilism, as well as minimalism.

Saw 3 movies from Bresson, but I don't think i did finish Au hasard Balthasar (i was actually way too unexperienced to try that movie tbf, and i'll watch it someday again), A Man Escaped and Pickpocket. And I really liked A Man Escaped, but that might've been more because of the theme instead of the director or style, but the director / style also didn't bother me. I really liked that movie, which is why explored 5 years ago more Bressons without success tbh.

Bresson's movies are probably among the first 60's (and 50's) movies i've seen, before Hitchcock IIRC even. A Night To Remember is probably the first 50's movie i've seen in my life, aside of animated movies (although even than i think only saw parts of Alice in Wonderland as a child, but atm i have seen all Disneys from the 50's at least once), and I saw that one before I watched Bresson, mainly because the Titanic always interested me, and something must have made me watch that movie which I also liked just like Titanic at the time.
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#490

Post by prodigalgodson »

Lakigigar wrote: March 11th, 2021, 3:59 pm I have never read Dostoevski and never seen a Tarkovsky, so yeah.
Bruh...:satstunned:

Jk but on the real you can always take broad descriptors associated with various intellectuals/artists and draw connections, but those similarities are often superficial or tenuous, and that's something critics in general are often guilty of imo (it's something I've often fought to avoid myself).

Now my own confession: despite having read a good deal from people he influenced, I haven't actually read any Nietzche myself. But from what I understand, I don't think it'd be too far off the mark to describe several of Bresson's films as Nietzchean critiques, and they're certainly both famous for their solemnity (and subtle irony).

Bresson is certainly an interesting choice for an initial dive into midcentury filmmaking, haha. Cool tho. A Man Escaped seems to be easily his most popular among non-Bresson fans, and a favorite for many Bresson-heads too, just an excellently-made movie from many different angles.
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#491

Post by Lakigigar »

prodigalgodson wrote: March 12th, 2021, 6:30 am
Lakigigar wrote: March 11th, 2021, 3:59 pm I have never read Dostoevski and never seen a Tarkovsky, so yeah.
Bruh...:satstunned:

Jk but on the real you can always take broad descriptors associated with various intellectuals/artists and draw connections, but those similarities are often superficial or tenuous, and that's something critics in general are often guilty of imo (it's something I've often fought to avoid myself).

Now my own confession: despite having read a good deal from people he influenced, I haven't actually read any Nietzche myself. But from what I understand, I don't think it'd be too far off the mark to describe several of Bresson's films as Nietzchean critiques, and they're certainly both famous for their solemnity (and subtle irony).

Bresson is certainly an interesting choice for an initial dive into midcentury filmmaking, haha. Cool tho. A Man Escaped seems to be easily his most popular among non-Bresson fans, and a favorite for many Bresson-heads too, just an excellently-made movie from many different angles.
Someday i'll explore more Bresson but when I feel ready for it. I think it's better to not focus on one director but the entire new wave movement when it comes to that and perhaps slowly at a time.
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#492

Post by Torgo »

pitchorneirda wrote: March 9th, 2021, 9:25 pm So here's the IMDb list (thanks joachim, it only half worked but it saved me a couple of hours anyway):

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls089948325/
Could you maybe edit the very first post of the thread to include the Top 500 and this link? Should be helpful.
Thanks! :thumbsup:
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#493

Post by pitchorneirda »

Torgo wrote: March 16th, 2021, 4:38 pm
pitchorneirda wrote: March 9th, 2021, 9:25 pm So here's the IMDb list (thanks joachim, it only half worked but it saved me a couple of hours anyway):

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls089948325/
Could you maybe edit the very first post of the thread to include the Top 500 and this link? Should be helpful.
Thanks! :thumbsup:
Added Top 500 and IMDb link to the OP and edited the second post (the one with stats) too.
Whatever additional stat you might want to have, shoot!
"Art is like a fire, it is born from the very thing it burns" - Jean-Luc Godard
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