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This Week in Rankings

We’re coming down to the end of 2016 (at last!) and so here’s one last rankings update before all the lists and whatnot at the end of December. Since my last update I’ve written about I am Not Madame Bovary and Old Stone at Seattle Screen Scene and Sky on Fire at MUBI. I also appeared on the Snakes and Funerals podcast talking about Jean Renoir’s American Films.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

La chienne (Jean Renoir) – 10, 1931
La bête humaine (Jean Renoir) – 4, 1938
Swamp Water (Jean Renoir) – 12, 1941
The Southerner (Jean Renoir) – 6, 1945
The Woman on the Beach (Jean Renoir) – 9, 1947

The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir) – 9, 1952
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen (Donald Brittain & Don Owen) – 31, 1965
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Bill Melendez) – 4, 1966
Death Duel (Chor Yuen) – 17, 1977
City on Fire (Ringo Lam) – 4, 1987

School on Fire (Ringo Lam) – 3, 1988
Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen (Bob Portway) – 41, 1988
Wild Search (Ringo Lam) – 46, 1989
Prison on Fire II (Ringo Lam) – 24, 1991
Touch and Go (Ringo Lam) – 58, 1991

Burning Paradise in Hell (Ringo Lam) – 24, 1994
The Adventurers (Ringo Lam) – 89, 1995
The Suspect (Ringo Lam) – 59, 1998
The Victim (Ringo Lam) – 53, 1999
Looking for Mr. Perfect (Ringo Lam) – 26, 2003

Leonard Cohen: Under Review: 1934-1977 – 44, 2006
Rat Film (Theo Anthony) – 24, 2016
The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra) – 29, 2016
I am Not Madame Bovary (Feng Xiaogang) – 33, 2016
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt) – 34, 2016

Call of Heroes (Benny Chan) – 46, 2016
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) – 53, 2016
Old Stone (Johnny Ma) – 58, 2016
The Handmaiden (Park Chanwook) – 64, 2016
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) – 68, 2016

Hamilton’s America (Alex Horwitz) – 73, 2016
Sky on Fire (Ringo Lam) – 83, 2016
Ghostbusters (Paul Feig) – 84, 2016
Doctor Strange (Scott Derrickson) – 89, 2016

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This Week in Rankings

This is a quick post-festival update of my year-by-year rankings. My coverage of the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival is Indexed here. All my VIFF reviews are at Seattle Screen Scene, along with a review of Operation Mekong.

Viva (Anna Biller) – 25, 2007
Medicine for Melancholy (Barry Jenkins) – 20, 2008
Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) – 2, 2016
Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) – 3, 2016
Elle (Paul Verhoeven) – 5, 2016

A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies) – 7, 2016
The Hedonists (Jia Zhangke) – 8, 2016
Crosscurrent (Yang Chao) – 9, 2016
Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro) – 10, 2016
Last Poems Trilogy (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 11, 2016

Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve) – 13, 2016
HyperNormalzation (Adam Curtis) – 14, 2016
Yellowing (Chan Tze-woon) – 17, 2016
Pop Song (Matthew Taylor Blais) – 19, 2016
After the Storm (Kore-eda Hirokazu) – 24, 2016
Never Eat Alone (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 25, 2016

Nine Behind (Sophy Romvari) – 26, 2016
The Movieland Movie (Zachary KerrHolden) – 27, 2016
One Day in Our Lives of. . . (Stanley Kwan) – 28, 2016
Nutag – Homeland (Alisi Telengut) – 29, 2016
The Love Witch (Anna Biller) – 30, 2016

The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues) – 32, 2016
Lifeline (Shiota Akihiko) – 33, 2016
Short Stay (Ted Fendt) – 36, 2016
Two (Christopher Spencer-Lowe) – 39, 2016
Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas) – 41, 2016

Those Who Remains (Mathieu Vachon) – 44, 2016
Kékszakállú (Gastón Solnicki) – 45, 2016
The Unknown Girl (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne) – 46, 2016
The Promise (Shiota Akihiko) – 47, 2016
The Intestine (Lev Lewis) – 48, 2016

Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho) – 49, 2016
Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids (Jonathan Demme) – 50, 2016
Indefinite Pitch (James N. Kienitz Wilkins) – 51, 2016
I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach) – 54, 2016
Suffering of Ninko (Norihiro Niwatsukino) – 55, 2016

The Human Surge (Eduardo Williams) – 56, 2016
Tales of Two Who Dreamt (Nicolás Pereda & Andrea Bussmann) – 57, 2016
Mamie (Janice Nadeau) – 60, 2016
Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (Khyentse Norbu) – 61, 2016
Operation Mekong (Dante Lam) – 64, 2016

The Road to Mandalay (Midi Z) – 65, 2016
Maudite Poutine (Karl Lemieux) – 66, 2016
Neruda (Pablo Larraín) – 67, 2016
Phantom Detective (Jo Sunghee) – 68, 2016
Harmonium (Kôji Fukada) – 69, 2016

Somewhere in Kamakura (Hideo Nakata) – 72, 2016
Fish (Heather Young) – 73, 2016
Maliglutit (Zacharias Kunuk) – 74, 2016
Dama Wang Who Lives on Happiness Avenue (Alec Su) – 80, 2016
The Cameraman (Connor Gaston) – 81, 2016
Srorrim (Wayne Wapeemuka) – 83, 2016

VIFF 2016: Index

This is an index of my writing on the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival.

Introduction and Proposed Schedule – Sept 20, 2016
Toni Erdmann – Oct 4, 2016
Never Eat Alone and The Last Poems Trilogy – Oct 4, 2016
Maudite Poutine and Pop Song – Oct 4, 2016
Crosscurrent – Oct 4, 2016
Yellowing – Oct 5, 2016
Things to Come – Oct 15, 2016
After the Storm – Oct 15, 2016
Hermia and Helena – Oct 15, 2016
VIFF 2016 Rankings

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This Week in Rankings

Since the last update, I posted my annual randomized Top 100 Films of All-Time list (see also the Seattle Screen Scene Top 100 Films of All-Time Project), wrote about DW Griffith and Intolerance for Movie Mezzanine, wrote about three Sion Sono films for InReview Online (Bicycle Sighs, Suicide Club and Love Exposure) and covered The Age of Shadows and Soulmate at Seattle Screen Scene.

I’m off to Vancouver in a couple of days for the Film Festival (here’s my proposed schedule) and I’ll be writing about what I see there over at Seattle Screen Scene. I’ll have an index over here of my coverage as well of course.

I’ve been watching fewer movies this year, mostly because as my kids get older it’s become easier to read books. I’ve read more this year than the past five years, since kid #1 was born) put together. Here’s a ranked list of what I’ve read (and finished) so far this year:

1. Where I Was From – Joan Didion
2. Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion
3. A Death in the Family – James Agee
4. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
5. Harmonium – Wallace Stevens
6. The Souls of Black Folk – WEB DuBois
7. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
8. Lyrical Ballads (William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge
9. The White Album – Joan Didion
10. Rising from the Plains – John McPhee
11. Lady Susan – Jane Austen
12. A Collection of Essays – George Orwell
13. Violet Energy Ingots – Hoa Nguyen
14. Basin & Range – John McPhee
15. Salvador – Joan Didion
16. In Suspect Terrain – John McPhee
17. Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
18. The Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan
19. A Galaxy Not So Far Away – Glenn Kenny, et al

These are the movies I’ve watched and rewatched over the last few weeks and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

The Adventures of Dollie (DW Griffith) – 2, 1908
A Corner in Wheat (DW Griffith) – 1, 1909
Those Awful Hats (DW Griffith) – 2, 1909
The Sealed Room (DW Griffith) – 4, 1909
The Unchanging Sea (DW Griffith) – 1, 1910

The Usurer (DW Griffith) – 4, 1910
The Lonedale Operator (DW Griffith) – 1, 1911
Enoch Arden (DW Griffith) – 2, 1911
The Miser’s Heart (DW Griffith) – 3, 1911
His Trust (DW Griffith) – 4, 1911

The Musketeers of Pig-Alley (DW Griffith) – 1, 1912
The Girl and Her Trust (DW Griffith) – 2, 1912
The Massacre (DW Griffith) – 3, 1912
The New York Hat (DW Griffith) – 5, 1912
The Sunbeam (DW Griffith) – 6, 1912

The Painted Lady (DW Griffith) – 7, 1912
Friends (DW Griffith) – 9, 1912
An Unseen Enemy (DW Griffith) – 10, 1912
The Lesser Evil (DW Griffith) – 11, 1912
One is Business, the Other Crime (DW Griffith) – 12, 1912

The Burglar’s Dilemma (DW Griffith) – 13, 1912
Death’s Marathon (DW Griffith) – 3, 1913
The Mothering Heart (DW Griffith) – 4, 1913
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (DW Griffith) – 6, 1913
The Last Drop of Water (DW Griffith) – 7, 1913

Judith of Bethulia (DW Griffith) – 5, 1914
Intolerance (DW Griffith) – 1, 1916
Hearts of the World (DW Griffith) – 1, 1918
Broken Blossoms (DW Griffith) – 1, 1919
The Fall of Babylon (DW Griffith) – 5, 1919

The Mother and the Law (DW Griffith) – 9, 1919
Isn’t Life Wonderful (DW Griffith) – 5, 1924
America (DW Griffith) – 13, 1924
The Sorrows of Satan (DW Griffith) – 10, 1926

Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven) – 56, 1995
Young and Dangerous 3 (Andrew Lau) – 53, 1996
Time and Tide (Tsui Hark) – 7, 2000
Suicide Club (Sion Sono) – 9, 2001
Shaolin Soccer (Stephen Chow) – 12, 2001

Love Exposure (Sion Sono) – 5, 2008
Viola (Matías Piñeiro) – 11, 2012
Finding Mr. Right (Xue Xiaolu) – 49, 2013
Sully (Clint Eastwood) – 2, 2016
The Age of Shadows (Kim Jee-woon) – 5, 2016

Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson) – 9, 2016
A Train Arrives at the Station (Thom Andersen) – 16, 2016
From Nine to Nine (Neil Bahadur) – 17, 2016
Ocean Falls (Ryan Ermacora&  Jessica Johnson) – 18, 2016

Soulmate (Derek Tsang) – 20, 2016
From Vegas to Macau III (Wong Jing) – 29, 2016
The Secret Life of Pets (Yarrow Cheney& Chris Renaud) – 32, 2016

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VIFF 2016: Introduction and Proposed Schedule

I’ll be back at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year, and we’re planning extensive coverage over at Seattle Screen Scene. This year’s lineup looks like it might be the best since 2012, packed with promising European titles, the best selection of Asian films on the North American festival circuit and a renewed emphasis on cutting-edge Canadian cinema. All of my reviews this year are going to be over at SSS, but I’ll have an additional index of them over here, and I figured this would be a more appropriate home for my proposed schedule.

These are the films I’m hoping to see. Showings that conflict with each other are listed without a space in-between, with the film I’m leaning toward attending listed first.

Continue reading

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A Top 100 Films of All-Time

It is time once again for a Top 100 Films of All-Time list. As I’ve done for the last few years, the first ten spots on the list comprise a hypothetical Sight & Sound-style ballot. We had an on-going project related to this on The George Sanders Show, that will now be based at Seattle Screen Scene. This top ten is presented here in chronological order. The remaining 90 films were randomly selected from a consideration set of 867 films, which excluded films that made my Top Tens in 201220132014 and 2015.

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1. Ruggles of Red Gap (Leo McCarey, 1935)

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2. Hatari! (Howard Hawks, 1962)

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3. News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1977)

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4. The Green Ray (Eric Rohmer, 1986)

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5. Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark, 1986)

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6. The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992)

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7. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)

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8. Running on Karma (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai, 2003)

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9. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)

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10. Linda Linda Linda (Nouhiro Yamashita, 2005)

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11. The Last Movie (Dennis Hopper, 1971)

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12. Murmur of the Hearts (Sylvia Chang, 2015)

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13. Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956)

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14. Nomad (Patrick Tam, 1982)

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15. Run of the Arrow (Samuel Fuller, 1957)

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16. Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, 1935)

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17. The Golem: How He Came Into the World (Paul Wegener & Carl Boese, 1920)

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18. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

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19. Wheels on Meals (Sammo Hung, 1984)

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20. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

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21. The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, 2009)

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22. Choose Me (Alan Rudolph, 1984)

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23. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)

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24. Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)

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25. The Heroic Ones (Chang Cheh, 1970)

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26. What Time is it There? (Tsai Ming-liang, 2001)

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27. The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston, 1975)

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28. Hearts of the World (DW Griffith, 1918)

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29. Romancing in Thin Air (Johnnie To, 2012)

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30. There’s Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk, 1955)

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31. World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt, 2015)

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32. Written By (Wai Ka-fai, 2009)

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33. Big Night (Campbell Scott & Stanley Tucci, 1996)

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34. The Pan-American Exposition by Night (Edwin S. Porter, 1901)

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35. Battles Without Honor and Humanity (Kinji Fukasaku, 1973)

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36. Kiss Me Kate (George Sidney, 1953)

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37. Sixty Six (Lewis Klahr, 2015)

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38. Come Drink with Me (King Hu, 1966)

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39. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999)

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40. City Girl (FW Murnau, 1930)

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41. Fort Apache (John Ford, 1948)

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42. Night Across the Street (Raoul Ruiz, 2012)

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43. The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

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44. L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

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45. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)

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46. Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter, 1986)

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47. Public Enemies (Michael Mann, 2009)

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48. Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985)

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49. Friday Night (Claire Denis, 2002)

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50. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986)

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51. Exiled (Johnnie To, 2006)

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52. Romance Joe (Lee Kwangkuk, 2011)

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53. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002)

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54. Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa, 1961)

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55. City on Fire (Ringo Lam, 1987)

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56. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)

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57. 24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)

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58. Prospero’s Books (Peter Greenaway, 1991)

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59. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962)

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60. The Sword of Doom (Kihachi Okamoto, 1966)

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61. The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom (Adam Curtis, 2007)

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62. Shaolin Soccer (Stephen Chow, 2001)

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63. The Missing Picture (Rithy Panh, 2013)

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64. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (Don Hertzfeldt, 2012)

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65. In Another Country (Hong Sangsoo, 2012)

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66. Toute la mémoire du monde (Alain Resnais, 1956)

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67. Kid Auto Races at Venice (Henry Lehrman, 1914)

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68. Wife! Be Like a Rose! (Mike Naruse, 1935)

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69. Culloden (Peter Watkins, 1964)

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70. Henry Fool (Hal Hartley, 1997)

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71. PTU (Johnnie To, 2003)

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72. The East is Red (Ching Siu-tung & Raymond Lee, 1993)

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73. Pom Poko (Isao Takahata, 1994)

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74. Hapkido (Huang Feng, 1972)

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75. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)

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76. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)

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77. Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears, 1988)

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78. Chinese Odyssey 2002 (Jeffrey Lau, 2002)

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79. This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)

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80. A Woman is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961)

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81. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)

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82. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)

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83. Wee Willie Winkie (John Ford, 1937)

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84. Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (Allan Arkush, 1979)

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85. Yesterday Once More (Johnnie To, 2004)

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86. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)

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87. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichhardt, 2010)

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88. To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944)

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89. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002)

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90. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Bill Melendez, 1966)

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91. Jason and the Argonauts (Don Chaffey, 1963)

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92. Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987)

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93. Two Tars (James Parrott, 1928)

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94. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)

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95. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (Eleanor Coppola, Fax Bahr & George Hickenlooper, 1991)

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96. Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984)

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97. Body Double (Brian De Palma, 1984)

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98. Unfaithfully Yours (Preston Sturges, 1948)

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99. The Day He Arrives (Hong Sangsoo, 2011)

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100. Heroes of the East (Lau Kar-leung, 1978)