Director's Final Films

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Poll options from here: http://www.filmcomment.com/article/film-comments-trivial-top-20

Poll Results

OptionVotes
03. F for Fake Orson Welles, 1975 5
21. That Obscure Object of Desire Luis Buñuel, 1977 4
02. Gertrud Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964 4
14. A Prairie Home Companion Robert Altman, 2006 2
30. Three Colors: Red Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994 2
10. Street of Shame Kenji Mizoguchi, 1956 2
08. Eyes Wide Shut Stanley Kubrick, 1999 2
07. The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse Fritz Lang, 1960 2
06. Yi Yi Edward Yang, 2000 2
16. Once Upon a Time in America Sergio Leone, 1984 2
04. An Autumn Afternoon Yasujiro Ozu, 1962 2
01. L'Argent Robert Bresson, 1983 2
32. Blue Derek Jarman, 1993 1
29. Querelle Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982 1
38. 7 Women John Ford, 1966 1
36. The Sacrifice Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986 1
46. Star 80 Bob Fosse, 1983 1
18. Cluny Brown Ernst Lubitsch, 1946 1
35. Paprika Satoshi Kon, 2006 1
48. The Visitor Satyajit Ray, 1991 1
13. Salo Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975 1
05. Lola Montès Max Ophuls, 1955 1
09. Love Streams John Cassavetes, 1984 1
37. Scattered Clouds Mikio Naruse, 1967 0
50. The Human Factor Otto Preminger, 1979 0
49. The Ascent Larisa Shepitko, 1977 0
39. Terror in a Texas Town Joseph H. Lewis, 1958 0
40. Age of Consent Michael Powell, 1969 0
41. Family Plot Alfred Hitchcock, 1976 0
42. Le Garçu Maurice Pialat, 1995 0
43. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon Eric Rohmer, 2007 0
44. Saraband Ingmar Bergman, 2003 0
45. Sleuth Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1972 0
47. Testament of Orpheus Jean Cocteau, 1960 0
34. The Messiah Roberto Rossellini, 1975 0
12. Tabu F.W. Murnau, 1931 0
15. The Dead John Huston, 1987 0
17. Lilith Robert Rossen, 1964 0
19. Un Flic Jean-Pierre Melville, 1972 0
22. Mooladé Ousmane Sembene, 2004 0
23. A Passage to India David Lean, 1984 0
24. The Saga of Anatahan Josef von Sternberg, 1953 0
25. Le Trou Jacques Becker, 1960 0
26. My Little Loves Jean Eustache, 1974 0
27. The Little Theater of Jean Renoir Jean Renoir, 1970 0
28. Play Dirty André De Toth, 1969 0
31. ...All the Marbles Robert Aldrich, 1981 0
20. Imitation of Life Douglas Sirk, 1959 0
33. The Man in the Moon Robert Mulligan, 1991 0
11. Ivan the Terrible Part II Sergei Eisenstein, 1946 0


midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 12:38 (eight years ago) link

Guess the thread title really out to be "Directors' Final Films."

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 12:38 (eight years ago) link

Hard to look beyond L'Argent, really, tho' of course there are other great movies here, too. The list sort've puts the lie to the received wisdom that cinema is a young person's gam (tho LOL at Passage to India)

Ward Fowler, Friday, 6 September 2013 12:43 (eight years ago) link

game!

Ward Fowler, Friday, 6 September 2013 12:44 (eight years ago) link

Excellent idea. So many of these I haven't seen, I probably won't vote. Of the ten or so I have seen, Yi Yi and The Dead seemed like very honorable exits.

clemenza, Friday, 6 September 2013 12:49 (eight years ago) link

nice formatting

johnny crunch, Friday, 6 September 2013 12:51 (eight years ago) link

They must have counted Bergman's TV work, else I would think Fanny and Alexander would be an obvious inclusion (contender for #1, even).

clemenza, Friday, 6 September 2013 12:53 (eight years ago) link

un flic was on tcm recently when they did a denueve day. the beginning bank robbery scene in the fog is p great, lil downhill from there but im not a big noir dude so ymmv

johnny crunch, Friday, 6 September 2013 13:00 (eight years ago) link

Would welcome a follow up poll on the 50 best young people's gams.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 13:00 (eight years ago) link

Pretty impossible for me to decide between 1, 2, 8, 11 and 20, specifically. Big love for most of these tho.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 13:02 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I think TV films count, otherwise they would've gone with a different Renoir, no?

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 13:03 (eight years ago) link

My favourite film of all time is in this list, so a fairly easy vote

... Jenkinson ... ... ... ... ... ... Özil ... ... (imago), Friday, 6 September 2013 13:11 (eight years ago) link

that said, I've only seen 4 of these in total (3, 19, 21, 35) so I'm probably not cut out for this thread

... Jenkinson ... ... ... ... ... ... Özil ... ... (imago), Friday, 6 September 2013 13:16 (eight years ago) link

No idea why they wouldn't include L'Atalante on that list, early death/short career or no.

cops on horse (WilliamC), Friday, 6 September 2013 13:22 (eight years ago) link

Huh, good list!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 6 September 2013 13:52 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, including Tabu but not L'Atalante seems weird. Tabu is not a very good movie, btw, and Murnau is probably in my top five directors ever.

Frederik B, Friday, 6 September 2013 13:57 (eight years ago) link

Always thought Hawks's last couple of westerns (Rio Lobo would be the one for the list) were generally well regarded, at least among auteurists. I've got Prairie Home Companion at home, maybe I'll finally watch that this weekend.

clemenza, Friday, 6 September 2013 14:05 (eight years ago) link

i love a lot of these, aficionado of the "late style" that i am. it's between Eyes Wide Shut and L'Argent, I think.

ryan, Friday, 6 September 2013 14:14 (eight years ago) link

Probably seen about half of these, only a few that can compete w/ Gertrud, L'Argent and That Obscure Object of Desire.

A few aren't v good at all (Querelle, Lilith).

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:15 (eight years ago) link

But "Age of Consent" isn't Michael Powell's last film, is it?

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:19 (eight years ago) link

Are they not counting Big Trouble (1986, Love Streams was 1984) as Cassavetes final film? Not that I don't understand the temptation to erase it from history.

the vineyards where the grapes of corporate rock are stored (cryptosicko), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:29 (eight years ago) link

Which is Lang's last also seems to be up for debate.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:40 (eight years ago) link

I adore Cluny Brown, and since L'Argent will get lots of votes, I'll swing for it.

Runners-up;

Imitation of Life
Mooladé
Yi Yi
The Dead
Red

A Passage to India is good so long as Alec Guinness is offscreen.

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:44 (eight years ago) link

The Dead better than Red.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:52 (eight years ago) link

Love Streams feels as much Cassavetes film as Control feels like Janet Jackson's debut. Alternate histories just make more sense in some cases.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:52 (eight years ago) link

feels as much LIKE Cassavetes' FINAL film, that is to say

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:53 (eight years ago) link

If you want "feels like," what's missing is Me Too by Aleksei Balabanov.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 September 2013 14:58 (eight years ago) link

Street of Shame is the best of Mizoguchi films (that I've seen), and in general among my top 20 movies of all time, so it's pretty easy to vote for that.

Tuomas, Friday, 6 September 2013 15:03 (eight years ago) link

i don't think i've seen any of these.

乒乓, Friday, 6 September 2013 15:05 (eight years ago) link

The Dead better than Red.

― midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.),

better Dead than Red.

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:07 (eight years ago) link

The Cinematheque did a similar list a while back (can't find link now) and included Night of the Hunter on their list, which cannot help but feel like cheating to me.

the vineyards where the grapes of corporate rock are stored (cryptosicko), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:07 (eight years ago) link

well, as wd L'Atalante, really

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:11 (eight years ago) link

(xpost) Yes, Night of the Hunter is absurd. (Don't remember that series...)

clemenza, Friday, 6 September 2013 15:37 (eight years ago) link

probably Huston's "The Dead" which is pretty great. "Salo" is... something. most of these are pretty bad.

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:41 (eight years ago) link

A Prairie Home Companion is a hell of a final film about last performances. Voted Blue before seeing it on the list.

Billy Wilder's Buddy Buddy left off the list out of respect for the deceased.

bad bad disco (Eazy), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:42 (eight years ago) link

Of the eight I've seen, I'll vote for the Ozu, though Kieslowski comes close. I saw The Dead when it was released, but don't have much memory of it.

cops on horse (WilliamC), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:47 (eight years ago) link

APHC is the warmest possible farewell film a director could make. I voted for it.

the vineyards where the grapes of corporate rock are stored (cryptosicko), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:48 (eight years ago) link

the grand budapest hotel

гір кривбас кривий ріг (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:51 (eight years ago) link

a great film in the grandest ophulsian manner, a profoundly elegiac swansong

гір кривбас кривий ріг (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:52 (eight years ago) link

Back when it was one of the few Buñuels available on decent VHS transfer I watched That Obscure Object of Desire often without being crazy about it. The same goes for An Autumn Afternoon.

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:56 (eight years ago) link

nilmar you're in a very naughty mood today

... Jenkinson ... ... ... ... ... ... Özil ... ... (imago), Friday, 6 September 2013 15:58 (eight years ago) link

TOOOD is perfection IMO but I've banged on about it at such length before it'd be wasteful to say much else

... Jenkinson ... ... ... ... ... ... Özil ... ... (imago), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:00 (eight years ago) link

most of these are pretty bad.

As always, I stand corrected.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:01 (eight years ago) link

where's Cracking Up?

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:12 (eight years ago) link

I should probably have specified "of the ones I've seen" (which is by no means all).

idg the praise for APHC

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:13 (eight years ago) link

This one is just too difficult. "L'Argent", "...Astrea & Celadon", "F For Fake" and even the batshit wonder that is "7 Women" would all take top spot for me. Oh, and "Le Trou", The Buñuel... Nope. Impossible.

That elusive North American wood-ape (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:15 (eight years ago) link

Wait - is Fellini's last one in here? Don't see it. Has one of the few Benigni performances I can tolerate. Strange and wonderful film.

That elusive North American wood-ape (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:16 (eight years ago) link

Raul Ruiz's last one "La Noche De Enfrente" is wonderful as well. Very nearly trumps "Mysteries Of Lisbon" for me.

That elusive North American wood-ape (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:20 (eight years ago) link

(apologies for overuse of 'wonder/ful', btw)

That elusive North American wood-ape (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:21 (eight years ago) link

This is impossible.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 6 September 2013 16:23 (eight years ago) link

yes plenty of people are in love with this movie and it's baffled me for a long time

Matt Armstrong, Thursday, 26 September 2013 05:56 (eight years ago) link

what's wrong with it? obviously it's 90 minutes of orson welles vanity, but flipped around it's 90 minutes of being a guest at the greatest after-dinner speech ever recorded

C/3 Jenks kakling Neu! military£ absinthe snkkt! pckls Özil JTCF njhtdgs (imago), Thursday, 26 September 2013 06:07 (eight years ago) link

plus it engages with the idea of the fictional narrative with loose-limbed & mischievous delight, which I enjoy. it's intelligent and sparky, the very opposite of complacent

C/3 Jenks kakling Neu! military£ absinthe snkkt! pckls Özil JTCF njhtdgs (imago), Thursday, 26 September 2013 06:09 (eight years ago) link

it's not terrible but it is at best an amusing trifle. Just because a master made it doesn't make something a masterpiece.

Matt Armstrong, Thursday, 26 September 2013 06:44 (eight years ago) link

WELL I THINK IT IS

wonder who my fellow Bunuel voters were :D

C/3 Jenks kakling Neu! military£ absinthe snkkt! pckls Özil JTCF njhtdgs (imago), Thursday, 26 September 2013 07:34 (eight years ago) link

4 votes for Gertrud is surprising. I always associate it with the most difficult of difficult cinema but maybe that's due more to the circumstances in which I watched it (like 13 years ago on a really blurry VHS).

yeah, i share yr surprise - on two separate viewings it struck me as a rather stagey, ponderous chamber piece, far less compelling than Day of Wrath or Ordet. some wonderful camera movements, mind.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 26 September 2013 08:33 (eight years ago) link

what's wrong with it?

Nothing's particularly WRONG with it except Orson Welles made at least ten better films.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:39 (eight years ago) link

All of which would've also placed highly in this poll had they been his final film (which as someone pointed out upthread, F4F isn't actually either, but whatev).

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:42 (eight years ago) link

but Gertrud MIGHT be Dreyer's best film.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:56 (eight years ago) link

I voted for Gertrud, and it's not my favorite Dreyer, but it's just my favorite of these films, of which I haven't seen everyone. I'm not really a fan of final films, it seems. My second place was Cluny Brown, I think.

Frederik B, Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:57 (eight years ago) link

Gertrud is fantastic. That would have been my vote. Saw it for the first time maybe two years ago and it never registered to me as super difficult. Talky, stagey, yes, but always engaging.

Count me in the "shrug" category for F for Fake.

circa1916, Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:09 (eight years ago) link

ok who voted Querelle

combination hair (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:16 (eight years ago) link

Each man votes the thing he loves.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:18 (eight years ago) link

Sorry, but whenever I watch Gertrud all I can think about is the diseased liver transplant in The Kingdom.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:22 (eight years ago) link

Baard Owe is awesome.

Frederik B, Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:27 (eight years ago) link

Shoot, wanted that to embed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3US46U6-fc

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:19 (eight years ago) link

are those windows intentionally kubrickian or is that just a bad transfer?

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:31 (eight years ago) link

It's intentional.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:32 (eight years ago) link

Man, forgot how beautiful and ghostly the lighting could be in this. Need a rescreen soon.

circa1916, Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:36 (eight years ago) link

Watched some "Making of" extra and he talked about how difficult it was to talk slow enough for Dreyer, iirc.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:41 (eight years ago) link

yeah i'd like to watch it again in ideal viewing circumstances.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:44 (eight years ago) link

i regret that my prime cinephile days were 2000-2002 before most of this stuff was on DVD.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:45 (eight years ago) link

feeling that

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:51 (eight years ago) link

Well, to be honest the biggest difference is something else. The ability to read about this weird indonesian director, check up on him on the internets, and a couple hours later watch one of his films on my HDTV. That is insane.

Frederik B, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:05 (eight years ago) link

yeah i feel like i was on the tail end of the era of certain films being elusive or even apocryphal.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:07 (eight years ago) link

think that out of all the films ever made, there's still a relatively small proportion of them available to view, and there are plenty of movies, some of them quite urgent and key, that have never had a home viewing issue of any kind. but obv there's more than enough to be getting on with right now

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:13 (eight years ago) link

are those windows intentionally kubrickian

My friend calls late Kubrick style "glare."

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:17 (eight years ago) link

haha. i love my blu ray but i yearn to see EWS on film again. thought it was one of the most beautiful movies ever when i first saw it.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:21 (eight years ago) link

Baffled by that. I thought EWS was unbearably ugly, all those cold primary colors clashing with each other.

Frederik B, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:23 (eight years ago) link

I'm with ryan.

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:26 (eight years ago) link

i may be alone in that sentiment! (xp: or not!) i do like primary colors. (loved this about JLG late 60s films too). EWS is certainly "garish" in its color scheme but it just seems so information-dense to me. love how the colors seems to insist on some kind of symbolism that remains elusive. anyway, im a sucker for kubrick's hermetic late style.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:26 (eight years ago) link

I like JLG-colors as well, but they are considerably lighter and warmer than in EWS. I think of the red billiard table under the green lamp, and it's just ugly to me.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llcoh95nzM1qisxvio1_1280.jpg?.jpg

Ugh

Frederik B, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:36 (eight years ago) link

that scene is so fucking great.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:38 (eight years ago) link

Three Colors: Kubrick

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:40 (eight years ago) link

Kubrick didn't live long enough to see EWS released in cinemas and - in the UK at least - he was, unsurprisingly, pretty exacting about the way his movies were projected. I saw EWS the day it opened in UK cinemas and was massively disappointed by the quality of the print - the colours were very washed out, the image quite grainy. The DVD/Blu-ray corrects this to some extent, but I do think that if Kubrick had lived a little longer the film would've looked better on the big screen.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:50 (eight years ago) link

the graininess and washed out colors are part of what make the intensity of the color scheme work, imo.

ryan, Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:51 (eight years ago) link

i am one of the disgusting animals that voted for f for fake fyi

O_o-O_O-o_O (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:16 (eight years ago) link

meh, horrorfans I give a pass to, what can ya do

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:21 (eight years ago) link

Reductum ad Morbsurdum

midnight outdoor nude frolic up north goes south (Eric H.), Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:25 (eight years ago) link

haha to both of you

O_o-O_O-o_O (jjjusten), Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:29 (eight years ago) link

same principle when one finds one's copy edited by someone who writes a long thoughtful review of the new Cher album

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:35 (eight years ago) link

six years pass...

Was almost going to poll this before realizing I already had.

Dirty Epic H. (Eric H.), Friday, 19 June 2020 14:28 (one year ago) link

it still bugs me that f for fake won despite not being welles's actual last film!

(even tho i like it)

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 19 June 2020 14:59 (one year ago) link

Love Streams also not technically Cassavetes' final film.

Dirty Epic H. (Eric H.), Friday, 19 June 2020 15:22 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

How did Imitation of Life not run away with this?!

i carry the torch for disco inauthenticity (Eric H.), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:46 (five months ago) link

I was wondering that too.

Dan Worsley, Sunday, 6 June 2021 22:15 (five months ago) link

I think that was because the top three vote-getters are all better films than it.

Tbf it’s been a while since I’ve seen Imitation of Life, so maybe it’s time for a rewatch.

Josefa, Sunday, 6 June 2021 23:00 (five months ago) link

Of the eighteen I've seen, I'd have voted for The Sacrifice. My notes indicate that I saw The Ascent in the theatre, and I have absolutely no memory of it. Weakest is probably Lola Montes, a big fancy cake that spins and spins in front of the camera.
I have a pet theory that if Tarkovsky had lived to make another film, it might well have been terrible. He was keeping such a careful balance of mysticism and absurdity, and I can't imagine him pushing forward from this film without that equilibrium collapsing. But who knows whether it would have been made back in the USSR or in the West, and how that might have affected the production and the reception of it.
Most notable final film that's not on the list is The Turin Horse, which I regard less as a movie than a preview of dying.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 7 June 2021 03:47 (five months ago) link

That Tarr is still alive just underlines that.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 7 June 2021 03:51 (five months ago) link


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