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Monthly Archives: September 2016

My Student Tomato-Meter: 2016 Edition

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The Fall semester just began, which means it’s that time of year when I post my updated “student tomato-meter” showing the aggregated results of the ratings — on a scale from one-to-10 — that my students have given to every movie I’ve shown in my film studies classes dating back to the Spring 2009 semester. I’ve now taught 84 classes and shown a total of 394 unique movies. Below is a list of all the films I’ve screened to date, presented in chronological order by release date, along with the average ratings given by my students. Below that I’ve also included a list of the top 10 highest-rated films. My goal as a teacher is to show at least one movie by every great director who ever lived. Please scan the list below and feel free tell me in the comments section who you think I might be missing!

Sherlock Holmes (Berthelet, USA, 1915) – 4.1
Les Vampires (Feuillade, France, 1915-1916) – 7.0
Broken Blossoms (Griffith, USA, 1919) – 5.9
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, Germany, 1920) – 6.8
The Golem (Wegener/Boese, Germany, 1920) – 6
The Phantom Carriage (Sjostrom, Sweden, 1921) – 7.3
Nosferatu (Murnau, Germany, 1922) – 6.5
Our Hospitality (Keaton, USA, 1923) – 8.4
Coeur Fidele (Epstein, France, 1923) – 5.2
Greed (Von Stroheim, USA, 1923) – 6.9
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, USA, 1924) – 8.0
The Hands of Orlac (Wiene, Germany, 1924) – 6.2
Waxworks (Leni, Germany, 1924) – 5.1
The Freshman (Newmeyer/Taylor, USA, 1925) – 8.3
Seven Chances (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.2
The Navigator (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Gold Rush (Chaplin, USA, 1925) – 8.0
The Last Laugh (Murnau, Germany, 1925) – 6.5
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1925) – 5.1
The General (Keaton, USA, 1926) – 8.4
Secrets of a Soul (Pabst, Germany, 1926) – 6.6
Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926) – 6.9
Sunrise (Murnau, USA, 1927) – 6.9
Metropolis (Lang, Germany, 1927) – 6.6
Hindle Wakes (Elvey, UK, 1927) – 6.6
The End of St. Petersburg (Pudovkin, Soviet Union, 1927) – 5.0
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Shub, Soviet Union, 1927) – 4.0
The Docks of New York (Von Sternberg, USA, 1928) – 8.4
The Crowd (Vidor, USA, 1928) – 7.4
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) – 7.2
Lonesome (Fejos, USA, 1928) – 6.7
A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith, UK, 1929) – 8.3
Lucky Star (Borzage, USA, 1929) – 8.1
Asphalt (May, Germany, 1929) – 6.8
Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, Soviet Union, 1929) – 6.2
City Girl (Murnau, USA, 1930) – 6.7
L’age D’or (Bunuel, France, 1930) – 6.6
Earth (Dovzhenko, Soviet Union, 1930) – 3.6
City Lights (Chaplin, USA, 1931) – 8.5
M (Lang, Germany, 1931) – 8.1
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan/Froelich, Germany, 1931) – 7.1
Freaks (Browning, USA, 1932) – 7.1
Vampyr (Dreyer, Denmark/Germany, 1932) – 6.9
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang, Germany, 1933) – 7.6
Duck Soup (McCarey, USA, 1933) – 6.8
It Happened One Night (Capra, USA, 1934) – 8.5
L’atalante (Vigo, France, 1934) – 7.0
Top Hat (Sandrich, USA, 1935) – 8.6
My Man Godfrey (La Cava, USA, 1936) – 8.5
Modern Times (Chaplin, USA, 1936) – 8.0
Redes (Muriel/Zinneman, Mexico, 1936) – 6.9
The Awful Truth (McCarey, USA, 1937) – 8.5
Grand Illusion (Renoir, France, 1937) – 7.0
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, USA, 1938) – 8.3
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1938) – 5.0
Midnight (Liesen, USA, 1939) – 8.7
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, USA, 1939) – 8.2
The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, USA, 1939) – 8.2
Stagecoach (Ford, USA, 1939) – 7.7
The Rules of the Game (Renoir, France, 1939) – 7.1
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, USA, 1940) – 7.9
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, USA, 1940) – 7.4
The Lady Eve (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 8.2
Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941) – 8.2
How Green Was My Valley (Ford, USA, 1941) – 7.8
The Strawberry Blonde (Walsh, USA, 1941) – 7.6
The Maltese Falcon (Huston, USA, 1941) – 6.9
Casablanca (Curtiz, USA, 1942) – 8.3
The Palm Beach Story (Sturges, USA, 1942) – 7.5
Aniki Bobo (De Oliveira, Portugal, 1942) – 7.2
Cat People (Tourneur, USA, 1942) – 5.6
The More the Merrier (Stevens, USA, 1943) – 8.2
I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, USA, 1943) – 6
Ossessione (Visconti, Italy, 1943) – 5.2
Double Indemnity (Wilder, USA, 1944) – 8.1
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Sturges, USA, 1944) – 8.0
To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) – 7.5
Brief Encounter (Lean, UK, 1945) – 8.0
Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – 7.3
Rome, Open City (Rossellini, Italy, 1945) – 7.2
Notorious (Hitchcock, USA, 1946) – 8.5
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, USA, 1946) – 8.4
My Darling Clementine (Ford, USA, 1946) – 7.5
The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946) – 6.0
Dead Reckoning (Cromwell, USA, 1947) – 8.2
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, USA, 1947) – 7.9
Out of the Past (Tourneur, USA, 1947) – 7.7
Body and Soul (Rossen, USA, 1947) – 7.6
Pursued (Walsh, USA, 1947) – 7.1
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, USA, 1948) – 8.8
Rope (Hitchcock, USA, 1948) – 8.7
The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1948) – 8.3
Bicycle Thieves (de Sica, Italy 1948) – 8.0
Call Northside 777 (Hathaway, USA, 1948) – 7.7
Germany Year Zero (Rossellini, Italy/Germany, 1948) – 7.6
Fort Apache (Ford, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Spring in a Small Town (Fei, China, 1948) – 6.7
Jour de Fete (Tati, France, 1949) – 8.7
A Letter to Three Wives (Mankiewicz, USA, 1949) – 8.4
White Heat (Walsh, USA, 1949) – 8.3
The Third Man (Reed, UK, 1949) – 8.0
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, USA, 1950) – 8.8
Los Olvidados (Bunuel, Mexico, 1950) – 7.5
Devil’s Doorway (Mann, USA, 1950) – 7.3
Union Station (Mate, USA, 1950) – 7.3
The African Queen (Huston, USA, 1951) – 8.3
Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9.0
Umberto D. (De Sica, Italy, 1952) – 6.8
The Big Heat (Lang, USA, 1953) – 8.5
Pickup on South Street (Fuller, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Tati, France, 1953) – 8.1
The Band Wagon (Minnelli, USA, 1953) – 7.9
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, USA, 1953) – 7.8
The Hitch-Hiker (Lupino, USA, 1953) – 7.7
City That Never Sleeps (Auer, USA, 1953) – 7.5
The Naked Spur (Mann, USA, 1953) – 7.0
Tokyo Story (Ozu, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.9
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) – 8.3
French Cancan (Renoir, France, 1954) – 8.2
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954) – 7.0
All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, USA, 1955) – 8.0
Artists and Models (Tashlin, USA, 1955) – 7.8
Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, USA, 1955) – 7.2
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, 1955) – 9.1
Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955) – 6.4
A Man Escaped (Bresson, France, 1956) – 8.2
The Searchers (John Ford, USA, 1956) – 7.4
Bigger Than Life (N. Ray, USA, 1956) – 6.8
Aparajito (Ray, India, 1956) – 6.6
An Affair to Remember (McCarey, USA, 1957) – 8.1
Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
Some Came Running (Minnelli, USA, 1958) – 7.9
Touch of Evil (Welles, USA, 1958) – 7.6
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Monicelli, Italy, 1958) – 7.5
Cairo Station (Chahine, Egypt, 1958) – 7.0
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa, Japan, 1958) – 5.9
Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.2
Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, USA, 1959) – 8.9
The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) – 8.8
North By Northwest (Hitchcock, USA, 1959) – 8.6
Rio Bravo (Hawks, USA, 1959) – 8.0
Pickpocket (Bresson, France, 1959) – 7.3
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais, France, 1959) – 6.8
Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.7
Eyes Without a Face (Franju, France, 1960) – 8.4
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, Japan, 1960) – 8.1
Les Bonnes Femmes (Chabrol, France, 1960) – 8.0
Breathless (Godard, France, 1960) – 7.8
Accatone (Pasolini, Italy, 1960) – 7.6
L’avventura (Antonioni, Italy, 1960) – 7.4
The Housemaid (Kim, S. Korea, 1960) – 7.1
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, France, 1961) – 6.8
Viridiana (Bunuel, Spain, 1961) – 5.8
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, USA, 1962) – 8.3
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda, France, 1962) – 7.4
Vivre sa Vie (Godard, France, 1962) – 7.2
Le Doulos (Melville, France, 1962) – 7.1
Jules and Jim (Truffaut, France 1962) – 5.5
Contempt (Godard, France, 1963) – 8.5
Shock Corridor (Fuller, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Nutty Professor (Lewis, USA, 1963) – 8.4
Black Sabbath (Bava, Italy, 1963) – 7.1
8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) – 6.5
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, France, 1964) – 8.2
Onibaba (Shindo, Japan, 1964) – 8.0
Band of Outsiders (Godard, France, 1964) – 7.4
Dry Summer (Erksan, Turkey, 1964) – 7.4
Pierrot le Fou (Godard, France, 1965) – 8.3
Alphaville (Godard, France, 1965) – 6.0
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy, 1966) – 8.8
Daisies (Chytilova, Czechoslovakia, 1966) – 7.2
Point Blank (Boorman, USA, 1966) – 7.0
The Pornographers (Imamura, Japan, 1966) – 6.9
Persona (Bergman, Sweden, 1966) – 6.4
The Graduate (Nichols, USA, 1967) – 8.8
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Demy, France, 1967) – 8.6
Play Time (Tati, France, 1967) – 8.2
Le Samourai (Melville, France, 1967) – 8.0
Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, USA, 1967) – 7.5
Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker, USA, 1967) – 7.4
David Holzman’s Diary (McBride, USA, 1967) – 6.9
Dragon Inn (Hu, Taiwan, 1967) – 6.5
Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, USA, 1968) – 8.3
High School (Wiseman, USA, 1968) – 7.7
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, USA, 1968) – 7.6
Inquiring Nuns (Quinn, USA, 1968) – 6.9
The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, USA, 1969) – 8.1
My Night at Maud’s (Rohmer, France, 1969) – 7.8
Medium Cool (Wexler, USA, 1969) – 7.2
The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 9.1
Le Boucher (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7.5
A New Leaf (May, USA, 1971) – 8.0
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, USA, 1971) – 7.7
The Emigrants (Troell, Sweden, 1971) – 8.8
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, USA, 1971) – 6.9
Minnie and Moskowitz (Cassavetes, USA, 1971) – 5.2
Love in the Afternoon (Rohmer, France, 1972) – 8.6
The New Land (Troell, France, 1972) – 8.8
Solaris (Tarkovsky, Russia, 1972) – 6.9
The Exorcist (Friedkin, USA, 1973) – 8.1
The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) – 7.9
Badlands (Malick, USA, 1973) – 7.6
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache, France, 1973) – 7.4
The Spirit of the Beehive (Erice, Spain, 1973) – 7.4
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder, Germany, 1973) – 7.2
Touki Bouki (Mambety, Senegal, 1973) – 6.9
Blazing Saddles (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 8.4
Chinatown (Polanski, USA, 1974) – 8.2
Black Christmas (Clark, Canada, 1974) – 8.2
Young Frankenstein (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 7.6
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, France, 1974) – 6.8
The Irony of Fate: Or Enjoy Your Bath! (Ryazanov, Russia, 1975) – 8.5
Cooley High (Schultz, USA, 1975) – 8.3
Night Moves (Penn, USA, 1975) – 8.1
Grey Gardens (Maysles/Maysles, USA, 1975) – 4.2
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 8.6
Mikey and Nicky (May, USA, 1976) – 6.4
Annie Hall (Allen, USA, 1977) – 6.6
House (Obayashi, Japan, 1977) – 6.4
One Way Boogie Woogie (Benning, USA, 1977) – 5.1
Halloween (Carpenter, USA, 1978) – 8.3
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau, Hong Kong, 1978) – 8.3
Days of Heaven (Malick, USA, 1978) – 7.4
Killer of Sheep (Burnett, USA, 1979) – 7.8
Raging Bull (Scorsese, USA, 1980) – 8.3
The Shining (Kubrick, USA, 1980) – 8.2
Popeye (Altman, USA, 1980) – 5.2
An American Werewolf in London (Landis, USA/UK, 1981) – 7.9
The Road Warrior (Miller, Australia, 1981) – 7.4
Trances (El Maanouni, Morocco, 1981) – 6.2
The Thing (Carpenter, USA, 1982) – 8.3
Blade Runner (Scott, USA, 1982) – 7.6
The Slumber Party Massacre (Jones, USA, 1982) – 6.8
Rock in Reykjavik (Fridriksson, Iceland, 1982) – 6.3
A Nos Amours (Pialat, France, 1983) – 8.5
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, Japan, 1983) – 8.0
Sans Soleil (Marker, France, 1983) – 6.2
Stranger Than Paradise (Jarmusch, USA, 1984) – 6.2
Vagabond (Varda, France, 1985) – 7.6
After Hours (Scorsese, USA, 1985) – 6.7
The Fly (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 1986) – 8.0
Bad Blood (Carax, France, 1986) – 7.1
The Green Ray (Rohmer, France, 1986) – 6.1
The Dead (Huston, USA/UK, 1987) – 7.8
A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 8.4
The Thin Blue Line (Morris, USA, 1988) – 7.9
Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1988) – 7.0
A Short Film About Killing (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 6.9
Drugstore Cowboy (Van Sant, USA, 1989) – 8.2
Do the Right Thing (Lee, USA, 1989) – 7.6
Goodfellas (Scorsese, USA, 1990) – 9.0
King of New York (Ferrara, USA, 1990) – 8.9
House Party (Hudlin, USA, 1990) – 6.7
The Lovers on the Bridge (Carax, France, 1991) – 8.0
Defending Your Life (Brooks, USA, 1991) – 8.5
Close-Up (Kiarostami, Iran, 1991) – 7.6
Slacker (Linklater, USA, 1991) – 7.0
Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, USA, 1992) – 9.0
Unforgiven (Eastwood, USA, 1992) – 8.6
Deep Cover (Duke, USA, 1992) – 8.5
The Player (Altman, USA, 1992) – 8.2
The Piano (Campion, New Zealand, 1993) – 8.4
Groundhog Day (Ramis, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Sonatine (Kitano, Japan, 1993) – 8.3
Matinee (Dante, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Dazed and Confused (Linklater, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Menace II Society (Hughes/Hughes, USA, 1993) – 8.0
Naked (Leigh, UK, 1993) – 6.3
The Bride With White Hair (Yu, Hong Kong, 1993) – 5.1
Chungking Express (Wong, Hong Kong, 1994) – 8.0
Hoop Dreams (James, USA, 1994) – 7.4
The Last Seduction (Dahl, USA, 1994) – 7.2
Ed Wood (Burton, USA, 1994) – 6.8
Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin, USA, 1995) – 8.5
The Bridges of Madison County (Eastwood, USA, 1995) – 8.2
Dead Man (Jarmsuch, USA, 1995) – 8.1
Irma Vep (Assayas, France, 1996) – 7.2
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1996) – 5.8
Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, USA, 1997) – 8.8
Cure (Kurosawa, Japan, 1997) – 8.2
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami, Iran, 1997) – 7.2
The Mirror (Panahi, Iran, 1997) – 5.1
The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, USA, 1998) – 8.8
The Bird People in China (Miike, Japan, 1998) – 6.6
Office Space (Judge, USA, 1999) – 8.4
Peppermint Candy (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 8.2
Ravenous (Bird, UK/USA, 1999) – 8.0
Nowhere to Hide (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 7.6
Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999) – 7.5
Beau Travail (Denis, France/Djibouti, 1999) – 5.4
JSA: Joint Security Area (Park, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.6
Yi Yi (Yang, Taiwan, 2000) – 8.4
Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Denmark/Sweden, 2000) – 8.0
Failan (Song, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.0
La Captive (Akerman, France, 2000) – 8.0
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini, Iran, 2000) – 7.6
In the Mood for Love (Wong, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.4
Needing You (To/Wai, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.1
Sexy Beast (Glazer, UK, 2000) – 6.9
Italian for Beginners (Scherfig, Denmark, 2000) – 6.4
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
The Devil’s Backbone (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2001) – 8.6
Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, USA, 2001) – 8.1
Avalon (Oshii, Japan/Poland, 2001) – 7.8
What Time Is It There? (Tsai, Taiwan, 2001) – 6.6
The Tracker (De Heer, Australia, 2002) – 7.9
Infernal Affairs (Lau/Mak, Hong Kong, 2002) – 7.8
Bollywood/Hollywood (Mehta, Canada/India, 2002) – 7.6
Far From Heaven (Haynes, USA, 2002) – 7.5
Memories of Murder (Bong, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.8
Oldboy (Park, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.6
A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim, S. Korea, 2003) – 7.8
Save the Green Planet (Jang, S. Korea, 2003) – 6.9
Before Sunset (Linklater, USA/France, 2004) – 9.0
3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2004) – 8.8
Moolade (Sembene, Senegal, 2004) – 8.2
The Island of Black Mor (Laguionie, France, 2004) – 8.1
The Holy Girl (Martel, Argentina, 2004) – 6.9
Dumplings (Chan, Hong Kong, 2004) – 6.4
A History of Violence (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 2005) – 8.3
Grizzly Man (Herzog, USA, 2005) – 8.1
The Proposition (Hillcoat, Australia, 2005) – 8.1
Three Times (Hou, Taiwan, 2005) – 7.5
Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain, 2006) – 9.3
The Host (Bong, S. Korea, 2006) – 8.9
Once (Carney, UK, 2006) – 8.8
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, UK, 2006) – 8.5
Black Book (Verhoeven, Denmark, 2006) – 8.4
Offside (Panahi, Iran, 2006) – 8.1
A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, USA, 2006) – 8.0
Woman on the Beach (Hong, S. Korea, 2006) – 7.1
Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
My Winnipeg (Maddin, Canada, 2007) – 6.3
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, Sweden, 2008) – 8.7
Me and Orson Welles (Linklater, USA, 2008) – 7.9
The Headless Woman (Martel, Argentina, 2008) – 6.1
The House of the Devil (West, USA, 2009) – 8.1
Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
The Social Network (Fincher, USA, 2010) – 8.5
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, Italy/France, 2010) – 8.5
The Ghost Writer (Polanski, Germany/France, 2010) – 8.0
The Hunter (Pitts, Iran, 2010) – 6.8
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010) 6.6
Another Year (Leigh, UK, 2010) – 8.1
Le Havre (Kaurismaki, France/Finland, 2011) – 7.6
Bernie (Linklater, USA, 2011) – 8.9
The Skin I Live In (Amodovar, Spain, 2011) – 8.6
Drive (Refn, USA, 2011) – 8.1
Life Without Principle (To, Hong Kong, 2011) – 7.9
Sleeping Sickness (Kohler, Germany, 2011) – 6.6
This Is Not a Film (Panahi, Iran, 2011) – 7.1
Midnight in Paris (Allen, USA/France, 2011) – 7.7
Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, USA, 2012) – 8.9
Frances Ha (Baumbach, USA, 2012) – 8.7
Holy Motors (Carax, France, 2012) – 8.4
Silver Linings Playbook (Russell, USA, 2012) – 8.4
Spring Breakers (Korine, USA, 2012) – 8.3
Empire Builder (Swanberg, USA, 2012) – 7.7
The Master (Anderson, USA, 2012) – 7.6
Cosmopolis (Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, 2012) – 7.0
The Unspeakable Act (Sallit, USA, 2012) – 6.9
Shoals (Bass, USA, 2012) – 5.7
Dormant Beauty (Bellocchio, Italy, 2012) – 8.1
Barbara (Petzold, Germany, 2012) – 8.0
Nymphomaniac (Von Trier, Denmark/Germany, 2013) – 8.5
The Grandmaster (Wong, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – 8.2
Upstream Color (Carruth, USA, 2013) – 8.1
A Touch of Sin (Jia, China, 2013) – 7.9
Before Midnight (Linklater, USA, 2013) – 8.0
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, Japan, 2013) – 7.8
Jimmy P. (Desplechin, France/USA, 2013) – 7.7
Under the Skin (Glazer, UK, 2013) – 7.3
Black Box (Cone, USA, 2013) – 7.2
Gloria (Lelio, Chile, 2013) – 7.2
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (Klinger, USA, 2013) 6.8
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, USA, 2013) – 6.3
The Girls on Liberty Street (Rangel, USA, 2013) – 5.5
Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
Stoker (Park, USA, 2013) – 8.9
Top of the Lake (Campion/Davis, 2013) – 8.1
Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.5
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.9
Actress (Greene, USA, 2014) – 8.3
Inherent Vice (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.3
The Babadook (Kent, Australia, 2014) – 8.1
Li’l Quinquin (Dumont, France, 2014) – 7.9
Goodbye to Language (Godard, France, 2014) – 7.6
Malaria (Shahbazi, Iran, 2016) – 8.8

The 10 Highest Rated Films:

1. Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.5
2. Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
3. Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
4. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
5. Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2006) – 9.2
6. Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
7. Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.2
8. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, USA, 1955) – 9.1
9. Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
10. The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 9.1

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The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. Tiger Tail in Blue (Ross)
2. Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov)
3. The Goddess (Wu)
4. The Fits (Holmer)
5. Max Rose (Noah)
6. The X-Files: I Want to Believe (Carter)
7. Southside With You (Tanne)
8. Cool Apocalypse (Smith)
9. Cool Apocalypse (Smith)
10. Speedy (Wilde)


THE STYLIST at the Chicago Horror Film Festival

My latest blog post for Time Out Chicago is a review of Jill Gevargizian’s short film The Stylist, which will receive its Chicago premiere at the Chicago Horror Film Festival at the end of the month.

stylist

Guillermo del Toro once noted that the best horror tales are those where the authors are obviously in love with the monsters at their center. The general truth of this aphorism is certainly borne out by Jill “Sixx” Gevargizian’s The Stylist, a superb short that will receive its local premiere on Saturday, September 24 as part of the Chicago Horror Film Festival. This 15-minute exercise in grand guignol stars Najarra Townsend (Contracted) as Claire, a hair stylist with a peculiar idea about how to make her last client of the day, a woman getting ready for an important work event, look perfect. That something is not quite right with Claire is hinted at early on but becomes explicit in a disturbing scene involving a practical special effect that I won’t spoil, but stands as one of the most memorable pieces of shock cinema I’ve encountered in recent years.

The Stylist’s most impressive special effect, however, is Townsend’s lead performance. Note, for example, both Claire’s anguish and genuine concern for her victim in the immediate aftermath of the scene alluded to above. Townsend and Gevargizian create a moment of astonishing emotional complexity that may cause some viewers to sympathize with a psychotic character against their own better judgment. The film also intriguingly invites a feminist reading in its depiction of the social expectation that all women face to “look perfect,” as well as through a dry line about glass ceilings being “a bitch.” One hopes this aspect will be further developed when The Stylist is expanded into a feature (as is Gevargizian’s plan). In the meantime, local horror aficionados cannot afford to miss this pungent short.

The Stylist screens as part of “Shorts Block B” at the Patio Theater on Saturday, September 24 at 1:15pm. For more information, visit the Chicago Horror Film Fest’s official website.


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