Top Ten of 2013

January 2, 2014

Not that anybody asked, “Hey, what’s the best movies you saw last year?”  But here they are, and if you want to post your own list or comment on any of these, feel free to.  The list is different because it’s not the best movies released in 2013, but the best movies I saw in 2013 for the first time.   So it doesn’t matter when they were made.  This means that several titles will be unfamiliar to many people.  One fact is that all the movies on my list were either viewed in relation to a class I teach, or at Regent Square Theater in Pittsburgh.  I hope it also makes anyone who happens to look at these curious to check these out.  If anyone would like to post these on Facebook to get more people to find out about this blog and possibly start contributing, that would be great.  Here’s to a great year of film viewing in 2014.  I hope you all find movies that make you laugh, cry, and think.

So, here they are:

1.  Mirror (Andrei Tarkovski, 1975)

2.  Hannah Arendt (margarethe von Trotta, 2013)

3.  City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002)

4.  Ashes of Time Redux (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)

5.  The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928)

6.  Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)

7.  The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)

8.  He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjostrom, 1924)

9.  Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)

10.  The Mirror (Jafir Pahani, 1998)



hurt locker

December 6, 2013

Here’s a film that’s a different kind of war film. What did you feel about it?  What did you feel about the characters, their situation, and how we should respond?  What specific choices do you think made the film unique?


the fountain

November 22, 2013

Sometimes movies that try for serious philosophical messages fall short in terms of entertainment, and maybe in terms of the message too.  At other times, they may be great.  How did you feel about this one?  What did you like or not like?  Did it seem compelling, or was it too preachy and confusing?



November 21, 2013

So, for this response, you can repeat some of what we talked about in class, add your observations, and say what you feel about the movie.  If you’ve seen it before, how did your response to it change this time, if at all.  If it was your first time watching it, is this because you stay away from animation?  In either case, what do think are the strengths and weaknesses of the film?  Also, what do you think about the animation style?  You might compare it to traditional cel animation.


dakota 38

November 21, 2013

This was a documentary about the present and the past.  What did you think?  What kind of impact does it want to have?  How would it want us to think or act differently?  What did you feel was good or bad about it?


Kevin McKiernan

November 13, 2013

How was his presentation?  Did he do a lot of talking with the audience?  What did you think of him?  Did you learn more about how he made this documentary?  What else in his talk was interesting to you?


Good Kurds, Bad Kurds

November 13, 2013

What was your response to this documentary?  What did you feel hit hardest in terms of both emotions and logic?  One point about documentaries is the filmmaker usually wants to influence our behavior or thinking.  What do you think Kevin McKiernan wants us to do or think in response to his film?