An aside, or: canon formation


For the sake of posterity, my list for the Sight & Sound poll (republished without errors):   

À nos amours (Maurice Pialat, 1983)
Dalla nube alla resistenza (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1979)
Hours for Jerome I & II (Nathaniel Dorsky, 1980-82)
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
Kodomo no shiki (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1939)
La région centrale (Michael Snow, 1971)
Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994)
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang Bing, 2003)
Toni (Jean Renoir, 1935)
La vallée close (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1995)

It never occurred to me to worry about what the greatest films ever might be, so I picked a few that I like. As others have pointed out about the overall poll, it's nice to see Jeanne Dielman and Sátántangó entering the canon next to film studies fixtures such as Metropolis and Psycho, but the measure by which Vertigo is to be considered a more important film than, say, Hours for Jerome is still somewhat unfathomable to me. The filmmakers' lists have now been posted too (featuring some LS favourites: Keiller, Apichatpong, Raya M, Allan Sekula, and so on), as has this very good piece on Ozu by Thom Andersen.


Matthew Flanagan said...

Image: Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994).

AHansen said...

Nice to see Toni on your list as it's the only Renoir I actively enjoy. Couldn't even make it halfway through Boudu I'm afraid. Also nice to see Rousseau on there, though I would have thought at least one other person would have tossed one of his films on their list.

Jacob W. said...

"but the measure by which Vertigo is to be considered a more important film than, say, Hours for Jerome is still somewhat unfathomable to me."


Matthew Flanagan said...

Alex, have you seen Keiller's Renoir pick, Le Crime de Monsieur Lange? My second favourite. Of the '30s work, there's also Partie de campagne, La Bête Humaine, etc...

Jacob, thanks. This poll is a good reminder of the fact that time-honoured assumptions about filmic 'greatness' remain as incontestable as ever (and that goes for any branch of aesthetics)... Personally, I'd take any single image from Hours for Jerome over every one from Vertigo...

AHansen said...

Partie de campagne had slipped my mind, though I've seen it not too long along (and only slighter more recently than Toni), but I did enjoy that one quite a bit. So I still hold out hope for some of the rest.