The MoFo Top 100 of the 60s: Countdown

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I think I can still remember the post your dad made about The Innocents the first time you saw it.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.



The Innocents is truly disturbing. I had it at 16 just one below The Haunting. Two classy films that still have the power to shock.



The Innocents is a very, very good atmospheric horror film. I can't say I love it as much as mark f and I've only seen it once, but yeah... it's awesome.


I'm not a fan of Playtime!
from me. The visual side is absolutely marvellous, but that's about it.



Master of My Domain


Playtime was my #6

A lot of people believe in miracles. Some people might believe in Lazarus rising from the dead or Muhammad's supernatural powers. I believe in Playtime.

Playtime is, in short, one of the greatest films ever made. The world that Tati created from his own mind, is similar to some sort of heaven or paradise when looking at it's preciseness, completeness, and sublime... awesomeness. Awesome is a sense of "wow that's totally cool bro" and also in a sense of the literally definition, being full of awe.

There is a film influenced by Tati's masterpiece, and that is Steven Spielberg's Terminal starring Tom Hanks. Spielberg re-designed an existing airport to create a similarly shaded and constructed world. But it didn't match the level of Tati's original version, not even a tiny bit. So, why is that? Spielberg put less effort into a realistic fantasy world full of illusions and wonder, and instead focused on character, dialogue and a story. There, the main problem shows right there; we don't need to go on any further. When watching Playtime, put a footnote inside your head that says "screw basic elements of a film". I thought I would never think of it myself, because I've always loved a good story and character and required them to enjoy a film. But nope, most of Tati's films are a rare exception.

The titular character we are introduced to, and the only one we will get familiar with is Mr. Hulot, played by Tati himself. The greatest aspect of genius in this character is amount of effort not put in trying to be funny. Even Chaplin's various wandering characters needed some kind of shtick to keep the show going. In the case of Playtime, Mr. Hulot just goes around and tours the city, like anybody would do. If you look closely, he really doesn't do anything. It isn't a lack of effort, because like I said above, putting extra effort into a script and dialogue-driven situations would have been a nuisance instead of a bonus point.

To describe the fictional city in Playtime, also known as "Tativille", is very hard to describe, because not even the most dedicated cinephiles have found out most of it's secrets. Another reason why this film is brilliant: it gives you a reason to keep revisiting it, and each time you do, you come out with a few damn good discoveries. Playtime is a relatively new favorite but I've already seen in 3 times. And I still believe a lot more is yet to be discovered and realized; the countless illusions, tricks, twisted views waiting to be uncovered. This film is another one of those films that made me love cinema even further. I hope to revisit it again soon.

I hoped Playtime would place in the Top 30, along with other films, but oh well. But I do wish I had put it higher on my list, because on terms of quality, it should have placed either #1 or #2. Then again, a list is a list when it's personal, and if I took out the personal level, some films *cough* Strangelove *cough* would be placed too low.

For those of you who haven't seen this film yet: drop films from your watchlist and put Playtime as a main priority. It's almost impossible to completely dislike a film like this.

(Because I want this post as a review:
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Gangster Rap is Shakespeare for the Future
My Love for Playtime is well known and well documented enough. I think it's one of the movies of the 20th century. I don't have time to write anything that would do any sort of justice to the film, so here's a little review from Jonathan Rosenbaum (the critic who's most influenced me) that captures a number of things I feel about the film:

"My all-time favorite movie, this 1967 French comedy by actor-director Jacques Tati almost certainly has the most intricately designed mise en scene in all of cinema. Dave Kehr had it right: Tati attempted nothing less than a complete reworking of the conventional notions of montage and, amazingly, he succeeded. Instead of cutting within scenes, Tati creates comic tableaux of such detail that, as Noel Burch has said, the film has to be seen not only several times, but from several different points in the theater to be appreciated fully. Within the films three large movements, Tatis M. Hulot goes from fear of his ultramodern, glass-towered environment to a poetic transcendence of it. This restored 70-millimeter version, with four-track DTS sound, expands the possibilities of becoming creatively lost in Tatis vast frames and then finding ones way again. His studio-constructed vision of Paris begins in daytime with nightmarishly regimented straight lines and right angles and proceeds to night with accidental yet celebratory curves of people instinctively coming together. It peaks in an extraordinary sequence, set in a gradually disintegrating restaurant, that comprises almost half the film: once various musicians start to perform, the viewers gaze inevitably follows the customers in a kind of improvised dance, collecting and juxtaposing simultaneous comic events and details. Even after all these years the film still teaches me how to live in citiesspecifically, how to read disconnected visual and aural signals in clusters that are counterbalanced and comically orchestrated. In this alienating landscape everyone is a tourist, but Tati suggests that once we can find one another, we all belong."
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The Innocents is a film I love, but for some stupid reason I decided I was only going to put one "haunted house/haunting of people" type movie on my list and that was taken by The Haunting, which is still my favorite film of its type ever made. I'm glad to see The Innocents make it though, because it is definitely worthy and a fantastic movie.
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"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."





Peeping Tom was my #10. I'm very relieved to see it finally show up since I had almost lost hope. I expected a finish somewhere in the 50-60 range, so I'm very pleased with its ranking. I won't copy and paste my review for it since it's so long, but you can click here if you want to read it.



The Manchurian Candidate was my #13. I enjoy most thrillers, but when politics enter the mix I usually lose interest. The great thing about The Manchurian Candidate is that the political aspect is just a tool to steer the excellent story forward. There's no right-wing or left-wing agenda. There's no ideology being crammed down the viewer's throat. I think you could substitute politics for any other institution of power and the basic gist of the story will still work. That's what makes The Manchurian Candidate so effective and timeless. The scenes of Raymond Shaw (the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life) offing his fellow officers while speaking softly and politely remains just as chilling on every re-watch. My grandmother always had the station dialed to Murder, She Wrote. That was my only experience with Angela Lansbury, so her villainous performance stunned me. The technical choreography of the press conference scene, where we see multiple points of view at once, is one of those "How did they do that?" moments that leave me in awe. The ending seems shocking for its time period. So does the violence and the dark, cynical tone. I'm surprised to see people on here say that this film is boring. In my opinion, The Manchurian Candidate is one of the best thrillers ever made. Even when I know the twists and turns, I find myself glued to the screen, worried that things might play out differently this time. The film works on multiple levels. It provides entertainment, thrills and suspense. It also provides a ton of subtext to parse through and discuss. Just don't pass the time by playing solitaire.

My List So Far:
#6) Easy Rider
#10) Peeping Tom
#12) Fail-Safe
#13) The Manchurian Candidate
#14) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
#15) Repulsion
#16) Knife in the Water



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
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Playtime was great but wasn't strong enough to make my list. The Innocents, my number 9 pick, on the other hand is one of the best, most atmospheric horror movies ive ever seen and having watched it several times it only seems to get better. Great write ups as usual Mark.
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I am in the camp that certainly respects Tati and his films, and some individual sequences are terrific, but as a whole Playtime and the rest of his work don't engage me enough or resonate to become beloved in any way. They are sometimes clever and visually interesting, but cold, for me. I am a little surprised at how high it made it on the list, but it deserves a spot in the top hundred. The Innocents was another flick that I had on my short list but ultimately had to cut it on the way to that impossible task of twenty-five. Without my help it still managed the low thirties, which is about where it would have fallen on my list.
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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



The Breakdown...

The Great Escape


1st (25 points), 2x 6th (40 points), 2x 7th (38 points), 8th (18 points), 11th (15 points), 13th (13 points), 14th (12 points), 16th (10 points), 4x 17th (36 points), 20th (6 points), 21st (5 points), 24th (2 points), 25th (1 point)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


2nd (24 points), 3rd (23 points), 5th (21 points), 8th (18 points), 9th (17 points), 10th (16 points), 4x 14th (48 points), 16th (10 points), 17th (9 points), 18th (8 points), 19th (7 points), 3x 22nd (12 points), 2x 23rd (6 points), 24th (2 points)

Notes


Both films received the same amount of points so were seperated based on how many lists they appeared on.



Two really good 60s movies. Both were on my long list of movies to consider, but neither made it. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? came the closest.
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I'm just off to bed, but Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? was another from my list, bringing my count up to nine now. I had it at #16 and, like most of the others from my list that've shown up so far, it's the script and performances which make this film what it is. Taylor and Burton eat up the screen here, which isn't surprising seeing as the dialogue is delicious.



Two films I like. I watched The Great Escape very recently actually and thought it was good in pretty much all departs, but no where near great, too long in my opinion, although I understand its iconic status.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I watched a while ago and thought it was very good, although I haven't revisited since. I think my brother included it on his list, he liked it a lot when he watched it with me too.



I liked Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf quite a bit, the drunk comedy did it for me more than the dramatic aspects but it's brilliantly written and superbly performed. Haven't seen the other
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Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it



I watched Virginia Woolf twice about a year and a half ago, once with my wife, when I was watching Mark's top 10. I think anybody who is married can especially relate to the movie in some way, and of course, it features exceptional acting and dialogue. It was my #18.

I wasn't thinking of The Great Escape when I was trying to figure out what was left to show up, but I'm glad it made it. It's been a few years since I last saw it; if I watched it again recently, it would've had a decent chance of making my list.

My list-

#1 Elmer Gantry
#2 Onibaba
#3 Contempt
#6 Hud
#7 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg*
#11 Inherit the Wind
#13 Breakfast at Tiffany's
#15 An Autumn Afternoon
#18 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
#22 The Battle of Algiers
#23 They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
#25 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance