The MoFo Top 100 Neo-noir Countdown

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I think The Conversation is definitely neo noir and if you don't that's fine but it is a great film and that's hard to debate. Yes it's Coppola's lesser known film of the decade but that's almost cliche at this point and most film nerds know it and know it very well. I had it at #13. The Man Who Wasn't There is mid tier Coen brothers but similar to what I said about Hitchcock in the other thread, Mid tier Coens is still a very good film.

4. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
10. Alphaville (1965)
13. The Conversation (1974)
14. Zodiac (2007)
17. Fireworks (1997)
18. Pale Flower (1964)
19. The Grifters (1990)
20. Inherent Vice (2014)
22. The American Friend (1977)
25. Série noire (1979) - One pointer
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The neon lighting, the blue hues and glow of the city along with the Tangerine Dream score make an exemplary neo-noir masterpiece. Thief was my #6. Speaking of masterpieces, Heat excels in three different (sub)genres. So I have it high on my heist and crime lists. I just thought three Michael Mann flicks on my ballot was a bit too much. Nice to see it placed without my points.

SEEN: 68/74
MY BALLOT: 8/25



25. Mirage (1965)
22. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
17. The Driver (1978)
14. Collateral (2004)
11. Get Carter (1971)
08. The Hot Spot (1990)
06. Thief (1981)
04. One False Move (1992)



To my taste, The Conversation is one of the great films. Period. It immediately never comes to mind as a neo-noir, although one could make a case that it is. The protagonist, Harry Caul, doesn't commit a crime. There is a femme fatale, however-- Meredith. And the mood is spooky noir. It was a masterpiece by Francis Coppola. If it had been included on my list, it probably would have been up around 4-5.

I really enjoyed The Man Who Wasn't There. Ranked it at #22. Admittedly I'm a huge Billy Bob Thornton fan, and this is one of his memorable performances, along with Sling Blade (1996). And what a cast!



I have seen both and neither is on my list. I have a feeling that none of my 1980s neo-noirs are going to be on this list.
Don't know which '80s titles you have, but Body Heat, Blow Out, Blue Velvet, and Blood Simple should all still be coming. Blade Runner, too. Lots of B titles.

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To my taste, The Conversation is one of the great films. Period. It immediately never comes to mind as a neo-noir, although one could make a case that it is. The protagonist, Harry Caul, doesn't commit a crime. There is a femme fatale, however-- Meredith. And the mood is spooky noir. It was a masterpiece by Francis Coppola. If it had been included on my list, it probably would have been up around 4-5.
I think one of the main keys for noir/neo-noir is for the protagonist to be morally conflicted, which Harry clearly is. I also didn't think of it, but I agree there's more here than in some of the other films that have come up.
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AWARDS?



The Conversation received a lot of nominations and few awards. These are some of the most notable:
  • Five (5) BAFTA Film Award nominations, including a win for Best Editing (Walter Murch and Richard Chew)
  • Four (4) Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Actor (Gene Hackman)
  • Three (3) Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture
  • One (1) Palme d'Or award from Cannes Film Festival



AWARDS?



The Man Who Wasn't There received a lot of nominations and few awards. These are some of the most notable:
  • Three (3) Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Picture
  • Three (3) Saturn Award nominations, including Best Actor (Billy Bob Thornton)
  • Two (2) Cannes Film Festival nominations, including a win for Best Director (Joel Coen)
  • One (1) Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)
  • One (1) BAFTA Film Award for Best Cinematography (Deakins)



A system of cells interlinked
The Conversation is a superb film. I have seen it many times and as mentioned a few pages back, I tend to watch this one alone. A ton to unpack here in really every frame; it's Coppola at the top of his game. I find it odd that this film flies under the radar so much, with many people being unaware of its existence. I always think of this as a genre-defining 70s paranoid thriller more than a noir, so it missed my list.



I saw The Man Who Wasn't There long ago, and have not had a chance to revisit it since. I recall it being a quirky genre bender, but one that didn't make a big impression on me aside from its excellent art direction and cinematography. No vote.
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I forgot the opening line.
I have both of these on my ballot, which makes it 4/4 from my 2 ballots on both noir countdowns today...

28. The Conversation - Why is this not Number One? I always assume my number one is everybody's number one, and that's what we have with The Conversation. It's the most paranoid movie I can think of from a decade of paranoia - a real film of it's time. The opening scene is what really reels you in - the taping of the conversation and the conversation itself both competing for space in your mind as you try to make out what the film is about. Meeting Harry R. Caul (Gene Hackman) is a little like meeting a conspiracy theorist who defies the definition by being onto something - knowing that power is information. It's a film of quiet desperation, lost innocence, moral quandaries and our supreme need for justice - or at least what we see as justice. Hackman is simply great here, but so is the sound, the story, it's visual accompaniment, and Francis Ford Coppola's peerless direction. It's one of my favourite films - and one I see as amongst the best of all time. I had it at #1.

27. The Man Who Wasn't There - Great Coen Bros movie, with a kind of lazy narration which introduces such a strange dreamy feel to the world of Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) - a barber, not a private detective, cop, lothario or soldier of fortune. A barber. It's Ed, a dry-cleaning deal, murder, misunderstanding, affair, embezzlement, murder, mistake and a whole host of unfortunate and fortunate events that happen while Ed calmly and succinctly communicates his thoughts - as if this is all happening to somebody else. It's his detachment which gives everything such an unreal aura, and the black and white photography compliments it beautifully well. Great looking, great sounding movie constructed with expert storytelling hands. I had The Man Who Wasn't There at #24 on my list. My highest and lowest (apart from my 1-pointer) appearing right next to each other.

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Seen : 49/74
I'd never even heard of : 9/74
Movies that had been on my radar, but I haven't seen yet : 16/74
Films from my list : 7

#27 - My #24 - The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
#28 - My #1 - The Conversation (1974)
#30 - My #23 - Zodiac (2007)
#42 - My #19 - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
#44 - My #21 - Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
#52 - My #11 - Oldboy (2003)
#81 - My #17 - Brick (2005)
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The Conversation - when I looked at the banner of neo-noirs in this thread, or the countdown thread, after submitting my ballot, I kind of face-palmed myself for forgetting it. It would have been in my top 3, possibly fighting for the #1 spot. (Sorry @PHOENIX74!)


The Man Who Wasn't There - I didn't forget and was my #11.





26
13lists140points
Sin City
Director

Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez, 2005

Starring

Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke







25
12lists141points
Memories of Murder
Director

Bong Joon-ho, 2003

Starring

Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Roi-ha, Song Jae-ho





TRAILERS



Sin City - A series of intertwining tales, including a tough vigilante looking for revenge, a grizzled cop pursuing a child murderer while dealing with corruption, and an ex-prostitute trying to get away from her former pimp with her new boyfriend.




Memories of Murder - Set in 1986, two detectives struggle with the case of the first documented serial killer in Korea.



Seen both, like both quite a bit, but none made my list.

I revisited Sin City a couple of months ago for the Neo-noir HoF and it held up pretty well. Here's my full review, and an excerpt from it:

Overall, Sin City succeeds in bringing these classic noir shades into modern settings, with its thrilling direction and unique visual style. However, it is thanks to its colorful characters (no pun intended) and engaging storytelling that it ultimately sticks the landing.
Still, it's not enough for me to put it on my list.

Memories of Murder is really, really good; probably Bong's most accomplished film after Parasite (although I would still put Mother above both). Still, I feel like I should rewatch it cause I didn't feel it hit me as I expected. That, and the fact that I see it more as a crime thriller/drama instead of neo-noir, is probably why I kept it off my list.


SEEN: 51/76
MY BALLOT: 14/25

My ballot  





Memories of Murder was #27 on the MoFo Top 100 of the 2000s as well as #58 on the MoFo Top 100 Foreign Films. SIN CITY was #56 on the MoFo Top 100 of the Millennium, moved up to #47 on the MoFo Top 100 of the 2000s, and was way up at #3 on the MoFo Top 100 Comic Book Movies.



Sin City is my #22, and a movie my view has changed of over time. Like with Chris Nolan, I started rating it super high, but over time I began to see all of the problems with it, and my reviews became much lower.


However, (just like with Chris Nolan) I've come around to love it for what it is. An explosive, exaggeration of Noir that goes so far over the top that it also works as pure action/spectacle. I really like it.


I haven't seen memories of murder, but now I really want to.



Memories Of Murder was my 5. Fantastic direction and characterizations set it apart.

Haven’t watched Sin City since the theater. I was pretty lukewarm on a movie that doesn’t seem to lend itself to indifference. I’m in no hurry to go back to it, but maybe someday.
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