September 2011

the title shot of Schindler's List (1993)

My Top 20:

  1. Schindler’s List
  2. The Age of Innocence
  3. In the Name of the Father
  4. Much Ado About Nothing
  5. A Perfect World
  6. The Remains of the Day
  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  8. Shadowlands
  9. Three Colors: Blue
  10. In the Line of Fire
  11. Menace II Society
  12. The Wedding Banquet
  13. Short Cuts
  14. Jurassic Park
  15. Groundhog Day
  16. The Piano
  17. The Snapper
  18. Like Water for Chocolate
  19. The Fugitive
  20. The Heroic Trio


the Dell mass market of Vonnegut's seminal book: Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death

  • Author:  Kurt Vonnegut Jr.  (1922  –  2007)
  • Rank:  #31
  • Published:  1969
  • Publisher:  Delacorte
  • Pages:  215
  • First Line:  “All this happened, more or less.”
  • Last Line:  “One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, ‘Poo-tee-weet?’ “
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #18; All-TIME List; Nebula nominee; Hugo nominee
  • ML Edition:  none
  • Film:  1972 (*** – dir. George Roy Hill)
  • First Read:  September, 1994 (more…)

Thomas was definitely the shortest route to Wall Drug in 2005.

It occurs to me that we never put up anything about our trip in August.  I guess several days of a child throwing up in the backseat ending with a day of torrential rain will do that to you.

Maybe not quite the shortest anymore in 2011.

Well, if you say that we saw some friends we hadn’t seen in years, saw some family, saw some very sparsely inhabited parts of Canada, Veronica had a good conference and I discovered that you can’t get phone reception at 1353 feet and finally saw a game at Wrigley as a measure of a successful trip, then we had a successful trip.

But, when you plan to come back at a leisurely pace and see some sights, but instead blow across the country in a few days again because of a sick child and tropical storms and just wanting to get home, it doesn’t feel so great by the end of it. (more…)

the Perigree mass market of Lord of the Flies that students have been reading for decades

Lord of the Flies

  • Author:  William Golding  (1911  –  1993)
  • Rank:  #32
  • Published:  1954
  • Publisher:  Faber and Faber
  • Pages:  208
  • First Line:  “The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.”
  • Last Line:  “He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.”
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #41; All-TIME List
  • ML Edition:  none
  • Film:  1963  (dir. Peter Brook – ***), 1990  (dir. Harry Hook)
  • First Read:  Fall 1994


That look of derision in Zuckerberg's face is for all of us, not just the Winklevii.

David Fincher

  • Born:  1962
  • Rank:  #87
  • Score:  520.75
  • Awards:  BAFTA  /  BFCA  /  Golden Globe  /  NYFC  /  LAFC  /  NSFC  /  BSFC  /  2 NBR  /  CFC
  • Nominations:  2 Oscars  /  2 DGA  /  2 BAFTA  /  2 BFCA  /  2 Golden Globes
  • Feature Films:  8
  • Best:  The Social Network
  • Worst:  Se7en

Top 5 Films:

  1. The Social Network  –  2010
  2. Zodiac  –  2007
  3. Fight Club  –  1999
  4. Panic Room  –  2002
  5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button  –  2008

Top 10 Best Director Finishes  (Nighthawk Awards):

  • 2010  –  1st  –  The Social Network


City of God (2002, U.S. release 2003) - a film that blew everyone away

Fernando Meirelles

  • Born: 1955
  • Rank:  #93
  • Score:  513.75
  • Nominations:  Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe
  • Feature Films:  4
  • Best:  City of God
  • Worst:  Blindness

Feature Films (ranked):

  1. City of God  –  2002
  2. The Constant Gardener  –  2005
  3. Domestícas  –  2001
  4. Blindness  –  2008

Top 10 Best Director finishes  (Nighthawk Awards):

  • 2003  –  4th  –  City of God
  • 2005  –  8th  –  The Constant Gardener (more…)

Still one of the best sight gags ever: Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Buster Keaton

  • Born:  1895
  • Died:  1966
  • Rank:  #96
  • Score:  511.60
  • Feature Films:  10
  • Best:  The General
  • Worst:  Battling Butler

Top 5 Feature Films:

  1. The General  –  1926
  2. Our Hospitality  –  1923
  3. Steamboat Bill, Jr.  –  1928
  4. Seven Chances  –  1925
  5. Three Ages  –  1923 (more…)

Still young, still talented, and now Sofia Coppola is the first female director to make the list

Before I get to any explaining, any trivia, any details about who will be left out, I feel the need to deliver a quote:

“I’ve never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore.”

Those are not my words.  They are the words of one of the greatest directors of all-time, Ingmar Bergman.  I could also add quotes from Top 100 Directors Werner Herzog and Orson Welles, but I went with the Bergman quote.  If that doesn’t express it well enough, well, I am sure I will get many, many complaints.  I certainly did on the first list.  But I wanted up-front, so there would be no questions.  You want to complain, then complain.  But don’t ask where Godard is.

Now, down to business. (more…)

"We all got it coming, kid."

The 65th annual Academy Awards for the film year 1992.

Best Picture:  Unforgiven

  • The Crying Game
  • Howards End
  • A Few Good Men
  • Scent of a Woman

Most Surprising Omission:  The Player

Best Film Not Nominated:  Last of the Mohicans

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #30

note:  If the Academy had nominated The Player instead of Scent of a Woman this year would rank #5.


Clint Eastwood gives the best performance of his career in Unforgiven (1992)

My Top 20:

  1. Unforgiven
  2. The Crying Game
  3. Last of the Mohicans
  4. The Player
  5. Howards End
  6. Reservoir Dogs
  7. Raise the Red Lantern
  8. Singles
  9. Flirting
  10. Aladdin
  11. Bob Roberts
  12. A Few Good Men
  13. Malcolm X
  14. Hard Boiled
  15. Husbands and Wives
  16. A River Runs Through It
  17. Enchanted April
  18. Proof
  19. The Match Factory Girl
  20. Glengarry Glenn Ross


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