Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Marty's favorite colors

I don't mean blood-red. To promote something for Philips, Martin Scorsese provided two lists of his favorite color-films, divided Sarris-like, into English-language and non-English. I'm posting it mainly because I find some of the choices bizarre and haven't seen this list linked by anyone else (David Hudson?):

1. "Barry Lyndon" (1975, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

2. "Duel in the Sun" (1946, dir. King Vidor)
3. "Invaders From Mars" (1953, dir. William Cameron Menzies)
4. "Leave Her to Heaven" (1943, dir. John M. Stahl)
5. "Moby Dick" (1956, dir. John Huston)
6. "Phantom of the Opera" (1943, dir. Arthur Lubin)
7. "The Red Shoes" (1948, dir. Michael Powell)
8. "The Searchers" (1956, dir. John Ford)
9. "Singin' in the Rain" (1952, dir. Stanley Donen)
10. "Vertigo" (1958, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

1. "Contempt" (1963, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
2. "Cries and Whispers" (1972, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
3. "Gate of Hell" (1953, dir. Teinosuke Kinugasa)
4. "In the Mood For Love" (2000), dir. Wong Kar-Wai)
5. "The Last Emperor" (1987, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
6. "Red Desert" (1964, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)
7. "The River" (1951, dir. Jean Renoir)
8. "Satyricon" (1969, dir. Federico Fellini)
9. "Senso" (1954, dir. Luchino Visconti)
10. "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" (1964, dir. Sergei Paradjanov)

Invaders from Mars and Moby Dick would make nobody's canon but Marty's, I suspect. And I've never even heard of this 1943 version of Phantom. Wtf? My overall impression is Marty goes ga-ga for broad melodramas in lurid colors like Duel in the Sun and Leave Her to Heaven, though it's kinda surprising the more accomplished bold melodramas in lurid colors from Sirk and Nick Ray didn't make the cut. Scorsese's possibly trying to promote lesser-known favorites here. Meanwhile, the foreign films betray a strong bias for movies that enforces a strict symbolic color scheme (Red Desert, Satyricon, Cries and Whispers), with an emphasis on primary colors. It's astonishing to see In the Mood For Love in there, but good job, Marty. One question: Is In the Mood the most canonized film since the turn of the century? My impression is yes, but I'm not an unbiased observer.

Sorry for another pointless list. A real post will arrive sometime soon, I hope. This is mainly a chance for me to sneak in a still from Contempt.