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ChiO

"A" Is for Auteur

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Give us your alphabetical list for favorite directors.

 

*A* -- Robert Aldrich

*B* -- Robert Bresson

*C* -- John Cassavetes

*D* -- Carl Th. Dreyer

*E* -- Sergei Eisenstein

*F* -- Samuel Fuller ("My name's Sam Fuller. I make Westerns." Right?)

*G* -- D.W. Griffith

*H* -- Howard Hawks (Is there any other "H"? Oh, yeah...Werner Herzog and John Huston.)

*I* -- James Ivory

*J* -- Jim Jarmusch

*K* -- Stanley Kubrick

*L* -- Fritz Lang

*M* -- F.W. Murnau

*N* -- Max Nosseck

*O* -- Max Ophuls & Yasujiro Ozu (tie)

*P* -- Otto Preminger

*Q* -- Richard Quine

*R* -- Jean Renoir

*S* -- Martin Scorsese

*T* -- Jacques Tourneur

*U* -- Edgar G. Ulmer

*V* -- Erich von Stroheim

*W* -- Orson Welles (Whatta wealth of "W"'s! So, Mr. [FrankGrimesWiseGuy] , who's it gonna be among Wilder, Wyler, Walsh, Wellman, Warhol, Wenders, Whale, and that other guy? Hmmm?)

*X* -- X (The Man with the X-Ray Eyes) (OK, I haven't seen any films by an "X" director.)

*Y* -- Terence Young

*Z* -- Fred Zinneman

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F -- Samuel Fuller ("My name's Sam Fuller. I make Westerns." Right?)

 

Oooooooooooooh..........boy......careful with the F-word, ChiO.

 

;)

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I don't know if they're inspired collaborators or auteurs, and I don't always care who directed a picture. I'm not familiar with the complete works of any of my favorite directors (except Chaplin, maybe), can't judge their careers--but I do like to list the films that really made me pay attention.

 

(A) Robert Altman McCabe & Mrs. Miller

(B) Robert Bresson Diary Of A Country Priest

© Charles Chaplin City Lights

(D) Carl Theodor Dreyer The Passion Of Joan Of Arc

(E) Sergei Eisenstein Ivan The Terrible, Pts 1&2

(F) John Ford Cheyenne Autumn

(G) Abel Gance J'accuse! (1938--haven't seen the earlier one)

(H) Alfred Hitchcock Shadow Of A Doubt

(I) Rex Ingram The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

(J) Wanda Jakubowska The Last Stage

(K) Buster Keaton Sherlock, Jr.

(L) Fritz Lang M

(M) F.W. Murnau Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans

(N) Mira Nair Monsoon Wedding

(O) Max Ophuls Le Plaisir

(P) Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger A Matter Of Life And Death

(Q) no favorites

® Jean Renoir La Grande Illusion

(S) Preston Sturges The Lady Eve

(T) Jacques Tourneur Stars In My Crown

(U) Edgar G. Ulmer Detour

(V) King Vidor The Big Parade (co-director with George W. Hill)

(W) Orson Welles Citizen Kane

(X) no favorites

(Y) Keren Yedaya Or (My Treasure)

(Z) Fred Zinnemann High Noon

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[MissG] -- Your choices for "F", "I", and "J" did not surprise me, but "U", "X" and "Y" did. Who is this man you refer to as "John Ford"? I'm finishing up "Print the Legend" and, as soon as I do, I promise to sit, watch and re-evaluate. But my favorite choice was for "A" -- I love Jack Arnold. *The Incredible Shrinking Man* is a masterpiece in my book.

 

[cascabel] -- I wondered who'd be first to go with Powell & Pressburger. I almost went there myself. Your approach to the list is quite impressive.

 

Message was edited by: ChiO

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Hi ChiO---

 

"A" was going to also be assigned that obscure Irish-American because I was really stuck until I went over to theyshootpictures.com and looked at their list. *Jack Arnold* jumped out at me because I knew I'd seen his name attached to many movies I enjoyed. But guess what? I couldn't think of the name of even one of them but I put his name down anyway. At least you jogged my memory with [one] title, hee!

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FYI, I changed my "G" choice from DW Griffith to Tay Garnett. Yes, I know Griffith is monumental but I've enjoyed so many more by Garnett (another Irisher!) and I really only put Griffith down because I couldn't think of anyone else .

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Greetings, Father ChiO -- Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, but I have done so with such great honesty. I have been very honest to you about not having seen some of the greatest films in history. I could have lied to you about my lack of knowledge in an attempt to curry favor, but I was forthcoming. It's one of my many faults.

 

You really did go for Wise. I love a man with principles.

 

I thought you'd appreciate my decision to go with my personal choice over my critical choice. Orson Welles would be my choice for "W" followed by Billy Wilder if I were selecting from a critical point of view. But I went personal. I like more Wise films... right now.

 

I, too, struggled with "M" -- the old "who do I prefer: a director with a relatively small output, but I like them all vs. a director with a relatively large output (ergo, greater chance of a stinker or two), with some that I may like better than the other guy's, but some that I like much less?". Murnau wins over Mann. To quote a WiseGuy, "Murnau is THAT good."

 

You nailed my decision-making process. I like more Mann films and I like them a helluva lot, but I also like all seven of the Murnau films I have seen and I consider many of them to be the greatest ever made when you consider Murnau was one of the first to take filmmaking to a higher level.

 

I haven't seen any Jim Jarmusch film yet -- If I may, the first three that I suggest are Dead Man , Dead Man , and Dead Man.

 

This is the film I would start with, too. I've heard very good things about it. The cast is wonderful.

 

I've yet to watch a Max Ophuls film -- I am confident that you would like Caught and The Earrings of Madame de... . I'd be interested in your reaction to Lola Montes . I predict that The Reckless Moment would become one of your favorites.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely take them to heart. There are a few directors that I haven't seen a single film from yet but I believe I'm going to enjoy, and Ophuls is on this list.

 

I went with Coen over Capra -- The battle for me was Cassavetes vs. Chaplin. I love sentimental directors. Husbands and Love Streams finally beat out The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator . Besides, how many Chaplin films was Timothy Carey in? And my wife is Greek and admires and respects my admiration and respect for Cassavetes -- but she hates watching any of his movies because they're too real, and she's right. He and Fuller may be the most "real" directors; every nerve is left exposed.

 

I'm not ready for Cassavetes yet, and I say this as someone who would be very open to his independent filmmaking. I've yet to watch a single Chaplin film yet, either. Yes, I am this new to classic film. I haven't been lying, Father. Monsieur Verdoux is a film I'm interested in seeing.

 

I agree with you about Fuller and his authenticity. He's a "guts" director.

 

*The only Dreyer film I have seen the entire way is Vampyr , which I love.* -- I love Vampyr , too, but it's #4 on my Dreyer hit parade. Gertrud , Michael and The Parson's Widow are great, but I prefer Vampyr. #3: Day of Wrath , which many critics seemed to sluff off, but I think it is thematically the most provocative and ambiguous of his films. #2 is Ordet and #1 is The Passion of Joan of Arc , both of which are sometimes too beautiful and too emotionally moving for me to discuss. The pain is exquisite and has redemptive power.

 

Day of Wrath, Ordet, and Gertrud are the films of Dreyer's I wish to see the most. I have the The Passion of Joan of Arc on tape but it's another film I need to be in the mood for. It's a tough one. Gertrud is the film I believe I'm going to like the most.

 

It's difficult to imagine why antipathy initially greeted what proved to be Carl Theodor Dreyer's last film. Granted, Gertrud did not have the ambitious scope of Ordet or the intensity of either Vredens Dag (Day of Wrath) or La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc. Perhaps by 1964 Dreyer's style was considered stodgy, as it involved long takes in which he prefers his camera to follow his characters, or, in conversation, to pan back and forth between them, always keeping a respectful distance (the film reportedly has only 89 shots). In retrospect, it is possible to see Gertrud Kanning as yet another troubled soul in the Dreyer universe. The three loves in her life -- her husband Gustav, her former lover Gabriel, and her current lover Erland -- all fail to satisfy her simple requirement for ongoing and unselfish affection. In the film's key scene, shown in flashback, Gertrud discovers a note written on scrap paper on Gabriel's desk -- "A woman's love and a man's work are mortal enemies" -- that she comes to understand will always be a barrier against her ever finding happiness with a man. In the title role, Nina Pens Rode offers an exquisite portrait of a woman in emotional distress but also beginning to understand the power she has to control her own emotional destiny, even if it requires living it out in solitude.

 

I can associate with "barriers," so this film attracts me a lot. The reason why Dreyer attracts me so much are his moral contemplations. I find those to be fascinating. That's why Day of Wrath really screamed at me. I also have this film on tape, thanks to TCM. I started watching it, and I liked what I saw, but I've yet to finish it. I've got a mountain to scale in the world of classic film, especially in the world of foreign-language.

 

I haven't seen a single Erich Von Stroheim flick. I haven't seen any D.W. Griffith pics. -- Father O accepts your confession. At a minimum, my son, you must watch Greed , Foolish Wives , Birth of a Nation and Intolerance (shocking choices, eh?). Otherwise you will be condemned to watching the Porky's series, edited for primetime TV, with commercial interruptions. Go forth, my son, and sin no more.

 

You just earned some serious points with me by referencing an 80s film(s) amongst comments about Von Stroheim and Griffith. Excellent. I'm expecting to like Von Stroheim but I'm not sure about Griffith yet. I've yet to tackle American silents. Buster Keaton is actually where I'd like to start since I like Steamboat Bill Jr.. I do like The Wind a lot.

 

Hiya, Cascabel -- Have I told you that you have exquisite taste in film? I'm absolutely blown away by your selections. Amazing. I also enjoyed your own spin on the "auteur" alphabet. Very nicely done. Have I told you that you have exquisite taste in film? Is repetitiveness a sin? I'll have to ask Father ChiO.

 

Miss Fordy Guns -- Only because I don't think I know enough directors complete the alphabet. But I'll try to find a way to find a way to fill in the gaps.

 

Selecting John Ford for every letter in the alphabet. That's an interesting way of filling in the gaps. I thought you were going to select your husband for "M." I hope he can take your honesty.

 

Message was edited by: MissGoddess

 

I think another edit or two is needed.

 

"A" was going to also be assigned that obscure Irish-American because I was really stuck until I went over to theyshootpictures.com and looked at their list.

 

Wait a minute, you actually went to "They Shoot Pictures"? You? Hmmm. Okay, you're all right with me. (I know you were so very worried about that, too.)

 

Nice list.

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Hi fellow sinner! "M" and "W" were the two that were hardest to narrow down. Maybe I should have put *Robert Montgomery* for the former. That would have been unique, at least! :)

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Bonjour, Mademoiselle Peccadille -- I think Mr. Montgomery is okay with your honesty. I wonder if you are as accepting of his honesty, Mrs. Montgomery.

 

What other director were you considering for the letter "W"?

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*Billy Wilder, Raoul Walsh* and *William Wellman* are big favorites. But my head ruled my heart (for once) and *Wyler* won the day.

 

Other "C" directors I really admire are *Michael Curtiz* and Jack Conway.

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Miss G(oop Girl) -- Do you actually like Chaplin more than Curtiz? That surprises me. I thought Curtiz was a big favorite of yours. Don't you dare be intimidated around ChiO. He won't bite. Me? Ohhh, look at the time. I've gotta go now.

 

ButterscotchGreer -- I see you kissed up to the Goddess by listing John Ford first. Are you still listening to that girl? BAD INFLUENCE.

 

Let's see, are you listening to me at all? Let's check your list. Fritz Lang? No. Well, I can understand that. At least you have Alfred Hitchcock on your list, right? NO!!!! Excuse me, I've gotta go cry now. I usually run to you when I'm upset but now I'm lost. There's no one else to turn to.

 

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For a steady, daily diet I prefer watching *Michael Curtiz* movies, but I continue to be in awe of and completely enthralled by *Chaplin's* movies. The phenomenon of laughing and crying at the same time was something I first experienced watching his films.

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i dunno about fritz lang frankiefurter, but i cant believe i didnt post Alfred Hitchcock . im sorry frankie!!! i do like some of his movies. ill let you borrow my gardenia hanky if you really wanna cry. im sorry!!!

 

and im not kissing up to april, i do like john ford movies and she is a good influence. right april? :) i do like the screen cap though. ;) heehee!

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Hiya, Sweet Tea -- i dunno about fritz lang frankiefurter,

 

No?

 

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but i cant believe i didnt post Alfred Hitchcock . im sorry frankie!!! i do like some of his movies. ill let you borrow my gardenia hanky if you really wanna cry. im sorry!!!

 

I'm okay now. I'm all cried out.

 

and she is a good influence. right april?

 

Are you asking her if she's a good influence? I can't wait to see that response.

 

Hi, Miss Goddess -- For a steady, daily diet I prefer watching Michael Curtiz movies, but I continue to be in awe of and completely enthralled by Chaplin's movies. The phenomenon of laughing and crying at the same time was something I first experienced watching his films.

 

Ooohhh, I like that. Nicely said. I didn't know you liked Chaplin that much.

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Hi, Fellow Missy Fan -- If you're interested, I went Cuckoo for Mae Doyle (Clash by Night) at this thread:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=116492&tstart=15

 

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

 

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Stanwyck and auteur? Hmmmm. Now where could I go from here. Oh, THE "F" director:

 

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Sorry, ChiO, I decided to play it clean because I have great respect for some of the ladies around here. You know, the ladies who say "Forty Guns" and not "Fordy Guns." I could care less about the "Fordy Guns" gal(s).

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okay okay, so i like i few of fritz lang's works, but he isnt one of my faves. although i do love his movies. heehee!

 

im not asking april if she is a good influence, im telling you she is. :)

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*A high-ridin' woman with a whip.*

 

There's nothing like a sweet love song to get a movie started. Yup, he is the f---ing "F" director. He wouldda had that Wayne guy cowering (but I suppose the other "F" director did, too), but not Stanwyck, the toughest hombre of them all.

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[F-Crimes] -- *What's odd about Forty Guns to me is how Barbara acts at the end of the film. It doesn't seem like something a Barbara character would do. But I guess she really wanted Griff that bad.*

 

I think we're thinking the same thing. Sure, she acts all gushy to get Griff, which does seem out of character, but...you just [know] that whip will come out later.

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Hey, Fellow Mann Deserter -- I think we're thinking the same thing. Sure, she acts all gushy to get Griff, which does seem out of character, but...you just know that whip will come out later.

 

A gal wouldn't do that to a guy, would she?

 

F-Crimes

 

Bring up Francisco Cabrera with me and I'll be run-in for some F-Crimes.

 

 

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Dear [MissG] and [FGrimes] -- I have now finally finished "Print the Legend". Of particular interest near the end was an interview of John Ford by Bernard Tavernier in 1966. In response to Tavernier's question of who his favorite directors were: Leo McCarey, Frank Capra, Raoul Walsh, Tay Garnett, Henry King and...

 

*I like Sammy Fuller, too; he puts a little too much violence in his films, but unlike many others he doesn't do it for base commercial reasons -- he is an upright, honest guy.*

 

If my hair were wavy & I smoked cigars, I'd pass as his twin.

 

To begin my serious delving into Ford, I rented *The Fugitive* last night. I had no idea that in 1948 Harrison Fo...or, it that the wrong Ford movie?

 

And, Mr. Grimes, did I see in the "Classic TV" thread that Kristy McNichol is another of your many obsessions? If so, Criterion is releasing *White Dog* in 2008. Start saving now. *Family* it ain't.

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Hey, ChiTowen -- I guess John Ford has good taste after all. Did you say that he chose Sammy Fuller as his "F" director? Did I hear you right?

 

And, Mr. Grimes, did I see in the "Classic TV" thread that Kristy McNichol is another of your many obsessions? If so, Criterion is releasing White Dog in 2008. Start saving now. Family it ain't.

 

Kristy McNichol was the first TV crush I ever had. I have no idea how I ended up seeing her on Family, I guess my parents, but McNichol caught my attention. I had to have been 7 or 8 at the time. I'm still drawn to her a little bit.

 

I've never seen White Dog. I'm sure it's a rough one.

 

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One of the best extras I have run across in my DVD collection is from A Place in the Sun. Eight filmmakers talk about George Stevens and the filmmaking business. It's pretty darn fascinating. I recommend it to anyone who has interest in Stevens.

 

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