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Top 25: Discussion of Nominated Films on Memory

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Top 25 Films on Memory.

Please keep nominations and seconds only in the nominations thread.  All discussion of the nominated films themselves should be posted here.

*Note: Currently, there are no hard-and-fast rules about eligibility based on content - it’s up to YOU to advocate for what you believe fits this category. We believe the community of voters will make a wise decision about it when the times comes. That said, please think carefully about whether the film is really about what the community wants for an "Arts & Faith" list as opposed to a purely generic "top films" list that would be created on some other popular movie website.

 

Also, your film being seconded does not relieve you of the duty to explain why your nominations interact with spiritual themes.  You are taking a position on the merits of a film by nominating it.

_________________________________________________

 

So as to not start too many new threads, I will periodically keep track of everyone's nomination count here:

 

- Tyler (13) - Paris, Texas (1984), Close-Up (1990), Three Colors: Blue (1993), After Life (1998), Dark City (1998), Memento (2000), The Man Without a Past (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), Certified Copy (2010), The Act of Killing (2012), Stories We Tell (2012), Upstream Color (2013)

- Darren H. (12) - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), The Last Picture Show (1971), Atlantic City (1980), Chocolat (1988), Time Indefinite (1993), A Moment of Innocence (1996), Saraband (2003), Birth (2004), Los Muertos (2004), Colossal Youth (2006), Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind (2007), The Beaches of Agnes (2008)

- Evan C. (12) - Rebecca (1940), Casablanca (1942), Spellbound (1945), Vertigo (1958), 8 1/2 (1963), Roma (1972), Autumn Sonata (1978), Millennium Actress (2001), The Page Turner (2006), In the City of Sylvia (2007), Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

- John Drew (11) - Citizen Kane (1941), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), The Pawnbroker (1964), Solaris (1972), Blade Runner (1982), The Trip to Bountiful (1985), Field of Dreams (1989), Titanic (1997), Solaris (2002), Code 46 (2003), Marwencol (2010)

- J.A.A. Purves (10) - I Remember Mama (1948), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Last Hurrah (1958), Last Year at Marienbad (1961), The Mirror (1975), The Deer Hunter (1978), The Last Waltz (1978), The Long Day Closes (1992), The Remains of the Day (1993), The Lives of Others (2006)

- Anders (9) - Orpheus (1950), Scrooge (1951), Night and Fog (1955), La Jetée (1962), Exotica (1994), Cache (2005), My Winnipeg (2007), Inception (2010), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

- Ryan H. (9) - Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968), F for Fake (1973), Once Upon A Time in America (1984), Total Recall (1990), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Oldboy (2003), 2046 (2004), Youth Without Youth (2007), Mysteries of Lisbon (2010)

- NBooth (8) - The Third Man (1949), Rashômon (1950), Mr. Arkadin (1955), Eve's Bayou (1997), Mulholland Drive (2001), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 (2009), The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010)

- Nick Alexander (8) - Random Harvest (1942), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), The English Patient (1996), The Matrix (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Tree of Life (2011)

- M. Leary (7) - Dog Star Man (1962-1964), Ulysses' Gaze (1997), In Praise of Love (2001), Decay of Fiction (2002), Ryan (2004), Syndromes and a Century (2006), The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012)

- Tucker (6) - Lola Montes (1955), Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964), Nostalghia (1983), Swimming to Cambodia (1987), The Usual Suspects (1995), Eternity and a Day (1998)

- Nathan Douglas (5) - How Green Was My Valley (1941), American Graffiti (1973), Russian Ark (2002), Speed Racer (2008), It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

- Darryl A. Armstrong (4) - The Thin Blue Line (1988), Amateur (1994), Finding Nemo (2003), The Hulk (2003)

- Darrel Manson (4) - Sophie's Choice (1982), Lone Star (1996), Iris (2001), Away From Her (2006)

- Joel Mayward (4) - The Bird with Crystal Plumage (1970), Waltz with Bashir (2008), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

- Josh Hamm (4) - The Lady Vanishes (1938), Stardust Memories (1980), Troubled Water (2008), Moon (2009)

- Rushmore (4) - Ivan's Childhood (1962), Walkabout (1971), Wit (2001), Cloud Atlas (2012)

- Andrew (3) - Rhapsody in August (1991), Fearless (1993), Heartbeat Detector (2007)

- Attica (3) - Adam's Apples (2005), The Island (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

- Anodos (3) - Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959), Time Regained (1999), The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

- Mike_tn (3) - Gaslight (1944), Nixon (1995), The Passion of the Christ (2004)

- Christian (2) - Casualties of War (1989), Life of Pi (2012)

- BethR (1) - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

- Brian D (1) - Lucky Life (2010)

- mrmando (1) - S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003)

- Jason Panella (1) - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

- Josie (1) - The Secret Life of Words (2005)

- Scholar's Parrot (1) - Robot & Frank (2012)

- Overstreet (1) - The Arbor (2010)

- rjkolb (1) - The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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I'll make cases for my nominees when I have some more time later this evening.  But here's one I'm on the fence about seconding: Three Colors: Blue.  I adore the film, but I'm not convinced how much memory plays a role in Julie's story, rather than her bitterness at the current world.  In other words, is she preoccupied with the death of her husband and son, and does her bitterness stem from remembering them and the work she used to do with her husband?  Or, is she upset at reporters bothering her for interviews, watching another composer finishing her husband's composition, and her current feeling of isolation?  If the former, then I think it belongs, if the latter, I don't think it does.

Edited by Evan C

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Wild Strawberries (1957) - Ingmar Berman - Swedish
- It is perhaps one of the most visually beautiful films made on memory. The spiritual themes are great in quantity.

Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - Alain Resnais - French
- One person demanding a specific memory from another person. The woman refuses. The man insists. Another man intervenes. And the story generally explores the necessity of memory for human relationships, along with the possibility of imposing false memory.

The Deer Hunter (1978) - Michael Cimino - American
- There are almost two levels in which this film could place on our list. First, as the story is told, it eventually builds upon the fact that Mike’s memories of the war have forever changed him and have even obligated him for the rest of his life. His memory of his friends and what they suffered through together becomes the most powerful thing in his consciousness. Second, this film arguably has turned into a symbol for how we as a society remember Vietnam and the men who have fought in the wars of our past.

The Long Day Closes (1992) - Terrence Davies - English
- The director has literally stated that he made this film about his memory.

The Lives of Others (2006) - Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck - German
- Arguably a film about the importance, not only of remembering what has happened to us in the past, but also of being able to discern the truth of what we remember. It’s another film where the director has explicitly said that he made it so that people would remember what happened in Eastern Germany behind the Iron Curtain. So this is a film meant to preserve memory, and the way that it has the playwright go over his memories of the past in order to figure out what really happened, and then to intentionally honor what Wiesler did, captures and highlights nobility in an unexpectededly mundane place.

The Mirror (1975) - Andrei Tarkovsky - Russian
- First, I’m curious if there are participants here who would dispute the proposition that this should be #1. Second, I’d be curious if anyone would think it worth changing the Top 25 selection process so that a separate poll would somehow determine what film ought to be the #1 of a Top 25 list, rather than leaving it to chance. So far there is a sense in which we have simply left what ends up as our #1 to the surprise of however our ranked votes happen to add up together.

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Truth to tell, I'm almost embarrassed to nominate The Bourne Supremacy - I don't think it's a 'great' film, but it is a consummate and compelling thriller, and would be such an odd man out in our list that I quite like the idea of having it. None of the Bourne films really face up to the absolute darkness of his past, but I believe Supremacy comes closest, with the scene in Russia where he meets Oksana Akinshina's character; the daughter of a man he murdered. Her performance, in particular, makes it the best scene of the trilogy.

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I'll make cases for my nominees when I have some more time later this evening.  But here's one I'm on the fence about seconding: Three Colors: Blue.  I adore the film, but I'm not convinced how much memory plays a role in Julie's story, rather than her bitterness at the current world.  In other words, is she preoccupied with the death of her husband and son, and does her bitterness stem from remembering them and the work she used to do with her husband?  Or, is she upset at reporters bothering her for interviews, watching another composer finishing her husband's composition, and her current feeling of isolation?  If the former, then I think it belongs, if the latter, I don't think it does.

 

I come down on the "former" side, which is why I nominated Blue. One of the key early scenes is when Julie removes/sells off everything that reminds her of her family, and she claims she wants forget her past at several points, as well. The latter parts of the movie (including finishing the reunification song and meeting her husband's mistress) are about Julie reintegrating and mourning the memories that she had tried to live without.

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The Deer Hunter (1978) - Michael Cimino - American

- There are almost two levels in which this film could place on our list. First, as the story is told, it eventually builds upon the fact that Mike’s memories of the war have forever changed him and have even obligated him for the rest of his life. His memory of his friends and what they suffered through together becomes the most powerful thing in his consciousness. Second, this film arguably has turned into a symbol for how we as a society remember Vietnam and the men who have fought in the wars of our past.

 

Interesting. The Deer Hunter is an unfortunate hole in my movie viewing, one I had vowed to fill after seeing Heaven's Gate last year (and coming around to loving that film, watching it twice over two weeks before it was due back to the library). I went ahead and nominated Casualties of War, also a "memory movie" about the war in Vietnam, although I didn't realize the "also" part because I didn't know The Deer Hunter had a "memory" element to it. I now worry that Casualties of War -- which was a box-office dud and didn't merit much positive critical response until it was re-evaluated in the past decade or so, might get overlooked for that other, Best Picture-winning, memory film about Vietnam.

 

I saw Casualties of War at the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, Va., on opening weekend. I was a sophomore in college, and I loved the movie from the moment I saw it. It's what made me start taking De Palma more seriously as a filmmaker. I'd seen Carrie and Dressed to Kill, even Blowout by then, but hadn't processed them much. Sophomore year was when I dove into film studies as my emphasis in Communications Studies (my major). Casualties of War is, and has always been, a deeply personal film to me because of that convergence of life decisions and direction in my studies. Watching as the film grew in stature over the years and came to be more widely seen (if not exactly widely seen) as a key film in De Palma's canon has been gratifying. 

 

But even as I worry a little about how Casualties of War might be overshadowed, I admit that the Deer Hunter nomination will spur me to finally watch that film. That's a plus, whether or not The Deer Hunter -- or Casualties of War -- makes the final list.

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I guess I should put reasoning for my nominations here:

 

Rashomon [Kurosawa]--I think this one's a pretty obvious choice, actually; structurally, it's all about memory, about the ways it can slip and gap and change depending on circumstances.

 

Mulholland Dr. [Lynch]--I made more extensive comments in the thread, but my own reading of the movie is that it's about re-constructing [re-remembering] traumatic events. And, again, its structure plays in to this.

 

Mr. Arkadin [Welles]--Digging in the past, building an understanding of someone from the memories of others--Mr. Arkadin's own desperate flight from his memories [and from the memories of others]--and, structurally--again--it plays along with that idea. More than that, with three versions of the film in existence, it's the sort of movie that can only exist "whole" in the memory of the viewer. So its material existence does interesting things with memory, as well.

 

The Third Man [Reed]--As I mention in the thread, I'm inclined to read The Third Man as a coming-of-age story for Holly Martins: Dominated by his memories and boyhood hero-worship of Harry Lime, he is unable to come to grips with the fact that his old friend is a common hood. And, of course, the glamorous, romantic Lime is entirely a construct of memory.

Edited by NBooth

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I just want to state that the reason why I had nominated Slumdog Millionaire is not only about the theme of memory being used to help draw out answers, but also because of how memory is played with the audience.  How the film builds up to a final question, which the audience is led to believe was answered in the context of the story, but really isn't.

 

In a lesser extent, The Sixth Sense does a similar trick with the audience, where the audience's memory is faulty in the final moments, where what was considered to be a director's premonition turns into a very deliberate attempt to pull a bait-and-switch.  And audience members had to see the film a second time to confirm if the movie's climactic moments could be interpreted properly with what had come before. 

 

Those are the only two memory movies of this sort that I had nominated.

 

BTW, I came close to nominating "Finding Nemo," (coz of Dory) but decided against it at the last minute.

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I'll make cases for my nominees when I have some more time later this evening.  But here's one I'm on the fence about seconding: Three Colors: Blue.  I adore the film, but I'm not convinced how much memory plays a role in Julie's story, rather than her bitterness at the current world.  In other words, is she preoccupied with the death of her husband and son, and does her bitterness stem from remembering them and the work she used to do with her husband?  Or, is she upset at reporters bothering her for interviews, watching another composer finishing her husband's composition, and her current feeling of isolation?  If the former, then I think it belongs, if the latter, I don't think it does.

 

I come down on the "former" side, which is why I nominated Blue. One of the key early scenes is when Julie removes/sells off everything that reminds her of her family, and she claims she wants forget her past at several points, as well. The latter parts of the movie (including finishing the reunification song and meeting her husband's mistress) are about Julie reintegrating and mourning the memories that she had tried to live without.

You've convinced me.

 

My nominations:

 

Vertigo - Scottie becomes obsessed with his memories of Madeleine and tries to control Judy through them, and Gavin and Judy use Madeleine's past to manipulate Scottie.

 

Casablanca - Rick and Ilsa's memories of their past affair overshadows and threatens their ability to help the allies in the war.

 

Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Todd obsesses over his past, swearing to never forget or forgive, and his memories consume him, turning him into what he set out to destroy.  It's also Burton's best film, and has a terrific score by Sondheim. (Please, someone second this.)

 

In the City of Sylvia - A man sees a woman who reminds him of someone he met six years ago, and he spends the film chasing her and his memories.

 

Rebecca - When Joan Fontaine marries Laurence Olivier, she finds herself constantly compared to his deceased wife Rebecca, the memory of whom permeates every aspect of her new life at Manderley.

 

Spellbound - Memory and distortion of memory plays a crucial role in Gregory Peck's identity crisis, and Ingrid Bergman tries to solve what happened in his past in order to cure him.

 

Autumn Sonata - Liv Ullman and Ingrid Bergman each recollect their own versions of Ullman's childhood, using them to guilt and manipulate one another

 

EDIT:

 

Roma - Fellini's recollections of Rome during his childhood are compare and contrasted with the current Rome, and his memories of the past shape and influence his art and how he sees the present.

Edited by Evan C

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For Waltz With Bashir, the entire film is an animated documentary digging into Ari Fulman's search for memories of war, the memories he's lost and the ones he hopes to recover through interviews with various friends as they recall the war. The choice to make the film animated allows for dream sequences and memories to feel just as "real" as the actual events that happened.

 

For The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, it's about a man who witnesses a brutal attack from a serial killer, but seems to be forgetting a key clue about the attack. He's grilled by the police and wracks his brain to remember what he saw before the serial killer makes him the next victim. It's a stylish thriller from Argento, and his directorial debut.

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I'd also like to encourage everyone to start thinking about how a film on memory could genuinely interact with spiritual themes.  I seem to remember a few past comments about there being some sort of theology of memory or critical thinking that has already taken place in relating the subject of memory to film.  Let's think about this while we consider what films ought to be nominated and seconded for an Arts & Faith list.

 

Just off the top of my head, from my past reading, two excerpts immediately spring to mind:

 

Russell Jacoby, Social Amnesia: A Critique of Contemporary Psychology, 1975, pgs. 3-4:
... The syndrome is a general one.  In brief, society has lost its memory, and with it, its mind.  The inability or refusal to think back takes its toll in the inability to think.  The loss of memory assumes a multitude of forms, from a “radical” empiricism and positivism that unloads past thought like so much “intellectual baggage” to hip theories that salute the giants and geniuses of the past as unfortunates born too soon.  The latter ... in the impatience to contrive new and novel theories, hustle through the past as if it were the junk yard of wrecked ideas ... The general loss of memory is not to be explained solely psychologically; it is not simply childhood amnesia.  Rather it is social amnesia - memory driven out of mind by the social and economic dynamic of this society ...

Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences, 1948, pgs. 61-62:
... but there is another way in which science and its metaphysical handmaiden, progress, discourage sanity.  This is its exaltation of “becoming” over “being.”  In effect, the domination of becoming produces another sort of fragmentation, which may be called “presentism.”  Allen Tate has made the point that many modern people to whom the word “provincial” is anathema are themselves provincials in time to an extreme degree.  Indeed, modernism is in essence a provincialism since it declines to look beyond the horizon of the moment, just as the countryman may view with suspicion whatever lies beyond his country.  There is a strong reason to group this with psychopathic phenomena because it involves impairment of memory, which is known to be one of the commonest accompaniments of mental pathology.  It is apparent, moreover, that those who are in rebellion against memory are the ones who wish to live without knowledge; and we can, in fact, tell from their conduct that they act more than others on instinct and sensation.  A frank facing of the past is unpleasant to the tenderminded, teaching as it does sharp lessons of limitation ...

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I'm super excited that we're doing this topic.

 

FWIW, here's a link to a the Google books entry on a book on memory in cinema by my supervisor, Russell Kilbourn: http://books.google.ca/books?id=adGNAQAAQBAJ&lpg=PA43&dq=memory%2C%20mediation%2C%20modernity&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

 


The Mirror (1975) - Andrei Tarkovsky - Russian
- First, I’m curious if there are participants here who would dispute the proposition that this should be #1. Second, I’d be curious if anyone would think it worth changing the Top 25 selection process so that a separate poll would somehow determine what film ought to be the #1 of a Top 25 list, rather than leaving it to chance. So far there is a sense in which we have simply left what ends up as our #1 to the surprise of however our ranked votes happen to add up together.

 

I'm with you on this one, Jeremy, though if any other film might vie for the honour of #1 I think it should be Chris Marker's LA JETÉE.

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I've also been thinking of two potentially disqualified selections that I have yet to fully rationalize nominating.

 

First, given these three rules in their unaltered form:

5) No films released after December 31, 2012 can be nominated. (Like last time, if there is a heavily advocated for exception, we’re open to allowing for it.)

6) TV series of more than one season cannot be nominated.

7) Miniseries and special TV-to-cinema works like Dekalog, which have appeared in theaters sometimes or in parts, are eligible for nomination; they must receive a third nomination to appear on the final ballot.

I don' think True Detective quite qualifies.  It's a 2014 release, so it would need a special dispensation to get past #5.  Regarding #6 and #7, I think technically it is probably called a TV show rather than Miniseries.  Now, granted, it is very unique.  If there is going to be a second season, and there probably will be, it will be a completely different story with a completely different cast of characters.  So the 2014 8-episode True Detective is, if not technically, then at least essentially a Miniseries that will stay as a coherent whole in and of itself.  The way that it greatly focuses upon memory and the way that it intelligently wrestles with an entire collection of theological ideas would, according to what we're looking for with our Top 25 list, be perfect.  Technically, even though I'd like to, I couldn't allow it unless we were to amend at least rule #7.  Practically, no one without HBO is going to be able to see it until the DVD release which probably won't be until the end of 2014.

 

The second one that I greatly admire but also still have doubts about is this, which I'm not sure counts as a film, even though IMDB does have a listing for it.  It certainly is focused upon a some very specific and theological memories.

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Did we ever make a decision on including shorts? I remember they were off-limits for one list or another, but the rules don't mention them either way. Besides La Jetee, I can imagine a case for Meshes of the Afternoon, although I'm not the one to make it.

 

And we could always use 12 Monkeys as a Jetee proxy. :)

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The Mirror (1975) - Andrei Tarkovsky - Russian

- First, I’m curious if there are participants here who would dispute the proposition that this should be #1. Second, I’d be curious if anyone would think it worth changing the Top 25 selection process so that a separate poll would somehow determine what film ought to be the #1 of a Top 25 list, rather than leaving it to chance. So far there is a sense in which we have simply left what ends up as our #1 to the surprise of however our ranked votes happen to add up together.

It's best not to overthink the process, I'd say. If we go with two rounds of voting, as I think we should, it would make any separate vote for the #1 film somewhat gratuitous.

But while I wouldn't be upset if The Mirror took the #1 spot, it would not be my choice. I would prefer to see a Resnais film take the top spot.

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FWIW, my 2005 article on memory movies for Books & Culture; it focuses mainly on Memento, The Bourne Supremacy and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It was condensed from a much longer series of lectures that I gave at Cornerstone 2004, which got into several other films as well; I have never posted those lectures online, but I guess their 10th anniversary might not be a bad time to do that.

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Oh... Memento is a good thought.  I own that film and am going to give it another go.

 

Also.  I'm trying to remember if any of the Decalogue series deals with memory.  I suspect it does if my vague memory is right (I only saw them once years ago.)  Yet.  How would one of those shorter films work for this list?  I mean, its not short enough to really be a "short", right?

 

 

Of course the irony doesn't escape me that I'm trying to remember if a film deals with memory.   :)

 

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Also.  I'm trying to remember if any of the Decalogue series deals with memory.  I suspect it does if my vague memory is right (I only saw them once years ago.)  Yet.  How would one of those shorter films work for this list?  I mean, its not short enough to really be a "short", right?

III and VIII are the only two which might qualify as about memory, IMO. (The former mistress appearing at Christmas and whether or not the woman had lied when she promised to protect the child.)

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The Mirror (1975) - Andrei Tarkovsky - Russian

- First, I’m curious if there are participants here who would dispute the proposition that this should be #1. Second, I’d be curious if anyone would think it worth changing the Top 25 selection process so that a separate poll would somehow determine what film ought to be the #1 of a Top 25 list, rather than leaving it to chance. So far there is a sense in which we have simply left what ends up as our #1 to the surprise of however our ranked votes happen to add up together.

It's best not to overthink the process, I'd say. If we go with two rounds of voting, as I think we should, it would make any separate vote for the #1 film somewhat gratuitous.

But while I wouldn't be upset if The Mirror took the #1 spot, it would not be my choice. I would prefer to see a Resnais film take the top spot.

 

 

I'd be satisfied with HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR or NIGHT AND FOG taking the first spot for sure. (MARIENBAD certainly deserves a place on this list, but since I agree with Ryan that memory is one of the central concerns of Resnais that third spot is going to be a difficult one to determine).

 

I nominated NIGHT AND FOG, because it directly deals with the way that cinema doesn't just deal with memory as a topic, but can function as actual testimony and memory. I hope we delve into that a bit more when I explain some of my other nominations.

 

I'm nominating UNCLE BOONMEE since it also raises similar questions about the relation between cinema and memory and how cinema can function to preserve identities even across death. In the context of Thai Buddhism, Apichatpong's cinema directly addresses questions of cinema, memory and spirituality.

 

"Memory is the most faithful of films—the only one that can register…right up to the moment of death. But who can fail to see the difference between memory and the objective image that gives it eternal substance.” – André Bazin, “Cinema and Exploration”

 

 

 

This is kind of what I see our list as revolving around.

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The Mirror (1975) - Andrei Tarkovsky - Russian

- First, I’m curious if there are participants here who would dispute the proposition that this should be #1. Second, I’d be curious if anyone would think it worth changing the Top 25 selection process so that a separate poll would somehow determine what film ought to be the #1 of a Top 25 list, rather than leaving it to chance. So far there is a sense in which we have simply left what ends up as our #1 to the surprise of however our ranked votes happen to add up together.

It's best not to overthink the process, I'd say. If we go with two rounds of voting, as I think we should, it would make any separate vote for the #1 film somewhat gratuitous.

But while I wouldn't be upset if The Mirror took the #1 spot, it would not be my choice. I would prefer to see a Resnais film take the top spot.

 

I'd be satisfied with HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR or NIGHT AND FOG taking the first spot for sure. (MARIENBAD certainly deserves a place on this list, but since I agree with Ryan that memory is one of the central concerns of Resnais that third spot is going to be a difficult one to determine).

Count me among those who would like to see a Resnais film take the #1 spot, although my first choice would be Last Year at Marienbad.  As to a second Resnais film, I'm torn between Hiroshima and Night and Fog, but I think I'd give Hiroshima the edge because memory is *slightly* more central to that film.

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I nominated the Island because it is nearly entirely based on a monk whose is in agony over a certain memory and whose Christian journey is largely dedicated towards atoning for this.  It affects him in drastic ways, from which he is finally released.

Edited by Attica

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What do you all think of the possibility of Shutter island.  We find out that the film is basically based on the main characters denial of his memories because they are too painful for him to live with.

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What do you all think of the possibility of Shutter island.  We find out that the film is basically based on the main characters denial of his memories because they are too painful for him to live with.

 

I nominated Mulholland Dr. on those grounds, so I don't see why not. I think there's a lot of potential in this list to go beyond "memory-as-remembering" and toward "memory-as-constituting-identity"--and both MD and Shutter Island fall very comfortably into that paradigm. If anything, SI makes a more accessible case-study than MD.

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What do you all think of the possibility of Shutter island.  We find out that the film is basically based on the main characters denial of his memories because they are too painful for him to live with.

 

I nominated Mulholland Dr. on those grounds, so I don't see why not. I think there's a lot of potential in this list to go beyond "memory-as-remembering" and toward "memory-as-constituting-identity"--and both MD and Shutter Island fall very comfortably into that paradigm. If anything, SI makes a more accessible case-study than MD.

 

 

Good enough.  :)

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What do you all think of the possibility of Shutter island. We find out that the film is basically based on the main characters denial of his memories because they are too painful for him to live with.

I don't rate it very highly, but it's a work by a major filmmaker that explicitly engages with the theme of the list. It should be nominated. Edited by Ryan H.

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