Ten Best Lists, 1972-1976

A list of lists, the first in a series of six, first posted on December 21, 2009. Some time ago, Eric Johnson kindly went to the trouble of compiling many of my old ten-best lists and placing them on his web site. I’ve pasted these in here with some corrections regarding sources and precise titles, and added a few others. (Beware of a few anomalies and oddities below, such as the films by Mizoguchi and Renoir that I’d happened to see those years in London. I’m sure I must have had some polemical slant in mind, but I’m no longer able to define this slant more than vaguely.)

In mid-June 2015, I’ve just discovered that Charley Varrick, #7 in my Village Voice list of 1973, was originally misspelled by me as Charlie Varrick. Having just reseen this very impressive masterpiece on a new German Blu-Ray, I can only add that it deserves a lot more recognition than I was able to give it at the time. — J.R.

The Village Voice, 1972 (ranked):

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
(Luis Buñuel)
L’amour fou (Jacques Rivette)
The Central Region
(Michael Snow)
Such Good Friends
(Otto Preminger)
Phantom India (Louis Malle)
(Pere Portabella)
Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertrolucci)
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (Jonas Mekas)
Fat City (John Huston)
Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock)

The Village Voice, 1973  (ranked):

(Jacques Tati)
A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa)
Who is Beta? (Nelson Pereira dos Santos)
Day for Night (François Truffaut)
(Marcel Hanoun)
Some Call it Loving (James B. Harris)
Charley Varrick
(Don Siegel)

The Village Voice, 1974 (ranked):

Celine and Julie Go Boating
(Jacques Rivette)
Lancelot of the Lake
(Robert Bresson)
Out 1: Spectre (Jacques Rivette)
California Split
(Robert Altman)
(Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
Stavisky… (Alain Resnais)
Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
The Man without a Face (Georges Franju)
Cockfighter (Monte Hellman)

Sight and Sound, 1974 (alphabetical order):

Aguirre, The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog)
Amarcord (Federico Fellini)
Cockfighter (Monte Hellman)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
The Mother and the Whore (Jean Eustache)
Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons (Laura Mulvey/Peter Wollen)
Le Petit Théâtre de Jean Renoir (Jean Renoir)
Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman)
Toni (Jean Renoir)
(Roman Polanski)


The Village Voice, 1975 (ranked):

Touch of Evil (longer, preview version) (Orson Welles)
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick)
Film About a Woman Who… (Yvonne Rainer)
Moses und Aron (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
F for Fake (Orson Welles)
Winstanley (Kevin Brownlow)
Nashville (Robert Altman)
Love Among the Ruins (George Cukor)
Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet)
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai de Commerce—1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman)

Sight and Sound, 1975 (ranked):

The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Lancelot du Lac (Robert Bresson)
Nashville (Robert Altman)
Stavisky (Alain Resnais)
Winstanley (Kevin Brownlow)
Good Morning (Yasujiro Ozu)
California Split (Robert Altman)
Badlands (Terrence Malick)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah)
Occasional Work of a Female Slave (Alexander Kluge)

Sight and Sound, 1976 (ranked):

Shin Heike Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Five Women Around Utamaro
(Kenji Mizoguchi)
Sansho Dayu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Numéro Deux (Jean-Luc Godard)
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette)
Family Plot (Alfred Hitchcock)
F for Fake (Orson Welles)
Coilin and Platonida
(James Scott)
Breaking With Old Ideas (Peking Film Studio)
Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (Thom Andersen)

This entry was posted in Notes. Bookmark the permalink.