Hey gang, the reason for my lack of activity is down to a combination of laziness and an excess of English work hanging over my head in university, so needless to say I'm glad that is over. This is the second year of my Hall Of Fame preceding the posting of my Best And Worst Of The Year, so consider this a little teaser for what is coming up in the next month. The running for every award is still an open playing field if I see a certain movie before the 1st of February. Also, I have been watching movies, so expect a new review every day or two, this being my busy period of the year after all, so keep your eyes posted!
Well, without further ado, it's..... (drum roll please!)
The Thin White Dude's 3rd Annual Acknowledgements For Contribution To Cinema Hall Of Fame
Class Of 2011 To The Thin White Dude's Hall Of Fame 'Individual Contribution' Wing
The 5th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Musical Composition
Planet Of The Apes, The Omen, Alien, First Blood, Gremlins, Total Recall, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, The Mummy: these are but a few of the many great film scores that Goldsmith contributed to cinema. One only has to look at the range here and understand the variety of orchestration that Goldsmith composed in his lifetime. Always adapting his trademarks to suit the project, Jerry Goldsmith is one of the best of the best in film composition.
The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Editing
Buff has proved himself as one of the most technically adept editors in film history. From working on films such as Arlington Road, Training Day and 2011's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, to his expertise in selling James Cameron's most daring projects (The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic), his proficiency in the editing suite has contributed immensely to creating the atmosphere that his films require.
The 5th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Cinematography
Tonino Delli Colli
Those extreme close-ups in Sergio Leone films, those wide shots in Pasolini's work, those images that have been imprinted on the minds of many a film fan are due to extraordinary cinematography of Tonino Delli Colli. Adept at changing shooting style, the consistent element of his camerawork is exquisite use of the Technicolor format, creating some of the most beautiful images in cinema history.
The 5th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Screenwriting
Although more famous as a director, much of the reason for his films' success were his note-perfect scripts. He would not have been able to successfully get across his thematic content if it weren't for his well-rounded and fully believable characters. Also, he was a master at writing dialogue, and the way he structured his screenplays left much open for interpretation, inviting an audience's participation with his films.
The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Female Acting
One of Ingmar Bergman's muses, Ullmann was the greatest of all the actresses he ever worked with. Her naturalistic performance style fit Bergman's films to a tee. In films such as Persona, Shame, Hour Of The Wolf and The Passion Of Anna, she almost becomes a part of the mise-en-scene, the subtlety of her acting elevating the legitimacy of the world's Bergman created.
The 5th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Male Acting
No one portrayed onscreen madness or the lust of impossible dreams like Klaus Kinski. His collaborations with Werner Herzog saw him cast to perfection, Herzog drawing from the actor an extraordinary range of performances in Aguirre: The Wrath Of God, Nosferatu: The Vampyre and Fitzcarraldo. His wonderfully gargoyle-like face saw him cast in a number of English-language films, such as Doctor Zhivago, and a regular in Italian westerns, such as For A Few Dollars More and The Great Silence.
The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Producing
The man whose assembly-line low-budget filmmaking gave a number of our finest filmmakers their start in the film industry. Corman proteges include Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Dennis Hopper, Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson. When one thinks of the impact these people had in film history, one must look back and appreciate the necessity for people like Roger Corman, who were willing to take the chance on them that no one else would.
The 5th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contribution To Directing
It is a personal opinion of mine that no one had a greater understanding of the power of cinema than Eisenstein. Despite only making eight feature films, two of which were released after his death due to his run-ins with the Soviet authorities, Eisenstein's is no mere blip in the film world: his silent 'trilogy' (Strike, The Battleship Potemkin, October) elevated the propaganda medium to the level of high art, and the same can be said for his later work, including Alexander Nevsky and Ivan The Terrible Part's I and II.
Class Of 2011 To The Thin White Dude's Hall Of Fame 'Films' Wing
Okay, so the 'Film' Wing is starting to take shape in its third year. This year, I've introduced an eight category specifically to highlight the importance of the short film medium. The films selected here went through a process of shortlisting, from which they were chosen out of a final five deemed suitable for induction. The only rules I have are that animated films, while being a legitimate medium, do not have a category, and are considered for induction into all other eight categories. Also, I apply the National Film Registry rule of a film having to be a minimum of ten years old to be eligible for induction.
The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Comedic Film
City Lights (1931) - Charlie Chaplin
In 1931, regardless of the advent of sound cinema, Chaplin stubbornly refused to leave the silent film medium, and in doing so gave us one of his best films. While at heart being a (very) funny comedy, Chaplin also has City Lights comment on the Great Depression, and has one of film's most touching and moving screen romances. A greater success than most comedies ever dream of being, Chaplin's Little Tramp brings you to tears and has you in stitches in equal measure.
The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Science-Fiction/Fantasy Film
A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick
Hypnotic and disturbing, Kubrick's masterful adaptation of Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel is as ahead of it's time now as it was forty years ago. The subversive and charismatic Malcolm McDowell gives one of cinema's greatest performances as Alex, while Wendy Carlos' Moog Synthesiser adds to the film's darkly satirical style. Also, Kubrick's directorial prowess, in the wake of 2001: A Space Odyssey, truly came to fruition, and in the process created one of cinema's masterpieces.
The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Horror Film
An American Werewolf In London (1981) - John Landis
Never before and never since has the fine line between horror and comedy been balanced. John Landis' pet project for over a decade saw the script having a long gestative process, and during that time it was perfected. With a stellar soundtrack including 'Bad Moon Rising,' a cast whose performances, particularly David Naughton, exhibited excellent timing, and Landis' direction, you'll never have as much fun being scared.
The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Thriller Film
Psycho (1960) - Alfred Hitchcock
After having made thrillers for Paramount such as Vertigo and North By Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock decided that he wanted to do a different project. So, after much negativity from the studio, who hated the source novel, Hitchcock shot Psycho in black-and-white and kept costs for the film under a million dollars. As a result, we got the privilege of enjoying one of the most shocking and intense thrillers in film history, that shower scene, and one of cinema's most memorable characters in Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates.
The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Drama Film
The Seventh Seal (1957) - Ingmar Bergman
The film that established Ingmar Bergman's reputation as cinema's great philosopher. There is not a single boring moment in this film, a supreme example of film efficiency, with so much density in a film that is essentially short at ninety-six minutes. From this point on, Bergman went to make some great films, but The Seventh Seal, with it's religious themes and the knight Antonius Block's attempts to defeat Death, is the best place to start in your Bergman pilgrimage.
The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Action/Adventure Film
The Battleship Potemkin (1925) - Sergei Eisenstein
I know some of you will argue with me on this, but it is impossible not to see the action film aesthetics of Potemkin. Eisenstein's interpretation of the 1905 Potemkin mutiny set the structural template for future action films. Furthermore, with many memorable scenes, particularly the Odessa Steps sequence, which for my money is more intense than most 'action' scenes in films to this day, Eisenstein constructs one of the finest films ever made.
The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Documentary Film
My Best Fiend (1999) - Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog's touching elegy to the late Klaus Kinski is one of the finest examples of the documentary medium as a portrait of a certain individual. Entertainingly constructing his own interpretation of one of cinema's most enigmatic individuals, Herzog presents a well-rounded Kinski, who is shown to have a tender and humorous side, as opposed to the 'raving madman' public image. Also, it shows two men, bound by love and hate, who just happened to make great films.
The 1st Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Short Film
The Music Box (1932) - James Parrott
One of the greatest of Hal Roach's many Laurel and Hardy productions, like many of their films, begins with the simple concept of the boys moving a piano up a flight of steps. Of course, being Laurel and Hardy, things don't go as planned, and we bear witness to some of the greatest gags in film history. Also, it shows us the importance of the short film medium, as this concept would be drawn out too far in a feature, and so tightness and efficiency are among the qualities of this often overlooked medium.
Well, there you have 'em! I would sincerely recommend that you get down to watching some of these films, if not all of them. They are for my money excellent examples the medium of film. Critics and scholars sometimes have a tendency to separate film into two categories: 'art' and 'entertainment.' Now, I disagree with this categorisation, but in fairness, I too have two categories that I work by: 'good' and 'bad.' If you get a really 'good' example of film, such as those above, you get all the art and entertainment you could ever ask for, and thus it renders the separation between the two null and void. There is no such thing as 'art' and 'entertainment,' only 'film,' and every picture above is a 'good' example of film. This is The Thin White Dude signing off (for a few hours), and I'll see you soon, so keep your eyes posted!