Posted by: philosopherouge | September 20, 2007

The Ray Memorial 100


It seems like forever ago I voted for this list, I only wish I had saved my votes so I could tell you conclusively that all of mine made the final cut. As much as I want to go into a long tirade on placement, omissions and films that shouldn’t be there, I’m ashamed to say I’ve probably seen less than 50% of the included list and otherwise, I’m fairly satisfied with the result. I can only really comment on the top 20, as I’ve seen most of those (with the exception of, the Rules of the Game, the Seven Samurai, Persona, The Battle of Algiers, The 400 Blows, Tokyo Story, and Ikiru) … maybe most was a bit of an overstatement. Again though, I’m happy to see what would be my top 3 included so high; Fanny and Alexander, 8 1/2 and Jules et Jim. While on the other hand I personally would not rank either Rashomon or Ran so highly. La Grande Illusion is a great inclusion, and rather a surprising one. I expected it to make the list, but never so high.

As I don’t have much else to say, here is a short list of 10 great foreign-language films that did not make the list, I can’t argue that they deserve to be included though, as I mentioned earlier I’ve seen so few on the actual list.

Le Notti Bianche (Visconti, 1957)
The Virgin Spring (Bergman, 1960)
Princess Mononoke (Miyazaki, 1997)
Diary of a Chambermaid (Bunuel, 1964)
Nosferatu (Herzog, 1979)
Pépé le Moko (Duvuvier, 1937)
Le Quai des brumes (Carne, 1938)
Black Orpheus (Camus, 1959)
Divorce Italian Style (Germi, 1961)
La Notte (Antonioni, 1961)



  1. There were a lot of films I hadn’t seen either, a few I hadn’t even heard of! I had planned on voting, but it totally slipped my mind Friday evening, and I had no internet access over the weekend.
    I would rank Rashomon pretty highly myself, although I think Seven Samurai is objectively a better film. Ran is difficult, since it is so formalistic and not as emotionally engaging as other Kurosawa films.
    Very pleased about Suspiria, as it’s one of the best horror films I’ve seen (and one of the few genre films on the list). The plot is nothing special, but the way Argento sets a scene and uses atmosphere is very powerful. Elaborate death scenes are pretty much par for the course in horror these days, but he can actually make these scenes works of art.
    I’m afraid I’m one of the few people who didn’t like Jules & Jim. But I love Amelie, and I’m not embarrassed to say so, no matter what the detractors might say.

  2. I have a difficult time connecting with Kurosawa’s films, although I can’t say I’ve really given him much of a chance. There is no doubt that Rashomon is a great technical achievement, but I don’t care much about the film. I should probably see some of his non-Samurai oriented films, I may like those more.

    I still need to see Suspiria.

    I really love Amelie too, it has a lot of backlash and while some of the critisism is valid a lot of it is simply because it is a popular film (at least my impression is, that’s the reasoning).

  3. I don’t know if you have any interest in horror movies–I’m not the biggest horror geek myself, that’s part of the reason why I’m doing this–but, inspired by Eddie on Film, I’m conducting my own survey/poll thingy, 31 GREATEST HORROR FILMS.

    Here’s a link to the announcement:

    I would love it if you–or anybody else who is interested–would submit a nominating list.


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