The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions (Decade Project Vol. 4)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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DarkImbecile
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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#276 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:51 pm

But if you know only the popular one has a chance of getting into college...?

Important note: I am not a good parent

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#277 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:00 pm

No love for Mutiny on the Bounty??

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#278 Post by knives » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:02 pm

Rayon Vert wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:00 pm
No love for Mutiny on the Bounty??
Strong dislike.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#279 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:14 pm

I fully planned on watching My Dear Miss Aldrich after seeing the write-up on in another thread (Screwball?) but could not find it anywhere. If anyone wanted to point me towards it in PMs more explicitly that'd be appreciated.

A few of my orphans I don't mind so much––Four Daughters, for example, i think has one of the greatest first-acts in cinema. The first twenty minutes about are perfect for me. I've seen them many more times than I've seen the rest of the film, which, comparitively, is rather mediocre. Heat Lightning meanwhile Is a fine picture through and through, but, I can't imagine that it's something I can be surprised at being orphaned.

I'd like to put my hat out for The Song of Songs and The Bride Wore Red. The former is, in my eyes, a vital companion piece to the von Sternberg/Dietrich collaborations. It's as if Mamoulian plucked her, country gal attire and all from Dishonored, and then took von Sternberg's whole fascination with the human form and sculpture and then made a movie about it. It's a more controlled piece than his earlier films which are rife with stylistic exuberance, but it's not as inert as some of his later films are. And Dietrich has a scene at the end which I find genuinely heartbreaking.

If however you've had your Dietrich fix for the decade, also consider The Bride Wore Red, which I described somewhere else as a sort of perfect Hollywood fantasy. It's a super glamorous (has Crawford ever looked better?) socially conscious romance about a woman pretending to be higher up in the social chain than she is having to choose between a simple country fellow and a charming but oblivious (or oblivious but charming) wealthy young man. Crawford gets a great female friendship with her maid, and it just reeks of classic Hollywood in the best way.

I hope to catch all the orphans that were in individuals' top tens, barring any availability issues.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#280 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:17 pm

Sad to see La Marseillaise among the orphans - that's one of my high-ranking ones as well.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#281 Post by Cold Bishop » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:33 pm

It’s a stacked decade: most of the films I wrote up and praised failed to make my own list. Add plenty of auterist vote splitting, and I’m actually not suprised at a lot of these orphans.

In the spirit of swapsie I’ll track down Aldrich although it doesn’t help my film viewing time has narrowed down to virtually zero.

I actually think Bride Wore Red is most fascinating for the inherent tension between the source material and the studio sanitation, which supposedly played out on set in clashes between Arzner and Crawford. Try as it might, it can’t (doesn’t want to?) scrub away the sordid underbelly of the story.

All the Arzners are due a much needed rewatch, although the elusiveness of a watchable Working Girls still gives me trepidation.

I must admit I’m a bit unclear about the new two-round system; which I haven’t participated in: I thought strategizing and rallying around certain films run-off style was part of it.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#282 Post by nitin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:49 pm

I realise China Seas is probably considered generic Hollywood product, but I find it a super fun film with some impressive star performances from Gable and Harlow and also impressive technical effects for the time.

Not expecting anyone to actually list it but I think more people should definitely check it out if they haven’t already.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#283 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:02 am

Cold Bishop wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:33 pm
I must admit I’m a bit unclear about the new two-round system; which I haven’t participated in: I thought strategizing and rallying around certain films run-off style was part of it.
It's just an opportunity to refine your list if you see fit. There's no pressure to change anything, but if you happen to catch something in the next two weeks (whether recommended by someone else or leftover from your original "to watch" list) that makes you want to revise your list you're welcome to do so. My hope is that this additional window helps people focus their discussion on films that need it most, and that others take these recommendations to heart and perhaps discover some new favorites as a result.

I think this approach also helps to facilitate more discussion. Please note that in the 1920s thread, 66% of the total discussion happened in the eight months of round 1, 26% happened during the two weeks of Round 2, and 8% happened following the publication of results.

Administratively, it also takes a lot of pressure off of me around the time of the two deadlines to spread things out like this.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#284 Post by dustybooks » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:06 am

movielocke wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:40 pm
I’m really the only one who voted for sisters of gion?
You might want to recheck your list, because I believe I'm the one who voted for it! At least the ranking given matches mine.

In 2017 I watched every film that made the first iteration of this forum's 1930s list. Lacking any formal film education, these list projects have been my source/starting point. Sisters was one of the discoveries I found most powerful, and it's still probably my favorite Mizoguchi of those I've seen so far.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#285 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:37 am

movielocke, the list you submitted to me includes no Mizoguchi films!

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#286 Post by movielocke » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:59 am

swo17 wrote:movielocke, the list you submitted to me includes no Mizoguchi films!
Damn could have sworn I included it. I blame compiling at midnight.

Also I think I need to review the round two procedures :-p

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#287 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:30 am

The procedures are exceedingly simple:

- If you see a film you love among the list of orphans and wish that more people would show it love, please do tell us why.
- If you are reminded of a film that you forgot to include in your original list, feel free to PM me a revised top 50 by the 24th.
- If you haven't submitted a list yet but would like to throw a bone to some of the current orphans and other films you love, feel free to PM me a top 50 by the 24th.
- If you watch anything over the next two weeks that makes you want to change the top 50 you previously submitted to me, feel free to PM me a revised top 50 by the 24th.
- If you consider the practice of one-round voting to be sacrosanct and refuse to contribute a revised list on either moral, ethical, or religious grounds, you will receive no judgment from me, and you may rest assured that your original list will be counted among the chosen on the last day.

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domino harvey
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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#288 Post by domino harvey » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:22 am

These are all my current orphans, and at fucking seventeen total— AKA more than one third of my entire list— I may have even missed a few:

A Girl's Best Years (Reginald Le Borg, 1936) 32
Arsène Lupin (Jack Conway, 1932) 22
Blonde Cheat (Joseph Santley, 1938) 49
Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (Ernst Lubitsch, 1938) 34
Captains Courageous (Victor Fleming, 1937) 27
Counsellor at Law (William Wyler, 1933) 17
5th Ave Girl (Gregory La Cava, 1939) 39
Friends of Mr. Sweeney (Edward Ludwig, 1934) 37
the Good Earth (Sidney Franklin, 1937) 42
Good Girls Go to Paris (Alexander Hall, 1939) 48
La Cucaracha (Lloyd Corrigan, 1934) 44
Lady for a Day (Frank Capra, 1933) 31
Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931) 46
the Mind Reader (Roy del Ruth, 1933) 41
My Dear Miss Aldrich (George Seitz, 1937) 4
White Woman (Stuart Walker, 1933) 33
Woman Chases Man (John Blystone, 1937) 40

I’m sure I’ve talked about most of these already, and some like White Woman and A Girl’s Best Years I never really expected to see make the list. But Captains Courageous? Lady for a Day?? Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife??? Little Caesar is MIA yet again after the pre code list miss, and along those lines what’s with the cold shoulder for the Mind Reader or Arsene Lupin (regrettably I must concede some people just aren't ready to have a Charlie Ruggles/Eugene Pallette buddy comedy in their life via Friends of Mr Sweeney)? Obviously top priority should be given to My Dear Miss Aldrich, especially considering how it so cleverly tweaks the dominant output of Hollywood fluff while still functioning as same, but there's no Archive release or even YouTube version for those without access to back channels, so I'm not optimistic for it placing. But shame on you, &c

Looking at the Orphan list, I was surprised I forgot to vote for Grand Hotel, as I recall just barely not voting for it last time! It may or may not make my final list, whoever has it currently orphaned. Jesse James made my list last time, but not this time. Good movie though, and an essential watch for getting what Lang is doing in the sequel (which we can go ahead and declare an orphan already for the next list). And Annie Oakley's been at the top of my 30s stack for a while now, there's a good chance I'll get to it by the deadline, whoever had that orphaned.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#289 Post by nitin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:41 am

Annie Oakley and Grand Hotel are my orphans. So are Secret Agent, The Petrified Forest, Gunga Din, Kid Galahad and China Seas.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#290 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:56 am

I'm torn between Sisters of Gion and Osaka Elegy, I like them about equally, but don't like them enough to give them 2 spots on the list -- especially since I like Water Magician more than either and because I also like Naruse's contemporaneous takes on similar subject matter far more.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#291 Post by Minkin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:07 am

OK, I'm in such total shock that I have to think that Swo goofed up somewhere. Did somebody else actually vote for Der verlorene Sohn (1934)???? This has to be Tommaso's doing - as the film has never had English subs as far as I can tell + the lone DVD release is OOP. I saw it at university as my professor had a copy. Trenker (known for his mountain films) tires of his idyllic alpine home with its happy people and he wants to see the world. So, he ends up in Depression-era NYC (with great shots contrasting the skyscrapers to the mountains) - until he is able to find a way back home, where they all celebrate with some weird pagan ritual. The message being "you belong with your people" (which is one of the clever ways the film handles the propaganda element). Its a fantastic film and I wish it could be readily available to watch, but if there is an English subbed version floating around anywhere, don't hesitate to watch it.
========================================================

Anyway, I had 25 orphans (and only one from my top 10). Which was surprising, by what went missing and what was kept. I do want to thank whoever else voted for Pygmalion, Queen Christina, Doctor X, and Ruggles of Red Gap. This said - I'm with Domino: most of the best films are far outside of the canon.

I'll post some of my orphans + make some last minute appeals to people to watch them. I'll try to include youtube links when the film is available, as I have zero clue what's available on the backchannels (as I don't have access to the popular ones you all use). I'll try to watch other people's orphans as best as I (slowly) can.

I'm only halfway through watching Strike Me Pink (1936). But if the 2nd half is even a tenth as decent, it will be making my top ten. It is one of the funniest films I've ever seen; and its a complete travesty that nobody ever talks about it. I'll post thoughts once I'm done.

Zouzou (1934)
I was probably most surprised that this film didn't make any lists. Nobody else wants to see a musical about unrequited love for Jean Gabin ... from Josephine Baker's perspective? I can't sing enough praises for this film and how perfectly everything comes together - with Baker just stealing every scene, usually by being so tremendously cute. Out of all of my orphans - I'd ask you to watch this, as it has the best chance of winning you over.

Dames (1934) + Colleen (1936)
OK, so I can't get enough of Ruby Keeler or Busby Berkeley (Dames). I think both of these are flawed in a few ways. Colleen's musical #s aren't anything very special; and Dames' script is rather badly written. I think Gold Diggers of 1933 reaches a better balance of the two. But Colleen manages to have the far better + funniest script of these sort of films; whereas Dames has the absolute best musical numbers of the era. And this is one of the best / most beautiful moments on film.

Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937) + Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939)
My S/O adores the Bulldog Drummond series, and these two are the best of the bunch. Its that great mix between fast pacing, comedy, and light mystery / intrigue. Bulldog Drummond Comes Back is the best on atmosphere + one of those films where the villain leaves clues to further trap our heroes (akin to Skyfall).

The Mikado (1939)
Come on, there's a Criterion Blu and everything. This is just great fun + some of the best performances of G&S. It elevates the musical beyond any inherent staginess you'd expect. There's also a ton of camp value here. Plus I appreciate what is ultimately a staunch critical view of British society, hidden behind an absurd caricature of Japan.

The Chimp (1932) + Blotto (1930) + Swiss Miss (1938)
I'm wondering which Laurel and Hardy films were voted for. I'm assuming people voted for The Music Box (although that film has a large amount of detractors for some reason). I prefer these three from the decade. With L&H trying to take care of a meddlesome gorilla; getting drunk for 5 minutes; or Swiss Miss - which kinda throws together all of these shorts into a feature film. Does anyone have any favorite L&H films of the era that they voted for?

Bimbo’s Initiation (1931)
I'm not a very big fan of animation; let alone early animation; let alone Betty Boop. But this "darkest of all the Fleischers' cartoons" - is too surreal to ignore. Its a breezy 6mins of strangeness.

Pirate Party on Catalina Island (1935)
A bunch of annoyed & uncomfortable MGM contract stars are forced to help promote Wrigley's Catalina island as some "playground of celebs / relaxation." With musical numbers (one done with nightmare-inducing celebrity masks; you also learn that everybody played the banjo in the 30s), comedic skits, and of course miles and miles of cameos! This is just fun. Highlight was seeing Cary Grant looking cute with his boyfriend Randolph Scott.

Love in the Rough (1930)
It helps when you have zero expectations for a film. When TCM aired a movie billed as the first "golf musical" - we of course had to watch it. And hey! It turned out to be great stuff. I used to hate musicals, but then I realized that I just hate Rodgers and Hammerstein. I don't expect anyone to track this down and I won't be sad if nobody else votes for it. But it really highlights how many treasures are hidden by the canon and are never talked about by anyone. Oddballs like this deserve far more love.

The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)
There's the OOP MoC DVD. Its ultimately a fascinating recreation (with some liberties) of a history you never hear about. I like that the film was trying to clear the Dr's name - yet that still hasn't happened (I think last I read the family has given up trying). Ultimately this is about a Dr's oath to help vs the mob of righteousness (an issue that hasn't exactly ever gone away).

Sequoia (1934)
Of all the stupid movies with either deer or mountain lions, this is by far the best. I'm not sure why this is buried in obscurity, yet garbage like The Yearling is paraded around as some masterpiece. Its a great mix of conservation + cute animal story (the deer + cougar = BFF!) + the terrible side of humanity (hunting). And don't worry, it doesn't pull any Bambi moves; it puts across the same message without being miserable.

Keep Your Seats Please (1936)
George Formby's bawdy musical comedy version of The Twelve Chairs. Formby can be slightly grating (mostly just his dopey face), but its still a great frenetic comedy. Also fun that one of the songs featured in the film (When I'm Cleaning Windows) was banned from British radio - until Formby argued that Queen Mary was a fan.

Sh! The Octopus (1937)
An old dark lighthouse film. This doesn't do much different than so many others of the genre - but I hold it in high regards for being one of the weirdest in the genre. If nothing else, at least watch the special effects when the killer is revealed at the end (Spoiler).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will be removed from my list:

With Byrd at the South Pole (1930)
I'm not going to vote for this on round 2, so nobody else feel the need to do so. But all owe it to themselves to see the hilariously awkward opening with Byrd clutching onto the ship-wheel for dear life; while looking over at the cue cards; while stumbling through his lines; while simultaneously being sold as the great "American hero" for flying over the pole.

Lobsters (1935)
Another film László Moholy-Nagy worked on (along with Swo's orphan). I watched Lobsters at the BFI and was struck with the poetic look at the crustacean. Though on the topic of Swo's orphan - the artwork (or at least a reproduction) which is the focus of this short was at a local art museum's László Moholy-Nagy exhibit. My apologies Swo, but I like the sculpture more than the film. I think its more interesting when you can see the whole thing at once rather than the odd perspectives being forced by Moholy-Nagy. But I suppose this could turn into a discussion on the camera's eye and the limitations of film. I'd recommend others check out Swo's orphan though.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Whoever voted for the following films, DO NOT REMOVE THEM FROM YOUR BALLOT. As I 100% intend to vote for them on round 2 (I'm against the canon, but I also don't like orphans):

Mickey's Trailer (Ben Sharpsteen, 1938)
Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding, 1932)
The Invisible Man (James Whale, 1933) "He's all eaten away"
42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, 1933)

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#292 Post by domino harvey » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:22 am

I'm at least one of the votes for Pygmalion and Ruggles

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#293 Post by the preacher » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:09 am

swo17 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:06 pm
Mollenard (Robert Siodmak, 1938) 38
It was one of my orphans last time, so I could get it back. So many great films, so little room...

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#294 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:58 am

I think this is all my orphans...

Fighting Soldiers (Fumio Kamei, 1939) 9
Seven Seas (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1931) 16
Alone (Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, 1931) 18
Japanese Girls at the Harbor (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1933) 21
The Girl with the Hat Box (Boris Barnet, 1930) 25
Jirokichi the Rat (Daisuke Itô, 1931) 27
Woman in the Mist (Heinosuke Gosho, 1936) 31
Man on the Flying Trapeze (Clyde Bruckman, 1935) 32
The Water Magician (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1933) 36
The Lady Next Door and My Wife (Heinosuke Gosho, 1931) 37
Mud and Soldiers (Tomotaka Tasaka, 1939) 38
Morning's Tree-Lined Street (Mikio Naruse, 1936) 42
Forget Love for Now (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1937) 46
Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (Yasujirô Shimazu, 1934) 47
Portrait of Shunkin: Okoto and Sasuke (Yasujirô Shimazu, 1936) 50

I suspect Fighting Soldiers is probably not available. Too bad. Possibly the most powerful anti-war film ever funded by a military force. It isn't clear if Kamei consciously intended this film, funded by the Japanese army, to be anti-war -- but its depiction of the devastation of people and places, and sympathetic portrayal of the Chinese victims (including even teenaged fighters) was not appreciated. Ultimately, he was the only Japanese film maker to wind up in prison (but not until after his next project). His first post-war project was a devastating takedown of the Emperor for his responsibility for the disastrous war -- which was banned by MacArthur (after having been previously cleared by US censors). Some people just can't win.

Most of Shimizu's best work still remains inaccessible. I'm surprised that the brilliant (and readily available) Japanese Girls of the Port (my preferred translation) got abandoned by everyone else this round. Seven Seas is a 2-part melodrama (more or less). It is most notable as the first film that Hideko Takamine (still only 7) shows she is more than a cute moppet. My favorite scene is a genuinely silent scene (in a silent movie) in which she consoles the male lead, sitting alone outside as it begins snowing (after he has a fight with his fiancee, Takamine's big sister). Forget Love for Now is another Shimizu film that gives a key role to a discriminated-against group (Chinese immigrant workers -- in this case, their children, primarily) and it may also have been inspired (at least in part) by the leftist Chinese masterpiece Goddess. An utterly devastating film that deserves to be available widely.

Perhaps Kozintsev and Trauberg's (and Shostakovitch's) New Babylon is more famed (and it is an impressive film), but I find their Alone even more intriguing. A transitional film (synchronized score with sound effects and even some loudspeaker announcements -- but no spoken dialog) which featured the first appearance of a theremin in a movie score. A newly-commissioned teacher is assigned to her first post -- far from home (in the Altai Mountains). The village patriarchs there are distinctly unenthused about having their children educated (taking them away from work). For the climax, she is abandoned in the wilderness in a snowstorm -- alas all that remains of this key reel of film is the script and the score (possibly watched so often all prints fell apart?).

I love Barnet's Girl With a Hatbox, but perhaps I could transfer my support to Outskirts if both of these are otherwise orphaned...

Jirokichi the Rat is the only silent Ito films that survives more or less intact. As with Yamanaka, time (and destruction and deterioration) was not kind to his work. Nonetheless, this is a masterpiece. Jirokichi is a Robin Hood-like burglar -- stealing from the rich and powerful and kind to the poor and unfortunate. Denjirō Ōkōchi is great in the lead role. I find it hard to understand why this is so little known today...

Gosho and Shimazu are two more Japanese masters who are sadly (and unjustifiably) neglected. I doubt any of their work from this decade is available in subbed form. I've seen only a fraction of their surviving work -- but almost all has been of interest. Gosho's The Lady Next Door and My Wife was the first full-scale commericial "talkie" -- and while story-wise this a trifle (urban writer with a writer's block goes to the countryside for peace and quiet -- but doesn't find as much quiet as he expected), the use of sound is already quite imaginative and effective. Woman in the Mist is a much more somber story -- and has a cast made up of many of Shochiku's biggest stars. I generally enjoy Gosho most when he is making "fun" films, but this is a particularly good serious one. Shimazu seems to be a Huston-like director -- he tackled films of every sort -- and generally did these well. Our Neighbor Yae-chan seems light-hearted at its start, but becomes more serious as it goes on -- but remains a delight. Shunkin-sho is anything but light-hearted. It is the first (of many) adaptations of a Tanizaki story about a young, blind musician and her obsessively devoted attendant. Kinuyo Tanaka is stunning here (one of her most amazing performances) -- and the technical staff included at least major directors of the future -- Kinoshita, Toyoda and Yoshimura.

Man on the Flying Trapeze may not be quite as insane and funny as It's a Gift, but it also documents W C Fields at his best -- and features a few of his most wonderful scenes (e.g., putting on socks VERY slowly -- driving his wife and his viewers nuts, and singing with his tipsy burglars). If this can't fit onto the list, then our list needs to be longer...

Most of MIzoguchi's silent films are lost, but Water Magician is almost surely the best of the few that survive. Takako Irie was both lead actress and producer (one of the first female producers), and Tokihiko Okada (probably Japan's best and most versatile actor of the silent era -- who died all too young) is great as an idealistic young attorney in love with her. It featuures amazing cinematography (of a more florid sort not really seen in more well-known later Mizoguchi films). Another great film whose relative inaccessibility perplexes me.

Tasaka's Mud and Soldiers is another film about Japan's war against China before the start of WW2 itself. Tasaka was no leftist radical, and his film offers no (overt or covert) criticism of the military. But still its near documentary realism as to the difficulties of ordinary soldiers was not necessarily appreciated.

Naruse and Ozu made so many wonderful films in the 30s -- and I simply find no room for them all on my list. Morning's Tree Lined Streets is one of the few films which I believe can be "spoiled" by plot revelations. In this case, the most delightful aspect of the film must remain undisclosed. What I can say is that this is, at least in part, a sort of city symphony -- as a country girl comes to the big city to look for work (and stays with some local friends who preceded her in moving from the country). This is one of those Naruse films that really edges close to surrealism at points (if I were an academic, I'd look at a comparison of Naruse and Bunuel). One of the most interesting lead performances by Sachiko Chiba (Mrs. Naruse for a while). I like this even more than the (also wonderful) Wife! Be Like a Rose!.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#295 Post by Tommaso » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:20 pm

Minkin wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:07 am
OK, I'm in such total shock that I have to think that Swo goofed up somewhere. Did somebody else actually vote for Der verlorene Sohn (1934)???? This has to be Tommaso's doing - as the film has never had English subs as far as I can tell + the lone DVD release is OOP. I saw it at university as my professor had a copy. Trenker (known for his mountain films) tires of his idyllic alpine home with its happy people and he wants to see the world. So, he ends up in Depression-era NYC (with great shots contrasting the skyscrapers to the mountains) - until he is able to find a way back home, where they all celebrate with some weird pagan ritual. The message being "you belong with your people" (which is one of the clever ways the film handles the propaganda element). Its a fantastic film and I wish it could be readily available to watch, but if there is an English subbed version floating around anywhere, don't hesitate to watch it.
Yep, it was me who voted for it. :-) Clearly my favourite Trenker with fantastic visuals during the 'Rauhnacht' rituals, but even more striking are the New York sequences which anticipate neo-realism by ten years.The backchannels have a subbed version, but if you are looking for subs to play along with an unsubbed dvd, here they are. No idea whether they are in sync with the German dvd or not, but one might give them a try.

And I actually have "Zouzou" on my to-watch-list, but didn't manage to see it in time. Will try to squeeze it in within the next two weeks...

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#296 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:24 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:22 am
These are all my current orphans, and at fucking seventeen total— AKA more than one third of my entire list— I may have even missed a few
You didn't miss any. I've seen all of those except for Blond Cheat and I'd say they're all varying degrees of good but actually don't you think it would be a little Single White Female of me if I did have them all on my list?
Minkin wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:07 am
on the topic of Swo's orphan - the artwork (or at least a reproduction) which is the focus of this short was at a local art museum's László Moholy-Nagy exhibit. My apologies Swo, but I like the sculpture more than the film. I think its more interesting when you can see the whole thing at once rather than the odd perspectives being forced by Moholy-Nagy. But I suppose this could turn into a discussion on the camera's eye and the limitations of film. I'd recommend others check out Swo's orphan though.
Fair point. I haven't seen the sculpture, though in any case, I rather like the "odd perspectives" imposed by the film.

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Shrew
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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#297 Post by Shrew » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:37 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:58 am
Japanese Girls at the Harbor (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1933) 21

Most of Shimizu's best work still remains inaccessible. I'm surprised that the brilliant (and readily available) Japanese Girls of the Port (my preferred translation) got abandoned by everyone else this round.
Michael, can you check your list? I just checked mine, and I definitely voted for Japanese Girls at the Harbor, at position 21. Either you forgot to include it in your list, or you listed it under your preferred title and we confused poor swo with the competing translations. Either way, definitely not a film that deserves to be orphaned.

I'll write up my few orphans later today (may ye all curse me and my conventional tastes), but I'd certainly make an effort to watch My Dear Miss Aldrich if someone could direct me to a source. I don't have access to that site, and I can't find an upload on youtube or its various disreputable foreign competitors.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#298 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:44 pm

Shrew -- You are right, somehow I accidentally left this off my list. It was supposed to be there. I guess I will have to bump Seven Seas (which is a hopeless case in any event). :-(

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theflirtydozen
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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#299 Post by theflirtydozen » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:49 pm

Thanks swo for tabulating this first round! My ballot resulted in 13 orphans, from what I could see. I'll summarize them here and make some pleas...
domino harvey wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:34 pm
There's a few spots at the bottom of my list I could live with reordering/changing. So. I will pledge to watch and consider voting for one orphaned film for each member who speaks out for it specifically, as long as it's not like five hours long. Keep in mind I may have already seen your orphan. I ask for nothing in return.
Domino, I'll check out My Dear Miss Aldrich in a swap for Skeleton on Horseback AKA The White Disease (Hugo Haas, 1937). There's a trailer up on youtube from the Czech National Film Archive (no subs) for this anti-fascist parable set in a fictional European fascistic nation ravaged by a plague affecting only people over 30. The lone doctor with the knowledge of the only cure demands for peace, which is met with resistance from a high-profile arms manufacturer and the Marshal leading the country. Also toying with the idea of making room for The Good Earth and Captains Courageous as they rest in my 51-60 range.
swo17 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:50 pm
Cold Bishop wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:32 pm
As someone who’s had a #1 orphan, am I correct that there is none in this list?
If you mean anyone's #1, yes, the highest ranked orphans are those two at #2.
In solidarity with the other user (is this knives?) who also has their #2, Le schpountz, orphaned, I will do another trade for The Emperor Jones (Dudley Murphy, 1933). There's a great commentary on the Criterion DVD and the film is currently the standout from everything I've seen in the Robeson set (up through the 30's films).

Shorts (less time commitment but maybe harder to find):
Glens Falls Sequence (Douglass Crockwell, 1937) - Youtube link, 8 mins. Notable for what I think is a fairly unique animation style. Among many surreal images there is one instance where something (?) appears to be crucified; it ultimately takes the shape of Christ but there's some shear WTF-ery going on here.
L'idée (Berthold Bartosch, 1932) - Youtube link, 25 mins. Might drop this one myself... but it is a great poetic social allegory told through some spectacular paper animation
Monsieur Fantômas (Ernst Moerman, 1937) - Youtube link, 17 mins. scratches that Feuillade itch that I've had since the pre-20s list. A role played by La perle last decade. Playful and surreal.
Lot in Sodom (James Watson & Melville Webber, 1933) - Youtube link (27 mins.), also on blu-ray from Flicker Alley, American avant-garde set. Avant-garde, erotic, with a great finale. Really like these Biblical settings that provide an alternate to sword & sandal/epic fare.
Komposition in Blau (Oskar Fischinger, 1935) - Vimeo link, 4 mins. Probably contributing to Fischinger vote splitting but I just can't not vote for this one, which I love slightly more than his other works, for reasons that aren't all quite too concrete. I guess I just like squares more than circles? :P

If you also voted for Our Daily Bread (since it isn't an orphan and I know I voted for it), check out these other films on cooperatives/organized labor:
Redes (Fred Zinnemann & Emilio Gómez Muriel, 1936) - Come on, this has gotten the WCP and Criterion treatment! Thought this would be too dry going in but my expectations were thankfully overcome.
Workers, Let's Go! AKA Heave-Ho (Hej-rup!) (Martin Frič, 1934) - "Imagine the Marx brothers taking their name politically and you have some idea of the joys of Heave-Ho!"

Other orphans:
Aerograd (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1935) - most of Dovzhenko isn't really in my wheelhouse but this is so out there. A pseudo-science fiction film calling for establishing a giant aircraft-based city on the Eastern frontier of the Soviet Union. Also there are some unexpected moments of the fourth wall cracking. Weird and good.
The Invisible Man (James Whale, 1933) - will be keeping this as Minkin has assured me it will be orphan no more :D (P.S. you're also welcome for a Doctor X vote and also thinking of swapping in The Mikado!)
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (Lothar Mendes, 1936) - also keeping as I'm a sucker for these types of "films-blanc"/fantasy films
The Story of a Cheat (Sacha Guitry, 1936) - will probably drop this...

If anyone is looking to see any of the harder to find works above, drop me a PM and I'll see if I can work something out.

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Re: The 1930s List: Discussion and Suggestions

#300 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 pm

Le schpountz is great fun, I'd recommend it for all fans of the Fanny trilogy

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