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Friday, 26 January 2018

The 99.94 Best Debut Features Ever Seen (according to an imperfect poll of Film Alert contributors and readers)

Editor’s Note: Everyone knows that Orson Welles Citizen Kane is the best debut feature ever made. It is the Don Bradman of the cinema. But notwithstanding, Film Alert’s contributors came up with near 99.94 of other debut movies that warrant recognition as among the greatest debut movies they had ever seen. I’m not sure that everyone stuck by the same rules but, whatever, it’s a list. Here they are. Films underlined have an Australian connection of some kind. Sometimes a debut is followed by the title of a subsequent film indicating the order might have been a little askew. Never mind. Further suggestions welcome.... 


Orson Welles
(Un Chien Andalou, Luis Bunuel, 1929) L'Age d'Or (Luis Bunuel, 1930)
Quick Millions (Rowland Brown, 1931) 
Joseph Losey
Western Approaches (Pat Jackson, 1944)
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Eliza Kazan, 1945)
The Boy With Green Hair (Joseph Losey, 1948)
Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948)
Le Silence de la Mer (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1949)
Charles Laughton
The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
The Strange One (Jack Garfein, 1957)
A Bout de Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1958)
La Tete contre les Murs (Georges Franju, 1959)
Shadows (John Cassavetes 1959)
Claude Sautet
Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)
Classe Tous Risques  (Claude Sautet, 1960)
Accattone (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961)
Paris Nous Appartient (Jacques Rivette, 1961)
Lola  (Jacques Demy, 1961)
Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier, 1962)
Knife in the Water (Roman Polanski, 1962)
Ivan’s Childhood (Andrey Tarkovsky, 1962)
The Deadly Companions (Sam Peckinpah, 1961) (Ride the High Country/Guns in the Afternoon (Sam Peckinpah, 1962)
La Commare Secca (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1962) (Before the Revolution, 1964)
Fists in the Pocket  (Marco Bellocchio, 1965)
Closely Watched Trains (Jiri Menzel, 1965)
Tiempo de Morir (Arturo Ripstein, 1965)
Walkover  (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1965)
Catch Us If You Can (John Boorman, 1965) Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967 
Man is Not a Bird (Dusan Makavejev, 1965) (The Tragedy of a Switchboard  Operator/ Love Affair (Dusan Makavejev, 1965)
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov, 1965)
Yesterday Girl (Alexander Kluge, 1966)
The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short (Andre Delvaux, 1966)
Herostratus  (Don Levy, 1967)
Soleil O (Med Hondo, 1967)
Signs of Life (Werner Herzog, 1968)
More (Barbet Schroeder, 1969)
Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 1969)
The Night of Counting the Years (Shadi Abdel Salam, 1969)
Take the Money and Run (Woody Allen, 1969)
The Structure of Crystals  (Krzysztof Zanussi, 1969)
Theo Angelopoulos
Reconstruction (Theo Angelopoulos, 1970) (The Travelling Players, 1975)
THX-1138 (George Lucas, 1971)
Gumshoe (Stephen Frears, 1971)
Duel (Steven Spielberg, 1971) (Sugarland Express, Steven Spielberg, 1974)
Bones (Larry Cohen, 1972)
Hotel Monterey (Chantal Akerman, 1972) (Je, tu, il, elle, 1974, and Jeanne Dielman , 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, 1975) 
The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice,1973)
Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)
Dillinger (John Milius, 1973)
The Clockmaker of St Paul (Bertrand Tavernier, 1974)
The Cars that Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974)
Between Wars (Michael Thornhill, 1974)
Shivers (David Cronenberg, 1975)
Hard Times (Walter Hill, 1975)
Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
The Mystical Rose (Michael Lee, 1976)
The Devil's Playground (Fred Schepisi, 1976) 
Eraserhead (David Lynch,1977)
Backroads (Phillip Noyce, 1977)
Out of It (Ken Cameron, 1977) 
Blue Collar (Paul Schrader,1978)
Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 1978)
Aria for an Athlete (Filip Bajon, Poland, 1979) 
The Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, 1979)
The Secret (Ann Hui, 1979)
Marleen Gorris
Return of the Secaucus Seven (John Sayles,1980)
Blind Spot/Die Reise Nach Lyon (Claudia von Alemann, 1980)
Thief (Michael Mann, 1981)
A Question of Silence (Marleen Gorris, 1982)  
King Blank (Michael Oblowitz, 1983)
Cronos (Guillermo Del Toro, 1983)
Duel to the Death (Ching Siu-Tung, 1983)
Boy Meets Girl (Leos Carax, 1984)
Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige, 1984)
Sherman's March (Ross McElwee, 1986)
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987))
Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
Chocolat (Claire Denis, 1988)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
Ghosts of the Civil Dead (John Hillcoat, 1988) 
Violent Cop (Takeshi Kitano, 1989)
O Sangue (Pedro Costa, 1989)
Roger and Me (Michael Moore, 1989)
Tracey Moffatt
Queen of Temple Street (Lawrence Ah-mon, 1990)
A Moment of Romance (Benny Chan, 1990)
Rebels of the Neon God (Tsai Ming-liang, 1992) 
BeDevil (Tracey Moffatt, 1993)
As Tears Go By (Wong Kar-wai, 1993)
The Days (Wang Xiaoshuai, 1993)
Hexed (Alan Spencer, 1993)
Vacant Possession (Margot Nash, 1994)
A Place on the Tricorne (Ermek Shinarbaev, 1994)  
Shinjuku Triad Society (Miike Takashi, 1995)
Maborosi (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1995)
Angel Baby (Michael Rymer, 1995)
Daze Raper (Wilson Yip, 1995)
The Delta (Ira Sachs, 1996) 
Chronicle of a Disappearance (Elia Suleiman, 1996) 
Hard Eight (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1996)
Green Fish (Lee Chang-Dong, 1997) 
Xiao Wu (Jia Zhangke, 1997)
The Life of Jesus (Bruno Dumont, 1997) 
Sombre (Philippe Grandrieux, 1998)
Anocha Suwichakornpong
Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000)
Tears of the Black Tiger (Wisit Sasanatieng, 2000) 
Beneath Clouds (Ivan Sen, 2002)
Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2004)
Betelnut (Yang Heng, 2006) 
Fuga (Pablo Larrain, 2006)
Eagle vs Shark (Taika Waititi, 2007)
Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton, 2009)

Mundane History (Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2009)
Alena Lodkina
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012)
From Afar (Desde Alle) (Lorenzo Vigas, 2015) 
Mountain (Yaelle Kayam, 2015) 
Hounds of Love (Ben Young, 2016)

Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)


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