Sunday 7 January 2018

The Ten Best First Films - A Summer Game for which entries are invited

Try and think of ten films by a first time director that absolutely knocked your socks off when you saw them. If you can't think of ten then choose a number.... Don’t go back and tell me the first Mizoguchi, the first Hawks or the first von Sternberg ....and forget about that Bradman equivalent Citizen Kane, even if it was the first film by Orson Welles you ever saw. 

That’s not what I mean. I want you to tell the moment when you saw a director’s first film and you went WOW!!! Because you knew nothing about this person but you instantly expected the director to become a major film-making talent.  

Sometimes of course you were wrong and their talents either proved to be one shots or less than meets the eye. Sometimes they were wildly talented but still proved to be one-shots. The rules are flexible but the nominations must be first features.

Here is my ten

Accattone (Pier Paolo Pasolini)… and at a subsequent MUFS selection meeting one of the powers that be slagged the film off so unmercifully it didn’t make it into the MUFS program for the year after.
Fists in the Pocket (Marco Bellocchio)… at the greatest MFF of the sixties which featured this film plus new films by Skolimowski, Bertolucci, Demy and more
Maborosi (Hirokazu Kore-eda) a view confirmed within months by a sighting of the director’s still greatest film the wondrous Afterlife
Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige) a screening in Beijing which only happened because the senior Trade official from the Australian Embassy got on the phone and yelled at somebody at the China Film Export Corporation to tell them how important I was…hoho..
Aria for an Athlete (Filip Bajon, Poland, 1979) and meeting up with Bajon for a riotous night of drinking and conversation in Warsaw
Violent Cop (Takeshi Kitano)
The Cars that Ate Paris (Peter Weir)
Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thonton)
Beneath Clouds (Ivan Sen)

Xiao Wu (Jia Zhangke)…we the jury voted it best film in Vancouver's Dragons and Tigers competition.

Thanks to Rod Bishop for suggesting this summer holiday parlour game. Entries are invited.


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