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Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces 
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Robert Holloway wrote:
We need to define masterpiece for the purposes of this thread
Couldn't have said it better myself. However, the more often you say something uncannily similar to what I would say in the same situation, the more I recommend professional help.

I would say there are a few points to consider.

1. A masterpiece is something that comes from a master. Therefore, if we are to know what a masterpiece is, we must first have a sense of who the masters are.

2. A masterpiece is something that represents the height of the master's powers.

To quote the endlessly valuable Paul Schrader,

Quote:
Where to begin? Bloom offers an interesting starting point
in The Western Canon. If one could have only one author in
the literary canon, he asks, who would it be? Without whom
could such a canon not properly exist? The answer: Shakespeare.
If one could have but one work by Shakespeare,
which would it be? Hamlet. A literary canon is not conceivable,
therefore, without Hamlet. Bloom begins his canon with
a discussion of Hamlet, branching out from there.

For me the artist without whom there could not be a film
canon is Jean Renoir, and the film without which a canon is
inconceivable is The Rules of the Game.


I find this to be a good strategy. By Schrader's rationale, Hamlet and The Rules of the Game would seem to be masterpieces of their respective media. But masters can have more than one masterpiece.

Or can they?


Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:20 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Ken wrote:

I find this to be a good strategy. By Schrader's rationale, Hamlet and The Rules of the Game would seem to be masterpieces of their respective media. But masters can have more than one masterpiece.

Or can they?


Since Renoir also directed The Grand Illusion, the answer is clealy "yes."

John Huston directed at least three, The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Man Who Would Be King.

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Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Syd Henderson wrote:
Ken wrote:

I find this to be a good strategy. By Schrader's rationale, Hamlet and The Rules of the Game would seem to be masterpieces of their respective media. But masters can have more than one masterpiece.

Or can they?


Since Renoir also directed The Grand Illusion, the answer is clealy "yes."

John Huston directed at least three, The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Man Who Would Be King.


I wish I understood what was so great about The Rules of the Game. I mean that sincerely--when I watched it, I just wasn't really impressed at all. Grand Illusion, on the other hand, blew me away

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Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:04 pm
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
It's Renoir doing Welles-type stuff before Welles was doing Welles-type stuff. It has goofy fun at the expense of a bunch of self-important snobs. It's as much of a tightly-constructed visual Swiss watch as you'll ever see.


Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:56 pm
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