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Harvard List Challenge; Official, November 2014
Topic Started: Oct 31 2014, 09:18:58 PM (1,527 Views)
funkybusiness
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Harvard University's Suggested Film Viewing List Challenge for the Month of November in the Year of Our Lord 2014
See the upside-down triangle and latin scribbles? Illuminati, bro.


-Challenge runs November 1st through November 30th.
-Watch as many films from the Harvard University's Suggested Film Viewing Lists.
-Any of the Harvard University lists are fine, official or unofficial.
-Rewatches allowed.
- One point per check (includes shorts. no need for 60min/point &c.)
-No bonus points for Harvard alumni. In fact, you may receive negative points

Lists:
Narrative Films
Hollywood Genres
Non-fiction Films
Animated Films
Experimental/Avant-garde/Underground Films
Single-channel Video

Participants:
allisoncm
cinephage 13
darkflame 31
funkybusiness 3
Gershwin 16
globetrotter 1
HVM 14
ignatzkat 41
Jay Mars 1
jgwr 3
lampadatriste
Lonewolf2003 9
Melvelet 21
ryebass 18
zuma 9
Edited by funkybusiness, Dec 1 2014, 10:13:59 PM.
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Melvelet
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À la recherche du temps perdu...
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Been looking forward to this for a while and will try to watch mostly Harvard films for the whole month (poor Noirvember...).
Maybe I should watch a lot of those non-TSPDT films but I have a feeling it will be mostly TSPDT ones from the Narrative film sublist.

Stats as of today
Narrative Films: 203/348
Hollywood Genres: 83/159
Non-Fiction Films: 12/129
Experimental/Avant-garde/Underground Films: 11/56
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zuma
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I am mainly going to focus on criterion, 500<400, and new shit, but I might try to overlap it with the Harvard lists. If it works I should be good for 20ish. If it don't I'll have zero. ;)
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lampadatriste
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I'm in! This is exciting. I'll approach it as a documentary and experimental challenge
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allisoncm
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I'm in. :)
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ignatzkat
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I'm in! I'll be focusing almost exclusively on the Non-Fiction list, with the goal of getting to bronze. Only 41 checks to go...
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ryebass
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In please.
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globetrotter
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I'm in too!

1. Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988)
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Gershwin
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I'm in. Wanna work on the documentary lists anyhow.
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HVM
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In.

EDIT: Pre-challenge stats (Cheers Melvelet!)

Narrative Films: 273/348
Hollywood Genres: 142/159
Animated Films: 22/59
Non-Fiction Films: 68/129
Experimental/Avant-garde/Underground Films: 31/56
Edited by HVM, Nov 2 2014, 08:35:31 AM.
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jgwr
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In. I want to get my 1001 Movies backlog down, and there's quite a few 1001M titles on the narrative films list, so I'll be working from that.
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ryebass
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1. Primary (Drew, 1960) 7/10

Some interesting stuff, but largely 'safe' in that the two candidates are very aware of the camera's presence, so little more than the stump speech content. Knew very little of Humphrey so the time spent with him was the more interesting of the segments. Hard not to notice the star quality of Kennedy and Onassis versus Humphrey and his wife, and to likewise not be cynical about the role this likely played in the outcome.

2. The Atomic Cafe (Loader, Rafferty, 1982) 8/10

A collection of back to back U.S. government propaganda flicks from throughout the early to mid cold war period. Some clever and subtle editing seems to be the only modification by the directors, but this makes it all the more compelling an argument.

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ryebass
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3. Harlan County U.S.A. (Kopple, 1976) 8/10

Documentaries like this one are critical lest we forget life before the unions and the battles that were won getting there; great music as well. On the discouraging side, one sees how much of these fights become about ego rather than the moralities of the various sides.

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Melvelet
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À la recherche du temps perdu...
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1. Bob le flambeur 1956 — a.k.a. Fever Heat 7/10
A bit disappointed, seen cooler Melville films.

2. Grey Gardens 1975 7/10

3. India Song 1975 6/10
Visually beautiful (but not outstanding) but this gave me a real hard time staying focussed (ultimately I lost)...
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lampadatriste
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What's the rule for counting shorts?
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funkybusiness
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lampadatriste
Nov 3 2014, 01:01:14 AM
What's the rule for counting shorts?
I figure since this is a list challenge and not a genre or era challenge you can go ahead and count 1 point per check.

OP edited to avoid further confusion
Edited by funkybusiness, Nov 3 2014, 02:03:47 AM.
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jgwr
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International Man of Misery
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1. Three Colours: Blue, 1993 (review)
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Gershwin
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Pre-challenge stats, hell yeah.

I. Narrative films: 235/348
Ia. Hollywood genres: 113/159
II. Non-fiction films: 45/129
III. Animated films: 37/59
IV. Experimental/avant-garde/underground films: 35/56
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HVM
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1. Uncle Tom's Cabin (1903) 4/10
2. The 'Teddy' Bears (1907) 4/10
3. A House Divided (1913) 4/10
4. The Immigrant (1917) 6/10
5. Sunnyside (1919) 6/10
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ryebass
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4. Week End (Godard, 1967) 5.5/10

There were some truly hilarious potty jokes (at these moments I felt like maybe this was supposed to be the French response to Python or Brooks), but for long stretches I was lost and perplexed, though I figured the film was likely in the large a work of symbolism. After watching, I googled the thing of course, and then I learned just how little I understood. I'm hoping that most of this list isn't going to require a PhD in philosophy in order to 'get' the gist of things.

5. Grey Gardens (Maysles-Hovde, 1975) 8/10

Absolutely fascinating look at a truly anachronistic mother-daughter pair, and their at once both hilarious and sad lifestyle and interaction.

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Jay Mars
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I'll join as well.

1. Como Era Gostoso o Meu Frances [How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman?] (1971)
An interesting examination of early interactions between the natives of Brazil and Europeans. I don't know how authentic the depiction of Indian life is, but most of it rang true to me. It reminded me of another early contact film I really enjoyed, Black Robe.
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jgwr
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2. Three Colours: White, 1994 (review)
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ryebass
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6. Chronicle of a Summer (Rouch-Morin, 1961) 7/10

Most interesting to me taken as a time-capsule: astonishing how these folks complain about precisely the same things we do today...yet the ancient generation will have you believe THEIR fight was more legitimate etc. Both comforting and a little sad.

7. Slacker (Linklater, 1991) 6.5/10

I guess this is like Portlandia meets Austin, Texas...or maybe not at all (at least not intentionally)...I viewed it as a semi-cerebral comedy and it was occasionally funny in this respect...reminded me a tad of Woody Allen as well with all the thinking aloud existentialism stuff. For the record, my partner who lived in Austin for ten years in the 70's and 80's didn't really get it, even though she goes on and on about how much Austin was like the Texas version of San Francisco etc...

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Gershwin
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funkybusiness
Oct 31 2014, 09:18:58 PM
- One point per check (includes shorts. no need for 60min/point &c.)
Your call!

1. Le songe d'un garçon de café (Émile Cohl, 1910)
2. Le ratelier de la belle-mère (Émile Cohl, 1909)
3. Les joyeux microbes (Émile Cohl, 1909)
4. Jack and the Beanstalk (Dave Fleischer, 1931)
5. Why We Fight: Prelude to War (Frank Capra & Anatole Litvak, 1942)
6. Why We Fight: The Nazis Strike (Frank Capra & Anatole Litvak, 1943)
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ryebass
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8. Le songe d'un garçon de café (Cohl, 1910)
9. Fantasmagorie (Cohl, 1908)
10. Le ratelier de la belle-mère (Cohl, 1909)
11. The Dante Quartet (Brakhage, 1987)

Was waiting for someone else to do this first, felt a little like cheating. The Dante Quartet was painful even though only 6 minutes, the others were clearly ground-breaking for their day but nothing special (save for the historical element). Thanks Gershwin for jumping off first! :)


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Gershwin
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ryebass
Nov 4 2014, 07:40:28 PM
8. Le songe d'un garçon de café (Cohl, 1910)
9. Fantasmagorie (Cohl, 1908)
10. Le ratelier de la belle-mère (Cohl, 1909)
11. The Dante Quartet (Brakhage, 1987)

Was waiting for someone else to do this first, felt a little like cheating. (...) Thanks Gershwin for jumping off first! :)
My pleasure! :sweat:
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jgwr
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3. Three Colours: Red, 1994 (review)
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Lonewolf2003
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1. Johnny Guitar (1954) 7,5: I understand it's importance of making it really about Vienna (and her rivalry with Emma), but I missed that je ne sais pas to make it great. Good, entertaining movie nonetheless.
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ryebass
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12. Manhatta (Sheeler-Strand, 1921)

Neat view of the city early 20th century.


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ignatzkat
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1-8. Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-98)

I'm not a usually a big fan of Godard, but apparently I have a much higher tolerance for his arcane philosophizing when it's coming directly from him and not from his characters. Histoire(s) looks great, and some of the ideas are actually well-communicated and thought-provoking! Hooray!

9. Forgotten Silver (Peter Jackson & Costa Botes, 1995)

Not sure why Harvard put a mockumentary on the non-fiction list, but hey, it was entertaining enough. I kind of hope someone somewhere has actually built a steam-powered projector...

10. Woodstock (Michael Wadleigh, 1970)

I've got a lot of conflicting thoughts about Woodstock as an Important Cultural Wossname, so I'll just say that 1) The Port-O-San maintenance guy is the hero of this movie and an excellent candidate for sainthood; 2) I feel like I understand Woodstock as a phenomenon less than I did before seeing this, which is to the movie's credit; and 3) It may be pointless to heap more praise on Jimi Hendrix's Star-Spangled Banner performance, but geez, it is really friggin' good.

11. Surname Viet Given Name Nam (T. Minh-ha Trinh, 1989)

I loved the structure of this movie - an interesting and moving first half, and then a second half that complicates it without robbing it of its power.
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Lonewolf2003
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2. Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) (1954) (re-watch): 10 - Browsing throught the program of the Leiden Filmfestival I noticed they were playing my #2 movie, so I couldn't miss that. This was the first time I saw this masterpiece on the big screen. Cause a masterpiece it is. This movie has everything, great characters, good story, action, personal humane drama, historic social drama and even a bit of romance.
I have seen it four (or five) times now, but this was the first time I felt kind of sorry for the bandits in the big showdown at the end. While most samurai showdowns are shown very tranquil, the action here is choatic and you can feel the desperation of the bandits when they are trapped inside.
I did totally forget the part in which
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ryebass
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13. Salesman (Maysles, 1968) 8/10

Follows a group of traveling bible salesmen around the country, both in homes making the pitch, and back at the motel moaning about the tightwad who wouldn't bite. Surprisingly frank and fascinating; just the very irony of selling bibles alone sets up quite an intriguing premise.

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Lonewolf2003
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3. Sherlock Jr. (1924): 8 - I''m not a big fan of those old slapstick movies. But this one was a pleasant surprise. It started off funny with Keaton having to return the dollar he found in the trash and then again another one of his own. So already was liking it a bit, when the movie really got me with the famous sequence of Keaton dreaming about entering the picture. Then there is the amazing stunt sequence on the motorcycle. And to top it off the movie ends with an astonishing meta joke with Keaton learning how to seduce a girl from the movie, but being flabbergasted when the movie skips the sex part and skips right to being married and having kids.


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cinephage
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I will try to watch a few titles for this challenge :

01 - Zemlya, by Aleksandr Dovzhenko (1930) 7,5/10

Some beautiful pictures about the ukranian country.
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darkflame
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1. L'arrivée d'un train à La Ciotat
2. La sortie des usines Lumière
3. L'arroseur arrosé
4. Repas de bébé
5. Escamotage d'une dame au théâtre Robert Houdin
6. Le voyage dans la lune
7. Yantra
8. Le royaume des fées
9. La lanterne magique
10. Les joyeux microbes
11. Mr. Edison at Work in His Chemical Laboratory
Edited by darkflame, Nov 9 2014, 10:00:24 PM.
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funkybusiness
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This...is a cactus.
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Welcome to the forums, darkflame.
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HVM
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6. Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988) 6/10
7. Nieuwe gronden (1933) 7/10
8. The Song of Ceylon (1934) 5/10

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funkybusiness
Nov 9 2014, 10:45:44 PM
Welcome to the forums, darkflame.

Hi :)

12. Annabelle Serpentine Dance
13. Circular Panorama of Electric Tower
14. Electrocuting an Elephant
15. La fee aux choux
16. The Gay Shoe Clerk
17. The May Irwin Kiss
18. Pan-American Exposition by Night
19. Terrible Teddy, the Grizzly King
20. Uncle Josh at the Moving Picture Show
21. A Romance of the Rail
22. Life of an American Fireman
23. The Lonely Villa
24. Schwechater
25. Adebar
26. Le retour à la raison
27. 69
28. Le songe d'un garçon de café
29. Fantasmagorie
30. The Flying Man
31. Luxo Jr.

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Edited by darkflame, Nov 10 2014, 06:07:32 PM.
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ryebass
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14. Sans Soleil (Marker, 1983) 5/10

Oddly detached (for me anyhow) narrator, and strange funky quasi-psychedelic sequences using a video instrument that reminds me of something the scientologists might use, combined with jarring cuts from one continent to another, left me pretty much baffled and bored. Not lower because there are, despite all of that, some interesting scenes. I'm guessing I needed to be in a better frame of mind to appreciate this one.

15. A Bout de Souffle (Godard, 1960) 7.5/10

Can understand this film's reputation for greatness, reminds one that Tarrantino grew out of this (rather than emerging from a vacuum)...the dripping with so much style and attitude that the story becomes secondary. I want to know where one gets those fat cigarettes...classic visual...almost cigar-like.

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ryebass
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16. Electrocuting an Elephant (Edison, 1903)


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