50 Greatest Films?

Sorry for being incommunicado for a while. I am now in Japan to spend a year writing a book on the history of Japanese film theory. Our job of packing up in Connecticut was a lot harder than we thought, in part because we were re-doing our roof at the same time, so I am still trying to get caught up on a backlog of work. To add to the burden, I am again teaching my Yale Summer Session course, entitled "Japanese Cinema and Culture," in Tokyo this summer. We started up on Monday, July 6, with 13 students, and our first week has been quite busy with visits to kabuki, the Film Center, and Asakusa. 

It may be a while before I write a long post, but I thought I should mention that Iain Scott of The One-Line Review has organized a poll of filmmakers, critics and others of the 50 greatest films. It's a rather eclectic group of people (for some reason, he asked me to participate), but the results are about what you'd expect. For Japanese movies, Kurosawa gets three films in the top 50, Ozu one, and Mizoguchi or anyone else none. In the 50 top directors, the big three of Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi are listed. He allowed people to pick up to 100 films, so my list features that many. It was thrown together in a very short time, in no particular order, and probably would be different if I did it today (best ten lists, which I've done a lot before in Japan, are rather mercurial), but it is a peculiar snapshot of my tastes at one moment. 

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