Book: 100 Years of Cinema, From D.W.Griffith to Richard Linklater

Update & News
From D. W. Griffith to Richard Linklater

From D. W. Griffith to Richard Linklater

Writing a book is a challenge, but writing it in a language that you have not written much  can be quite a challenge to overcome, take the book I’m writing: Two month ago I took the task of writing a 1 million words book in Kurdish on the past 100 years of cinema, from D.W.Griffith to Richard Linklater, to be finished, given to the publisher and published in the coming Fall. I used my private film diary of the past 10 years as a source for analyzing the films, it consist of more than 10 million words, it was a challenge to find away to format the book in a style that inform the reader the historical significant of the major films schools, movements, directors and films that are important in the history of cinema, one way to get around it was to choose 100 Directors that represent the past 100 years of cinema’s history and incorporate all the historical significant of each cinematic movement through them, although the book is more Auteur driven.

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What is most challenging writing the book is translating the English, French, German and Italian words that are the building block of film language into Kurdish,which mean: Beside writing the book, I have also to write a dictionary in Kurdish, not to mention translating the sources I use from my film diary from English into Kurdish. Other challenges include finding biographical and historical sources of film directors, those that very little about them have been written in English, to name a few: Yevgeni Bauer, Yakov Protazanov, Louis Feuillade, Mikio Naruse, Boris Barnet, Yilmaz Guney, etc, for these, I have to use non-English sources, such as French, Italian, German, Russian and Japanese.

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I decided to write the book after many Kurdish friends and academics informed me about the lack of historical and academic resources on Cinema in the Kurdish Libraries, Schools and Universities in Kurdistan, hopefully in the coming years, and in 2nd, 3rd and other editions I could add more filmmakers, especially those that very little have been written about, for now:  I have chosen around 150 directors, once I finished the 100 directors that I consider to be essential, publish the book,  then wait for the 2nd edition print to publish the rest, which mean, in each edition, the book will become larger and larger, a reason, at least for now, for the next 6 month, I will be way from blogging.

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The list of the Directors in no significant order:

    D.W. Griffith
Charlie Chaplin
Yevgeni Bauer
Yakov Protazanov
Buster Keaton
Louis Feuillade
F.W. Murnau
Fritz Lang
Carl Th. Dreyer
Sergei Eisenstein
Robert Flaherty
King Vidor
Josef von Sternberg
Lev Kuleshov
Eric Von Stroheim
Vsevolod Pudovkin
Alexander Dovzhenko
Alfred Hitchock
Jean Renoir
Yasujiro Ozu
Frank Capra
Ernst Lubitsch
John Ford
Dziga Vertov
G.W. Pabst
Howard Hawks
Mikio Naruse
Kenji Mizoguchi
Boris Barnet
Luis Bunuel
Jean Vigo
Max Ophuls
Hiroshi Shimizu
Preston Sturges
Jacques Tourneur
Orson Welles
Roberto Rossellini
Akira Kurosawa
Vittorio De Sica
Vincente Minnelli
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Nicholas Ray
Powell and Pressburger
John Huston
William Wyler
Andre de Toth
Douglas Sirk
Elia Kazan
Federico Fellini
Frank Tashlin
Samuel Fuller
Ingmar Bergman
Robert Aldrich
Anthony Mann
Budd Boetticher
Alain Resnais
Otto Preminger
Michelangelo Antonioni
Billy Wilder
Robert Wise
Luchino Visconti
Robert Bresson
Keisuke Kinoshita
William A. Wellman
Jacques Tati
Jean-Pierre Melville
Pietro Germi
Stanley Kubrick
Francois Truffaut
Jean-luc Godard
Paolo Pasolini
Sam Peckinpah
Jacques Demy
Georgi Daneliya
Satayjit Ray
Hiroshi Teshigahara
Peter Watkins
Nagisa Oshima
Jerry Lewis
Louis Malle
Ermanno Olmi
Jacques Rivette
Francisco Rosi
Andrei Tarkovsky
John Cassavetes
Sergei Parajanov
Otar Iosseliani
Eric Rohmer
Yilmaz Guney
R.W Fassbinder
Robert Altman
Bernardo Bertolucci
Werner Herzog
Elaine May
Hal Ashby
Wim Wenders
Abbas Kiarostami
Francis Ford Coppola
Joseph Losey
Aleksei German
Monte Hellman
Laris Shepitko
Vasili Shukshin
Isao Takahata
Terrence Malick
Martin Scorsese
Lindsay Anderson
Nikita Mikhalkov
Brian De Palma
Hayao Miyazaki
Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Aki Kaurismaki
Maurice Pialat
Elem Klimov
Raul Ruiz
Juzo Itami
Alex Cox
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Costa Gavras
Jim Jarmusch
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Bella Tarr
Alexander Sokurov
Takeshi Kitano
Tsai Ming-liang
Edward Yang
Theo Angellopoulos
Michael Haneke
Ken Loach
Richard Linklater
Dardenne Brothers
Pedro Costa
Apichatopong Weerasethakul
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Lisandro Alonso
Asghar Farhadi
Jia Zhang-ke
Andrei Zvyagintsev
Carlos Reyagadas
Manuel de Oliveira
Clair Denis
Yesim Ustaoglu
Tian Zhuanzhuang
Paolo Sorrentino
Marco Bellochio
Hong Sang-soo
Lars von Trier
Roman Polanski
Corneliu Porumboiu
Sergei Loznitsa
Chris Marker
Woody Allen

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Film Posters: Boris Barnet’s By the Bluest of Seas and more…

Culture, Film Diary, Update & News

I used to have fun making fake covers for the Criterion Collection years ago, looking over hundreds of posters and trying to re-design them, but when it came to choosing 38 posters to decorate my room, it was the hardest task of choosing, how can one chose among hundreds of favorite films, only 38 posters?

By the Bluest of Seas / Self Design

It took me almost two week to decide upon the 38 posters, and among those 38, there was one film that had no poster to be found for, that was Boris Barnet’s By the Bluest of Seas (1936), one of my top ten favorite film. I shouldn’t say that there no poster for the film, there is a terrible design for its Russian dvd release in low quality. The reason that one can hardly find a poster from a Boris Barnet film is because Barnet is among the forgotten masters of the Soviet cinema, only two of his films have been released on DVD, Outskirts and The Girl with the Hatbox, and rarely any of his film were ever released in the theater as of recent . After a long search and no luck at finding a poster, I decided to make my own design,  copying the criterion cover for Ozu’s Late Spring.

Late Spring / Criterion Collection Design

The reason I had to have a poster of By the Bluest of Seas is because it is film that one never get tired of watching it, I’m simply in love with the film, it almost has a magical power over the viewer in recalling its rich images days, weeks, month, even years after the first encounter with it, that power is  best explored in this short essay by Nicole Brenez (short video below).

A film that is rich in imagery, lyricism, poetry, beauty, conflict and lovable characters  in a triangular love affair is best to have a poster that express all that, so it was no surprise to chose a similar design to that of Late Spring.

Lyricism of The Ocean

The lyricism is the ocean, always in the move, once I tried to count the shots of the Sea in the film, from the opening shot onward, I gave up after counting to 52, that is how much the Sea is present in the film, the sea is the face of the film, and the wave cover the upper half of the poster.

Poem of Love

What is poetry? Word in space. What is cinematic poetry? Image in time. The lower half of the poster is image in time as it is captured from the film.

Poem in Conflict

Between the love of Mariya and Alyosha is not only Yussuf, but also her fiance solider, whom we hear about but never see, she reject both Alyosha and Yussuf for a solider far away on a mission.

Poem of the Sea

Lyricism in everyday life

 The conflict in the film, unattainable love with barriers between the lovers. What is best to describe that, than split the image of Mariya and Alyosha, and in between, the conflicting imagery.

The choices were by directors, rather than choosing their best film, I choice my favorite film, take Francois Truffaut, his best work is no doubt, The 400 Blows, but my favorite film from Truffaut is La chambre verte. Some directors got more than one film, Godard and Ozu each got two. Some didn’t make the list due mostly for not being able to find a higher resolution images of the films that I wanted to print, not to mention that I only had 38 poster to chose from. Almost every single one of them is being fixed some way or another in  Photoshop, some text have been added to few of the posters.

On the Wall. Size of each is 70 cm by 45 cm:

True Heart Susie (D.W. Griffith, 1919)
Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty, 1921
The General (Buster Keaton), 1927)
Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928)
City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)

The Man I Killed (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
The Only Son (Yasujiro Ozu, 1936)
There Was A Father (Yasujiro Ozu, 1942)
By the Bluest of Seas (Boris Barnet, 1936)
Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1947)
The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)

Good Sam (Leo McCarey, 1948)
The River (Jean Renoir, 1951)
The Big Sky (Howard Hawks, 1952)
The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953)
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
Ordet (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1955)

A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
Seven Men from Now (Budd Boetticher, 1956)
Night Of The Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1959)

Nazarin (Luis Bunuel, 1959)
Accatone (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961)
8 1/2 (Fedrico Fellini, 1963)
Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
Kes (Ken Loach, 1969)
Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1970)

Fat City (John Huston, 1972)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah, 1974)
Dersu Uzala (Akira Kurosawa, 1974)
La chambre verte (Francois Truffaut, 1978)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Close-up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)

The following two: 100 cm by 70 cm:

Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
Yol (Yilmaz Guney, 1981)



Many lyrical images from from By the Bluest of the Seas couldn’t make the final poster, nor did many of my favorite posters made it to my wall. Below are the images and the poster that were left out: