ARTICLE: A Century of Cinema on Amazon and BFI Player (1920-1970)

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Thank you very much for a properly serious, insightful and respectful critical analysis of important and influential film.

It's good to see European film - German, French, Italian - given the respect its due. Each decade definitely had its own version of film language, but the ones you've listed, as well as being representative of their time, also have a degree of timelessness whereby contemporary audiences can still watch and take things from.

If nothing else, they can become exercises in trying to spot all the iconic moments that have been exhibited in popular culture ever since!

My only concern is the lack of female filmmakers in the (abbreviated) list. 100 years of film but some things rarely change down the Ages....
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
Only 100 odd years ago women got the vote not much chance then of being a directing a film then.
Again lists like this are very subjective there are only 3 in that list I would rate as great and a few missing too!
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Only 100 odd years ago women got the vote not much chance then of being a directing a film then.
Agreed, be interesting to see what the second half of the Century (1970 onwards) results in for the next list.

Again lists like this are very subjective there are only 3 in that list I would rate as great and a few missing too!
It is only what's available on Amazon and BFI... that in mind, it's a pretty comprehensive list.
 

Tom Davies

Editorial Contributor
Thank you very much for a properly serious, insightful and respectful critical analysis of important and influential film.

It's good to see European film - German, French, Italian - given the respect its due. Each decade definitely had its own version of film language, but the ones you've listed, as well as being representative of their time, also have a degree of timelessness whereby contemporary audiences can still watch and take things from.

If nothing else, they can become exercises in trying to spot all the iconic moments that have been exhibited in popular culture ever since!

My only concern is the lack of female filmmakers in the (abbreviated) list. 100 years of film but some things rarely change down the Ages....
You're absolutely right about the lack of female filmmakers in there.

I um-ed and ah-ed about it a bit. But I think Leni Riefenstahl would have been a... Controversial pick.

The sad thing was that I couldn't find a Dorothy Arzner picture to include. Some of her work was super interesting and she crossed paths with some very influential people.

It was a tricky list to put together, in part due to the availability of content through Prime and BFI.
The BFI has some pretty good "seasons" where they rotate their content (currently it's Japanese filmmaking) and the diversity is generally laudable so I guess keep a look out!
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
What a superb idea for an article, and how very well written.

Thank you, Tom.

But seriously. No Powell & Pressburger?

Pretty much all of their work falls within this era, and they're generally regarded as two of the greatest film makers ever to work in the industry, and are well-represented at the BFI.

Major omission. But then again, threads like this are all about arguing exactly this sort of thing.
 
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Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
It wasn't meant as a direct criticism of you and your work, Tom, more of an observation?

I think it just reminds me of how much women's talent, contribution and achievement tends to be airbrushed out of history - from science to the Arts, politics to engineering, sport to social policy - it's like women are invisible.:(
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
What a superb idea for an article, and how very well written.

Thank you. Tom.

But seriously. No Powell & Pressburger?

Pretty much all of their work falls within this era, and they're generally regarded as two of the greatest film makers ever to work in the industry, and are well-represented at the BFI.

Major omission. But then again, threads like this are all about arguing exactly this sort of thing.
I was just pleased to see Val Guest get a mention!

"The Day The Earth Caught Fire" is a tremendously engaging film and superbly written and performed.
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
You're absolutely right about the lack of female filmmakers in there.

I um-ed and ah-ed about it a bit. But I think Leni Riefenstahl would have been a... Controversial pick.

The sad thing was that I couldn't find a Dorothy Arzner picture to include. Some of her work was super interesting and she crossed paths with some very influential people.

It was a tricky list to put together, in part due to the availability of content through Prime and BFI.
The BFI has some pretty good "seasons" where they rotate their content (currently it's Japanese filmmaking) and the diversity is generally laudable so I guess keep a look out!
Triumph of the Will I see as more of a documentary than a film to entertain. Though as a pice of propaganda it takes some beating.
 
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Sir QD oled

Well-known Member

Tom Davies

Editorial Contributor
'If...' is also included in Amazon Prime.
Apologies for not being clearer.
The first three movies in each decade are selected from BFI Player. The two that I've subtitled "Elsewhere on Amazon" are available as part of a standard Prime Video subscription. In the case of the picks from the 20s and 30s, there are some titles available on both which I've noted, but in these cases the versions on Prime tend to be of a much lesser picture and sound quality.

I should have maybe included that explanation in the intro and I'll make sure that's explicit in part 2.
 

johnr2110

Active Member
No mention of the original Brighton Rock. Richard Attenborough as Pinkie was a master class in true human evil. An uncomfortable watch but worth it.
 

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