Thursday, February 25, 2010

Robey's Oscar Rewrites: (2)

BEST DIRECTOR, 1962



They said...








Pietro Germi, Divorce Italian Style
*David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia
Robert Mulligan, To Kill a Mockingbird
Arthur Penn, The Miracle Worker
Frank Perry, David and Lisa





I say...









Luis Buñuel, The Exterminating Angel
John Frankenheimer, The Manchurian Candidate
David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia
Sidney Lumet, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan's Childhood




With a huge roster of unusually worthy runners-up: Stanley Kubrick (Lolita), John Ford (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), Robert Aldrich (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane), Michelangelo Antonioni (L'eclisse), Roman Polanski (Knife in the Water), Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker), Tony Richardson (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner), Jean-Luc Godard (Vivre sa vie), Edward Dmytryk (Walk on the Wild Side), Otto Preminger (Advise and Consent) and Herk Harvey, for my beloved Carnival of Souls. What a year! Plus I haven't even seen Ozu's An Autumn Afternoon yet. And I don't really get Jules et Jim, hence its exclusion.

8 comments:

Guy said...

Though, like you, I'd only pick one of Oscar's five, I've always quite liked that lineup for its sheer, ragbag strangeness. I know "Divorce Italian Style" was some kind of crossover hit, but how did they ever land upon Perry's film? And the fact that THREE of them weren't Best Picture nominees is deliciously perverse.

With that, my five:

David Lean, "Lawrence of Arabia"
Alain Resnais, "Last Year at Marienbad" (1961, yes, but we're playing by the Academy's rules here, and this is the year it was eligible)
Tony Richardson, "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner"
Agnes Varda, "Cleo from 5 to 7"

and, oh, what the hell:

J. Lee Thompson, "Cape Fear"

I will, of course, change my mind on at least two of these in half an hour. That was difficult, Tim. Lemon difficult.

tim r said...

I am no great Marienbad fan, whenever it was eligible, so you can keep that one. But I do admire the sweatiness of Thompson's Cape Fear, and the houseboat sequences sure work better than Scorsese's... good call there.

I had no idea it was such a great year before picking it for this. European auteurs delivering flat-out masterpieces! American genre experts massively raising their game! John Ford making a film I unreservedly love! (He was fighting with Frankenheimer for that slot, and I'm sure Valance would be in my Best Pic line-up.) Plus, there's no way we can ignore Lean.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I should have more to contribute here, but I haven't seen an embarrassing number of your also-rans, and I'd otherwise just be affirming your existing choices. The only new names I have to throw into the pot are Robert Bresson for his Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, perpetually and unfairly overshadowed by the Dreyer, and Chris Marker for La Jetée... but both of these choices defy the "Oscar" rubric of these features, even by the deliciously epicurean standards of 60s-era AMPAS voters.

tim r said...

Yes, I was going back and forth on whether to include Marker...

Cal said...

I've seen a few of your runners up but only two of your nominees. I am, however, a big fan of Frankenheimer and Tarkovsky. A bit hit and miss on Buñuel. What's your favourite film from this year?

My fave five:-

Arthur Penn – The Miracle Worker
Hiroshi Teshigahara – Pitfall
Sidney Lumet – Long Day’s Journey into Night
David Lean – Lawrence of Arabia
John Ford – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Cal said...

Need to see The Miracle Worker again but I just remember being enthralled by that opening sequence with the cradle. Plus Penn is generally awesome.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Weren't the 60s fabulous though? Particularly for European and Asian cinema? And '62 is maybe second only to '67 as the strongest year of the decade. I just love the notion of Kurosawa, Bergman, Bunuel, Resnais, Godard, Truffaut and Fellini (and many others, of course) all making movies at the same time. You could anticipate at least one of them (usually three of them) to turn out a masterpiece each year. These days, I only have Almodovar and Desplechin to stack my hopes on. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but how did all the humanists die out, leaving so few heirs?

Back to the topic though. I have to preface my five favourite directors of '62 with at least four asterisks: I'm yet to catch Ozu's Autumn Afternoon, Antonioni's L'Eclisse, Ichikawa's An Actor's Revenge, and Bergman's Winter Light. For that matter, I'm also yet to see Divorce Italian Style, The Miracle Worker and David and Lisa, but I'm less upset about this.

With that in mind, my five favourite directorial achievements of '62 so far are:
Welles (The Trial)
Truffaut (Jules and Jim)
Lean (Lawrence of Arabia)
Godard (Vivre sa vie)
Tarkovsky (Ivan's Childhood)

Though I'd happily stretch out my ballot to also include Marker, Bunuel, Bertolucci (for La Commare Secca/The Grim Reaper), Preminger (Advise and Consent), Richardson, Ford, the great and perennially neglected Francesco Rosi (Salvatore Giuliano), Pasolini (Mama Roma) and Terence Young (Dr. No).

I'm not sure how many of those would qualify for an Oscar that year, along with how many '61 stragglers. I do believe The Trial was a '63 release in the States. So that would most likely leave me with Truffaut, Lean, Godard, Tarkovsky and Bunuel as my anointed five.

Meantime, Lean's is certainly one of the least embarrassing victories in this category, though seeing as Jules and Jim was a Fellini-sized arthouse blockbuster, Ampass had even less of an excuse to bypass Truffaut for a nomination.

Burning Reels said...

How can you not get Jules et Jim?!:)

Pleased you left out Mockingbird - what a damp squib of a film

Always great to see the Tarkovsky name, even if it is my least favourite (give or take Nostalgia) of his

Agree with Nick, I think Trial of Joan of Arc is probably just about my favourite of 60s Bresson

I agree, you do tend to forget how many of those great auteurs that we now revere so much were all working at the same time