It’s no secret that lists are the lifeblood of a cinephilia constantly at risk of cardiac arrest. The aggregate mass of all that bad writing, bad theory, and snickery-snackery clubhouse fraternizing bloats the body cinephilic to near collapse, until the streamlined ease and comfort of logs, lists, and all else that’s fit to spreadsheet gets the blood pumping again. Naturally, the cure to this affliction is 1) better writing, 2) better theory, 3) dissolution of all film-crit collectives into a sprawling anarchy of free-roaming film writers who find staid journalistic standards of decency as ill-suited to navigating the lushly restored wilderness of pre-Sarris film criticism as a region-free Blu-Ray player would be for Robinson Crusoe to fend off island savages.
But that’s not happening anytime soon. So for now, lists will have to do.
And today, my random list of choice will be my personal favorite movies of the year 1948, the nadir of the post-war forties, just a-babblin’ with popcorn classics. Inspired by a morning tear-soaked viewing of A Hen in the Wind, in which Ozu gently pricks the patriarchy and streams of sadness gush from the inflicted lesion.
- A Hen in the Wind | Yasujirô Ozu
- Fort Apache | RKO | John Ford
- Letter from an Unknown Woman | Universal | Max Ophüls
- Pitfall | United Artists | André de Toth
- Act of Violence | MGM | Fred Zinnemann
- The Red Shoes | Michael Powell
- Moonrise | Republic | Frank Borzage
- Yellow Sky | Twentieth Century Fox | William Wellman
- The Pirate | MGM | Vincente Minnelli
- Red River | United Artists | Howard Hawks
- They Live by Night | RKO | Nicholas Ray
- The Big Clock | Paramount | John Farrow
- Romance on the High Seas | Warner Brothers | Michael Curtiz
- The Fallen Idol | Carol Reed
- L’Amore | Roberto Rossellini