Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The TSorensen Movie Award Part 3

The TSorensen Movie Award Part 3

Welcome back to the third installment of this ongoing award show that celebrate the first 200 movies on the List.

As mentioned previously I do not have the skill and insight to rank movies and performances along the classic lines for an award show so my categories are instead personal. Awards are given because I believe they deserve them.

The third award is for:


When you see a movie that you know should be good that is all very fine, but when you force yourself to watch a movie you do not really want to see or expect anything from and it then turn out to be great then that feels like the most wonderful thing in the world. You get that nice delicious surprise.

Going through the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die chronologically forces me to see movies I have never heard of or from the little I know of them would never have chosen to see. Sometimes it is for a good reason, but just often enough those are the very films I end up loving and make me appreciate the List.

You can with some justification say that there are better films on the list, but if I already know they are good or have topics I am predisposed of, then it is hardly a surprise. For this reason you will not find acclaimed movies like “Gone with the Wind” or “Citizen Kane” nominated, nor film noir classics like “The Big Sleep” or  “The Maltese Falcon”. Nope, to win this award a movie must be to me A NICE SURPRISE.

Without further ado, here are the nominees.

  1. Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari
    I was totally unprepared for the surreal set, complex story, elegant twist and total goth feel of this film. And it is from freakin’ 1919!
  2. Brief Encounter
    Here I was expecting another silly romantic tearjerker and I had prepared myself for a long heartfelt groan. Instead this was an intelligent and gripping film about normal people going out of their depth. It is insightful and exactly right.
  3. Footlight Parade
    This was the movie that took me from at best tolerating musicals to genuinely liking them. The story is strong, the cast includes James Cagney and the three final installments (to just call them songs is not really fair) are just mindblowing.
  4.  L'Femme du Boulanger
    Comedy translates poorly and a French comedy, hmm, no offense but that is not really me. Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be hilariously funny and charming. Although I only caught half the jokes they we plenty for me.
  5. Olympia Part 1 and 2
    When I started the list I was seriously contemplating skipping the Leni Riefenstahl stuff. Nazi propaganda has no place on my shelves. But Olympia is so much more. Riefenstahl took their money, inserted some footage of Hitler and went ahead and invented modern sports event coverage. It is beautiful, exciting and surprisingly oblivious to its propaganda purpose.
  6. Dodsworth
    From out of nowhere I discovered this rarity. An intelligent film about the relationships of mature (or immature) adults with the melodrama on an absolute minimum.  I never would have thought that I would like it but I love it. What Hollywood movie dare say that a divorce can be the right thing? It take guts and I love, love, love that ending.


And the winner is…..


Brief Encounter

Thank you editors of the List for serving me this gem.


  1. I agree on most of these. I'd toss in Trouble in Paradise - a film I'd never even heard of and one that I really enjoyed.

    1. Trouble in Paradise was a nice surprise as well and deserve an honorable mention, a category I forgot to include.

  2. Love the choices, love the final choice. My vote might have gone to Dodsworth, but Brief Encounter is a great choice.

    1. Frankly it was a close call. Dodsworth or Brief Encounter. Both were far better than I expected.

  3. Some wonderful films there! I only wish I could get my hands on The Baker's Wife. I just love the Fanny Trilogy, also starring Raimu and based on a story by Pagnol.

    1. None of the places I usually get my films from had it available, but a friend of mine was able to locate it. I insist on always buying the films as DVD, but if the film is not available you have to search really hard. I frankly do not know if my copy is public domain or an illegal rip, but I am glad I have it. If you are interested I do not mind sharing it with you. Chip also have a page with hints to find hard to locate films.

  4. Some very good choices here. My rather odd choice for this category might be the Iranian film Close-Up. I'm not sure many would rate this one as highly as me, but it really connected with me. Wages of Fear I knew was well thought of, but didn't realize it is now one of my favorite movies.

    1. That is why it is fun to explore movies you never heard of. Probably my biggest motivator for doing this. Those nice surprises are small gems of reward.