Winners of the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film/Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, since 1939. Running count of how many I've seen: 9.
(1) In 1946, 11 films were recognized, seeming to compensate for the years 1940-1945 (World War II), during which the prize was not awarded.
(2) The prize was not awarded in 1947, and the festival was not in 1948, 1949, and 1968.
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Union Pacific 1939, Unrated)
The Lost Weekend 1945, Unrated)
Another classic from Billy Wilder, The Lost Weekend truly blew the lid off of alcoholism. I would argue that, despite its Best Picture win, this isn't Wilder's best movie: it sags in the middle, when Don tells his story to Nat in flashbacks, and I found Ray Milland a little stiff in the lead role. What is clear from this film though is that it's not so far removed from the age of silent films: in a lot of cases, Wilder lets the music do the talking. Flawed, sure, but better than most movies, and one with huge social importance.
The Red Earth (De Rřde enge) (Red Meadows) 1946, Unrated)
Brief Encounter 1945, Unrated)
Maria Candelaria (Xochimilco) 1944, Unrated)
Velikiy Perelom (The Turning Point) 1946, Unrated)
La Symphonie Pastorale 1946, Unrated)
Muzi Bez Krídel 1946, Unrated)
Die Letzte Chance (The Last Chance) 1945, R)
Roma, cittŕ aperta (Open City) 1945, Unrated)
The Third Man 1949, Unrated)
Fröken Julie (Miss Julie) 1952, Unrated)
Miracolo a Milano (Miracle in Milan) 1951, Unrated)
The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (Othello) 1952, Unrated)
Due Soldi di Speranza (Two Cents Worth of Hope) 1952, Unrated)
The Wages of Fear 1953, Unrated)
Jigokumon (Gate of Hell) 1953, Unrated)
Marty 1955, Unrated)
Le Monde du Silence (The Silent World) 1956, Unrated)
Friendly Persuasion 1956, Unrated)
Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying) 1960, Unrated)
Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus) 1959, PG)
La Dolce Vita 1960, Unrated)
The Long Absence (Une aussi longue absence) 1960, Unrated)
Viridiana 1961, R)
The Leopard 1963, PG)
The Knack... and How to Get It 1965, Unrated)
A Man and a Woman 1966, Unrated)
Signore & Signori (The Birds, the Bees and the Italians) 1966, Unrated)
Blow-Up 1966, Unrated)
If.... 1968, R)
M*A*S*H 1970, PG)
I just don't get what was so great about M*A*S*H*. Maybe satire was not common at the time, and maybe subverting the army and various wars wasn't either. OK. But for a film to be so directionless - and frankly, unfunny - was disheartening. Pointless escapade after pointless escapade, and no real purpose for them revealed in the end. I'll give credit to the acting, though, and to Altman for tipping his hand early with the advertisements over the loudspeaker about the empty, fun war movies the soldiers in theatre were expected to watch. Juxtaposing the humourous situations with the hospital scenes helped the film invoke some gallows humour, except for the fact that it wasn't particularly funny: oooh, we pulled down the tarp and exposed the hot girl; wow, we played golf and scammed a trip to Tokyo. These war stories are the stuff of real life, I'm sure, but the movie itself is as boring as those stories, told by someone with no real plot in mind, to someone who wasn't there. The audience isn't really in on this joke at anytime, and as a war movie, it pretty much ignores the war. Huge letdown; this is apparently a seminal American film, but there was nothing here for me.
The Go-Between 1971, PG)
Il Caso Mattei (The Mattei Affair) 1972, Unrated)
The Hireling 1973, PG)
Scarecrow 1973, R)
The Conversation 1974, PG)
My first impulse upon finishing this was to put it back in the DVD player and watch it again. (Which I did, a week later, when I thought I'd had long enough to process and re-approach.) It's a stunningly good movie, and in many ways, it's left me speechless. I've been trying to think of what to say about it for about a month, and I'm still not there. If nothing else, I can say that this film makes its money in one clear way, and that's in how it shifts effortlessly from piece to piece of the complicated, dangerous, exceedingly private life of Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) without ever losing the thread of the story. It's a heartfelt character study built on rare, true intrigue, and I think it might be Coppola's best - yes, better than the Godfather! I can see myself watching it over and over again, and puzzling over the details. A timeless masterpiece of a film, required viewing for all.
Taxi Driver 1976, R)
The Vietnam-related insomnia is so beautifully understated: instead of showing us the feared flashbacks and nightmares, though, Scorsese makes his viewer into the audience, the population with which Travis is trying to integrate who can never understand. It's amazing... and so too are the driving shots, during the opening and ending credits.
Padre Padrone 1977, Unrated)
L'albero degli Zoccoli (The Tree of Wooden Clogs) 1978, Unrated)
Apocalypse Now 1979, R)
Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) 1979, R)
All That Jazz 1979, R)
Decent depiction of the toll the daily grind of putting together a new show takes on a director, and the tension between the drive to produce original art and the knowledge that your time has to end eventually. Spacey dream sequences, entertaining dance numbers and the spectre of mortality keep you watching... at least until the bizarre, excessive finale. A rather "out there" film, and one that's more of a "should see" than a "want to see," it's a sharp piece of art but it's probably not for everyone.
Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior) (The Double) 1980, PG)
Czlowiek z Zelaza (Man of Iron) 1981, PG)
Missing 1982, PG)
Yol (The Way) 1982, PG)
Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama) 1983, Unrated)
Paris, Texas 1983, R)
The Mission 1986, PG)
Pelle Erobreren (Pelle the Conqueror) 1988, PG-13)
sex, lies, and videotape 1989, R)
Wild At Heart 1990, R)
Barton Fink 1991, R)
Den Goda Viljan (The Best Intentions) 1992, PG-13)
The Piano 1993, R)
Pulp Fiction 1994, R)
Underground 1995, Unrated)
Secrets & Lies 1996, R)
Taste of Cherry (Ta'm e Guilass) 1997, Unrated)
The Eel (Unagi) 1997, Unrated)
Eternity and a Day 1998, Unrated)
Rosetta 1999, R)
Dancer in the Dark 2000, R)
The Pianist 2002, R)
Elephant 2003, R)
Fahrenheit 9/11 2004, R)
In the end, if I recall correctly, there's just not enough meat on this bone for it to stand up to its many challengers.
L'Enfant (The Child) 2006, R)
The Wind That Shakes the Barley 2006, PG-13)
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 2007, R)
A good, realistic movie that, for my money, is a bit over-rated, and one that takes a long time to get you into the story. It's clinical for the first half-hour or more, but eventually, the stakes do rise, and through one gut-wrenchingly long dinner scene, you start to feel the urgency of the whole affair: Gabi needs an abortion, and no one can find out, no matter what it takes. Romanian neo-realism, exactly as advertised, sarcastically included in what director Mungiu calls his Tales of the Golden Age, documenting life under Ceaucescu's regime. I'm excited to see more from him, I think he's just ramping up to the global stage.
The Class 2008, PG-13)
The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) 2009, R)
A nuanced, demanding film about small-town secrets that rivals the best stories of Alice Munro or William Faulkner, in which characters' lines are cutting, doom is just around the corner, and the individuals' respective stories continue to surprise as each reveals itself to be related to the others in larger frame, the life of a town (Eichwald) and the narrating school teacher. Great story, well told, and though it's lean (basically, one setting over one year, and a deservedly abrupt ending), there's a lot going on here, plot-wise and meaning-wise, with symbolism and metaphysical engagement to spare. Reminded me, too, of Hitchcock, in that the most horrific is the off-stage stuff, and for a reason that I hope is more than "because it's European and in black and white," Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal... and, though set in pre-WWI Germany, it's a story that has no trouble resonating today because of its (unfortunately) universal subject matter. A worthy Palme d'Or winner that moves slowly but stays captivating all the way. Definitely a film you should see.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 2010, Unrated)
The Tree of Life 2011, PG-13)