Friday, March 21, 2008

THE CINEMA OF DOOM


As anyone who reads this blog somewhat regularly knows, my music tastes tend to gravitate towards the "doomy"--doom metal, dark ambient, harsh noise, Schubert, etc. I'm not sure what speaks to me so much in melancholy music (maybe close to 30 years of long VT winters?), but I've always been a sucker for minor chords, droning bass & dark lyrical content.

However, music is not the only art form where doom appeals to me--I've always liked visual artists like Francis Bacon, Robert Motherwell, Picasso's blue period, etc. But most of all, I like really dark cinema.

With the help of my friends over at the Doom Forever, Forever Doomed forums, I've created a list of some of the best in "Doom Cinema". The criteria for inclusion on the list is as follows: heavily atmosphere, dark content, sparse imagery, and it MUST be in black and white. Even with such severe limitations, we were able to generate quite a list--here it is:

"Eraserhead"/"The Amputee"/"Lumiere" (David Lynch)
"Begotten" (E. Elias Merhige)
"Decasia" (Bill Morrison)
"Tetsuo: The Iron Man" (Shinya Tsukamoto)
"Shame"/"Hour of the Wolf"/"The Seventh Seal"/”The Virgin Spring” (Ingmar Bergman)
"Damnation"/”Satantango”/”Werkmeister Harmonies” (Bela Tarr)
"Andrei Rublev" (Andrei Tarkovsky)
“Vampyr”/"Ordet"/"The Passion of Joan of Arc" (Carl T. Dreyer)
"Nosferatu"/”Faust” (F.W. Murnau)
"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (Robert Wiene)
"L'Eclisse" (Michaelangelo Antonioni)
“The Exterminating Angel”/"Un Chien Andalou (Luis Bunuel)
"Meshes of the Afternoon" (Maya Deren)
"Anticipation of the Night"/"Desistfilm" (Stan Brakhage)
"Stranger Than Paradise" (Jim Jarmusch)
"Man Bites Dog" (Remy Belvaux)
"Freaks" (Tod Browning)
"Blood of the Poet" (Jean Cocteau)
"Tales from the Gimli Hospital" (Guy Madden)
“Le Dernier Combat” (Luc Besson)
“Night Of The Eagle (Sydney Hayers)
“Night Of The Demon (Jacques Tourneur)
“Whistle And Ill Come To You (Jonathan Miller)
“I am Cuba” (Mikhail Kalatazov)
“Mother and Son” (Aleksandr Sokurov)
“Europa” (Lars Von Trier)
“Tokyo Story”/”Late Spring” (Yasujiro Ozu)
“47 Ronin”/”Street of Shame” (Kenji Mizoguchi)
“Ikiru/Seven Samurai”/“Throne of Blood” (Akira Kurosawa)
“The Addiction” (Abel Ferrara)
“Titticut Follies” (Frederick Wiseman)
“Haxan” (Benjamin Christensen)
“La Jetée” (Chris Marker)
“The Devil Bat” (Jean Yarbrough)
“Fires on the Plain” (Kon Ichikawa)
"Nadja" (Michael Almereyda)
“Onibaba” (Kaneto Shindo)
“The American Astronaut” (Cory McAbee)
“Diary of a Country Priest” (Robert Bresson)
“The Cremator” (Juraj Herz)
“Repulsion” (Roman Polanski)
“Night of the Hunter” (Charles Laughton)
“M” (Fritz Lang)
"Woman Of The Dunes" (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
"The Red Badge of Courage" (John Huston)
“Ashes and Diamonds”/"Kanal" (Andrej Wajda)
“Alexander Nevsky” (Eisenstein)
"Pandora's Box" (G.W. Pabst)
“Carnival of Souls” (Herk Harvey)
“The State of Things” (Wim Wenders)
“Harakiri” (Masaki Kobayashi)
“Sword of Doom” (Kihachi Okamoto)
“The Bicycle Thieves” (Roberto Rosselini)
“Ugetsu”/Sansho The Bailiff” (Kenji Mizoguchi)
“Pig” (Rozz Williams)
“Night of the Living Dead” (George A. Romero)
“Hiroshima, Mon Amour” (Alain Renais)
“The Wages of Fear” (Henri-Georges Clouzot)
“The Gospel According to St. Matthew” (Pier Paolo Passolini)
“Suture” (Scott McGhee & David Siegel)
“Pi” (Darren Aronofsky)
“Vincent”/”Frankenweenie”/”Ed Wood” (Tim Burton)

All great films too! And not a surprise the Ingmar Bergman seems to be the reigning king of cinematic doom. Check out a few that you haven't seen before spring rolls around and everything is all bright & technicolor cheerful again :)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great list! Many favorites on there (Onibaba, Night of the Hunter, Repulsion... too many to re-list them!) But I'm surprised not to see Jarmusch's Dead Man on there. Isn't Tarkovsky's The Mirror also in B&W?

best,
Tom

jay said...

Tom, really good call on both of those. I'll add 'em to the round 2 list!

Tanner M. said...

repulsion is fantastic.

† Shaku † said...

gracias.. me re sirvio... ya estoy bajando algunas pelis...

que bien que conozcas PIG, Rozz es un maestro...