Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • >> Speaker 1: Somewhere where the lights meets the lens, where the frame flatters

  • the location, and the camera moves just right, an incredible image is born.

  • These are the top ten most beautiful movies.

  • >> Speaker 2: Of all time.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 1: Let's get right in to it.

  • Starting us off at number ten, it's Russian Ark.

  • >> [SOUND]

  • [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 3: [FOREIGN] >> Speaker 1: The 96 minute,

  • single, uncut steady cam shot through the Russian Hermitage Museum.

  • Sure it might sound like a gimmick at first, but the footage speaks for itself.

  • A jaw-dropping location, and brilliantly costumed characters fill the screen.

  • Lit with remarkable mood, and variation, by cinematographer Tilman Buttner.

  • All coming together in an unbroken series of marvelously composed portraits.

  • Of course, we considered a ton of other gorgeous films for

  • this spot because if we're talking Russia, we can't not mention Andrei Tarkovsky,

  • especially his eerie mixed film stock beauty from Stalker.

  • And if we look around a little further in Europe,

  • we love Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy, Ingmar Bergman's, well, everything, and

  • definitely Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie.

  • But they can't quite outdo The Russian Ark, which is why it kicks off our list.

  • Now, we can't fill up a whole list of gorgeous movies without a throwback or

  • two to the OG of cinema, black and white.

  • So for our next pick, we're looking at some of cinema's modern directors,

  • who decided to throw out the colors, and get back to their roots with gray-scale.

  • And for that, we can't think of a better film then Manhattan.

  • Woody Allen's 1979 love letter to New York City.

  • >> Speaker 4: Chapter one He adored New York City.

  • He idolized it all out of proportion.

  • No, make it he romanticized it, all out of proportion, yeah.

  • >> Speaker 1: And that's not to say there weren't other films that just missed our

  • list, it was hard not to give a spot to Raging Bull, or Schindler's List.

  • But this black and white take on New York is timeless, thanks to cinematographer

  • Gordon Willis, who decided to pair ultra-widescreen with black and

  • white at Alan's suggestion, because that's how he remembered New York as a kid.

  • Woody actually begged for it not to be released.

  • Apparently, this was his least favorite film he'd ever made.

  • But to our eye it's decadent, timeless, and full to the brim with stark imagery.

  • Which is why it made our list.

  • Of course when it comes to beautiful black and white, we can't discount the classics,

  • the works of master cinematographers at home in their medium.

  • And for that, we had a lot of choices.

  • We've already mentioned Bergman's, but there's The Night of the Hunter, and

  • in Metropolis, Rules of the Game, Eight and a Half, especially The Third Man.

  • But even The Third Man doesn't quite live up to Orson Welles's other masterpiece,

  • and our number eight pick, Citizen Kane.

  • >> Speaker 5: Here's a man that could have been President, who was as loved and

  • hated, and as talked about as any man in our time.

  • But when it comes to die, he's got something on his mind called Rosebud.

  • >> Speaker 1: Citizen Kane is basically an entire film education

  • in a two hour package.

  • The multiple levels of staging, and deep focused techniques, seemed revolutionary.

  • But the craziest part, is that this was Orson Welles's first film ever,

  • as a director.

  • He had no idea what he was doing.

  • He learned everything he knew from watching classics, and essentially just

  • borrowed every technique that grabbed his eye, from every film he saw.

  • But the result was a tapestry woven of the best of cinema from around the world.

  • Free from the limitations of experience, and

  • one of the most beautiful films to boot.

  • Next up, at number seven, we're turning our eyes to space.

  • The masters of cinema have always tended to do something extra special,

  • when it comes to their depiction of heavenly bodies.

  • And while Chivo gave us a breathtaking look at Earth in Gravity,

  • and Alwinchler captured the beauty of the sun, in Sunshine,

  • there's nothing in the universe quite like 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  • >> Speaker 6: Open the pod bay doors Hal.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 7: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

  • >> Speaker 1: Now some of you might immediately think of the admittedly

  • impressive, hypnotic neon,

  • Star Gate sequence, when we talk about 2001's visuals.

  • But there's hardly a single frame that isn't intricately designed,

  • immaculately composed, and stunningly lit.

  • With a tendency towards central framing, and striking symmetrical compositions,

  • Stanley Kubrick and Geoffrey Unsworth, are at their visual best,

  • whether composing celestial ballets, or staging space walks.

  • However, if we are talking about Kubrick,

  • we have to throw in a brief honorable mention for Barry Lyndon.

  • Just look at it.

  • Every single frame is a renascence painting.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 1: Of course, singling out directors when it comes to

  • gorgeous imagery, is a bit like singling out jockeys at the Kentucky Derby.

  • Sure, they're important, but they're not the ones running the race.

  • So, if we're talking cinematographers, we think Vittorio Storaro, is one to know.

  • This guy's rap sheet could make up this whole list.

  • He shot Apocalypse Now, Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, and

  • our number six, The Conformist.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 8: [FOREIGN] >> Speaker 1: Directed by

  • Bernardo Bertolucci, The Conformist conjures up a stunning palette of fascism,

  • from the hard illumination that bars the characters behind beams of light.

  • The compositions that highlight Marcelo's tragic inability to conform.

  • It's artfully conceived, meticulously crafted,

  • and brutally beautiful, and definitely worth checking out.

  • Next up, we wanna honor the extraordinary imagery of imagination.

  • And we love looking at Big Fish, and What Dreams May Come, for painting us a picture

  • of a mythical story, and telling us the story of a living painting respectively.

  • But for our pick, number five can be none other than Tarsem Singh's, The Fall.

  • >> Speaker 9: I will search the four corners of this Earth,

  • find Governor Odious, and joyously kill him.

  • >> Speaker 1: Half 1930's hospital, half little girl's imagination,

  • plus a totally random, but still really pretty slow-motion black and white title

  • sequence, The Fall is basically the best ever film making excuse, to just show off.

  • Shot over four years, in the most awe inspiring parts of 28 countries.

  • Cinematographer Colin Watkinson, filled the screen with so

  • many gorgeous tableauxs, that there are literally half second throwaway shots,

  • that are more beautiful than the entire oeuvres of lesser DP's

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 1: Now, we've spent plenty of this list looking at the handsome

  • cinematography of Americans, and Europeans, but we've yet

  • to turn our lens to the Asiatic Region.

  • We've circled back to it, time and again, for fight scenes, wardrobes, and

  • now cinematography.

  • And if I were a betting voice over man,

  • I'd bet it was one of the writer's favorite films.

  • But for our number four, it's hard to deny the visual virtuoso of Hero.

  • >> Speaker 10: [FOREIGN] >> Speaker 1: Sure,

  • we could have picked Kurosawa's Ren,

  • or Wong Kar-wai's, In the Mood for Love, or Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

  • And we definitely could have gone with Yimou Zhang's other works,

  • like House of Flying Daggers, or Curse of the Golden Flower, which is the only

  • film that didn't make the cut for being too visually stimulating.

  • But there's nothing as poetic in it's simplicity, and

  • steadfast in it's commitment to a visual style, as Hero.

  • By Christopher Doyle, the film tells one story from three perspectives, an homage

  • to with each perspective a different color, and what did the colors mean?

  • Well they were mostly pretty arbitrary.

  • Red was Jang's number one pick.

  • Blue and white to match the lake and desert, and black to match the temple.

  • By the time they got to the final flashback,

  • green was just about the only color left.

  • It might not be deep, but it sure was pretty.

  • For our number three, we wanna honor some of the larger than life,

  • mid century epics, that brought impressive vistas to the wide screen.

  • And that could have been the stunning saturation of technicolor classics,

  • like Ben-Hur, the Searchers or the Wizard of Oz.

  • Hell, if you got an extra moment for technicolor,

  • check out radical colors of Suspiria.

  • One of the last films to be processed in it.

  • However, our number three, goes to an absolute masterpiece of film making.

  • Shot instead on super panavision 70, a superlative cinematic look at the desert,

  • in timeless pinnacle of film art, Lawrence of Arabia.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • [SOUND] >> Speaker 1: Directed by David Lean, and

  • shot by Freddie Young, the imagery here is absolutely breathtaking.

  • The wide screen format, perfectly captures the vast expanse of the empty desert.

  • Freddie's colors provide and almost visceral heat, and the 70

  • millimeter format provides a fittingly larger than life palette for our hero.

  • Most famously, Freddie Young, tasked with capturing a mirage on film,

  • acquired a whopping 430 millimeter lens, and

  • sent the actor far into the distance to capture this iconic shot.

  • Now, if there's a director known for the lyrical beauty of his work,

  • it has to be Terrence Malek.

  • And if we're ranking top five Malek movies based on aesthetics,

  • prettiest to even prettierest, our eyes say New World, Vin Badlands,

  • Days of Heaven, Thin Red Line, and our number two pick, The Tree of Life.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 11: The man's taught us there are two ways through life.

  • The way of nature.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 11: And the way of grace.

  • >> Speaker 1: Shot by Emmanuel Lubezki,

  • the set of Tree of Life was controlled chaos.

  • They only ever shot in natural light,

  • would ditch a scene in the middle when they were distracted by fireflies,

  • and focused more on finding emotions than covering scenes.

  • They had the same rooms built in three different houses,

  • facing different directions, so that they could pick their favorite light.

  • And then there's the supernova.

  • Instead of turning a computer, Malek hired Douglas Trumble,

  • the master mind behind 2001 Stargate, to experiment with dye, and paint, and milk,

  • and chemicals, and fluorescent ink, and all other sorts of witch craft,

  • in order to create the magnificently surreal images seen on screen.

  • For our number two, made light on it's narrative in favor of stirring imagery.

  • Our number one does away with it completely.

  • A visual tone poem.

  • No words, no dialogue, no plot.

  • Our most beautiful pick is called Samsara.

  • Like its prequels Baraka, and Chronos, and their spiritual

  • ancestors from the Qatsi trilogy, Samsara is perhaps the purest of cinema.

  • It is beyond language.

  • It says it's piece by virtue of emotional, thematic, and aesthetic association.

  • But it's also completely gorgeous.

  • Shot on 70 millimeter film, in almost 100 locations in 25 countries over five years,

  • the images are majestic, overwhelming, unbelievable.

  • There isn't a single frame you couldn't hang on your wall, and

  • marvel at for years.

  • It's a moving museum, a guided meditation, and a visual revelation.

  • Which is why it's our pick for most beautiful film of all time.

  • >> [MUSIC]

  • >> Speaker 1: But we [BLEEP] love movies.

  • We can never just stop at ten.

  • And, if you've noticed our top ten lists look more like thinly veiled top 50's, and

  • we're terrible at making up our minds, then you're onto us.

  • And we would've gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids, and

  • your nosy dog too.

  • So, as a special treat, and because there are so many beautiful movies,

  • and it pain us to leave some out, here's a mini montage of extra gorgeous movies for

  • you enjoyment, and our clear consciences.

  • So what do you think?

  • Did we leave out one of your favorite pretty films?

  • Do you disagree with one of our picks?

  • Do you have any ideas for some more top tens?

  • Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe for

  • more Cinefix movie lists.

  • >> [MUSIC]

>> Speaker 1: Somewhere where the lights meets the lens, where the frame flatters

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 speaker film shot imagery cinema music

Top 10 Most Beautiful Movies of All Time

  • 261 12
    Caurora posted on 2017/07/17
Video vocabulary