"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.
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UPDATED 01/28/10: 2:25 p.m. PST -- COMPLETED!: Thanks for all the detective work -- and special thanks to Christopher Stangl and Srikanth Srinivasan himself for their comprehensive efforts at filling the last few holes! Now I have to go read about who some of these experimental filmmakers are. I did find some Craig Baldwin movies on Netflix, actually...
Srikanth Srinivasan of Bangalore writes one of the most impressive movie blogs on the web: The Seventh Art. I don't remember how I happened upon it last week, but wow am I glad I did. Dig into his exploration of connections between Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and Jean-Luc Godard's "History of Cinema." Or check out his piece on James Benning's 1986 "Landscape Suicide." There's a lot to look through, divided into sections for Hollywood and World Cinema.
In the section called "The Cinemaniac... I found the above collage (mosaic?) of mostly-famous faces belonging to film directors, which Srikanth says he assembled from thumbnails at Senses of Cinema. Many of them looked quite familiar to me, and if I'm not mistaken they were among the biographical portraits we used in the multimedia CD-ROM movie encyclopedia Microsoft Cinemania, which I edited from 1994 to 1998, first on disc, then also on the web. (Anybody with a copy of Cinemania able to confirm that? My Mac copy of Cinemania97 won't run on Snow Leopard.)
The thing is, Srikanth has no key to tell us who's who. So, with his permission, I thought we could collaborate on one. If you feel like it -- after you've completed Professor Russell Johnson's "My Ancestors Came Over on the Minnow..." quiz, which I haven't yet (mull over question #28, why don't you?) -- see how many of these you can identify. (Keep in mind, some of these pictures may have been taken several decades ago, and some are flopped and/or anamorphically distorted.) Below are some of the ones I identified at first glance (in other words: the really easy ones!), listed by rows (top to bottom, I through IX) and columns (left to right, 1 through 20). Some of these faces are so familiar they're driving me crazy, but I can't put names to them. Help! Post your own IDs (and let me know if I got any wrong -- I've put question marks by a few I'm unsure of) and eventually, we should be able to figure this thing out together!
Most recent update: 2:25 p.m. PST 01/28/10 -- COMPLETED!:
Row I 1. Victor Erice 2. Rainer Werner Fassbinder 3. Agnes Varda 4. Robert Bresson 5. Robert Aldrich 6. Robert Altman 7. Youssef Chahine 8. Michelangelo Antonioni 9. Gillian Armstrong 10. Dorothy Arzner 11. Stan Brakhage 12. Mauro Bolognini 13. Peter Bogdanovich 14. Blake Edwards 15. Carl Theodor Dreyer 16. Doris Wishman 17. Ingmar Bergman 18. Craig Baldwin 19. Mario Bava 20. Catherine Breillat
Row II 1. Luis Buñuel 2. Charles Burnett 3. John Frankenheimer 4. Maya Deren 5. Ken Loach 6. Jacques Demy 7. Su Friedrich 8. Robert Flaherty 9. Arthur Lipsett 10. Joseph Losey 11. Kenji Mizoguchi 12. Francis Ford Coppola 13. Mikio Naruse 14. Antonio Margheriti 15. Georges Méliès 16. Guy Maddin 17. Joseph H. Lewis 18. Sergio Leone 19. Howard Hawks 20. David Lean
Row III 1. Tim Burton 2. Federico Fellini 3. David Cronenberg 4. Werner Herzog 5. Krzysztof Kieslowski 6. Clara Law 7. Abbas Kiarostami 8. Stanley Kubrick 9. Fritz Lang 10. Shohei Imamura 11. Satyajit Ray 12. Woody Allen 13. John Waters 14. Margarethe von Trotta 15. Idrissa Ouedraogo 16. Jacques Rivette 17. Nicolas Roeg 18. Raoul Walsh 19. François Truffaut 20. Otto Preminger
1. Jane Campion 2. Sam Fuller 3. Joe Dante 4. Jia Zhangke 5. Alanis Obomsawin 6. Preston Sturges 7. Pier Paolo Pasolini 8. Don Siegel 9. Zhang Yimou 10. Preston Sturges 11. Robert Siodmak 12. Leslie Thornton 13. Yasujiro Ozu 14. Nicholas Ray 15. Claude Sautet 16. Tsui Hark 17. Eric Rohmer 18. Edward Yang 19. Sam Peckinpah 20. Don Siegel (again)
1. Leos Carax 2. Lucio Fulci 3. George Cukor 4. Chuck Jones 5. Idrissa Ouedraogo (again) 6. Carol Reed 7. François Ozon 8. William Wyler 9. Joseph L. Mankiewicz 10. Fred Zinnemann 11. Michael Winterbottom 12. Jean Cocteau 13. Kon Ichikawa 14. Tomu Uchida 15. Jonathan Demme 17. Roberto Rossellini 18. Alfred Hitchcock 19. James Whale
1. Claude Chabrol 2. Lucio Fulci 3. Melvin Van Peebles 4. Akira Kurosawa 5. Jacques Tati 6. Jerzy Skolimowski 7. Glauber Rocha 8. Bernardo Bertolucci 9. Richard Linklater 10. Jerzy Skolimowski (again) 11. Hiroshi Teshigahara 12. Paul Verhoeven 13. Luis Garcia Berlanga 14. Werner Schroeter 15. Steven Spielberg 16. Tsai Ming Liang 17. Roberto Rossellini 18. Jean-Luc Godard 19. Michael Almereyda 20. Francesco Rosi
1. Chang Cheh 2. Vincente Minnelli 3. Jean-Pierre Melville 4. King Hu 5. Mamoru Oshii 6. Martin Scorsese 7. Richard Franklin 8. Mitchell Leisen 9. John Schlesinger 10. Theo Angelopoulos 11. Melvin Van Peebles 12. Anthony Mann 13. Roger Corman 14. Peggy Ahwesh 15. Terry Gilliam 16. Arthur Penn 17. Bertrand Tavernier 18. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea 19. Clint Eastwood 20. Emeric Pressburger
1. Henri-Georges Clouzot 2. Michael Haneke 3. Terry Gilliam (again) 4. Lars von Trier 5. Andrei Tarkovsky 6. Bertrand Tavernier 7. Sergei Eisenstein 8. Brian DePalma 9. David Fincher 10. Edgar G. Ulmer 11. John Carpenter 12. Phillip Noyce 13. Yoshimitsu Morita 14. Wang Xiaoshuai 15. Sadie Benning 16. Kira Muratova 17. Wong Kar-Wai 18. Margarethe von Trotta 19. Jean Vigo 20. Andy Warhol
1. Joel & Ethan Coen 2. Terrence Malick 3. Michael Mann 4. Takeshi Kitano 5. Nagisa Oshima 6. John Sayles 7. Willi Forst 8. Mike Nichols 9. Yvonne Rainer 10. Orson Welles 11. Bill Forsyth 12. Wim Wenders 13. Jerry Lewis 14. Steven Soderbergh 15. Gaspar Noé 16. Jim Jarmusch 17. Maria Novaro 18. Leo McCarey 19. Michael Powell 20. Billy Wilder
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