Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Black Stallion
From the moment he first saw the stallion, he knew it would either destroy him, or carry him where no one had ever been before…
While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion that is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks both he and the horse survive only to be stranded on a deserted island. He befriends it, so when finally rescued both return to his home where they soon meet Henry Dailey, a once successful trainer. Together they begin training the horse to race against the fastest ones in the world.
Beautifully cinematic. Poetic and propulsive. Acted with nuance and tenderness instead of ego (and that includes a surprisingly quiet performance by Mickey Rooney). Never condescends to its viewers, young or old. Edited so perfectly, it is somehow both efficient and contemplative. Devoid of laborious exposition. Packed with iconic images. With the exception of one slightly annoying characterization*, it exists almost outside of time, without aspects that date when it was made. Alec, played with extraordinary restraint by Kelly Reno, remains one of the most naturalistic, convincing young boys I've seen in a movie; it's a performance that came to mind watching the boys in The Tree of Life (which I mean as a high compliment).
This was one of the…
Have you ever seen a movie and wished that certain scenes would never end? That's how i felt whilst seeing the first half of this movie which is a perfect marriage of sound and cinematography. I had the same experience when i saw the first segment of Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train.Not a bad movie per se since the second half is the usual triumph against all odds which we all have seen countless times. I loved the relationship between man and animal.How can you not feel thrilled at the climax?
For the first hour Carroll Ballard's "The Black Stallion" is a deeply felt and poetic fairytale of a shipwrecked boy befriending a wild horse on a desert island, all beautifully filmed by Caleb Deschanel. Once the boy and horse make it make back to the United States, the film begins a long formulaic march to the predicable finale. This film would be a masterpiece if all the horse racing bullshit had been removed and ended 60 minutes in.
This film is a stunning beauty to watch. The first half of the film is virtually silent and it is the best part of the film and second part is a little familiar from things we have seen in the past, but overall it is a stunning film to watch. It looks simply gorgeous with all of the shorts in the background and the crystal clear water that reflects the images so clear.
Yes, the first half is incredible, and the second half is a bit of a perfunctory comedown (Teri Garr's role as the mom is particularly thankless), but I was still tremendously entertained. I watched this Amazon to see if I would be compelled to the Criterion, and I definitely plan on it.
Once the exhilarating shipwreck is over, The Black Stallion settles into being a long, very pretty slog. Walter Farley's story is flimsy, predictable stuff, though the film's near-wordless script helps conceal some plot contrivances. It's still totally unclear why the genial Mickey Rooney and Kelly Reno think they're doing the horse a tremendous favor by forcing him to race.
Rooney's Oscar nomination is generous, though he's earnest and sweet in his role. The film editing nod is deserving for a couple solid action sequences and undeserving for just about everything else. The Oscar-winning sound effects editing is outstanding, as is Caleb Deschanel's snubbed cinematography.
One of those rare perfect movies.
Prodotto da Francis Ford Coppola è un film che merita nella prima parte, tutto giocato sul naturalismo di un ragazzino e un cavallo nero naufraghi si di un'isola, mentre la seconda parte non decolla mai davvero.
“The written word can be powerful and beautiful - but films transport us to another place in a way that even the most evocative words never can.” – Saoirse Ronan.
Cinema is a powerful medium of storytelling because no other medium can truly create such a both visceral and deeply personally experience. My favorite filmmakers have always been the ones who place their emphasis on storytelling telling through only the imagery and sound of film such as Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson and Andrei Tarkovsky. I remember being blown away the first time I experienced 2001: Space Odyssey two years. The last 15 minutes where Dave jumps through time and watches himself age has lingered in my mind…
Boat / Island Scenes: ★★★★★
Mickey Rooney / Racing Scenes: ★★★
First hour is breathtaking stuff. Takes a step back in the second half but still riveting and moving. Good shit.
"Art film for kids" is the way a studio exec referred to it, one of the studio execs who let it sit on the shelf for two years before finally releasing it. While the film has a bit of marginal acting and occasional awkward lines, overall it's a magical experience, mostly because of that magnificent horse (well, horses... Cass Ole had a few stunt doubles). It's also a beautifully photographed film, especially the island sequence. Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel not only didn't win an Oscar, he wasn't even nominated, which is not just a shame, it's an injustice.
This story of the friendship between a boy and an untamed horse is basically two films ... the part where they are marooned…
It's refreshing to watch a children's movie that isn't all flashing lights, quick cuts, and a constant barrage of sound, images, color, and over-stimulation. The Black Stallion is quiet and restrained, doesn't contain much dialogue, and moves at an unhurried pace, yet it will still manage keep the attention of younger viewers. (I know because I watched it with my children and they were thoroughly entertained.) The cinematography is lovely and gives the film a dreamlike quality. A great film for the whole family to enjoy.
The problem is that The Black Stallion is devoid of any symbolism. So you've got a little boy and a horse on a desert island, but if you don't make these images speak you don't end up with a movie, but a commercial for coconut water. And the constant bongo playing and harp tinkling didn't help either.
A favorite with absolutely gorgeous visuals.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)
UPDATED: November 23, 2015
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…