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Added by Mr. Saturn on 10 Jul 2012 09:55
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life-affirming films

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People who added this item 292 Average listal rating (128 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 9
The Decalogue (1989)

I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieslowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what's really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don't realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart. - Stanley Kubrick

Dekalog list
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 4264 Average listal rating (2750 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3

To enjoy this film all you need is an open mind, and it can be approached awarely without being on drugs; to be honest, I never tried psychedelics so I don't know if it would enhance the experience (Andrew Sarris opened up to it after getting high). I'm not anti-drugs at all.

In the words of Kubrick
I believe that drugs are basically of more use to the audience than to the artist. I think that the illusion of oneness with the universe, and absorption with the significance of every object in your environment, and the pervasive aura of peace and contentment is not the ideal state for an artist. It tranquilizes the creative personality, which thrives on conflict and on the clash and ferment of ideas. The artist's transcendence must be within his own work; he should not impose any artificial barriers between himself and the mainspring of his subconscious. One of the things that's turned me against LSD is that all the people I know who use it have a peculiar inability to distinguish between things that are really interesting and stimulating and things that appear to be so in the state of universal bliss that the drug induces on a "good" trip. They seem to completely lose their critical faculties and disengage themselves from some of the most stimulating areas of life. Perhaps when everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 637 Average listal rating (362 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
Sunrise (1927)

A story of no place and every place.
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People who added this item 1306 Average listal rating (812 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.5
City Lights (1931)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 393 Average listal rating (207 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
L'Atalante (1934)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1646 Average listal rating (1012 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 330 Average listal rating (190 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
Balthazar (1966)

Now here is the essential part. Bresson suggests that we are all Balthazars. Despite our dreams, hopes and best plans, the world will eventually do with us whatever it does. Because we can think and reason, we believe we can figure a way out, find a solution, get the answer. But intelligence gives us the ability to comprehend our fate without the power to control it. Still, Bresson does not leave us empty-handed. He offers us the suggestion of empathy. If we will extend ourselves to sympathize with how others feel, we can find the consolation of sharing human experience, instead of the loneliness of enduring it alone. - Roger Ebert
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 4572 Average listal rating (3089 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6
Spirited Away (2001)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1339 Average listal rating (702 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.2
Stalker (1980)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 3655 Average listal rating (2404 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
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People who added this item 669 Average listal rating (343 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
Tokyo Story (1953)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8

This film grew out of my desire to make a film about children. A story about children to begin with, but veers towards adults by the end. The tone is initially lighthearted, but halfway through a shift occurs and it ends on a bleak note. - Ozu (source)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 162 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9
Good Morning (1959)

Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 521 Average listal rating (306 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 300 Average listal rating (164 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
Ordet (1955)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 195 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 717 Average listal rating (403 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.3
Ikiru (1952)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1167 Average listal rating (733 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment is a better holiday movie than It's a Wonderful life; it's not about a loved family man who did everything right, but two miserable lonely people who fall in love. I didn't find the film sappy at all.
The Apartment was influenced by The Crowd, another film on my list.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1166 Average listal rating (613 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
Solaris (1972)

The movie Solaris has a space station, it takes place near another planet, but actually it's a mediation on the human individual and not really a space opera at all. Do we see other people as they are, or do they exist for us only in our ideas about them. The planet can read the man's mind and reproduce his dead wife, but as he looks at the reproduction he grows depressed because he questions how well he really knew her in the first place. The planet cannot supply what's not there in his mind. The movie is quiet and creepy, thoughtful and very moving about the subject how well we can ever really know one another. - Roger Ebert's review of the Solaris remake (applicable to the original film)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1821 Average listal rating (1171 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.5
Modern Times (1936)

Chaplin's funniest feature.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 272 Average listal rating (152 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Late Spring (1949)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 389 Average listal rating (235 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
Limelight (1952)

Calvero: Life can be wonderful if you're not afraid of it.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 80 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Only Son (1936)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 170 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
Early Summer (1951)

I recommend seeing Late Spring, Ozu's more profound film about a woman being married off, before deciding to see Early Summer.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 258 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.4
Red Beard (1965)

Toshirô Mifune really nailed his role as a curmudgeonly humanist doctor. Unfortunately, Mifune was angry at Kurosawa because he wasn't able to work in other films because of his natural beard, and they parted ways.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 589 Average listal rating (344 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
La Jetée (1962)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 208 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
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People who added this item 975 Average listal rating (638 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
The Kid (1921)

If you haven't seen a Chaplin film, this is a great place to start.
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People who added this item 111 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.6
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People who added this item 4227 Average listal rating (2834 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 2752 Average listal rating (1729 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 1876 Average listal rating (1163 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
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People who added this item 7637 Average listal rating (5435 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Toy Story (1995)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 5199 Average listal rating (3524 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.9
Toy Story 2 (1999)
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People who added this item 3881 Average listal rating (2629 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.3
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2702 Average listal rating (1550 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Ed Wood (1994)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 3034 Average listal rating (1914 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 1491 Average listal rating (956 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.4
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People who added this item 248 Average listal rating (126 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
Sans Soleil (1983)
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People who added this item 1303 Average listal rating (776 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Mary and Max (2009)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 214 Average listal rating (140 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
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People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 552 Average listal rating (311 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 155 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 1063 Average listal rating (616 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
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People who added this item 1107 Average listal rating (612 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6

Caden Cotard: I know how to do it now. There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories. They have to be given their due.
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This is the opposite of my list Disheartening Films.

Highly Recommended Filmographies

Ozu
Miyazaki
Many of Charlie Chaplin's films are life-affirming. I recommend all of my favorites, but the most life-affirming are The Kid and City Lights. I don't recommend his first film Making a Living because the Tramp is a cad in the film. I don't know when Chaplin decided to make the Tramp a humanistic character.

Recommended Filmographies

Charlie Kaufman
Spielberg's films are criticized for their sentimentality and probably for almost always being life-affirming. His approach to film-making might deter realists from seeing his films.
I dream for a living.
The public has an appetite for anything about imagination - anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible. - Steven Spielberg



Movies that made me weep

Unlisted Films

★★★★
Zorba the Greek
Big Fish
★★★☆ Pretty Good
My Left Foot
The Shawshank Redemption

Recommendations are welcome.

I didn't add NHK or Tatami Galaxy yet.

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