I was trying to think of the most perfect Thanksgiving Holiday film. While peeling my hundredth potato, I remembered Jeanne Dielman.
Noticing last September that the Features section of this site was blank, I began embedding there feature-length films that are available in their entirety at YouTube. At the moment there are links to:
- L’année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) (1961), directed by Alain Resnais, written by Alain Robbe-Grillet, starring Delphine Seyrig;
- Flaming Creatures (1963), written and directed by Jack Smith (the last two minutes are missing, for some sad reason);
- A New Leaf (1971), directed by Elaine May, starring May and Walter Matthau;
- Little Murders (1971), directed by Alan Arkin, written by Jules Feiffer, starring Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, Alan Arkin, others;
- India Song (1975), written and directed by Marguerite Duras, starring Delphine Seyrig and Michael Lonsdale;
- Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is it There?) (2001), written by Yang Pi-ying and Tsai Ming-Liang, directed by Tsai Ming-Liang, starring his usual cast.
You can find much better copies of Marienbad and What Time Is It There? on DVD, but the others are trickier to come by. There’s a great DVD of Little Murders, but it’s currently out of print, and not many video stores stock it. India Song finally got a US DVD release last year, but it’s not the kind of film you find lying around. A New Leaf was issued on VHS and is now severely out of print. Flaming Creatures never got any kind of video release to my knowledge (which is a terrible shame, as it’s one of the greatest films ever made). (No doubt the fact that it was seized by the police upon its premiere, and ruled obscene, has played some part in its inaccessibility. Censorship sadly sometimes works!)
Amazingly, all of these films are still up and running at YouTube. I’ll add others as I stumble across them…
While writing my previous post, I grew aware that I wasn’t mentioning any women filmmakers. So I’d like to add something addressing that (because of course one can find numerous examples). And along the way, I’ll also try to say more in general about the power—and limitations—of the long take.