Sunday, 17 March 2013

A few of my favourite things 2; films

Just a few of the many films I have watched many times and will watch again, and again, and again....

Trees Lounge (1996)

Steve Buscemi's directorial debut is an understated masterpiece; funny, brilliantly acted, realistic, beautifully detailed and gently sad. More people should watch it.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Millions of people have  watched The Big Lebowski and with good reason; the Coen brothers' funniest movie. This also has best-ever performances by Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Julianne Moore, beautiful photography and a great soundtrack. Plus an immortal performance from John Tutrurro!

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The best of the Star Wars movies by a mile; grittier, more dramatic, deeper emotional content, best showpieces - even George Lucas' so-called 'special edition' tampering failed to take the shine off of Irving Kershner's masterpiece.

Metropolitan (1990)

Whit Stillman doesn't make enough films; but those he makes are peeless. In some ways, Metropolitan is like an 80s teen movie set among the upper class debutantes of Manhattan, but even better than that sounds. As with Stillman's also-great Last Days of Disco Chris Eigeman steals the show.

Brazil (1985)

Completely different kind of sci-fi, probably Terry Gilliam's best film, with all of the trademarks of his style; stunning design (the retro-futurism of Brazil continues to be influential), eccentric characterisation, beautiful photography, grimness, humour and melancholy.

Freeway (1996)

Not a very good film, or a particularly well-made one (though it is very well acted mostly, especially by Reese Witherspoon) but on the level of pure trash cinema it works perfectly.

Goodfellas (1990)

Arguably not any better than Martin Scorcese's other career highs (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy etc) but the best straight gangster movie there is.

Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)

GW Pabst made two masterpieces with Louise Brooks in 1928/9 - Pandora's Box may be better in many ways, but the more formulaic and melodramatic storyline makes Diary of a Lost Girl an easier film to watch 90-ish years later.

Ghost World (2001)

Probably the best comic-book adaptation to date, Terry Zwigoff captures the look and feel of Dan Clowes' sad and funny comic strip while also making a satisfying film.

Confessions (2010)

A unique  and very Japanese mix of tragedy, comedy, teen horror and romance; and with a great soundtrack featuring Boris, Radiohead etc. Perfect.

Blade Runner (1982)

A candidate for best sci-fi movie of all time, Ridley Scott's masterpiece is cerebral, brilliantly directed, acted and photographed and with an almost psychopathic level of detail.

Mallrats (1995)

What was supposed to be Kevin Smith's big Hollywood debut after indie hit Clerks was something of a commercial flop; but it's his funniest movie by some distance and Jason Lee is forgiven as many Chipmunks movies as he wants to make because he will always be Brodie Bruce.

Breathless (2009)

Yang ik-June's directorial debut is something like a Korean Mean Streets; a realistic, gritty story of people you shouldn't like but do.

and many, many more.....

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