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January 25th, 2013 (3:57 AM).
Mr Cat Dog
<insert witty eloquence here>
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: London, UK
This has been my Top 10 list for a while now. The most recent change was about 6 months ago, whereas I saw the first film on this list about 6 years ago! I did a Top 50 a few months back, but that's probably obsolete given that I've seen a large chunk of great films in the period between then and now. But this Top 10 - in order, as well! - is probably going to remain consistent for a long time. So, without further ado, and starting at number 10...
Cries and Whispers
Easily the bleakest film on this list (though lots of others have their share of heartbreak, no doubt), this tale of Swedish sisterly love and hatred features Ingmar Bergman’s trademark pessimism and some of the most astonishing cinematography at the time… and since, with some of the most indelible images seared on my brain possibly forever.
His Girl Friday
If there’s one thing that most of the films on this list have, it’s a sense of humour. Yet this is the only out-and-out ‘comedy’ that you’ll find. Adapted from the play
The Front Page
, but changing the sex of one of the main characters, this screwball comedy has some of the fastest dialogue on screen – and has the laughs to go along with it.
My introduction to anime and, for my money, the best thing to come out of Japan since Pokemon Gold and Silver! Pretty much everyone on PC will have seen it, so there’s no need for further elaboration. My favourite parts, however, are the ones that stay true to Japanese culture and traditions in animation, but open them up for a wider audience to see.
I guess this could be seen as a comedy (and it is by many, many people), but what separates Strangelove from the laughfests of the period is just how eerily familiar everything feels, and how something like this could have genuinely happened. To my mind, Stanley Kubrick is best unconventional horror director (this,
A Clockwork Orange
Full Metal Jacket
Eyes Wide Shut
are all psychological horror films in one way or another) and this is a horror film more than anything else; the funniest horror film ever made, but a horror film nonetheless, whereas…
…this one is always categorised as a horror when it’s really an intense character-study with extra shower-knifings! Hitchcock’s best by a country mile, it ratchets up the tension from the word go and never lets up for the entire run-time. The shower scene is, of course, magnificent, but everything that comes before and after it is just a joy to watch.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
I’ve mentioned in previous threads about my ambivalence towards musicals: some of them I find amazing, some I find torturous. This fully-sung through French musical treads that line every step of the way, but watching it is such a luminescent experience that I can’t help getting swept away in the melodrama and the brightly-lit cinematography and the lovestruck couple at the heart of it all. People say Singin’ in the Rain is the ultimate film pick-me-up;
is my counter to those people.
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
A silent film made just as talkies were becoming more popular,
is the epitome of what cinema can do as a medium. It has pretty much everything you’d want in a film: laughs, tension, attempted murder, a psychedelic carnival, heartbreak, love, adultery, a shipping disaster… everything! And it’s amazing how all of the special effects in 1927 hold up to this day.
3) WALL-E (2008)
The only one of these films that I’ve seen in a cinema and instantly fallen head-over-heels in love with. To my money, it’s the best love story, the best animation, the best sci-fi, and the best adventure film all rolled into one. Every time I watch it I smile, laugh, gasp, and tear up; it’s just that good!
2) Fargo (1996)
Featuring the most fully-realised characters and setting that I can recall,
is the Coen brothers’ masterwork. Contrasting small-town folksy humour with the pitch-black world of undercover crime, and mixing it all together with craploads of snow and blood, it’s a deliciously dark thriller which is shot, edited and acted with such precision that I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.
The film that introduced me to how good cinema can be, with a focus on how media corrupts us all, of course
was going to top this list. At once hilarious, over-the-top, dramatic, melodramatic, tender, cathartic, violent, physical, it’s a tour de force of everyone involved: the script is the best one ever written; the actors give the performances of their lives. Every time I watch it I think ‘oh, this time I’m not going to love it as much’ and only come out wowed anew. My love for this film knows no bounds!
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