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Film

I recommend:

  • 400 BLOWS, THE How not to rear children, by France.
  • 12 MONKEYS Psychotic Brad Pitt and creepy theme music.
  • AMELIE Intelligent, funny and sweet cinema with smart visual effects and baguettes.
  • AMERICAN BEAUTY Effective portrait of suburbia gone wrong, as if there’s any other way. Springboard for popular late-’90s art discussions about perceptions of beauty.
  • AMERICAN GRAFFITI Teens try to get it together against awesome day for night shots.
  • BACK TO THE FUTURE I love this franchise, particularly part III where the team of horses pulls the Delorean across the plains.
  • BAD EDUCATION Compelling, nesting egg-like movie explores traditionally messed up Almodovar ideas.
  • BATTLE OF ALGIERS, THE Fine political film indeed but scary as hell in its modern identification.
  • BEST IN SHOW Christopher Guest shtick illuminates obsessed pet owners. Awesome and hilarious micro-scripting like THIS IS SPINAL TAP or WAITING FOR GUFFMAN; personal taste dictates which subject matter is most appealing.
  • BICYCLE THEIF Poignant, heavy, exciting, amazing.
  • BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Man versus nature versus man versus man. Brokeback Mountain wins. Lovely and excruciating.
  • CARRIE Growing up is hard to do. ‘Specially if your trying to cope with cruel classmates, a crazy mother, telekinesis and a uterus.
  • CHILDREN OF MEN Gripping, human story. Amazing action sequences swell with straightforward verite.
  • CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, THE A visual feat borne from an absurd French imagination.
  • CONTROL ROOM War, media, sadness. Stuff you should know.
  • CREATURE COMFORTS I blogged about this here.
  • CRY BABY Semi-benign but still entertaining John Waters fare featuring my namesake!
  • DAZED AND CONFUSED
  • DEAD ALIVE Bloody, ridiculous, hilarious gore-fest complete with ugly baby.
  • DICKET/DOCKET Avant-garde masterpiece explores communication, emotions and mis-en-scene in strictly dicket and docket terms. Tensions beget an edge-of-your seat altercation. Far superior than the 50-foot cat movie.
  • DR. STRANGELOVE
  • EASY RIDER Iconic. Fully realized in its potent conclusion.
  • E-DREAMS A true-life exploration about how to quickly blow through $250 million dollars and destroy a partnership with Amazon and Starbucks.
  • ED WOOD
  • FARGO
  • FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH It’s, like, disturbing but relate-able.
  • GALLIPOLI Funny, sad, absurd.
  • GIMME SHELTER Maysles schools me. I know nothing.
  • GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, THE Best of the incredibly fantastic Man with No Name / The Dollars Trilogy. Sergio Leone blazes genre-filmmaking with his explosively dazzling, brilliantly clever and unfathomably cool style. Who even cares that nothing’s in sync? Contemporary homages seem dusty in comparison.
  • GRADUATE, THE
  • GREASE Sexually subversive times at tune-happy Rydell High. How I wanted Rizzo to be my BFF.
  • GREY GARDENS
  • GROUNDHOG DAY Absurd, tons of fun and immensely likeable film packs existential metaphors like only a grouchy Bill Murry vehicle can.
  • HAROLD AND MAUDE
  • HEATHERS Christian Slater’s finest work. A bizarre and funny satire of society, group mentality, high school, you?
  • HIGH NOON Lots of clocks and a pressing deadline for a shootout fuse thematics and mis-en-scene to create one engaging talkie.
  • HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER Brilliant story. Rapist antihero is difficult to negotiate, especially since he’s chill Clint Eastwood, but you keep on trying because the ultimate conclusion is so damn fine.
  • HOUSE OF THE FLYING DAGGERS
  • IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT
  • INTO THE WILD
  • JETTE, LA Black and white slide show basis for 12 MONKEYS. Creepy, refined and engaging. Story is paramount.
  • KARATE KID, THE Who didn’t want to just like kick some ass when they were a kid? Pass the wax.
  • THE KILLING FIELDS
  • LA DOLCE VITA
  • LAST PICTURE SHOW, THE
  • LOST IN LA MANCHA What are completion bonds? Is Don Quixote really cursed? Find out with Terry Gilliam and Johnny Depp in La Mancha.
  • MASH An absurd and sublime uber talkie. Super-catchy “Suicide is Painless” propels entertaining war madness. Particularly satisfying knowing that the big stars of the day Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland tried to get Robert Altman fired from the film.
  • MIDNIGHT COWBOY Forget homoerotic dissection. This is one of the best, most f-ed up buddy movies I’ve ever seen. Harry Nilsson adds an extra layer of awesomeness to an already fabulous picture.
  • PEEWEE’S BIG ADVENTURE So absurd and so much fun. They don’t really make movies like this anymore, do they? “I’m a loner, Pee Wee. A rebel.”
  • PERSEPOLIS
  • PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, A
  • PRINCESS BRIDE, THE Sweet and funny and fantastic. Fred Savage plays retro videogames. Great script.
  • PRINCESS MONONOKE Unbelievably incredible, naturally. A bit long but, overall, my favorite Miyazaki.
  • PSYCHO Scared the innards outta me when I first saw it a few years ago. Deeply layered and aptly named. Proves that modern thrillers have pretty much regressed in terms of story, quality and execution.
  • SCARLET PIMPERNEL, THE
  • SEVEN SAMURAI
  • SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE
  • SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE Fabulous plot devices, engaging story telling, powerful writing and great acting. Intelligent and edge of your seat, really.
  • SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE
  • SOLARIS Fascinating sci-fi dramatis that I happen to really like, in spite of its “a movie only a film geek could love” stigma. It has a great way of being interesting and unfathomable all at the same way.
  • SOUND OF MUSIC, THE Loosening up, singing songs, dodging Nazis, becoming hippies.
  • STRANGERS ON A TRAIN What would you do if someone literally interpreted your darkest wants and decided to lend an unsolicited hand? Fine Hitchcock indeed.
  • STRANGER THAN PARADISE Oridnary reveals excellence in this meandering and calming force about a coupla kids.
  • STRAIGHT STORY, THE Simple and sweet film presents unassumingly deep vignettes.
  • SUNSET BLVD. It’s weird! And awesome! And iconic! There’s a monkey! And a coffin! Welcome to my Hollywood!
  • TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE The ultimate mentally damaging horror film about believable deep woods psychos.
  • THERE WILL BE BLOOD
  • THIN MAN, THE Martinis, millionaires and murder. Infectious, not smarmy. I want Myrna Loy’s entire wardrobe.
  • THIRD MAN, THE Subversive film noir with infectious soundtrack, funny-smart script, awesome framing and the ultimate antihero running around post-war Vienna
  • TOUCHING THE VOID This documentary succeeds not necessarily in its extremities (which are amazing if hubris-heavy) but moreover in its frank account of man’s inner-most thoughts in the face of a worst-case survival scenario.
  • TOY STORY Back in the day there was this emerging technology called CGI. TOY STORY displayed its awesomeness, unlike the animation studio where I interned ’round about the same time.
  • TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, THE I blogged about this here.
  • WHOLE WIDE WORLD, THE Although Zellweger isn’t my favorite performer, this clever, artful and tragic film about weird pulp writer Bob Howard (Conan the Barbarian) creates outstanding actor chemistry while exploring difficult relationships.
  • WIND, THE Classic silent film about isolation, ferocious wind and some really effed-up circumstances.
  • WINGED MIGRATION Awesome cinematography and pretty birds and this is coming from someone who has never really enjoyed the latter.
  • WITNESS Wow, great set up and ironic thrillery.
  • WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, A Gena Rowlands wigs out oh so nicely… and there ain’t a thing you can do about it!
  • YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
  • Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN Simple, sexy, pretty and unpretentious road movie. Muy caliente!
  • YUME (AKIRA KUROSAWA’S DREAMS) Breathtaking, beautiful, distant and abstract, Yume was the first film to punch me in the gut and change my life. I was 15.

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