Friday, August 18, 2006


my favorite films

i just put so much time into this that i can't not post it in public. resposted from an email exchange...


so actually, i haven't thought about this list much in the recent past, so it might not be excellently reflective of truth. for instance, i*just* put 'batman returns' on it. i don't know why it wasn't already there.

also, it's kind of less pretentious a list than what i might advertise in some circles. it's more a reflection of what i watch over and over again than a reflection of what i feel is 'good'. my favorite movies are movies i love watching. i enjoy the experience. i don't feel uncomfortable, depressed, upset, or otherwise negative during these films. so. this means that i often have to defend myself regarding my opinion of some truly excellent movies--movies like 'adaptation', 'happiness', and 'being john malkovich'. i can't STAND these films. and when i say i don't 'like' them people think i have no taste. but really i do of COURSE think they are very very very well done. i think they're amazing--i just hope to god i don't ever have to see them again.

-yellow submarine-
my very favorite movie of all time. it's the only movie that i can put on and listen to like an album. every time i see/hear it i notice more of the jokes. it is a veritable feast of puns, obscure references, and witty wordplay. also, the beatles are my favorite BAND of all time, so the presence of their music in the middle of visually witty psychedelic animation is pretty much the clincher.

-pride and prejudice-
the bbc/a&e version, of course. i love the book, and the movie is like reading the book for 5 hours. this is the best example of how hilarious jane austen was. it's like watching a good shakespeare comedy--the director and actors took her words and made them come alive in their full mischievious glory.

a dark, disturbing, debaucherous film for the whooole family! with all sorts of beautiful morals :) joel grey is amazing, and so is bob fosse's direction. the movie is so well done that you feel like you're figuring out sneaky clever little metaphors rather than the truth... which is that you're being hit over the head by them. and it's the only musical that 99% of the world's male population will watch without being bribed first.

-adventures of the baron munchausen-
quirky good terry gilliam with awesome bit parts played by all sorts of great people, especially jonathan price. i don't know that this is actually one of my verrrrry favorite movies, but i really like it and it's genre-representative. plus it's beautiful, visually. the scenes on the moon ARE burning man. my first trip was wandering around the playa at night, on the year when the temple was very mosque-esque and was covered in a montage of paper, and i couldn't stop mentioning this movie.

-monty python and the holy grail-
i don't really need to explain this, do i?
of course not.

i had a whole two years in which some of my camp friends and i couldn't get through a conversation without quoting this film. and i so do NOT embody the valley girl thing. like, totally not.

-boogie nights-
i have actually only seen this once. but i think it will still be a favorite if i see it again now. this is also standing in for paul thomas anderson as a director in general. and for my love of the 70s aesthetic, probably. especially orange corvettes.

-strictly ballroom-
long time fave. the music is great; the male lead is the hottest thing one arth; and they don't do anything unbelievable to the female lead to transform her from scary-ugly to shining smiling beautiful. yes, i'm a girl. and this is my chickflick pick, tempered and made acceptable as a favorite film because it is australian and therefore automatically edgy due to kitch and inanity.

my favorite robert altman, and my favorite sprawling ensemble film. (and i LOVE sprawling ensemble films.) i loved the show when i was a kid, and when i put the movie on a few years ago i didn't think i'd be into it because i'd heard it was so different from the show. but then--oh look--it's way BETTER than the show. and while it's NOTHING at ALL like the show, i'm sure my associations with the show made me like the movie all the more.

-duck soup-
my favorite marx brothers. less slapstick; more plot. less stupid; more clever. not that i don't love MOST of the marx brothers movies... 'a night at the opera' would be my second favorite. or maybe my first, depending on my mood. the trunk/stateroom scene in 'a night at the opera' is still laugh-out-loud goodness.

-mansfield park-
this is the book done the way jane austen would've written it if she'd been attending properly. and it involves johnny lee miller.

sorry, is this too much of a preponderance of austen to take seriously? whatev. they're all really really good. but on paper i'm definitely looking *very* girly right now, aren't i? shit.

genius. whoever thought of this plot should get a medal. and the beatles are stupid-good at comedy. i've probably seen this movie more times than i've seen any other.

-todo sobre mi madre-
almodovar writes women like he knows them, like he's in awe of them, and like he has unending compassion for their half of living. so *all* of the almodovar that i've seen is beyond incredible, yes. (although i've only seen this, 'women on the verge', 'bad education', and 'talk to her'...andYES i know that's unacceptable.) but any movie that makes me *happy*because i've been crying for 90 solid minutes...? it gets to be on this list. and the line 'you are more authentic, the more you resemble what you dreamed you are' is one of my taglines and continues to re-happy me each time i hear it.

-the royal tenenbaums-
love love love it. the aesthetic, the score, the soundtrack, the actors, the acting, the story, and the everything else are my version of perfection. i refused to see this again for a really long time because i was afraid a second viewing would ruin the charm, and i was terribly relieved that i was wrong. i *heart* it so much that i *heart* 'the life aquatic' almost as much just by association, and by all accounts 'the life aquatic' wasn't too good. capiche? the glow is strong.

-american beauty/garden state-
these two films i think perfectly capture the problems, nastiness, banality, beauty, and hope of suburban upper middle-class america. ...and then there's the 'garden state' closing song, of course.

-donnie darko-
ditto above, but with a hint of david lynch and scifi. and it's got the second best closing song ever (mad world, covered by the dude who was in charge of putting the songtrack together).

-robin hood (disney version)-
i fucking love this cartoon. i have no good reason why, that i can think of... maybe the music? the music's pretty good. i'm pretty pro-robin hood in general, too. i really really like the errol flynne 'robin hood;. and 'robin hood: men in tights'.

-mary poppins-
this is like when i re-read 'the little princess' for the 18th time. the scenes of cleaning up the nursery, pulling things out of her carpet bag, and having tea on the ceiling are eye-popping fairy tale wish material that i can't get over.

-batman returns-
beautiful dark artsy creepy-gorgeous with michael keaton being BRILLIANT and tim burton being an auteur and a HALF. i wish the world had more movies like this. dark without being noir; stylized; not overly violent... shivery yum.

-cruel intentions-
dark and super-hot. i have seen this way too many times considering thati t's supposedly a teen flick. but it's SO good. i'm a sucker for impressive re-tellings done in teen genres. like '10 things i hate about you', and 'clueless'. (and the bangles' remake of 'hazy shade of winter', but that's a horse on a different carriage.)

-the taming of the shrew-
ish. i was just reminded as i typed that last paragraph. the moral is less than excellent, but elizabeth taylor kicks ass, and it's a great telling of shakespeare.

-funny face-
so first--this movie is wonderful independent of whatever else i say, because it's super-funny and has great color and art direction, and the songs are almost all really engaging. but also: 1) audrey hepburn is my most favorite movie star that has ever lived; she's the most beautiful woman i've ever seen; and this is my favorite audrey hepburn. 2) i watched a LOT of song and dance movies as a child, and this is one of the best, imo. engaging, funny, good plot, good star chemistry, pretty, not b&w, with fun songs and gorgeous clothes. 3) probably my favorite fred astaire.

-high society-
another song and dance movie, but with a great comedic ensemble. including bing crosby, fully en pointe :)

-pulp fiction-
the acting, the visual aesthetic, the music, the time distortion... i forget sometimes how startlingly excellent this was when it first cameout.

is that it? i need to think of some that are more impressive...i used to have 'everyone says i love you' (woody allen) on this list, but i have removed it since seeing it again. it's got some sublime moments, including ed norton singing in the jewelry store and the end scene of all the groucho marxes, but really it's super slow and actually kind of borrrrrring. and other than that, i don't have a specific favorite for woody allen, but i like him tons.

and i want catherine keener and edward norton to try again with making a movie together, and this time to try harder to have it not suck ass. because i would *like* to say that 'death to smoochy' is one my favorite films, by virtue of it containing my favorite actor and actress, who also just happen to be two of the hottest persons EVER--(i am not entirely sure if i just want to SLEEP with catherine keener, or if i actually want to BE catherine keener, and i can see that this is an important distinction to be aware of, so i will tend to it as soon as i have a minute)--but frankly i HATED 'death to smoochy'. although i only saw it once and i had very very high expectations and i should probably try again. but the reason i hated it was because their characters were sooooo not examples of typical keener and norton magic.

that is all.

Persuasion is, for me, the best Austen that was ever put on the big screen ... The leads are just perfect, and the direction is swift .. Oh, and Clueless rarely gets the respect it deserves as a great comedy
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?