Monday, 13 September 2010


The basic idea is that you post the films you can happily watch multiple times. The rules are as follows:

1. Provide a non-exhaustive list of films you’ll happily watch again and again.
2.There is no rule 2.
3. Reprint the rules.
4. Tag three others and ask them to do the same.

Ian Smith tagged me, so here are my own choices.

Irne Jacob and Jean Louis-Trintignant at the top of their game in this intricate tale of lives governed by fate and numeracy. Possibly the most magnificent directorial swansong ever. Watch it and weep at the fact that Kieslowski left us way too soon.

The film that sunk United Artists, and attracted massive criticism inside and outside the industry. Happily, time has been kinder to 'Cimino's Folly' and quite right too. Full of great performances, glorious visuals and heart-rending dialogue, HEAVEN'S GATE doesn't drag for a minute and you'll love David Mansfield's celestial score.

David Cronenberg's absorbing tale of brotherly love and terrifying separation has long haunted me, and each viewing strengthens its spell. Jeremy Iron's has never been better, and it remains a disgrace he didn't get the Oscar he so richly deserved.

My favourite De Niro, whose performance is almost matched by James Woods. A sprawling tale of love, jealousy and betrayal, AMERICA is sometimes almost unbearably brutal and yet it's a film with almost unrivalled heart and soul. Do make sure a hankie is within reach.

Oh my!! Red face here, as I had hardly anything good to say about this film when I caught it at the cinema. Since then, Ridley Scott's continuance of the Lector saga has grown on me to the point where I rate it as his best to date. For me, Julianne Moore upstages Jodie Foster as Starling and the script - throwing in a renegade cop and a disfigured Gary Oldman - is a constant delight. Love everything about it, including that firework display which you just know Lector arranged, coldly confident about the outcome.

Dario Argento's follow-up to SUSPIRIA moves from Witches in Frieburg to alchemy in New York, with Leigh McCloskey on the trail of 'The Three Mothers'. By turns, poetic and bloody in the extreme, INFERNO is so much more than a triumph of style over substance. A horror masterpiece, no less.

Mario Bava's sublime ghost story has lost none of its power down the years, taking the unquiet spirit of Melissa Grapps and embarking on a journey through mist-shrouded locales where the line between the living and the dead is wafer thin. Unfortunately, a big-screen airing of this classic was let down by a less-than-stellar print, but the existence of an excellent DVD does convey much of its power to chill.

Bill Murray does Tokyo, with a luminous Scarlet Johansson in tow. Grab a bottle of hooch, sit back and savour every moment, right up to that scene where the two leads grab a heartfelt farewell... or do they? As with Lynch's THE STRAIGHT STORY, it's not for our ears.

Two from Leone? Well, this hymn to the power of cinema has made me break my usual meme rule of not including more than one film from a particular director. Gorgeously shot, and laced with some terrific performances, WEST is often spellbinding in its beauty. Just like AMERICA, we have another swirling Morricone score which suggests the music surely came from someone/somewhere other than mortal man.

Terrence Davies' stately production features an outstanding cast, lead by Gillian Anderson's amazing turn as a woman in search of a wealthy husband and the social standing such a position will bring. As Edith Wharton once wrote, "Next to death, life is the saddest thing there is".

For me, this is the one of the best American films of the last couple of decades. Multi-layered, beautifully acted and it's a genuine privilege
to watch its story unravel. My favourite scenes/performance and lines of dialogue change with every viewing. A considerable achievement from a director at the top of his game.

Robert Wise's take on Shirely Jackson's novel is - like stablemates THE INNOCENTS and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE - delightfully ambiguous on the posibliity of supernatural phenomena. The director's less-is-more approach pays dividends here, and I still go away thinking I've seen more than I actually did.

Not Trauffaut's finest, but Bissett has rarely looked so beautiful and has never been so well cast. This is a splendid film-within-a-film experience. Watch it with Ferrara's DANGEROUS GAME for an entirely different take on what can happen when cameras are whirring.

Jess Franco's wonderfully delirious jazz-infused trip, and the film which will almost certainly force detractors to admit he can make great cinema when the mood takes him.

Once again, Chris Walken comes alive for Abel Ferrara in a vampire film for the ages. Feral, and often extremely moving, THE ADDICTION puts most bloodsucking movies well and truly in the shade.
"To find rest takes real genius".

Many thanks to Ian for tagging me in a meme which was kicked off by Good Dog

Due to pressure of work, Ian hasn't had much time of late to work on his excellent Shiny Discs website but make sure all you Blu-ray owners bookmark his site. Ian has some exciting additions to introduce in the near future. Just click HERE

Finally, I'll tag Michael over at Lazy Thoughts From A Boomer

Nigel at Italian Film Review

Keith over at Sugar And Spice


  1. Wow, some great choices here!

    As much as I love RED, DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE does it for me. It's tough because they both feature incredible performances by Irene Jacob.

    Good choice with LOST IN TRANSLATION. I know how you feel. I love this film and there is just a certain atmosphere and mood that permeates this film that I dig and it just gets to me every time I watch it.

    Ah, MAGNOLIA. I just watched this for Jeremy's PTA Blogathon and fell in love with it all over again. What an amazing film this is.

    And THE ADDICTION. You know how I feel about this film and it's good to see you championing it also. Definitely one the greatest vampire films ever made. And just a powerful film in general.

  2. not really gonna be able to reproduce this on ifr given the capsule review format there- will have a go at this though- i ll post it over at bloody italiana, if you dont mind - and some people are gonna be in for a shock when they see one particular title thats gonna make the list! i ll get onto that after work

  3. First, what a great list of films worth repeated viewings, Steve! I'd put some of them on my list, too. You know, given your thoughts about HEAVEN'S GATE, I have to re-visit it. I've watched other Cimino's more than once, except this one. You're sure right about a hankie for ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, and the haunting effect and power of DEAD RINGERS. And what timing, too! Our friend J.D. (byway of Jeremy Richey's P.T. Anderson blogathon) posted a splendid piece on MAGNOLIA. An absolutely marvelous selection, my friend.

    Second, thank you so much for thinking about me for this meme. I'm honored. I'm going to have to think long and hard about this one, especially given the quality of what you have here. Thank you for everything.

  4. Thanks, finally someone who thinks Hannibal is the best one. I consider it a masterpiece :)

  5. You had some great choices. I've seen some of these. I quite enjoyed them. Thanks for tagging me. I'll have to be sure to get this up asap. Enjoy the weekend.

  6. Okay, my list is up now. Thanks again, Steve.

  7. Thanks, guys. Sorry for late response. Haven't been around much due to illness.

    JD: know what you mean about Veronique. Close to being perfect, and I'll be sure to read your piece on Jeremy's blog.

    Thanks, Michael. I;ll check out your own meme tonight.Let me know about Heaven's Gate when you next view it.

    Nigel: I'll be over to see your choices later, mate. Look forward to it. Thanks.

    Fred: Thanks. Great to encounter someone else who thinks so highly of Hannibal.

    Keith: Thank you. Again, I greatly look forward to seeing your selections.