Monday, 13 September 2010
MOVIE MEME: FILMS I COULD HAPPILY WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
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.
THREE COLOURS: RED
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.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
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.
KILL, BABY... KILL!
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.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
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.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
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.
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH
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.
DAY FOR NIGHT
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.
VENUS IN FURS
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