I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now and what better time could I find than in between mid-terms, group assignments and all the other school-related stuff? :))
Just FYI, I am not reckless about my MBA. After all, it’s my main priority right now. But some days, late in the evening, I am going to find the time to write this list of favorite movies. The TV Series I will leave for another article.
And the truth is that, having started writing this, I cannot wait to watch all these films again on our new, big, bright Philips TV OLED+ 934 that we’re so impressed with and that it fits perfectly into our cozy living room. The quality of the image and of the sound (done in partnership with Bowers & Wilkins) is absolutely stunning.
Before I’ll get to it: it is actually the movie Joker that has triggered the motivation to write this post and I would like to write a few lines about it. Even though I am going to leave it out of the list (I need to watch it again and to give it some time to digest), I really liked it. I think it’s impressive. It left my stomach in knots (no pun intended), making me question things I’ve questioned long time ago and that I’ve left unanswered. Not that the movie has provided a solution, but it brought some of those thoughts back. Some sort of awareness that things exist, with or without our acknowledgement. Are people inherently bad? I think we’re exactly the opposite. How do people become bad then? When and how should they be punished for it? Can they go back to goodness? If so, how?
Joker is a powerful movie. It is so powerful that it might become dangerous, planting an “inception” in some people’s minds, who walk on the thin line between good and evil, that wrongdoing can be a vindication for their suffering.
That’s what I wanted to say for now about it. Now, let’s get to work. My favorite movies are (taken randomly since I can’t make a top):
Fargo by the Coen Brothers
Perfectly balanced with surprise, humor, crime, absurdity. Expect the unexpected. Set in a winter decor in Minnesota, putting together an aesthetic I easily fall for: snow, a small American town and a (allow me to call it) sick realism. Outstanding performances from Frances McDormand and William H. Macy.
The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut – Stanley Kubrick
As far as I am concerned, Stanley Kubrick is a genius and all of his movies are masterpieces. I can’t really decide which one of these two I like better, because I like both (as well as his other movies) for different reasons. The Shining is also set in the winter and the solitude brought by a blizzard has always been fascinating to me (but the film is so much more than that, my words won’t do it justice – I suggest you just watch it if you haven’t already). Eyes Wide Shut on the other hand is equally fascinating because it deals with secret societies and occultism but there is so much realism in it that you feel like it could be also you who’s living the story.
Chinatown from Roman Polanski
Starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The screenplay, written by Robert Towne, is considered to be one of the best ever written. It is indeed intriguingly complex and it requires your attention and thinking. When I think of it now, it reminds me somehow of the second season of True Detective. I should watch it again because I don’t remember many of the details, but a big plus for me were the costumes.
Pulp Fiction – Quentin Tarantino
This one needs no introduction. I recently saw it again and as much as I’m trying to steer away from the ‘commercial’ (as in a general appreciation of something), I had to include Pulp Fiction in my list. I remember the fun times in high-school when we would learn lines from this movie, my best friend (Rusu) and I – that’s how much we loved it. The story is flawlessly written in such a Tarantino way and it has achieved cult status long time ago.
Belle de Jour – Luis Buñuel
Disturbingly catchy. It was one of those movies in which you wish things wouldn’t happen but they do and then you continue watching anyway. It can be considered erotic in some ways and it touches on the idea of childhood trauma – a popular subject in the late 20s (when the novel on which the film is adapted was written) based on Freud’s work. A majestic interpretation by Catherine Deneuve and a top director – Buñuel. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is another great one from him and I have yet to watch is Viridiana, which was recommended to me by my friend Alex Nelu, who is more of a cinephile than I am.
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
It’s not the only movie that I like from Wes Anderson (I would also recommend The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – the ones that I saw), but it’s the one I could watch over and over again without getting bored (maybe because there’s snow involved? 🙂 ). Impeccable aesthetic, adventurous, funny and witty + top cast. I’ll take it.
My night at Maud’s (Ma nuit chez Maud) – Éric Rohmer
My encounter with Éric Rohmer started in a Creative Writing Class, where we were given a photograph (screenshot) from this movie and we were told to write a short story starting from that still. I wrote the story (which I think it remains one of my best bits of fiction) and then I watched the movie. My night at Maud’s is part of a series of films by Rohmer entitled Moral Tales and it is a thought-provoking and philosophical piece of art with a long central scene in which the main character’s strict, catholic standards are put to test. I’ve been wanting to watch Claire’s knee for so long now so it’s a priority on my watchlist.
The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson
I find this movie being absolutely brilliantly written and directed. If you want to see some top acting from the actor I started this article with, Joaquin Pheonix, you should begin here. This is also one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s top performances so that adds up.
Some trivia before the finish line: From what I’ve read, Anderson found out about Scientology from Tom Cruise (with whom we had collaborated previously on Magnolia) and then did the research and made this movie. Apparently Cruise got super mad at P.T. Anderson for it.
I think this is the right place to wrap up otherwise the post would become too long and maybe boring. What do you think? What are your favorite movies?
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