Just to repeat myself, these aren’t in any order, until we get to the last 2 weeks. My top 50 changes too often to list them. Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen any of the films I mention, love them, hate them? Let me know.
When Hugo came out in 2011 I watched it simply because it was Martin Scorsese. I’d seen a lot of his films through my dad and enjoyed them and then also thoroughly enjoyed Shutter Island from 2010. Hugo is a love letter to early cinema, especially the work of George Méliès. It’s a beautiful film that takes a true story and adds fantastical elements to make it mesmerizing. When I first watched this, I recommended it to everyone, and they all turned their noses up as it’s a kid’s film. It may look that way but it is so much more. This is the best Scorsese film. It’s wonderfully made, tells an emotional story and made so interesting in early cinema that I went on to research further. I may have grown up with films, but this one really fuelled my love for the history of cinema.
The moment where Sam Neill and Laura Dern first see the dinosaurs when they enter the park, with the score by John Williams in the background, is one of the best moments ever in film history. It’s a breath-taking scene. The effects are outstanding and still hold up today. Jurassic Park is also a genuinely scary film in places, with that kitchen scene being one of the tensest moments ever. It’s funny, memorable, and brilliant in every way. Forget the seemingly endless sequels, the first Jurassic Park is a brilliant film.
My first Terrance Malick film was The Tree of Life, which I have stated over and over as the worst film I’ve ever seen. I ordered Badlands because Martin Sheen was going to a film convention, and I wanted to see more of his stuff before going. When it arrived and I saw Malick’s name on the cover I groaned. This is a fantastic film. It’s a character study of a young couple who grapple with the world, growing up and staying on the right side of the law. This is in the tradition of Bonnie and Clyde from 1967 and would inspire True Romance from 1993. Everything about this is amazing from the music to Sissy Spacek’s narration. It’s a powerful film. Whenever people say to me that I’m too harsh on films being too long, I think Badlands did everything it did in 90 minutes.
I love David Lynch. Twin Peaks is my favourite TV show of all time. His films are strange, often hard to comprehend and full of an odd humour. Eraserhead is his first film, and my favourite. It’s scary, disturbing and full of striking images. When I first watched this, I’d borrowed it from my granddad. I ended up watching it at around 5 or 6 in the morning, to make sure it was ready to return. This film genuinely scared me. My heart was racing. Watching this in the dark, alone in a sleeping house, is the best way to see this. Over the years I’d made entire sequences up, doubling the length of the film, and adding horrific moments that don’t exist. When I rewatched it recently, I was taken aback by how much I could have swore was in it, wasn’t. Still this film is hypnotic to watch and overwhelming. It’s the fear of parenthood and in Lynch’s own words, his most spiritual film.
Grand Budapest Hotel
Anyone who’s followed this blog knows that I’m a big Wes Anderson fan. That being said, I only recently got round to watching Grand Budapest Hotel this year. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I wish I had watched it a hell of a lot sooner. This film is Anderson at his best. It’s quirky, funny, moving and makes full use of everything unique to film. This is a treat to watch and gorgeous from start to finish. Every detail is painstakingly precise. Anderson’s long time cinematographer Robert Yeoman deserves a lot of praise for how this film looks. Every shot is wonderful. From the first moment I knew this was going to be something I loved and I was right.
That’s the next 5 done. 7 more weeks to go. I hope you are enjoying this so far, if you have any opinions on the above let me know. If you have a recommendation based on what I’ve listed, please send them my way.
Thanks for reading and until next time,