Monday, April 30, 2007

My Top Ten Films

With marvellous adeptness my Blog Buddy, Old Cheeser, tagged me over the weekend to produce a potted account of my top ten movies.

Easy, I thought. No problem.

Except to narrow my positively obese DVD collection down to a carrot stick thin top ten proved harder than I thought possible. Nevertheless. Here, compiled in no order whatsoever, are my favourite top ten movies. Or, at least the ones that are in top ten right now. Ask me again tomorrow and it could be completely different (though The Land Before Time IX is never going to make the list – no matter how hard you look).

1) Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain – Audrey Tautou. Paris. A travelling gnome. Perfect.

2) Bladerunner – still, after all this time, the film refuses to look dated. And it still hits me right in the guts. Roy Batty’s final speech is one of cinema’s finest moments and I’m led to believe that he improvised much of it.

3) The Company of Wolves – being a massive Angela Carter fan it’s a real treat to see her literary genius transfigured into an amazingly evocative manifestation of every childhood fairy tale you were ever told. The Brother’s Grimm and then some...

4) The Outlaw Josie Wales – I like a good Western and this is one of the best. Great one liners too: “Hell’s come to breakfast”, “You gonna reach for that iron or just stand there whistling Dixie?” and “What we have in Texas is something called the Mississippi boat ride...”

5) Enchanted April – a lesser known Film Four production of the novel of the same name. It’s just a really lovely movie that makes the whole world seem much better. Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson put in breathtakingly gorgeous performances.

6) Donnie Darko – this film effects me on so many different levels I can’t even begin to describe them.

7) Unbreakable – I preferred this to Sixth Sense because it was so off the wall. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson both put in bruising yet vulnerable performances. A film that stays true to itself right to the last frame...

8) Lord Of The Rings – what can I say? It did the job for me. End of story.

9) About A Boy – I like the occasional chick flick and there’s just something about this that grabs me. I like the way the relationships within the film are handled. And it stars Toni Colette. That’s enough for me!

10) Memento – Guy Pierce is so good in this it’s untrue. Few films get this uncompromisingly dark. Not an easy film to watch but worth the effort.

Also vying for top ten places were: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Unforgiven, Le Pacte De Loup, Plunkett & Macleane, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Get Carter, Elizabeth, Nil By Mouth, Akira, Planet Of The Apes (original), Kill Bill, L'Apartement, True Grit, Pulp Fiction, Muriel’s Wedding, LA Confidential, The Usual Suspects and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

Like I said, narrowing them down to a mere ten is nigh on impossible... and a top hundred would take far too much of my time to write up!


Old Cheeser said...

Hey Steve! Thanks for the speedy response - and well done!! I never knew I was capable of "marvellous adeptness" - one learns something new every day!

I completely agree, it's very hard to narrow one's bestest films down to a mere 10, let alone 100...gosh I am a harsh task-master aren't I?? I too will probably have a different selection in a few months time - one's tastes and preferences change.

But anyway I like your selection - interesting and eclectic.

1. Is this "Amelie" you are referring to? Beautifully shot and Mathieu Kassowitz is a dish!

2. Completely agree - of course! Roy Batty was, well, totally batty!

3. I haven't seen that one for years but it was pretty damn good from what I remember - and creepy fare as well. The bit when the wolf's head sprouts out of the girl's mouth (am I right?) is truly horrid.

4. Never seen it - not a massive Clint Eastwood fan to be honest and I'm not hugely fond of the Western genre, but I appreciate that this and some of Clint's other movies are true cult classics.

5. Not seen that one either! Josie Lawrence seems to have vanished these days hasn't she? She was a great impressionist (loved her on "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and erm...even in those "Munchies" adverts!)

6. Brilliant movie, I wholeheartedly approve. Should have put it in my own "Bubbling Under" list in fact. One of my favourite lines ever was: "I am seriously concerned about your commitment to Sparkle Motion!!" Or words to that effect.

7. Not seen this one either!! Might have to get it out on DVD...

8. As yet, I have only seen the first LOTR movie! And not the rest! For shame!! Are you referring to the first one Steve, or any of all three?

9. Again haven't seen it but may be worth renting out. I confess I don't care much for Hugh Grant, as he always seems to play exactly the same role, however he did look a bit "cooler" in this film, what with his trendy haircut and all. He's not public favour at the moment is he?!!

10. Again haven't seen it...sounded very intriguing when it came out with the backwards narrative and all (then again that's probably what makes it a bit hard to watch as you say...) Who would have thought that an actor from "Neighbours" could go on to have such an interesting career?

And from your Bubbling Under list, there's some good uns too...several of which I have not seen again! "Nil By Mouth" was very harrowing it to watch. I love "Kill Bill" - it's kitsch and violent in equal parts!

Lots of interesting sounding movies that I'll have to check out.

So thanks again for such an interesting and informative list - fabulous stuff!!

Steve said...

Hi there! Yes, I was referring to all three LOTR films... I kind of see them as one huge movie and like to immerse myself fully in the story. Though I draw the line at adopting full dwarf costume...

Ah - I'd forgotten about Josie Lawrence's Munchies ad! Wish I could get a copy of that! I used to love Whose Line Is It Anyway too... Tony Slattery used to be a fave cos he was rather mucky. Nobody could touch Josie on the song rounds though...

Thought of another movie too - Strictly Ballroom. A definite Top Elevener that one! Here's World Dance Federation Champ, Barry Fife!

Tristan said...

No Godfather, Apocalypse Now or Goodfellas? I'd like to say that a bit of 60s Jean-Luc Godard would make my list, but I have to admit that the vulgar energy of Scorsese and Coppola win out...

TimeWarden said...

I taped “Amelie” on Xmas Day back in 2005 but have yet to get around to watching it! I watched Guy Pierce just a week ago, though, in Nick Cave’s unrelenting western “The Proposition” alongside Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Emily Watson. I nearly gave up after half-an-hour but saw it through to the bloody climax.

I’ve seen Mike Newell’s enchanting “Enchanted April” a few times which also starred the lovely Lorna Doone herself, Polly Walker. Big fan of Neil Jordan’s “The Company Of Wolves”, despite Angela Lansbury, but if everyone’s including “Blade Runner” I shall have to think of something different!!!


Can anyone possibly list a top ten? I obviously watch too many films! I have to agree with your choices of Donnie Darko and Unbreakable, both excellent films.

Steve said...

Tris, I must admit to having a bit of a blind spot when it comes to gangster movies... I've seen very few. I've never seen the Godfather or The Goodfellas and feel really ashamed for admitting such a thing. I will try to remedy it ASAP!

Steve said...

Hi TimeWarden, I didn't realize Nick Cave had penned a western movie though from your comments you're not exactly selling it to me! I read And The Ass Saw The Angel years ago and recall it being a bit of a dense, hard slog but ultimately enjoyable.

As for Lorna Doone... my God yes! And didn't Sean Bean and Clive Owen also star?

-eve- said...

I've only seen ONE of the films on your list (besides the Land Before TIme) - Bladerunner. No wonder I don't like watching movies very much (possibly, I'm not watching the right ones..?;-)).

TimeWarden said...

Did you see Nick Cave on "Later... with Jools", on Friday, with his new band Grinderman? "The Proposition" is worth a look, in fact it's very well made, but it's best to watch it in the right frame of mind!

That's the version of "Lorna Doone" with Sean Bean as Carver Doone and Clive Owen as John Ridd. There's been another TV version since then, though on BBC1.

And, Alfred Molina, of "Species" and "Spider-Man 2" fame, was also in "Enchanted April". I remember him getting covered in soot when the bathroom boiler blew up!

Steve said...

Missed Mr Cave sadly but did see an interview with him and new band a while ago on some Beeb arts show and thought they sounded pretty good.

Alfred Molina is such a great actor. In Enchanted April he managed to move from quite a grotesque character into a very charming man.

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Steve said...

Anomymous: go ahead; knock yourself out - as long as you acknowledge the source of your material.