Megan’s Awesome List of Awesome Films: Countdown (30-21)

Firstly, I am so, so, genuinely sorry for this delay. I have been so busy over Easter and with University deadlines encroaching I have had little time to write for my blog, this upsets me.

However, here it is, day 3 of my count down and possibly my most sophisticated film blog so far. Enjoy 🙂

Number 30:

The Servant
Directed by: Joseph Losey
(1963)

Interesting film which is brilliantly scripted by Harold Pinter. It is the writing of this script which is the key. The ambiguity of phatic discourse within the script itself is confusing and catches us off guard, keeping the audience on their toes. A very clever film, look at how interestingly it is framed – keep an eye out for triangle imagery.

Number 29:

The Hangover
Directed by: Todd Phillips

(2009)

I doubt there is much to say about this film. We’ve all seen it. Incredibly funny and possibly something we can all relate to in a slightly less extreme way. This is my feel-good-film. If I’m feeling down, I know I can watch this and I will feel 10 times better. The performances in Hangover are so memorable, and Bradley Cooper is HAWT.

Number 28:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Directed by: John Cameron Mitchell
(2001)

This one is a film that is part of the queer theory movement. There is something slightly disturbing about this film. It is a rock musical in a way, and at points it even becomes a slight comedy…but it is about a man who dresses as a woman and who during a confusing string of relationships ends up having his “manhood” removed. By the end all I can really say is that this film will have looked into and challenged but also confused your concept on sexuality and gender categories – a must see. However, something tells me that women will enjoy this film more than males will…just a thought.

Number 27:

Gladiator
Directed by: Ridley Scott
(2000)

Possibly my undying love for Russell Crowe helps me enjoy this film that little bit more. However, for me, this is a film that highlights the beginning of my love for film. I watched it for the first time when I was around the age of 11or 12 and I was inexplicably mesmerized by the narrative, by the way that it hadn’t ended as happily ever after as I had come to expect films to do. I was also captivated by its beautiful, golden and crisp cinematography. When I went in to study film studies at the age of 16 this was the first film I studied and the one I went on to write my first piece of coursework in. Consequently, this was my first ever A in film studies and provided the inspiration that led me on to study film at university. This film will always hold a special place in my heart and is beautifully constructed. For me, this is also one of Hans Zimmer’s finest scores.

Number 26:

Henry Fool
Directed by: Hal Hartley
(1997)

The main character is a garbage man, Simon, whose life is turned upside down by a mysterious ex-convict (Henry Fool). The man tells Simon stories that never really seem to add up and often end up not being as true as Simon believes. Under Henry’s influence Simon experiments in poetry which becomes controversially famous. We watch Simon turn into a success whilst Henry stands proudly in the background…but soon the truth is revealed and Henry is not so proud or as big as Simon had thought.

Number 25:

The Birds
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
(1963)

The first thing I noticed about this film is the lack of music. I had watched Vertigo and Psycho before I had seen The Birds and so had come to expect a Bernard Herman score to accompany another of Hitchcock’s films. However, other than the eerie children’s singing in one of the most frightening sequences there is no other music. This film is terrifically frightening and leaves the audience wondering why the birds are attacking… you’ll never look at a crow or seagull in the same way.

Number 24:

The Night of the Hunter
Directed by: Charles Laughton
(1955)

One of my favourite film noirs. If you haven’t seen this film, have you ever heard of that thing when a man writes ‘Love’ across one of his hands and ‘hate’ on his other hands’ knuckles? Yes? I thought you might have done. Well that came from this film. The main character saunters into an innocent family’s life, marries the mother and corrupts her in order to pursue her fleeing children for a sum of money the little girl is innocently storing in her ragdoll. It is frightening and gripping.

Number 23:

Vertigo
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
(1958)

Back to old Hitchcock again, as you can tell I am a huge fan. However, one of the reasons Vertigo is higher up than The Birds is because I could literally watch this film straight away again after finishing it. The ending is thrilling, the storyline is puzzling and the cinematography combined with star performances from Kim Novak and James Stewart are mesmerizing. I love this film and I’m currently considering moving it up on my list. This is, without a doubt, one of Hitchcock’s finest films.

Number 22:

Double Indemnity
Directed by: Billy Wilder
(1944)

Ooooohhhh, my first ever film noir. Phyllis Dietrichson is the foxiest femme fatale of all time. She is the blackest of all black widows. It is a definite must see and for me is the noirest of all film noirs. This was  a terrible review really wasn’t it? I am sorry. However, this film is on Youtube.com so I don’t feel there is much reason for me to tell you much more, if you’re a true fan of Billy Wilder of the film noir movement you will log in right now and watch it. This is enough to put you off ever trying to con your insurance company out of money 😉

 

Number 21:

Brighton Rock
Directed by: John Boulting
(1947)

Brighton Rock is the god father of all crime films.

It isn’t like the crime films we get today, it isn’t glamourized and full of Hollywood quips. Brighton is run down, gritty and honest. We get a fairly bleak view of organized crime in the 1930s. The innocent and love struck Daisy is sucked into a corrupting society, where ever the lawyer, Prewitt, is as twisted as the criminals he works for.

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