Megan’s Awesome List of Awesome Films: Countdown, The Final 10

Firstly, my darling..darling readers.  I apologise as it has taken me months and months to finally finish my top 50 films. Let’s just be happy I didn’t try to do 100 eh?

Number 10:

Barton Fink
Directed by: The Coen Brothers
(1991)

The best thing about this film is that Barton’s character reminds me of myself. Well at least he did for the first half of the movie – an aspiring writer, trapped in a world full of imbeciles making the big bucks and feeling too pretentious and smart for my own good. Obviously, the mysterious murders, slight perverse utterances and an insane devil figure, played brilliantly by John Goodman, aren’t quite how my meager student writing career has unfolded. However, the cinematography in this film is simply beautiful. The strange Earle Hotel is horrible, claustrophobic and reminds me of a prison / war camp, I even wonder if the shoes lined up outside the room is meant to have a reference to the Holocaust.  This film is worth a watch but much more of a thriller than expected.

Number 09:

Sur Mes Levres
Directed by: Jacques Audiard
(2001)

This was one of the first foreign films I loved and it sparked of a long career in alevel film studies being obsessed with foreign crime films. The film is basically about a lovely deaf girl who is abused by her fellow office colleagues. But place a stumbling block before the deaf you shan’t. Carla goes from being a virginal, childish and naïve girl to a sort of tragic hero. We are happy for her to have grown up and become a strong woman,  but how she goes about it and who she goes with is another story altogether.

Number 08:

Mickey Blue Eyes
Directed by: Kelly Makin
(1999)

This is the best mafia film of all time. I think it is best enjoyed when we all just “shud up shud up” and stop being such “Bri’dish assholes” so we can “forged aboud id” and enjoy a comedy by Hugh Grant which isn’t absolutely terrible. I am the first to admit that this film had me laughing all over the place and I am not in the slightest bit too proud to admit that.

If you need a good chuckle, in a withheld and suppressed British way, then this is the film for you.

Number 07:

The Lion King
Directed by: Roger Allers
(1994)

Best Disney film of all time. I don’t think I need to justify myself here.

*10 minutes later*

Sorry, I regret to say I spoke to hastily earlier, and that there are plenty of other amazing Disney films. Ellie Breeze had things to say when I didn’t give ‘The Aristocats’ enough recognition. My sincere apologies.

Number 06:

In the Mood for Love
Directed by: Wong Kar-Wai
(2000)

One of the most beautifully crafted films I have ever watched. It is sad and poignant – the story line (although hard to follow as the film was made in Hong Kong) is deep, meaningful and the film doesn’t end as we would expect – all things that add up to be a great, heart wrenching story and a beautiful masterpiece.

Number 05:

Amores Perros
Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
(2000)

Whilst I’m talking about my favourite foreign films I shall have to put in my absolute favourite. Amores Perros is a brutally honest crime film but it isn’t just about guts and blood galore as we seem to like these days. It has its moments, don’t get me wrong. But the story line is intense, exciting and has so many twists and turns. If you haven’t watched this film you cannot count yourself a true film buff. Ok? Go away and watch it and maybe we can talk. If you have watched it, I congratulate you – isn’t it a great film!? I love the fact that it splits into a few different stories, that become intertwined! Clever screenplay and intelligently put together. Go Alejandro!

Number 04:

Clerks
Directed by: Kevin Smith
(1994)

I can’t help but walk like the character Randal does for a few days after watching this film – it gets me every time. I don’t know why it is filmed in black and white, I don’t know exactly what the plot was and I’m not sure how it ended now I try to think back – but what I do remember is laughing, a lot. It is deadpan humour just the way I like it. It is cleverly filmed and I love all the characters – by the end of the film you are as attached to Randal and Dante and all their funny little antics. It’s almost like a Nickelodeon teen programme – but better, funnier and with its slightly more cheeky side! NEARLY the best film ever.

Number 03:

Reservoir Dogs
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
(1992)

We’re edging ever closer to that number one film and if you can withhold yourself from looking down to see what my number one choice is then please do!

Reservoir Dogs is an amazing film – every component is so beautifully constructed. It has an amazing sound track and an incredibly brilliant plot that leaves the audience in a stunned silence.. I don’t want to tell you what happens (they all die… nah I joke…or am I?) Tarantino is the master of a piece of art here. He creates a group of mobsters – some of which are even lovable. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed one tear. How did he do that? A pure genius with the camera and if you don’t watch this and listen it through right to the “The Lime and The Coconut” song at the end credits then you have let society down.

Number 02:

The Bicycle Thieves
Directed by: Vittorio De Sica
(1948)

The first film I ever watched in the Neorealism movement, and a heart breaking one at that too! I wasn’t prepared for what neorealism was about and to be exposed to that brutal honesty about the “catch 22” sort of lives these poor post-war Italians had to live. I suppose as Brit’s the world wars are remembered as a victory for us – although many lives were lost and we pray for those soldiers, we remember ourselves as the strong ones. Seeing the Italians and the way they had to cope with being on the wrong side of a world war is shattering and quite simply … sad. Sneaky De Sica uses a most gorgeous little boy called Bruno to really tug on our heart strings and as we see his father slowly become less of a hero in his little boy’s eyes we all relate and want to cry. The ending is truly bleak and ends in the true neorealist way. L Why is such a sad film my number 2 you ask? Well watch it and learn the ways of neorealism and you’ll appreciate it to be a brave act and a stand that film makers made. I am proud of those brave few who took it upon themselves to break free from the constraints and bring us an even more cultured and colourful selection of films to look back on in history.

Number 01:

Chinatown
Directed by: Roman Polanski
(1974)

Here we are. Number 1! Was it a let down? I really hope I haven’t become a worn out recording just reciting how much I love these films and I really hope I’ve given you a new incite. I deeply hope you like what I’ve done here and at least tried to watch a few of the films I have suggested. Whether you liked them or hated them it’s always important to be trying these new things, you know.

Well anyway, back to Chinatown. I really hope you’ve seen it because the thing that got me in this film is not only Jack Nicholson’s amazing acting nor is it the twisting and stomach churning plot. It is the fact that Polanski knew all about the country he was in and how his audience were feeling. I like that in a magnificently subtle way he has a dig about politics and even the environment. He is a very clever director and uses some brilliant story lines and characters to represent different things and portray how desolate and confused an entire country was feeling.

And finally, a huge thank you for those who have read my blog from number 50 and right the way down. I hope my passion for film is clear and I really really couldn’t want more than for just a few people in the whole of this world to come away from this blog and have just tried to watch a film they didn’t know of or have ever tried to watch before.

To me, film studies and the whole of the world of cinema has more meaning that entertainment and I truly hope that everyone can appreciate what I feel for it and join me on my mission to defend film as an art form, to help everyone see the bigger picture and how films relate to not only our history but the science, religion, philosophy, business and art around us in everyday life.

If just one person comes away with a little more knowledge or a little more open mindedness thanks to the babbling that happens in my head when I watch a film .. well then kill me now and I can die happy.

Happy watching guys,

Peace, Meg.

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