Aug 25, 2009

Top 15, pt. 1

My friend posted up a list on facebook of his top 15 favorite movies, so I quickly put down a list in no order. I'll try not to go too in-depth about why they're there, but some should be noted.

1) The Insider
One of my top 3 favorite films. I put this down instantly. The story is perfect. The acting is perfect. The photography is flawless. The music is incredible. Of all the films I'll list here, this is the kind of movie I'd most want to make.

2) Brazil
The second of my top 3 favorite films. We've grown up seeing how movies are made. Without obviously going through the process of making films, we know generally how films move from screenplay to production, how sets are built and basically how most visual effects are accomplished. Brazil was completely beyond my comprehension. I simply had no idea *how* the film was made. How had Gilliam created such an epic, complete and massive world? If I had ever thought about being a filmmaker before, this was the film that ultimately pushed me in that direction.

3) Irreversible
Yep, it's on the list. For a long while, this was The Movie That Shall Not Be Named for fear that my friends would rent it thinking I recommended it (as the case with Eraserhead [I love Eraserhead, but it's clearly not for everyone). Irreversible is on the list because it completely altered the way I look at sound. Every single film ever made always uses imagery to drive the narrative and sound accompanies the imagery; this did the opposite: the sound *drove* the story and the picture helped drive the overall sound composition. Likewise I had seen films that played with long-form shots and chaotic movements, but this was the first film where it took a life of its own. The camerawork became its own character and felt justified to the telling of the story.

4) Rejected
The hardest I've ever laughed in a theatre before and since. Brilliant for so many reasons.

5) Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
A new one. Almost too new that I hesitate putting it on the list. But I really liked the film: a CSI-flavored Victorian period-piece that's very, very dark. But why on the list? Movies are horribly predictable. Most you can nearly set your watch to. And though most films have their twists and surprising directions or gags, you can usually predict where things will go in the first 15 minutes if the trailer didn't give too much away already. I never could have predicted where Perfume would end. Ever. Ever. For that alone, I respect the film deeply.