Why films? Because films are slices of life with a soundtrack and some of us fill our lives with music to help shape / improve our perception. Just like in the movies.
I’m limiting my list to a Top Ten (sorta) but feel free to include as many titles as you’d like in the comments.
In no particular order:
Carnival of Souls. The first film to scare the bejesus out of me (a recurring theme).
Alphaville. Jean Luc Godard’s Sci-fi-Noir mind bender.
Despair. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s mind-bending journey into madness.
M. Another masterpiece from Fritz Lang featuring Peter Lorre at his best.
The Witch. A contemporary classic that scared the bejesus out of me from Director/Writer Robert Eggers and A24 the production company par excellence.
The Night of The Iguana. Directed by John Huston starring Richard Burton as a defrocked alcoholic priest cum tour bus driver, Sue Lyon as “Lolita” (not literally but you get my drift), Ava Gardner as herself, and a bus load of cranky dysentery-laiden ladies bumping around a steamy Mexico.
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday. Another comedic masterpiece from Jacques Tati.
The Enigma of Kasper Hauser. I could include every one of Werner Herzog’s early films on this list but that wouldn’t be any fun. Kasper Hauser is bleak and beautiful while Bruno S.’ performance goes way beyond acting.
Stalker. Andrei Tarkovsky takes us on a journey to end all journeys. Makes Apocalypse Now, another favorite, feel like a Disney flick.
The Haunting. The second movie to scare the living daylights out of me. Based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, Hill House was inspired by the home Jackson lived in in North Bennington, VT while her husband taught at Bennington College, my alma mater. I arrived early one semester and was put in. . .The House. Hill House! My room also housed the door the the attic. Needless to say I did not sleep one bloody wink. This movie was remade a few times but the original is the only one worth watching. The book is even better.
Runner’s Up (in stream of consciousness order) [footnote 1]:
The Servant (1963)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
The Blue Dahlia
The Big Sleep
Contempt (Le Mépris)
Beaches (ha! kidding!)
The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur )
Dracula (1931) Bela is Dracula in my book
The Bride of Frankenstein
Wise Blood (the book by Flannery O’Connor is also way up top on my favorite book list)
La Dolce Vita
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Stranger Than Paradise
The Night of the Hunter
The Wild Bunch
The Seventh Seal
Wild in the Streets
La Femme Nikita (1990)
Wings of Desire
The American Friend
The Awful Dr. Orloff (Gritos en la noche)
The Quiller Memorandum
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Hustler (1961)
The Long Goodbye
Lawrence of Arabia
The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (pictured up top)
- I went to NYU film school for a day