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mardi 5 avril 2011

Top Five Films

I picked up this idea from I Like To Fish and just had to give it a go (you KNOW how much I like memes...), especially as Travis' choices were so normal - nothing pretentious or arthouse or (in my opinion) unwatchable... that's not to say I agree with his choices (none of his 5 are on my list), but they're almost all films I've seen and enjoyed enough, whereas the what I call pretentious stuff I can't even sit through...

Anyway, enough of that. On to my Top Five Films Ever (or at least so far).

5. Face Off. I'm absolutely not afraid to admit to having a "thing" about Nic Cage. Yeah, he's made some dud films, but I suspect I haven't seen most of them - I don't go much to the cinema, so I haven't seen any of his recent offerings and they are the ones I suspect of being the least good. But this one, oh, I loved it! Not only does it have Nic Cage, but also John Travolta (who was, as you'll see below, my first ever actor crush!). I loved the plot, however improbable it was, and just thought it was a great action film.

4. Stand By Me. I am most definitely not a Stephen King fan, so the fact that this is based on one of his short stories is quite unusual. But I just loved this film (and not just because River Phoenix was so damned cute in it). I've used it as a teaching aid (read: pretext to watch it), I find it unbelievably moving. The ending, when the narrator talks about what happens to his friends as they grow up makes me cry every time - it's particularly bittersweet when you know what happened to River Phoenix in real life. The story is simple (OK, a little macabre, it's true - it IS Stephen King, after all) but so sweet, so charming at the same time, I can't imagine anyone not being pulled in a little bit. It's like every kid's ideal childhood adventure, a childhood from another time, another age. The actors are great, the music's great, and Kiefer Sutherland snarls his way into classic mean kid status.

3. A Room With A View. Total change of style and pace. This film conjures up such good memories for me - my friend J and I went InterRailing "round Europe" waaaaay back in 1989. We didn't actually visit that many countries or places, but that was a deliberate choice: we decided we'd much rather spend a few days in each place than whizz through a city a day and only have blurred memories. We planned much of our trip during our "Classical Civilization" lectures, and we decided on France, Italy, Austria and Germany. For Italy, we were very much influenced by this wonderful film - and indeed watched it on video the night before we left. This film always, always makes me think of J, who is still one of my very, very best friends. The fact that the film also stars a whole slew of my favourite actors and actresses (Helena Bonham-Carter, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Denholm Elliot, Julian Sands (veeerrrry sexy), Rupert Graves, Simon Callow...) is most certainly no coincidence...

2. Don Juan DeMarco. Ah, Johnny Depp... *sigh*... I've had a crush on Johnny Depp since I first saw him in Arizona Dream, way back when I was first living in Lyon. I actually - unlike most people it would seem - find him LESS appealing as Jack Sparrow, and much prefer him in the slightly kooky characters pre-Pirates of the Caribbean: Gilbert Grape, Benny and Joon, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands (all great films that I've very much enjoyed). But this film, oh, it's just adorable. Truly adorable. JD is soooo cute, with his sexy accent, his overblown tales of adventure and love, his whole persona. Brando is excellent as his shrink, Faye Dunaway delightfully flaky as Brando's wife and the whole film is delicious. I don't have it on DVD (yet!) but back when I had a video-player, I watched this A LOT. Another feel-good go-to film!

1. Grease. The first film I remember begging to be taken to see at the cinema. The year it came out. So, yeah, I'm old. But I was very young back then and my mother was dead against me seeing it, probably worried about some of the "language" or "scenes", all of which went straight over my naive little brain. I ADORED this film and developed a huge crush (as only an 8-year-old can) on John Travolta. The very first single (on vinyl!) I ever bought was "Summer Nights". One long, lonely summer during my university years, I watched this film on DVD every. single. day. I know it by heart. Yet I still love it... It's still one of my guaranteed mood-picker-uppers, a go-to "happy" film... Fanstastic stuff!

Almost-made-the-lists: Breaking the Waves: probably one of the most devastating films I've ever seen, it turns me to mush every time, a sobbing heap of misery on the sofa. Yet I love it too. Must be the masochist lurking within. The Sound of Music: what can I say? A classic among classics, a much-loved childhood standard, Julie-freaking-Andrews, all those SONGS... Wonderful. Dead Man Walking: sober and serious, moving and masterful, a great film that really got me thinking about my position regarding the death penalty. Sean Penn is AMAZING in this. Leaving Las Vegas: another devastating film, and Nic Cage at his absolute, absolute best (this film didn't make the Top Five simply because it's not a film I would watch over, and over again - too heartbreaking, too tough). He got an Oscar for this and totally deserved it.

I could probably go on and on, but this is already way too long, so I'm going to stop now. But I've really enjoyed doing this, even if I doubt that anyone will read as far as this...

1 commentaire:

ndib a dit…

I read to the end. Keep writing. I read your Blog every day, but rarely comment. You've had a tough year. M