Sunday, March 26, 2006

11 of my favorite movies with 1 extra

12 films completely committed to their premises

Since our BLOGGER profile & other such handy services are always asking about our favorite this & that, I'm posting this list of films I have loved watching, for several years or decades. It is not a for-sure "Gary Meek's 10 favorite" or "10-best" list; it is not claiming to be balanced & perfected, but it is great stuff!
(Listed chronologically, followed by country of origin, director, & top-billed leads.)

King Kong 1932 (U.S.) Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack. Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong. How amazing this must have been when it was new! Yet its power is evidently undiminished today, over 70 years later!
Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein 1932, 1935 (U.S.) James Whale. Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Elsa Lanchester. Talk about undiminished power! James Whale's 2 immortal Frankenstein films may never cease to draw adherents to their warped fervor, & to conquer all comers.
Top Hat 1935 (U.S.) Mark Sandrich. Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers. The word sublime resides in the Astaire-Rogers section of Hollywood history, in at least 4 films.
Citizen Kane 1941 (U.S.) Orson Welles. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten. I cannot watch it without learning, without thinking, without smiling.
To Have and Have Not 1944 (U.S.) Howard Hawks. Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall. William Faulkner & Jules Furthman contribute one of the greatest scripts of the 40's, in one of the slyest, funniest movies I know.
8 ½ 1963 (It.) Federico Fellini. Marcello Mastroiani, Claudia Cardinale. The post-modern cinema ars poetica.
Last Tango in Paris 1973 (Fr.-It.) Bernardo Bertolucci. Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider. The post-modern cinema ars poetica. Oh, um, Breakthrough experimental masterpiece that proved shattering to many viewers, & opened (eventually) a way into so much (good & bad, of course) that has followed.
Chinatown 1974 (U.S.) Roman Polanski. Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway. One of the greatest scripts ever, richly deserving the Original Screenplay Oscar for Robert Towne.
That Obscure Object of Desire 1977 (Sp.-Fr.) Luis Bunuel. Alejandro Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina. Neither descriptions nor conceptions can impart the experience of surrendering one's will to Bunuel. Do it now & be wise. Be wise & do it now.
Naked Lunch 1991 (Can.-Brit.) David Cronenberg. Peter Weller, Judy Davis. If you still possess, dear reader, a mind or a will of your own, after living Bunuel's dreams, you may yet be too weak to resist giving them over to the tender care of the keeper of the Black Meat & the drinker of the Mugwump juice.
Barton Fink 1991 (U.S.) Joel Cohen. John Turturro, John Goodman. None of these titles lend themselves to easy abstracting. Here the Coen Brothers' alchemy transforms Bunuel, Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, & Arthur Miller, with Bogart, John Huston, Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder, as well as Kong, Frankenstein, Kane, Fellini, & Polanski, into a still-point of flaming perfection & weirdness.


Blogger Gary T. Meek said...

This is gtmeek, the author of "words from the belowgosphere", posting a test comment.

Hey, you nutjob, fix the director's credit situation, pronto. Small "d", capital "D", what? I know that the composing program keeps turning your 2 spaces between sentences into 1. Find out why, & fix that, too. --


3:31 PM  

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