A little twitter conversation with the delightful Janet Emson (if you haven’t discovered her book blog yet, it’s highly recommended, not just by me) had me uttering the words: ‘Dammit, Janet, I love you!’ This, in turn, led me to ponder which films I have really, really loved and watched again and again. The problem is, I love films (and books and songs) for different reasons.
For the subject matter and/or atmosphere:
Terry Gilliam’s Brazil – for the zany, frenetic way it makes fun of dictatorships and the inability to acknowledge any mistakes
Ridley Scott: Blade Runner – for its despairing and visually unforgettable view of the future
Tarkovsky: Stalker and Andrei Rublyev – for showing like no other the pain of creativity and of a demanding God/or authority figure or simply the fear of the Unknown (and self) – we must have had endless discussions about what these films actually mean when we were students (having watched them on pirated copies, as they were banned at the time)
Kieslowski: Three Colours: Blue – for its lyrical depiction of grief and loss
Pretty much all of Hitchcock, with a penchant for Vertigo, North-by-Northwest and Rear Window
Carol Reed: The Third Man – Vienna, black-and-white, whom can you trust and that zither… need I say more?
Robert Mulligan: To Kill a Mockingbird – did anyone not want a father like Gregory Peck?
Michael Curtiz: Casablanca – ties for one of the best end lines in films (see below), plus the luminous glow of Ingrid Bergman and the wit throughout is just wonderful
For the male lead:
The English Patient- Ralph Fiennes to look after me when I am dying in the desert
La Beauté du Diable – Gérard Philippe to sell his soul for me
For sheer fun:
Rocky Horror Picture Show – my coming of age film
Some Like It Hot – I can still quote more than half of it, plus the best end line in all of film history (tied with Casablanca)
Bringing Up Baby – absurd but the wittiest dialogue between two of my favourite actors: Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets – the darkest, funniest Ealing comedies, I merely have to see Alec Guiness’ eyes to start laughing (not so much in his more serious roles later on)
And there are so many others, too many to mention. So, which films have you loved? Which films can you watch over and over again? Or are there any films that you only watched once but which left an indelible impression on you?