My all time favorite top 10 films.
10 films that have influenced me as an artist.
1. The Godfather ( I view part 1 and 2 as one movie) Dir Francis Ford Coppola
This movie is a masterpiece. Acting , Directing, Music score, all perfect. If there were not a scene of Sonny Corleone missing punches when he beats Carlo then it would be a Perfect movie.
2. Mullholland Drive Dir David Lynch ( you will see Lynch a lot on my list)
This movie has the best Lesbian love scene ever filmed. However; that is not why its my second favorite film. ( It does help tho). This movie haunted me when I saw it in the theater. I saw it about 6 times in the theater and brought friends each time. It is the true Hollywood story that represents the 99%. 1st 2/3rds of the film is a dream of what the main characters wishes her life in Hollywood was like ( she calls herself Betty in the dream) . Last third is Diane Selwyn's (her real name) real life and the nightmare that she has made of it in La La land. There is a beautiful Tragedy that just gives me the Melancholy feeling that James Altucher and a guest on his podcast says makes you a better creator. I will be watching it again this Saturday at the IFC center in NYC ( for the umpteenth time) if anyone wants to join me.
3. Blue Velvet Dir David Lynch
My only regret is that I did not see it for the forst time on the big screen. I rented a VHS copy after an intriguing argument by Siskel and Ebert. This film altered my mind and taught me that anything is possible in cinema and art. Even on VHS this movie moved me so much that I Rewound the tape and immediately watched it again. The next day I had my father and brother watch it again with me. I watched 3 times in 24 hours that is how earth shattering this movie was for me. It actually seems tame by today's standards but in 1986 it was shocking. Great performance by Dennis Hopper and revived his career.
4. Eyes Wide Shut dir Stanley Kubrick. Lynch and Kubrick are my favorite directors and Kubrick gushed about Lynch's Eraserhead calling it his favorite movie.
Like Many of David Lynch's films Kubrick creates a mood and world in this film that is like stepping into a beautiful dream that turns into a nightmare. Kubrick does this with many of his films.
5. Pulp Fiction dir Quentin Tarantino
Quentin is a great director no doubt, but he is an even better writer and that is saying something considering his directing skills. Love the soundtrack and Uma Thurman and John Travolta are awesome.
6. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with me. Dir David Lynch
This movie gets better with age. Especially now that we got some Closure with Twin Peaks the return. You may or may not need to watch the tv show to get it but this film sheds a light on a dark secret of sexual abuse that happens in too many homes. You may or may not know what is going on but what a journey that leads us all to a place both wonderful and strange.
7. Lord of the Rings Trilogy Extended editions. Dir Peter Jackson ( cheated again and calling all 3 movies one movie)
The DVD's with the 4 hours of Bonus material are a must have and the reason I became a visual effects artist. Epic and personal at the same time. What beautiful story telling choices Jackson made. Just epic and I re watch this around the holidays almost every year.
8. Empire Strikes Back. Dir Irvin Kershner
I did not include the rest of the trilogy as one film because I don't think they are on the same level as Empire. I was not impressed by a new hope and Return of the Jedi was ruined by ewoks. This is the film that made me a Star Wars fan and set the standard for what a blockbuster is. Tho George Lucas did not direct he has his fingerprints all over the film. He is a great Visionary but maybe not such a great director tho.
9. The Matrix dir The Wachowskis ( only the first film)
This might be higher on the list if the sequels had not tarnished the mythology. I remember sitting at the lowes astor plaza and just being blown away after my first viewing. Also a great metaphor about the subtle ways tyranny forms and how we easily accept it. The last 2 years are Exhibit A.
10. Vanilla Sky dir Cameron Crowe
Another film that haunted me. I watch this film every year on September 11th. This film came out shortly after 9/11/01. As a New Yorker I was still shell shocked. This film in a way was good therapy and the Twin Towers are featured at the end. However; what I really like about this film is that it takes me into another dream world where I have to deal with what the meaning of life is and also death.