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Added by Lexi on 29 Nov 2008 03:09
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My Top Movies

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People who added this item 5883 Average listal rating (3821 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.8
Inception (2010)


''Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.''

Dreams have always been brought forth via films, the subconscious mind has been a vocal point and inspiration for many master film makers. Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha, Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and presently Christopher Nolan has been inspired by the greatest and best masters before him.
So for his latest, Nolan brings to our attention Inception; A classy, thrilling sphere of complexity. Nolan has looked at memory, magic, deception and the human psyche and here again he delves even deeper into our imagination.

Inception was everything I expected it to be and in some circumstances exceeded expectations intricately.
Witty exchanges of dialogue between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy produce sly grins - ''You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.'' - while the serious issues covered by Leo, Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard elevate the story and acting to higher spheres via implicity.
This is one of the best films this year and I can't see anything rivalling it later. This is one of those films where they will still be talking about it a hundred years later, where people will discuss and debate about what is real and what is dream.
The beauty of Inception is the deception and intelligence of how important an idea is yet the relevance of said idea is not. I could quite happily watch this over and over and still pick up new ideas and see new threads emerge from the puzzling maze that is presented to us.
What else makes Inception glorious as well as the imaginative visuals and story? Hans Zimmer's score. It is one of his best yet and it sends shivers up my spine everytime.
Christopher Nolan is the best at what he does, Inception proves it. The sharp suits, gravity defying antics and twists all combine in a sort of signature move regarding Nolan. This is his baby. No doubt about it.
This will have you pondering, wondering and thinking...Is this real? Is this a dream? Most importantly what is reality? The only answer I believe is one that is open to interpretation. Cleverly, Nolan leaves answers ambiguous while the theme of dreams is defined effortlessly. Our minds are spinning just like the spinning top that closes the film...Is this a dream or real? Be your own person and make your own choices.

''What's the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.''

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Dreams within dreams...
Inception
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People who added this item 5007 Average listal rating (3181 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.5
Memento (2000)


''Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts.''

Memento is deeply psychological, as soon as it starts you can see in between the lines, the stylish layout and the Adult thriller Hitchcock-esque execution, that this is birthed from the mind of Nolan.
That being said Memento not only is derived from acclaimed Director Christopher Nolan but also Jonathan Nolan who wrote the short story Memento Mori.
Christopher does the Screenplay which to my opinion holds no faults, it's virtually flawless.

He is given the answers at the start yet only remembers the questions. Leonard at the end is a more coherent character than at the beginning.

Is this due to the fact we've given a mass of information by then and think we know him and his situation better? Or is he, as his narrative progresses, getting vaguer, moving towards inertia, the catatonia that finally swamped his altar-ego Sammy Jankis.

Our problem is that the film comprises not one plot, but four, all fragmented, full of gaping black holes, all mediated by this character who knows nothing. One is Leonard's narrative as he sees it, as he tries to avenge his wife's murder. The second is told in monochrome flashback (or whatever this is called in a film that runs backward), mostly told in mysterious phone calls, and seem to flesh out the gaps missing in the first plot, but actually creates more. The third is the 'real' plot that may have something to do with cops, snitches, femmes fatales, or may be hallucinated, misremembered by Leonard, or simply planted there as cover for another plot, or may not even exist at all. The fourth is the story of Sammy, who suffered the same 'condition' as Leonard.

All four unique strains are obviously connected with each other to create a discordant vision, but each undermines the other.
In a relative sense, hell is here, and Leonard is in hell. We can only take the opening sequence, where Leonard stands holding a fading photograph over a dead man's bloody body as the only reliable image, and in this image, another, the snapshot, is slipping away, untouchable, like Leonard's memory, like the film, like Memento. It's ending is in a sense a rewinding of sorts.

''My wife deserves revenge, whether I know about it or not.''

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I can't remember to forget you.
Memento

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People who added this item 4851 Average listal rating (3156 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.5
The Prestige (2006)


''Never show anyone. They'll beg you and they'll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up... you'll be nothing to them. The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.''

The Prestige is based on the book by Christopher Priest. The story is about two entertaining magicians who become rivals, ever since a terrible occurrence transpires, a friendship that turns to rivalry, a rivalry that turns deadly. Friendly rivalry becomes an obsession. Their obsessions over trying to discover how the other does the trick, or how to upstage said trick, could turn into a life threatening game.

The story is in a word mesmerizing. You cannot help but stay focused, and throughout the film you want to know what will follow. There are many twists and turns within the snake shaped plot, There is a quote in the movie that is used throughout, "Are you watching closely?" You need to be paying close attention and The Prestige is better appreciated when given multiple viewings.

Magic is the perfect equation for both stories and film-making, in the way the film could almost be an allegory about why movie buffs usually make the worst movies. Each protagonist is an incomplete man in every sense of the word. Bale has the genius but not the ability to sell his illusions to an audience. Jackman has the showmanship but not the originality to create a truly great trick. In the middle is Michael Caine's engine, the backstage genius with the surprisingly shaky cockney accent, caught somewhere between director and ghost writer in the scheme of things.

''Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige".''

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Are you watching closely?
The Prestige
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People who added this item 1669 Average listal rating (928 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1


''The pain, so unexpected and undeserved had for some reason cleared away the cobwebs. I realized I didn't hate the cabinet door, I hated my life... My house, my family, my backyard, my power mower. Nothing would ever change; nothing new could ever be expected. It had to end, and it did. Now in the dark world where I dwell, ugly things, and surprising things, and sometimes little wondrous things, spill out in me constantly, and I can count on nothing.''

Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly(2006) is a humanistic and undeniably heartbreaking adaptation of Phillip K Dick's novel. What works is the film's pre-occupation with the human condition; focusing on the emotional and psychological effects of substance abuse, relationships, and essentially, trust; or lack of trust.

The animation is also truly beautiful. It is rich, and artistically vibrant. It works in the film's favour, conveying a sense of hyper-reality that is also embedded within every day life. It feels real, rather than detached or futuristic. We are engrossed, not removed from the story or its characters.
The animated overlay very clever too, especially that scramble suit, which conceals its wearer's identity.
Some really clever and funny scenes that amuse and seem totally pointless. Loving the characters having idea bubbles or Freck's suicide note with the alien, Freck holding Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead; A truthful, powerful testament and compliment to Philip K Dick. Amazing how their conversations always end up being from bicycle to silenced foiled guns to paranoia about someone being in their house.
There's a major twist and may take more than one viewing to appreciate the complex ending. So amazing when you piece it together. Richard Linklater did a wonderful job directing and executing this. It has become a Graphic novel that comes to life with artistic realism that conveys the druggy state of the movie's message.
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Clearly? Or darkly?
A Scanner Darkly
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''You'll never leave this island.''

When you go to see Shutter Island, let me say this, go in and expect absolutely anything to happen. The first time you see it will undoubtedly be the best experience of psychological horror you have ever witnessed.
Never mind the dumb parents whom bring their children to see this, or the fat bloke complaining behind you complaining because he has absolutely no idea what is going on. Shutter Island will go over most peoples heads in the essence some will not want to understand. Scorsese tackles a sensitive and complex subject and delivers with a film that will cause debate and discussion for years to come.
As soon as it opens it captures your attention, and your mind. Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels and Mark Ruffalo as Chuck Aule on a boat; Then the feeling of isolation and tension settles in with the blaring Hitchcock-esque music blaring behind the visuals. Then what does scorsese do? He brings us closer and closer until like his characters he captures us within this mental facility, this mysterious island of the criminally insane.

What is real? What is fantasy? Who is right and who is wrong? The beauty of Shutter Island is that it leaves the answers open as it does with the questions. Are the doctors carrying out a secret experiment? Is our hero really going crazy? The overall experience of this film is that it's alot to grasp upon first viewing. To go over what you have just witnessed and simply be in awe of it is purely wonderful. An ending that is left open that will spark debates and controversy for many years to come is my idea of heavenly bliss in the filmic world.
This is Scorsese's psychological golden goose masterpiece. A standing ovation of fucked up, scandalous applause is necessary my friends...And then some. Your mind will undoubtedly never be the same after watching this for those sane people and if you have had children best not watch this. So what you waiting for? Do think you have what it takes to watch? I dare you not to miss this.

''Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?''

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You'll never leave this island.
Shutter Island
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People who added this item 4010 Average listal rating (2515 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6


''I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.''

Christian Bale is arguably modern cinema's
biggest rising actors from the UK going to an all boy's school in Bournemouth originally.
I sometimes consider hailing him as the greatest performer of this generation, particularly when I watched his leap-to-fame performance in American Psycho. On its release i remember reading it received mixed acclaim; nevertheless, Bale was nearly always commended for performing in the remarkably charismatic role of Patrick Bateman.

The character ranks among contemporary literature's greatest creations and real life serial killers, similar to Hannibal Lector, Leatherface or Zodiac, and back in 2000 a young Bale somehow managed to embody the yup maniac. The character's slickly menacing demeanor, attentive idiosyncrasies, and always brewing revulsion is intuitively mastered in this offbeat satire.

Patrick Bateman is both the definitive New York yuppie and the ultimate sociopath. He is hidden by the Wall Street businessman persona, and his pastime activities are unnoticed by his self-obsessed associates- like himself. He thrives off a colossal maze of jealously, established on distaste for any minor, physical and social hiccup. Little do such men know that they are dehumanizing any merit they once had.

Bret Easton Ellis' original novel contains possibly the most graphic depictions of sex and violence in any novel I have ever read. I read it a while ago from my Library. Appropriately, director Mary Harron places much of the novel's explicit content off-screen, similar to how the book simply lets the reader imagine the vivid nature of the content.

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I simply am not there.
American Psycho
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People who added this item 7054 Average listal rating (4547 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.2


''People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.''

The plot of V for Vendetta is surprisingly complex and expertly stitched together, and I don't want to divulge any juicy details.
Suffice it to say that a masked anarchist (Hugo Weaving) must save a young woman (Natalie Portman) during his attempt to expose a corrupt flawed government.
Weaving is perfectly cast, using his formidable physicality and imposing voice to give gravitas to the insanity of the character.
Hugo weaving although unseen behind the mask shows depth in his masked vigilante V, he portrays his emotion and passion.
Portman has gone from child to teen star and is finally emerging as a talented, adult actress following her Oscar-nominated turn in Closer, which I have yet to see. Here, she gives her best performance to date as the orphaned, Evey.
John Hurt is characteristically impressive as the enigmatic evil government leader, who's more of a dictator than a PM. Stephen Rea gives a wonderful supporting turn as the police inspector charged with finding V - before it's too late. Making us see a flip side and narration to proceedings.

''Strength through unity. Unity through faith.''

The Wachowski Brothers former colleague, James McTiegue, takes on the directing tasks here and steers an enormously impressive first feature, using every means available, in a manner reminiscent of his mentors breakout hit The Matrix. Unlike Matrix, McTiegue allows the story to be more of a focus, and as a result the film is a tense yet emotional storm, with outbursts of spectacularly filmed and choreographed action. Showing more maturity and restraint than the Wachowskis ever did, McTiegue doesn't show off, and his trickery isn't self conscious. When slow-motion overtakes a late action sequence, it seems extremely natural yet believable. The late cinematographer Adrian Biddle (V is dedicated to his memory) does an outstanding job, Oscar-nominated Dario Marianelli's score is a fantastic accompaniment to the piece, setting your emotions ablaze like V, and the visual effects are astonishing, terrifying, and deeply moving, especially in the climatic moments.

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V for Victory..V for Vengeance..V for Virtuous..
V for Vendetta
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People who added this item 1223 Average listal rating (731 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
Rashomon (1950)


''It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves.''

Ironically, Japanese critics were not enthusiastic about Rashomon when it was released in 50's Japan.
In today's world, however, Rashomon is generally considered to be the film that introduced both director Akira Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to the western parts of the globe.
Often cited as the film that prompted The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create an award for Best Foreign Language film. It is widely regarded as a masterwork of world cinema.

For those who question the film's offbeat narrative structure, they should ask themselves whether or not the cut-throat editing is there as a means of symbolising the colliding viewpoints. I consider this to be a daring means of combining humanitarian lies and honesty, and also a means of creating a disorientating, volatile impression. With Rashômon, Kurosawa's admiration for silent cinema came into evident practice; this can be seen through the minimalist set-pieces, which are a contrast to the complex storytelling procedure that his work embodies. The ambiguity of Rashômon is detailed through subtly metaphorical cinematography and lighting techniques. I have seen the setting of the woods as a display of the work's central atmosphere (intrigue, depth) and the shadows periodically depicting a loss of empathy and symbolizing the isolated danger of the reflective surroundings.

Kurosawa's skill is not just in dialog and relationships, his visual acuity helps accentuate these themes. When the story begins, the woods is magical, even colorful (despite the black and white used). It is a woods of fairy tale proportions, with mystical breezes and tranquil streams.
As Rashomon progresses, the woods lose more and more of their mystical quality and become dirty, dry and ultimately more real.
By the time the battle between the husband and the bandit is played out in its final representation, it is no longer a valiant battle of skill against two well-versed opponents, its a stressful, scary affair that has the two kicking up more dust than swinging their blades. The dust itself shows the degradation of the story, that is Rashomon, coming away from the abstract qualities, derived of truth and justice.

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Truth lies with perspective.
Rashomon
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People who added this item 2140 Average listal rating (1233 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
Brazil (1985)


''Yes... No... I don't know. I don't know what I want.''

One of the truest statements about originality in art comes from T.S. Eliot: "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal." Terry Gilliam is one of cinema's mature poets. His Brazil features homages to numerous other films, ranging from Modern Times to The Empire Strikes Back, and its plot is broadly similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Yet the result is intriguingly fresh, creative and visionary.It's the type of sci-fi film with an almost childlike fascination using strange sights and happenings. Rarely has a film so pessimistic been this much fun. Many sci-fi films since Brazil have attempted a similar approach, usually with little success. The chief problem with most such films (e.g. "The Fifth Element") is that they get bogged down in plot at the expense of emotional resonance. Brazil avoids this fate: while the movie possesses psychological and thematic complexity, its plot is fairly simple, and the humour, quirky as it is, never relies on throwaway gags. Even the oddest moments have a certain poignancy.

The story seems to take place in a fascist alternative world. It isn't the future exactly. The technology is weird-looking but hardly superior to anything in our world. Money transactions are sent through pipes similar to the ones they use at retail places. (One of the film's several nods to silent movies occurs after a character tries to stuff one of these pipes with wads of paper.) The pop culture references are positively retro; from the title song to scenes from the film Casablanca.

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Hopes, wishes, dreams...
Brazil
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Ran (1985)


''Men prefer sorrow over joy... suffering over peace!''

Born in 1910 Japan, Akira Kurosawa first studied painting before moving into film in the late 1930s. A well-known director in Japan throughout the 1940s, his 1950 production of Rashomon launched him to international acclaim; and throughout the remainder of his long career he was widely acknowledged as among the world's greatest film directors. The creator of such films as The Seven Samurai, Throne Of Blood, and Yojimbo. Released in 1985, RAN would be among his final films and is generally felt to be among his finest.

Kurosawa often borrowed plot lines from Western literature, and with RAN; the Japanese word translates loosely as chaos.
He integrated the basic story guidelines from William Shakespeare's King Lear. In Kurosawa's retelling, the Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) divides his kingdom between three sons: Taro (Akira Terao), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu). When youngest son Saburo upbraids his father for foolishness, Hidetora banishes him; only to find Taro and Jiro turning against him just as Saburo predicted. Kurosawa shapes the Shakespearean story to 16th Century Japan, so it would be easy to belabor comparison with the original; at the same time, however, it is worth pointing out that he actually captures the story more effectively than any western filmmaker has to date.

It should be noted that RAN, unlike Rashomon, Throne Of Blood, Yojimbo and many other Kurosawa films, RAN is in colour. I have long been used to the remarkable shading of Kurosawa's black and white projects, and I missed it; but only for a moment. Kurosawa proves no less adept in colour than in black and white format, and RAN's use of colour is beautiful. For this reason I particularly recommend the Criterion Collection edition of the film over any other; it is impeccably fine. But regardless of the particular version, this is a film which must be seen by anyone who appreciates Asian or world cinema; truly a masterwork by a great master, Akiro Kurosawa.

''Are there no gods... no Buddha? If you exist, hear me. You are mischievous and cruel! Are you so bored up there you must crush us like ants? Is it such fun to see men weep?''

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''Are there no gods... no Buddha?''
RAN
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Ugetsu (1953)


''This love...This love of ours...Has driven me to madness.''

Ugetsu is a 1953 Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi. Set in 16th century Japan, it stars Masayuki Mori and Machiko Kyō, and is inspired by short stories by Ueda Akinari and Guy de Maupassant. It is one of Mizoguchi's most celebrated films, regarded by critics as a masterwork of Japanese cinema, a definitive piece during Japan's Golden Age of Film.
The film's original Japanese title is Ugetsu monogatari(雨月物語), which means Tales of the Moon and Rain, sometimes translated as Tales of Moonlight and Rain or Tales Of The Pale And Silvery Moon After The Rain.

Similarly to Akira's Rashomon(1951), Kenji's Ugetsu monogatari released 1953 is one of the rarities among Japanese films to gain international recognition. However, upon release didn't savour such a positive response as garnered later in time. In Japan upon release, for instance, attracted little attention from audiences. A year before Mizoguchi's Saikaku Ichidai Onna released 1952, which I will be seeing very soon, was being claimed as a masterpiece.
We can only blame the film industry climate of the film Industry of Japan during this period...Because quite frankly Ugetsu monogatari is the definitive masterpiece with it's timeless storytelling and chilling vision. This is perhaps the pinnacle of perfection from a bygone age of beautiful film making, inspiring many psychological supernatural stories to follow in Western and Asian cinema.
So why is Ugetsu monogatari a masterpiece? Well, like Rashomon and Tora no O its starting point is a period of civil war and the experiences and mishaps of individuals living in a state of violence and upheaval, although at the same time combining pure folklore with this reality. The result is a strange and beautiful work, where ghosts, friendly and vengeful, mystical signs and enigmatic rituals, co-exist in a material world. Ugetsu monogatari is a treasure house of richly adorning imagery, energetic heightened performances with effective development, all woven and kept together by the presence of acting sublimity via Kyo Machiko and Mori Masayuki.

The theme of the individual's confrontation with a chaotic feudal society set in 16th Century Japan might be expected to yield a glossy historical rendering or perhaps realism laced with political implications, with near documentary resonance, yet pleasingly Mizoguchi's approach is totally different here.
He connects with his material on several levels; Realistic, aesthetic, religious, and mystical. He successfully and uniquely weaves together a hefty palette of styles and themes.
To begin with, there are two realities: The natural World comprising of War and chaos; Then there is this Supernatural World thriving with ghosts and pale apparitions. This duality calls forth a range of expressive devices in similar contrast, moving back and forth between unvarnished realism and highly stylised lyricism. Some of the resulting scenes could stand by themselves as proof of Director Mizoguchi's mastery in this difficult art of shifting and intersecting perspectives.
It's fairly obvious he is richest and at his best using crucial techniques; The long take, for which is work is famous; The long shot; The pan; The dissolve; and low-key photography. To these might be added a special felicity of camera movement, the fluid glide from one segment to the next, resulting in a pleasing control of the effects regarding pictorial composition.

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This love of ours...
Ugetsu monogatari
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''Why so serious?''

The Dark Knight rightly received 8 Academy Award nominations, more than any other film based on a comic book, comic strip, or graphic novel. First film based on a comic book, comic strip, or graphic novel to win an Academy Award for acting (Best Supporting Actor).
The Dark Knight was everything I expected it to be and even more so in places, it's certainly the dark masterpiece I predicted, but I do get the feeling that it's been overly hyped for the wrong reasons. See it not just for Heath's performance which is defining and immortalized, but also see it because Dark Knight is the greatest comic book/graphic novel to movie ever. DC comics & Warner Bros. must be singing and praising Nolan a hundred fold.
Dark Knight really does have the last laugh. An astonishing achievement that really does succeed in redefining sequels and graphic novel comic book adaptations.

''Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.''

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An agent of Chaos
The Dark Knight

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Avatar (2009)


''I see you.''

So what is the story of Avatar? The brief synopsis doesn't particularly sum it up. Yes, it is about humans exploiting a new world for their own pockets; it is about Jake Sully whom has lost the use of his legs being transported into a 10ft Avatar body...BUT it is also a love story between the hero and heroine whom are from different worlds. This is a Ferngully outsider meets natives, a Last of the Mohicans integration romance wherein the evolution of the hero is saved by love.
Neytiri(Zoe Saldana) teaches Jake Sully(Sam Worthington) the Na'vi's way of life after becoming lost in the Jungles of Pandora. Slowly he begins to learn how every living creature, being and plant is entwined in harmonic proportions; energy and cosmic balance without industrial destruction to nature.
Titanic showed us the epiphany of romance from Cameron; Avatar shows a union of two soulmates destined to be together always. When Jake and Neytiri kiss for the first time, under tendrils of memories, you can feel the connection deep within; Your heart skips a beat.

The creatures, plants, machines, locations, vehicles are all breathtakingly beautiful. In fact as we see this New World and these gigantic humanoids, one begins to feel as part of proceedings, as if we are on this world with them. Every blade of grass and plant can be felt when witnessed in 3D, every sound and noise ambient with unsurpassed depth.

Overall, this is an emotional turbulent journey that never loses momentum in the whole of its 2 hours and 40 minutes. Avatar will pull at your heart strings and make you care for a people from another World. Cleverly it doesn't give us a title for the film at the beginning but waits until the glorified magical ending of rebirth. By then I was moved to tears on a fair number of levels; many scenes invoking emotion, passion and inspirational bursts of imagination.
Who could of thought that the song I see you by Leona Lewis could be such a sweet soothing reminder to this beautiful realization we have just witnessed. James Cameron's Avatar will undoubtedly win numerous Awards in the future, even if not, this is pure escapism and a colourful escape to another breathtaking world which cannot be ignored. This is art at it's highest pinnacle. This is love in its truest form. This is perhaps the swan song masterpiece ever to be conceived from Cameron; Avatar is the baby we waited 10 years for Cameron to make...and it was certainly worth the wait! Visionary.

''Out there is the true world and in here is the dream.''

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''I see you.''
Avatar
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Faust (1926)


''Wretched Faust, why do you seek death? You have not yet lived!''

Director F.W. Murnau is best known for Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, his chilling 1922 vampire film, inspired by Bram Stoker's famous novel.
However, his equally impressive Faust is often overlooked, despite some remarkable visuals, solid acting, a truly sinister villain, and an epic tale of love, loss, good and evil. The story concerns Faust (Gösta Ekman), an old and disheartened alchemist who forms a pact with Satan's evil demon, Mephisto (Emil Jannings). As God and the Devil wage a war over Earth, the two opposing powers reach a tentative agreement: The entire fate of Mankind will rest upon the soul of Faust, who must redeem himself from his selfish deeds before the story is complete.


At the beating core of Faust is a tragic romance between Faust and Gretchen. I felt that the scenes when Faust is trying to coax Gretchen into loving him were the more subtle, detailed instances of the story and workings the film had to offer. In fact, Faust at times juggles within itself multiple genres and ways of evolving storytelling to new heights of betterment and wonderment. F.W. Murnau's Faust really is one of the jewels of the 1920s silent horror movement, and surely ahead of it's time.
In fact not many other films or stories following on to present day have managed to capture something so entwined with both film and telling a story.
We probably won't see anything like this again, after the golden age of silent cinema,and it's artistic vein of conveying emotion, titles and moving images. This is unprecedented and unrivalled, withstanding eternity and standing the test of time.

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Why do you seek death? You have not lived.
Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage
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''I must know everything. I must penetrate the heart of his secret! I must become Caligari!''

A 1920 silent film, directed by Robert Wiene from a screenplay by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari is one of the most influential German Expressionist films, thus often considered one of the greatest psychological horror movies of all time. The film introduces and birthed the twist ending in cinema history.

The beauty of Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. is the puzzle, the art and the silent medium the piece follows.
When anything is displayed delicately upon each frame it is not without reason. The storytelling transcends art and becomes a combination of genres that border upon thrilling, horror, art and dramatic acting using ones gestures and movements alone.
Narration nicely knits together sequences and draws audiences in, with it's whimsical tide of tremendous marvelling.
Werner Krauss as Dr. Caligari, embodies the part down to the last drop of Methodism acting.
Famed Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Jane Olsen, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, and Rudolf Lettinger gather together to make an impressive cast which compliments the stylish locations and black and white uniqueness.

''How long shall I live?''

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How long shall I live?
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
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Persepolis (2007)


''In this life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's their own stupidity that makes them act that way. That will keep you from responding to their meanness. There's nothing worse in this world than bitterness and revenge. Hold your head up and stay true to yourself.''

Persepolis is not only just an animated film or indeed a comic but one that captures one girl growing up. In the same vein as Grave of the Fireflies this film is not for children like it's cartoony looks would suggest.

What we get from Persepolis is Marjana Satrapi's vision of a life consisting of struggle, control and the freedom for women to do anything scarily non existent. Captivating that the 80s and 90s are depicted in Iran in such a way of death, of war and of propaganda and ideology that I felt that this world was so backward. Marjane's way of life felt like it was stuck in a bygone era like the early 1920s to 1940s. Her imagination and creativity are brought to life and cleverly Persepolis uses black and white to convey the immense desperation, the depressed state of society in Iran and the lack of free rights of suppressed, controlled women.

Persepolis ends with a beautiful rendition of her grandmother and her smelling of luscious flowers put into her bra area. This for me really does show a sense of how great life can be whatever trouble there is, good is always lurking somewhere, waiting to break free.
Whether it be Marjane's ill fated relationships or defiance of a teacher, or even men telling the women to cover up more and Marjane standing up to them, there are so many sides to this story Persepolis has to offer.
Thus becoming in my eyes a definite masterpiece of emotion, feeling and capturing the plight and suffering not just of one woman but also of a whole nation.

Simply breathtaking, Persepolis is nothing short of greatness and told in a medium bordering on simplicity yet emerging as genius.

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Pure art and an emotional Journey
Persepolis
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Onibaba (1964)


''You want to see a face that you could fall in love with?''

Onibaba (鬼婆, literally Demon Woman) (1964) is a Japanese horror film based on a Buddhist parable. Directed by Kaneto Shindō, the film is set in rural Japan in the fourteenth century and features Nobuko Otowa and Jitsuko Yoshimura as a woman and her daughter-in-law who attack and kill passing samurai, strip them of their valuable armour and possessions, and dispose of the bodies in a deep pit.

Kaneto Shindo’s Onibaba is the sort of challenging, hypnotic work to awaken spurges of inspiration and splatterings of horror. Until its Criterion DVD in the US, not many people had heard of Onibaba, this is simply an outright shame: Onibaba is a horrifyingly visual masterpiece with depth.
As well as being a visual masterpiece, Onibaba is also the sort of story that contains questions poised at morality and principles driving the desperation, lusts and hunger humanity is spurned with.
It is the sort of story made for contemplation; Mysterious and so blissfully unconcerned with self gratification, driven by a primally raw score from
Hikaru Hayashi.

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A face that you could fall in love with...
Onibaba
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The Fountain (2006)


''Together we will live forever.''

The Fountain is one of the deepest movies I've ever had the pleasure to witness. If you follow it through to its conclusion and are open minded, a deep thinker then it becomes gratifyingly mind-blowing. As for the tree of life and Izzi's book, is it real? Is she the tree? Or maybe Tom and Izzi are both a combined element of the tree in the end, the Tree representing or being their eternal love in essence them.

The Fountain uses each three segments and strands of the singular story to represent and reflect one another. A Grand Inquisitor begins to mirror Izzi's cancer, the future Tom mirroring life going on for the living, the present Tom having to go on with existence. The tree dying being one and the same as the situation of the dying wife. The Fountain is an answer and rubix cube of a cycle, the cycle being death and life. When we see each reality most will interpret these three strains as singular paths of different existence. The only one of relevance linking them all together is the present, the past one being Izzi's mind. When we come to the end sequence, it shows us something mind blowing that's hard to comprehend, and also something that is a revelation of the film's ultimate answer.

It's answer being not one of eternal life, rather one of mortality, struggle and acceptance yet again. Izzi shows us in her book, Tom's past mind set, one of unrelenting unwavering head long brashness. Hence why he drinks from the tree of life he is consumed by it, unready. Yet in this act Tom and Izzi's minds connect future with past, catching present in the middle in harmonic proportions. The answer that remains is that memories, love, death, and time are impossible to fight, quite like swimming up river, fighting against the current, when really you should be going with the flow. With The Fountain, my advice, go with the flow, and reap the rewards.

''Death is the road to awe.''

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Together we will live forever.
The Fountain
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''I met Death today. We are playing chess.''

Seventh Seal is Dark, beautiful, meaningful, and indeed explores the most serious themes of faith and search for the Divine, Seal is known as one of the masterpieces of Bergman. One of the film's inspirations was a painting that Bergman saw as a young boy and was awed by: "There was everything that one's imagination could desire. Angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans. There were very frightening animals: serpents in paradise, Balaam's ass, Jonah's whale, the eagle of Revelation. All this was surrounded by heavenly, earthly and subterranean landscapes of strange yet familiar beauty. I remember Death playing chess with a Crusader, Death sawing at a tree to a branch of which clung a naked man with staring eyes, and across a gentle hill Death leading the final dance towards the dark lands''.

The Seventh Seal is certainly one of the greatest films ever crafted or conceived. The unfathomably well-made script, the wonderful photography (shot by one of Bergman's regulars, Gunnar Fischer), the haunting score, the incredible acting and the powerful message all make The Seventh Seal one of the few stunning films ever to be created back in the 50s and even to present day.

What is the answer to the ever asked question though? Does God exist? Is the idea of a supreme entity a reality? The answer is not black and white, its quite simple...we will never know, not until our time comes. Thus begins the circle again for another generation; ultimately its the journey and our fulfillment of life that reaps the most glory, not the questions about what happens afterwards.

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Check Mate!
The Seventh Seal
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Blade Runner (1982)


''Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.''

Bladerunner is definitely one of the most visionary films I've ever had the pleasure to view, it's right up there with 2001 in being incredibly ahead of its time artistically, visually and idealistically. As an end product The Final Cut, Director's Cut & Theatrical, all feel ahead of their time, but I admit the final cut adds more tantilising questions and answers that will spark debate for many more years to come.

While 2001 presents a relatively light futuristic reality, Blade Runner is a dark dystopia overwhelmed with vast metropolises.

The wide shots of futuristic LA are both stunning in their visual representations and terrifying at the same time.
The numerous huge advertisements, show a world with capitalism run riot, not something terribly different from our reality, in this modern day. Blade Runner is over 20 years old but somehow it manages to be relevant and knock out other films these day's effortlessly.

Story-wise Blade Runner is a mixture of two of my favourite genres, film-noir and science fiction.
One of the most stunning films I've seen.
The dark view of the future is achieved mostly by the terrific production design, something like 1940s lucid Los Angeles with a digital edgy gloss. Not only does it look great, but the design is flawless.
It makes sense that immigration is out of control and the future has become over populated and vast.
And the music, while obviously from Vangelis fits perfectly.

I don't remember ever being this blown away by a film upon first viewing and made to think on higher aspects of life in general.
it usually takes multiple viewings for a film to gain my love. As it stands, this is Ridley's Scott's take on answers and questions regarding existence, time and our fear of mortality and it's deathly touch.

Blade Runner is greatness that is deep and hypnotic in all it's glory.

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Quite an experience to live.
Bladerunner
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''The punishment is loneliness.''

Ingmar Bergman has indeed done it yet again. Firstly the captivating Seventh Seal blew me away with it's masterful strokes of genius and layered themes of death; Now, Smultronstället AKA Wild Strawberries. The genius is replicated in it's questions and answers it gives us the viewers on a very important aspect to me, Mortality... Thus also addressing the purpose of our life. Wild Strawberries addresses the choices of a Professor whom has succeeded academically but with love and company he has failed and pales in comparison to the former achievements. Dreams are used to great effect to give us some rather surreal imaginative insight into Borg's subconscious and the looming grip of Death's chilling touch. I was especially was impressed by a dream of his; in which he goes up behind a man only to touch him and for the said man to collapse, a mutated head appear, and a chilling symbolized metaphor is shown to us.
The first dream Dr. Borg experiences is dark and puzzling due mainly to its unclear meaning and uncanny nature. The street is deserted and clear. Dr. Borg approaches a clock and looks, but it is without hands. He looks at his pocket watch and it is also without hands. The black and white scene is subdued and calm, but draws the viewer in all the while guessing what's next. The scene is without music and progresses with the sound of a heart beat that quickens with each step taken as he walks along the desolate boulevard. When Dr. Borg approaches a man, the man turns and lacks a face. Shortly after, a cart-drawn casket passes and knocks its wheel off after colliding with a lamp post. The casket falls, opens, and a hand hangs exposed. Dr. Borg approaches the casket preparing to look inside when the hand reaches and clutches his hand. Surprised and frightened, he struggles to free the grip and soon recognizes that the face of the man in the casket is his own.
Proceeding to see himself in a coffin is equally unnerving yet shows an emphasis on the man's fear of death and time.

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''The punishment is loneliness.''
Wild Strawberries
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Downfall (2004)


''You must be on stage when the curtain falls.''

Downfall is a long film which could of been edited slightly, but makes up for with great fashions of the times, set pieces and a reasonable score. Also this is history being told honestly and in a truthful non-glorifying manner,yet in an also non-demeaning way either too.
Features graphic, violent and horrific scenes obviously.
One scene that especially disturbed me was in the bunker where a mother, sticks a certain kind of cyanide pill into her children's mouths and watches them die. Shows no emotion, no trace of regret, later committing suicide with her husband by gunpoint.

This movie shows a whole nation at the whim of a mad man, who they follow order for order. A dictatorship, a supreme power Hitler's insatiable greed and glazed ideals of a new world for Germania.
Having studied in History classes, the 2nd World War and Adolf Hitler, I find it fascinating and disturbing all at the same time.
A whole nation dragged to its knees by a ruthless tyrannical uncaring remorseful selfish man, who unfortunately is human not some mythical monster. He shows empathy for people, shows a love and affection for his partner and his loyal dog, yet in other parts shows us an angry, rage filled monster, full of hate and power drunk consequences.
Humanity's inhumanity to man. Good to see Germany's view-point, and an honest telling from Directing team Duke White, Garrett White, Oliver Hirschbiegel.

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Der Untergang.
Downfall
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''You're destroying me. You're good for me.''

Hiroshima mon amour is an acclaimed 1959 drama film directed by French film director Alain Resnais, with a screenplay by Marguerite Duras. It is the documentation of an endless conversation between a French-Japanese interracial couple about memory and forgetfulness. It was a major catalyst for the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave), making highly innovative use of miniature flashbacks, a deflated sense of time, and omniscient narration from multiple characters.
The title literally translates from French to English as Hiroshima, My Love, though the film is almost always referred to by its original French title.

The film poses the very simple question, 'How can we forget tragedy?'... Yet it never directly answers that question instead fluttering around the issue with careful precision; It lets the audience decide for themselves the beauty, horror, and reflection regarding memory.
Hiroshima mon amour also deals with contrasts and opposites, such as love and death, war and peace, living and remembering, as well as dealing with two people from different parts of the world: One from France and one from Japan (both of whom in a post-WWII world would have been viewed differently than today). The title too - Hiroshima mon amour - is an oxymoron. It refers duly to the most atrocious bombing of the 20th century and to that of the nature regarding personal love.

''All these years I've been looking for an impossible love.''

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You're destroying me. You're good for me.
Hiroshima mon amour
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12 Angry Men (1957)


''It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth.''

12 Angry Men is obviously one of the best films in existence. It is proof that, for a film to be great, it does not need extensive scenery or luscious locations, elaborate costumes or fancy effects, merely perfect acting all in one room.
The twelve angry men are the twelve jurors of a murder case. An eighteen-year-old boy from a slum background is accused of stabbing his father to death and faces the electric chair if found guilty. Eleven of the men believe the boy to be guilty, only one man(Henry Fonda) has doubts. Can he manage to convince the others as well?

Twelve Angry Men is actually based upon a television play. These were transmitted live back in the 1950s because the video tape didn't exist back then, so we can speak of theater. The movie itself has very much the same feel to it. I like the interactiveness between the actors and the modern theater performance, used back then. In recent movies we can see all too often an actor caring about his/her facial expressions when filmed and caring about the voice at the studio dubbing stage. In this film everything, you see and hear looks 100% natural.

''However you decide, your verdict must be unanimous. In the event you find the accused 'Guilty', the bench will not entertain a recommendation for mercy. The death sentence is mandatory in this case. You're faced with a grave responsibility. Thank you, gentlemen.''

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No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's SURE.
12 Angry Men
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Ikiru (1952)


''How tragic that man can never realize how beautiful life is until he is face to face with death.''

Kanji Watanabe is a longtime bureaucrat in a city office who, along with the rest of the office, spends his entire working life doing nothing...

Takashi Shimura: Kanji Watanabe

Ikiru(生きる, "To Live") is a 1952 Japanese film co-written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film examines the struggles of a minor Tokyo bureaucrat and his final quest for meaning. The film stars Takashi Shimura as Kanji Watanabe.
Ikiru is emotionally effecting and intellectually engaging, and indeed deserves its reputation as a masterpiece regarding world cinema and should be included in any reasonable list of the one hundred greatest films ever made.

Even upon first viewing Ikiru is easy to understand and yet it is not easy to understand; It is simply open to more than one interpretation. The ending is in some ways bleak: It looks as though Watanabe had no lasting impact on City Hall and before long he will be forgotten. Yet on the other hand, one poor Tokyo neighbourhood is given hope and a new lease of life because of his efforts.
The most important idea in the film is that Watanabe did manage to do something meaningful after his mortality's end is known, and it was only during this time that he could actually be said to live. He is alive. Watanabe has finally lived.

''Life is so short...Fall in love, dear maiden...While your lips are still red...And before you are cold...For there will be no tomorrow.''

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How beautiful life is...
Ikiru
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Pi (1998)


''There will be no order, only chaos.''

The whole film is surreal,beautiful and shot so differently yet originally. Reminds me of the Silent Hill video games on parts the way it messes with your head and stretches your fear of the unknown. Also is similar to Taxi-driver how its main guy seems to plummet and be consumed by craziness and chaos. How you get to the stage where you snap and there's no going back.
What begins as an obsession to beat the stock market slowly transcends into something altogether higher and pivotal yet dangerous.

Watch immediately if you are into deep films because Pi certainly is near the top of the pile.
Darren Aronofsky, I see what he's trying to achieve here. In all his films. Has to be watched again and again to take into account all it's deeper messages and meanings.
Simply Amazing, spirals into perfection and infinity like it's chaotic numeric, faithful subject matter.

Faith is indeed in chaos, a myriad of God, man and math.

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Pi = Faith in Chaos
Pi (n)
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''Why must fireflies die so young?''

''September 21, 1945… that was the night I died''

With those words starts director Isao Takahata's most famous film, Grave of the Fireflies(Hotaru no haka, 1988). Quite differently to his long time friend and colleague legendary Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata prefers to leave fantasy elements in his films to a bare minimum. This is the way Takahata amazes viewers and audiences. If Miyazaki's fantastic visions from Spirited Away for example, make our jaws drop to floor with amazement, Takahata's close to reality stories touch us deeply by hitting our emotions. Grave of the Fireflies certainly does that masterly; being one of the few films that has managed to move me to tears.

The film, based on a novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, tells the story of a young boy named Seita, who with his little sister Setsuko, lives in the 1940's Japan, during the World War II. After losing their mother during a bombing, Seita does everything in his power to create an illusion for Setsuko that things are fine and there is nothing to worry about.

Again, you realize immediately this isn't a fantasy piece like Spirited Away but one of reality; which ends up being just as genius and just as compelling to watch. Isao Takahata has crafted a tale that also has historical significance; in the sense it displays the sense of hopelessness and desperation in Japan at the time and especially near the end of the second World War. A nation that could not support itself; where the rich has always stayed rich and the poor become poorer; ending with a divide that bears similarities to Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. The reality of Hotaru no haka cannot be stressed enough, the struggle mesmerizingly significant. Propels Anime, lifting it to new dizzying heights of storytelling.

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Why must fireflies die so young?
Grave of the fireflies
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Barry Lyndon (1975)


''Gentlemen may talk of the age of chivalry, but remember the ploughmen, poachers and pickpockets whom they lead. It is with these sad instruments that your great warriors and kings have been doing their murderous work in the world. ''

Barry Lyndon is sometimes considered a slow and tedious film, it is indeed past three hours in length, but this due mainly to the fact of the artistic flow of a film that strays not only to tell a story about a man who is by no means neither hero nor villain, but also one in which is in no real rush, taking the time for every tiny intricacy to sink into the mind and heart of the viewer, we the audience are left to marvel at the storytelling.

Some of the scenic images in Barry Lyndon are in themselves works of splendid art, rendered with a passion for the landscapes and the man-made structures within them. Stanley Kubrick makes it clear his appreciation for the era through the use of paintings, costumes and all of the above in perfect harmonic glory.

Barry Lyndon may be long, but on DVD it shines perfectly. Afterall thats what the intermission is for half way. Kubrick knows if he's going to do a theatrical film of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel he's going to need a substantial amount of material. Material which is crammed full of flavor, of passionate drama and of period perfection.

Barry Lyndon is another grand accomplishment from the late Kubrick. A masterpiece and an interesting study.

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The age of Lyndon.
Barry Lyndon
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Andrei Rublev (1966)


''Evil is everywhere. Someone will always sell you for thirty pieces of silver. New misfortunes constantly befall the peasant... either Tatars, or famine, or plague... and he still keeps on working... meekly bearing his cross. He does not despair. He is silent and patient. He only prays to God for enough strength. How could God not forgive him his ignorance?''

Putting Andrei Rublev into words, is no mere feat. This is a film that goes above and beyond anything any film-maker future, present or past has ever achieved. Andrei Rublev is a film that loses it's conventionality and transcends into pure, asphyxiated art.
Andrei Rublev offers what every film-maker strives for: A look at why art exists?
A story told in a medium that the majority will fail to comprehend, even some artists will be confused or fail to grasp the answers it delivers, but to those whom understand reap the rewards thus becoming moved by the unimaginable. The film captures not only the essence regarding the artist's purpose, but it captures truth regarding our personal existence.

''In much wisdom, there is much sorrow.''

The vivid themes of the film blossom forth from ideas surrounding art, man's need for art and the artists scattered upon the pages of history.
Andrei Rublev is a film that deals with both the futility of being a Christian artist in a Godless world, and with the impact art can have to bring God to a more personal level. These themes are developed in seven stages, each one differing immensely from the other, with the core ideas and the artist Rublev being shared in every one. Though these themes seem to centre around and deal exclusively with suffering, violence, religion, and routine, they are very implicit to every human being's lifestyle. Expressing Art can be used as an allegory for our gifts, the idea that we should not hide what we can offer the world, just as the artist should not hide his gift.

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Evil is everywhere.
Andrei Rublev
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''You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?''

Truly one of the finest films ever made. It's message still resonates as if 1946 was yesterday. It's central themes of love, appreciation, loyalty, and sacrifice are valuable reminders any time of year; This isn't just a Christmas film! This is a complex story about life itself and the importance of giving!
Like many other Christmas-themed stories, this one reminds us to pause for a moment and take in our surroundings. It is unfortunate that such films are expected to be only celebrated once a year, but that particular trait also adds a certain degree of rarity to its charm and appeal. The characters are well-developed and whether loved or hated; each plays a vital role in the film; as in George Bailey's life.
Director Frank Capra has simply put a masterpiece onto celluloid here; and that is quite a feat for a holiday niche film. Never dull, always heartwarming, funny, and true, It's a Wonderful Life is truly one of cinema's shining achievements.
If you have a chance, watch both the Colour and Black & White Versions. Alot of work has gone into restoring and preserving the film; equally adding colour shows how perfect this film truly is.

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You've really had a wonderful life.
It's a wonderful life
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Casablanca (1942)


''Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.''


Casablanca, what other film can evoke such powerful feelings of nostalgia, can exemplify so completely the golden period of Hollywood film-making? The year was 1942, and the world found itself in the midst of the bloodiest conflict in modern history. Unlike anything our generation could possibly imagine, citizens were faced with an incredible uncertainty about their future. The Nazis marched across Europe, an astonishing, seemingly-unstoppable enemy, and the United States watched with bated breath from across the Atlantic. Most Hollywood productions responded to such ambiguity with fully-fledged, unabashed patriotism, and war-time filmmakers became obsessed with validating audiences' beliefs that the Allied forces would inevitably win out against Germany, and, indeed, many often concluded their pictures with unnecessary epilogues in which we've apparently already won. Such propaganda, while no doubt ensuring commercial success from war-weary cinema-goers, has regularly tarnished and outdated even the most otherwise impressive contemporary WWII pictures, as the directors' willingness to simulate a happy ending strikes distinctly false from an era in which the overwhelming atmosphere was that of uncertainty and insecurity(see Billy Wilder's Five Graves to Cairo(1943).

Bogart, who had been typecast throughout the 1930s as a lowlife gangster, had been given the opportunity to show some humanity in Raoul Walsh' film noir High Sierra(1941), but it was Casablanca that proved his first genuinely romantic role, and, with several notable exceptions, the remainder of his acting career would comprise of similarly-noble yet flawed heroes. Bergman, despite having a rather passive role, was never more enchanting than as Ilsa Lund, and, photographed with a softening gauze filter and catch lights, positively sparkles with gentle compassion and a tragic sadness. Perhaps it's just the romantic in me, but Casablanca represents one of Hollywood's most unforgettable accomplishments. Even as the film draws to a majestic close, and two men forge a lifelong friendship in the fog-ridden uncertainty of War, we immediately feel like asking Sam to play it again… just for old time's sake.

''I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.''

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They had a date with fate in Casablanca!
Casablanca
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''Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.''

Malcolm McDowell plays Alex the main character who tells the story, his way of speaking was intriguing and his journey was something to contemplate on.
I watched this for the first time a while ago and it being my 1st Kubrick film(2001 too!) i was apprehensive of seeing it. Was pleased with the narration and strange retro-music. I'm not a fan of the 70s and so being, the film to me looks and feels tacky in areas. For example the decor and fashion.
On the other hand the ideas raised in this are thought provoking and at the same time timeless and relevant even in today's society.
The first half of the film made me amused at such acts of violence or inadequacies. Alex performing ''I'm singing in the rain'' while raping a woman with husband watching will shock, the old ''in out''. With fate bringing him back later into the house, it will make you cringe.
It shocked me that once free will is taken away how helpless a person can become. How a programmed mind with blocked emotions isn't actually choosing he's lost this option entirely. He's been stripped of his god given free will.

Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange holds the recent record of being the number one film of all time on my charts. The film is everything that you'll never want to watch. The scenes are disturbing, gut wrenching, mind twisting, and way over the top. In result, "A Clockwork Orange" has the most powerful and overwhelming dramatic impact that I have ever experienced in a mainstream film.

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I was cured.
A Clockwork Orange
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''A drug person can learn to cope with things like seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to handle this trip.''

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas results in a heightened crazed thrill ride that ultimately dazzles in a surreal way. Granted it's about some drug users you can forgive the maddened proceedings that occur. Some viewers may lose track or find some scenes pointless or confusing but if they do, the film in essence is succeeding in showing you the mind of a drug drowned mind.
The style of Fear and Loathing reminded me of the equally heart pumping, crazed Natural Born Killers in the fact it's pace never seems to slow, it's always on a speedy rush to a far destination, much like it's drugged up anti-heroes. Always high and hallucinating, on the run from life itself in a way.

''There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.''

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Las Vegas in a way not seen before!
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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Metropolis (1927)


''There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.''

A handful of stories and films will always be known for proving themselves against the proverbial test of time; making their mark in the pantheon of the most influential, memorable and near flawless crafted films in existence. Upon viewing in a contemporary context; even over 80 years after its initial release in 1927, the recognition of Metropolis; director Fritz Lang's masterpiece; among such timeless examples Metropolis is without a doubt included. The catalyst for all ensuing science fiction films and tremendously influential; even outside of the genre it essentially pioneered, the sheer imagination and vision behind Metropolis prove its indisputable quality decades after its time.

Visionary, innovative and desperately socially relevant, Lang's disturbing and captivating labour of love holds its own against the ages, proving nearly as staggeringly impressive an achievement in a current day context as its initial release over 80 years ago. Lavish and blindingly spectacular, dazzling set pieces and high production values, Metropolis rises above and stands testament to Fritz Lang's ambitious artistic visionary perceptions of how cinema could be used. Among classics such as 2001: A Space Oddysey, Blade Runner which came many years later; Fritz Lang's Metropolis is the true science fiction classic original. It also is another great insight into workings of our systems, society and why some work and some do not; in a classing system of extreme rich and poor. Fritz Lang's M; which followed in 1932, also dealt with some of the same issues concerning Metropolis. Stabs at the structure of society and the evils of the mob prove Unity is always above chaotic Hysteria.
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Metropolis; The Visionary Mediator.
Metropolis
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Kagemusha (1980)


''The shadow of a man can never desert that man. I was my brother's shadow. Now that I have lost him, it is as though I am nothing.''

Kagemusha(影武者) is a 1980 film by Akira Kurosawa. The title (which literally translates to "Shadow Warrior" in Japanese) is a term used for an impersonator. It is set in the Warring States era of Japanese history and tells the story of a lower-class criminal who is taught to impersonate a dying warlord in order to dissuade opposing lords from attacking the newly vulnerable clan. The warlord whom the Kagemusha impersonates is based on daimyo Takeda Shingen and the climactic 1575 Battle of Nagashino.

The first time I watched Kagemusha I was enthralled by the visuals, and hypnotised by being transported to 16th Century Japan; A captivating Era retaining precise honour and orderly constraints.
The central story of Kagemusha, the double, the shadow warrior, whom is chosen by the late Lord Shingen's advisers to be the Lord himself, to fool his enemies and even his own clan, is storytelling worthy of Akira Kurosawa.
It is indeed a three-hour epic (Kurosawa's second longest film, disregarding the unseen cut of The Idiot), however resulting in a not necessarily condensed experience.
Every scene has enough nuance, perspective and irony to pierce the impending tragedy that looms over the Takeda clan.

''Swift as the wind, silent as the forest, fierce as the fire, immovable as the mountain.''

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Immovable as the mountain.
Kagemusha
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Seven Samurai (1954)


''What's the use of worrying about your beard when your head's about to be taken?''

This is a spectacular story; as well as film. Full of wonderful characters, envisioned scenery, and great performances all around; it is Kurosawa's fantastic story about a poor farming village in 16th century Japan being consistently placed under attack by marauding bandits. Facing starvation if the bandits raid them again, the peasants fearfully and reluctantly turn to seven unemployed samurai to defend themselves.

There is no weak foundation to Seven Samurai. One of its greatest aspects is its characters. Every single one of them, farmer or samurai, is given tremendous development, making them all memorable. This is one of those films where if a character is eliminated, you suddenly find yourself missing their presence on the film; because you got to know them so well. I will not name him, but there was one ill-fated character in the film when, after he died, I felt kind of cheerless because I had come to respect him as a human being instead of an actor performing in front of a camera and reading out scripted dialogue. If you were to ask me which character was my favorite, I would be tied between two of them. The characters played by Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune, two of the finest Japanese actors who ever breathed air.

There is one thing in the film that might ward off some viewers. It is long. At over three and a half hours in length, some people will be cautious before sitting down to view it and some will lose their patience; but to those who can sit down and enjoy a movie no matter how long it lasts, it will be realized as fast-moving storytelling. Even the long takes and the slow pacing seems surrealist fast because it is so well-written and so masterfully directed by Kurosawa.
Akiro Kurosawa gives us one of the greatest masterpieces of all time.

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The farmers have won. We have lost.
Seven Samurai
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M (1931)


''I can't help what I do! I can't help it, I can't...''

M is a movie that not only forces you to think, but to feel as well. Peter Lorre's portrayal of the murderous antagonist (or is he indeed, the protagonist?) is both frightening and heart-rending, and Fritz Lang's script and direction are both exceptional in execution, it's no wonder Lang has claimed that M was his favourite film of all those he had directed, presumably for it's controversial nature and success in causing timeless debate.M's cinematography marvelous, not only helping to tell its story in a fluid, stylish manner, but also causing the film to have an ominous, unsettling vibe.
Fritz Lang's M retains its ability to shock almost 70 years after its conception. Some of the images are unforgettable, the sounds echoes of brilliance, and Lorre gives the performance of his career. Do not be allowed to be swayed or put off by the use of subtitles because you will miss out, this film, this story, is a first rate character study and one of the most profoundly disturbing psycho thrillers ever created.

''This won't bring back our children. We, too, should keep a closer watch on our children.''

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The fire, the voices, the torment!
M
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Psycho (1960)


''A boy's best friend is his mother.''

Throughout his life, illustrious director Alfred Hitchcock thrilled and captivated audiences everywhere, but never before or since as well as he did with the psychological chiller, Psycho. Introducing the cinematic world to an eccentric loner named Norman Bates.
Fifty years later even in an age of fading, worn out sensibilities, graphic horror and the likes of psychological Silence of the Lambs and American Psycho; Hitchcock's masterpiece Psycho remains, even after repeated viewings, truly frightening and intrinsically disturbing.
For Psycho unlike a cheap blood-and-gore routine, actually has a philosophy of life to go along with all its horrors and dramatics. In the world of film and sin, such as Marion's stealing her employers client's money; will always be followed by repercussions in Karmic cosmic ways.
The long conversation between Norman and Marion over dinner probes some pretty serious psychological depths and ideologies. "We're all caught in our private traps," says Norman, and the movie illustrates how first Marion, then Norman, becomes trapped. What is most shocking about Norman is how pitiable he results in being; especially when compared with the villains of alternative horror movies.

It's easy to take Psycho for granted now, it has been imitated so many times in so many ways by far lesser talents. Indeed, it's one negative is that it inspired so many pale imitations, including its own three sequels and a very bad remake. Yet even so, Psycho remains a one and only original carbon print. Its iconic status can't be denied or criticized; Psycho redefined the concepts of what a Hitchcock film was and what a horror film could be.

''You know what I think? I think that we're all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and we claw, but only at the air, only at each other, and for all of it, we never budge an inch.''

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Psychology.
Psycho
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Spirited Away (2001)


''Don't you see? It's called... Love.''

Hayao Miyazaki's animated masterpiece is obviously a very foreign Anime piece; not simply because it comes from another country i.e: Japan. There is an imagination at work that is so organic, so remote that it seems to be given birth from an individual's subconscious. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi(2001) from Studio Ghibli connects universally; speaking as it does in a language that suggests anything is possible and children (Plus imaginative adults) of all cultures will respond to it instinctively.
The soundtrack is also very effective in setting the mood in key areas of the story.

First anime film to be nominated for (and win) an Academy Award. It also has the longest runtime of any other film nominated or winning in that category (125 minutes).
Also of note, the flexible light creation that jumps around and leads to the house is a reference to Pixar's mascot, Luxo Jr. Miyazaki is a big fan of Pixar and wanted to show his admiration with this sequence. Many of his inspirations are given tribute by Miyazaki.

Triumphantly in 2003,Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi won the Oscar Best Animated Feature for Hayao Miyazaki; although Miyazaki was not present at the Awards ceremony, he definitely, like his Award winning piece, was there in spirit.
Simply put; a must see for any Anime fan, any fan of Ghibli studios; a story able to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi, or Spirited Away for Western audiences will leave you breathless and satisfied. It will capture your imagination and leave you spellbound.

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Don't you see? It's called... Love.
Spirited Away
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''The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.''

The Usual Suspects is simply a fascinating piece of film-making and story telling from director Bryan Singer. Because of the trick ending conclusion, it is debatable as to what is truth and what is fiction. If you watch it objectively, it is just a damn entertaining, complex, a well structured film noir piece with a breath taking climax. If you take the subjective route, then what you've got is perhaps the most puzzling film ever made, one that even with multiple repeated viewings will make you doubt your own conclusions.

The Usual Suspects begins with the supposed protagonist, Dean Keaton (superbly played by Gabriel Byrne), being assassinated by a mysterious unknown figure, named Keyser. I think it's safe to say that this opening scene is objectively told, it really happened. Then Keyser burns the ship that Keaton and a bunch of other men (who we find out about later) are on. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the cops and FBI question the sole survivor of this massacre, Verbal Kint (played by Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Kevin Spacey). Verbal is the only one who can tell what happened. He is our link to the flashbacks and story of The Usual Suspects.

The Usual Suspects, whatever ones feelings about the surprise at the end, is one brilliant example of modern day film noir. Nobody is innocent, yet every major character is multi-dimensional and draws you into the conflict. There is quite a bit of action and violence, but it is tight, well-placed, and crisply realistic. The beauty of the film is that you can watch it in at least two different ventures, objectively to be entertained and secondly to subjectively attempt to complete the puzzle and solve the goings on! The acting is uniformly superb, the Oscar-winning screenplay crackles, and never becomes tedious or boring. The Usual Suspects is simply Bryan Singers best film to date and among the best films of the decade!

''What the cops never figured out, and what I know now, was that these men would never break, never lie down, never bend over for anybody. Anybody.''

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The greatest trick.
The Usual Suspects
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''It is written.''

Winner of the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival, Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan's radical Slumdog Millionaire is the feel-good story of an orphaned, street-wise young man trying to strike gold on India's version of the TV show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" while hoping that the girl he has loved since childhood is watching. Based on the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup and supported by the stunning cinematography of Anthony Dod Mantle and the music of A.R. Rahman, Slumdog shows us the chaos of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) India where it was filmed. Submerging the viewer in a cacophony of colour and sound, the camera swoops and swirls in an often dizzying pace, taking us from the desolation of back alleys and garbage dumps to modern high rises and the fantastic beauty of the Taj Mahal.

Boyle has nine different non-professional actors in three different time frames, each faithfully representing their character as they grow and develop. In the opening scene, the hero Jamal Malik, brilliantly performed by Dev Patel, is being questioned by Police Inspector (Irrfan Khan) who simply cannot understand how a mere slumdog like Jamal, without any education, can answer question after question on the game show without resorting to lying or cheating. In a city of 13 million people where the police know they can get away with almost anything, the methods of torture used to extract a confession are graphically displayed. With Jamal, however, they only succeed in uncovering the deeper layers of his character as the film flashes back to specific incidents in his life that reveal how his knowledge was gained by personal experience.

We cheer for Jamal to win his fortune and most importantly, to get his love back. While we are aware that the story is an unlikely fantasy, we also know that as barriers between individuals and nations break down and the world moves toward a greater sense of unity, the distinction between what is possible is broken down into a singularity. Slumdog Millionaire, may or may not be the best film of the year, but with headlines telling us daily that the economy is dying, and that climate change threatens our very existence, a film that is a pure celebration of life is welcomed with open arms. Danny Boyle gives us his best film yet.

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''It is written.''
Slumdog Millionaire
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''New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire.''

May I first start by saying my deepest condolences to Director Anthony Minghella and how happy i am to have finally seen this masterful film that tells of love and redemption.
The English Patient is a beautifully accurate film that tells of a badly burned pilot who fails to remember his past. As the film progresses were treated to flashbacks that weave the story and we the audience attempt to piece the parts of the puzzle together.

Ralph Fiennes as Lazlo is fantastic as we see his passionate forbidden affair with Katharine in detailed memories. He's arrogant at first and yet his accent and personality is spot on.
His burnt self being a fine example of an audition for HP:Order of the Pheonix. But on a serious note his performance is incredible proving once again he's one of my fave and English actors.
Willem Dafoe also plays his character satisfactory along with the rest of the cast, liked seeing Naveen Andrews who I've seen in the series Lost, had no idea he was in this. His little romance with Juliette Binoche's Hana was cute and a nice addition to the movie's main plot.

The landscape, the settings North Africa & Italy are vast and grand to behold on the screen. Costumes i was impressed with, some cracking cinematography. The music also was perfect to accompany the visuals.
An intelligent film which is gripping emotional and has character's you grow attached too.

Him carrying her in the white shawl with the haunting music, now that's powerful. What a beautiful vision of love.

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The heart is an organ of fire.
The English Patient
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''Do you shovel to survive, or survive to shovel?''

Woman in the Dunes (砂の女, Suna no onna?, literally "Sand woman," also translated as Woman of the Dunes) is a novel by Kōbō Abe and a film based on the novel, directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara. The novel was published in 1962, and the film was released in 1964. Kōbō Abe also wrote the screenplay for the film version.

The surreal and artistic natures which reside within Woman in the Dunes has been compared to existentialist works such as Sartre's No Exit and Beckett's Happy Days. Aside from its intriguing premise, this film is notable for the life that Teshigahara brings to the ever-shifting sand, which almost becomes a character in its own right.
There is an almost magical, timeless quality presiding over the whole affair, from start to finish. Entomologist Niki Jumpei, the insect collecting protagonist becomes the vocal point, and prisoner, for the bizarre peoples living in the dunes.

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The Sands hide Truth to Existence.
Woman in the Dunes
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''There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking.''

The whole film begins with a form of genius that I have not seen for an age, that bears similarities to Stanley Kubrick's work and 2001:A Space odyssey. I know of no-one else with this unique link from this film which I've hit the nail on the head.
It begins with no dialogue and hauntingly awesome music that impacted my senses. The effect throughout the film of the music composition and score had the same mesmerizing hold on me.

A scene that stays with me is that touching image of Daniel with his son and the baby looks up and touches his face and bristly mustache his is touching, truly beautiful.
Also was crying at the final montage with his son that will make your heart feel weighty while hitting home, pummeling you into a state of disbelief.
PT Anderson delivers his best work with "There Will Be Blood".
Plainview is a misanthropist who paradoxically seeks companionship even as he loathes mankind in general. His investment in oil is motivated entirely by his desire to earn enough money to escape civilization altogether. He loathes religion, dismissing it as a superstition, and entertains human interaction only when he calculates that it is crucial to his oil mining. Daniel Day-Lewis' ("Gangs of New York",''Last of the Mohican's'' ) gripping portrayal of Plainview cannot be over-estimated or doubted for a second. His willful stage presence lends the film a searing intensity that both counteracts and complements the film's measured pacing.

Meticulously detailed and breathtakingly beautiful, There Will Be Blood is visually arresting from the film's beginning to its conclusion.
Similarly, the score (composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood) greatly accentuates the film's most dramatic moments. Yet while the music itself is impeccable, the way that Anderson employs it is even more impressive. Violins and sparse percussion rise and fall at unexpected moments, carefully cultivating a sense of unease while still managing to feel natural and well considered.

Perhaps the most incredible thing about There Will Be Blood is its minimalism as I may have said previously. In spite of its long runtime (which approaches three hours), the film never feels indulgent or overly complex. Anderson slows down the pacing of the film to a deliberate lurch. This might frustrate impatient viewers, but the approach ultimately makes the film's several climaxes more rewarding and its emotional peaks more stunning.
There Will Be Blood is both visceral and cerebral and hits home on all levels, the rare film that combines the raw emotion of our most human instincts with smart, well-conceived film-making techniques. Well fulfils and exceeds even the hype and capable of meeting even your wildest expectations, Anderson's latest is truly a masterpiece of cinema.

''I drink you're milk-shake...I drink it up!''

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There is indeed blood; a miracle on film.
There Will Be Blood

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Heat (1995)


''I do what I do best, I take scores. You do what you do best, try to stop guys like me.''

Classic Michael Mann cat and mouse drama. From a professional thief and an equally determined cop.
Pacino as the cop with more snazz than any other man, every time this guy opens his mouth with his one liners or bellows his stuff you gotta marvel and watch and De Niro as the crook is a no nonsense, intelligent, stern professional who's the perfect accompaniment to Pacino, notice a young Val Kilmer & Ashley Judd too, not to mention Jon Voight, Natalie Portman and Tom Sizemore who give rock solid performances.
A big issue when it came out relating to De niro and Pacino the rivals in Hollywood, finally on screen, finally united. Godfather 2 was their first film together but they never had screen time. Heat fulfills this wish.

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On the edge, where I gotta be.
Heat
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''You are my dream.''

From Darren Aronofsky, I found this his most disturbing, most crushingly shocking yet.
Ellen Burstyn is fantastic as the lonely Sara Goldfarb. Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans equally convincing, beautiful desperate acting.
Sean Gullette and Mark Margolis (from Pi) also had brief cameo roles in this. I really feel that there is a bond between a Director and his actors when they reuse them in films. Shows me there is a good working relationship between everyone working on the project.
Director Darren Aronofsky also cleverly requested of Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans to avoid sex and sugar for a period of 30 days in order to better understand an overwhelming craving. This obviously boosts and gives their performances a more realistic edge, this is painfully, achingly real.

Requiem For A Dream teaches us to give up our false hopes, quit our obsessive habits, and to lessen our need for drugs, before its too late to do so. Watching this film will put you off drugs for life and rightly so. A film that is so fast paced it makes your heart race, so cringe worthy, so real; an emotional pounder of synaptic shocking proportions.
Adapted from the book by Hubert Selby Jr. whom also worked on the screenplay, Requiem for a Dream definitely makes me want to go and find this book immediately.
The Music by Clint Mansell is also a blessing; wait for the revelation emotion breaking ending with the theme song playing.

Cleverly Requiem meaning essentially death is the story of human nature and how if we let our impulses and desires control everything we do, they can ultimately destroy us. Sex is a drug, acid and narcotics are drugs, prescription pills are drugs, and the biggest drug of all; Life. Brutal, unrelenting and unafraid to take drastic measures to get across it's messages. This is a truthful vision of life and death; of ourselves and the biggest dream of all, is our lives.

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''You are my dream.''
Requiem for a Dream
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''I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.''

2001: A Space Odyssey(often referred to as simply 2001) is a 1968 epic science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke. The film deals with thematic elements of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life, and is notable for its scientific realism, pioneering special effects, ambiguous imagery that is open-ended to a point approaching surrealism, sound in place of traditional narrative techniques, and minimal use of dialogue.
The film has a memorable soundtrack—the result of the association that Kubrick made between the spinning motion of the satellites and the dancers of waltzes, which led him to use the The Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss II, and the famous symphonic poem Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, to portray the philosophical evolution of Man theorized in Nietzsche's homonymous work.

What can I say? With 2001: A Space Odyssey it's best to start at the beginning, like the film begins with the surreal primitive origins of Man, with the first ape-like beings, especially focusing upon the one who figures out how to use handed tools/weapons represented by the bones.
The intelligent computer HAL, with a crazed nature to preserve itself was also clever and reflects every existing consciousnesses need for self preservation, anyone can sympathize or feel sorry for it when his memory banks are slowly erased.
The Monoliths/Domino-shaped monuments representation perhaps is the scariest aspect of 2001: A Space Odyssey because it is the perception of death or the void of nothingness. Is it an extraterrestrial relic or a starting point for life itself. Who knows? My interpretation would also be a constant, like space, which humanity or life itself can never escape. It is infinite, black and unexplainable, similar to the space and study upon which the film dwells.
While most audiences come away with a general idea of what took place in the story, each individual will have to decide what it means to them. Any way one decides to answer these questions results in profound solutions. It's not left entirely up to interpretation, but in some aspects it is. Experience it for more clarification. The end result is quite chilling, no matter your personal conclusion.
Simply put, 2001: A Space Odyssey is certainly among the best science-fiction films in history thanks to these elements. Stanley Kubrick was a genius, a devout film maker and this is one of his very best, very highest achievements.

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A Journey of Man.
2001: A Space Odyssey
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Insomnia (2002)


''You don't get it do you? You're my job. You're what I'm paid to do. You're about as mysterious to me as a blocked toilet is to a fucking plumber. Reasons for doing what you did? Who gives a fuck?''

A remake by Hitchcock-esque Chris Nolan. Haven't seen the Norwegian 1997 version but Nolan's version without a doubt is a masterpiece.

Let's begin by saying having witnessed the genius of his first creation ''Memento'', Insomnia is evidence it wasn't a one off. Skilled Nolan has made one hell of a thriller which is slick, intelligent, mesmerizing and then some!

The dialogue is off the chart, had me open jawed in awe.
Al Pacino obviously is pure class in his performance and depiction of a tired wary wise detective out to catch a killer.
Robin Williams in another serious role that again supports the notion of what a versatile great actor as well as a comedian he truly is. Plays the villain so well who blackmails, twists and provides a worthy adversary for Pacino. This example plus One Hour Photo shows his extraordinary talent and versatility.
Hilary Swank i wasn't aware she was in this. Does a reasonable job of fleshing out her character.

I love misty foggy films which to me add a sense of mystery and wonder. That and the eerie score, ambient sounds and haunting melodies all add to the suspenseful piece.

It's soulful, it has twists and turns and some parts even will set your emotions flaring.

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Let me sleep.
Insomnia
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''For our homeland. Until the very last man. Our duty is to stop the enemy right here. Do not expect to return home alive.''

A well executed movie with a powerful, historical significance. Told from the side of the Japanese as they prepare to protect Iwo Jima from American invasion.
Some scenes especially the suicide deaths are quite graphic, and the action in it has a gritty, tense, war-drenched realism to it.
Fantastic diverse range of Japanese actors, Ken Watanabe always impresses. Would like to watch this again, very powerful, very emotional, very relevant and historical. Lets all take notice of the past for the future.
In the second half of Letters from Iwo Jima a group of Japanese soldiers find an American who has been badly wounded and take him into their cave. Their general speaks English, so he begins talking to this soldier, whose name we later find out is Sam. Although the two men should be sworn to kill each other, they are able to have a connection in the one conversation they have. A while later, the general comes back into the room only to discover that Sam's wounds have killed him. He searches him for a while and discovers a letter written by his mother. The letter is full of words that truly come from the heart of this kid's mother, and by the time the general finishes reading the letter, every soldier in that cave has realized that Americans aren't these savages; these hate-driven murderers. No, they all realize that Americans are exactly like they are, and that they don't want to be there and want to return home safely just like their enemies. I believe the point that Clint Eastwood is making with his Iwo Jima saga is just this: these two enemies were far more alike than they had imagined and they were both fighting only in hopes of returning home safely to their family.

In all, with Letters from Iwo Jima, Eastwood creates a new kind of war film that stands quite apart from its counterparts both because it portrays the side of the enemy but also and especially because it takes extra special care in emphasizing the human aspect of the soldiers it depicts, humanizing and characterizing them to endless extent. As a psychological study of warfare and as a history lesson, Eastwood has crafted a truly masterful and meaningful piece that's riveting and fascinating as it is intricate and complex. One of the best films of the year.
To sum it all up, Letters from Iwo Jima is one of the greatest war films ever made, and is easily does the best job of depicting war as something that harms all involved that I have ever seen. Clint Eastwood has, with this achievement, engraved his name as one of the greatest American directors in film history.

''A day will come when they will weep and pray for your souls.''


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''For our homeland.''
Letters from Iwo Jima
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The Reader (2008)


''I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you ended it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.''

The Reader is one of those films which has the unfortunate premise of being underrated and undervalued by many viewers, due to the fact it's not necessarily mainstream fodder. I'd highly recommend this film, The Reader is a vision of the past and yet a timeless account of a relationship, a bond, and a tragic trial of a woman whom made up for her mistakes. When we find she was previously a Nazi, an SS member, it's not the plain truth being found out, it's the reasons and redeeming qualities that make up for her misdeeds in the past. Ultimately what happens is tragic, it is a cruelly life portrayed, yet it's suffering and beauty echoes far into boundless leaps of eternities embrace.
Michael recording tapes and reading for her, while she is in prison seems to give her a glimmer of hope and something to live for. The Reader should definitely be watched by everyone who appreciates a powerful albeit saddening story of two soul-mates. The fact is The Reader has it's moments of humour and happiness, and like life it's the journey and experience which indeed counts.

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I will be the only angel you need.
The Reader
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Comments

Posted: 7 years, 8 months ago at Dec 30 15:23
You've really worked on this list. I'm gonna read this all night.
I hope you'll finish the rest of it eventually.
Posted: 7 years, 8 months ago at Dec 30 21:29
It's a gradual process, although should be finished in time. Rather proud of this List showing off my favourite films in all their glory.

Certainly put the work in.
Posted: 7 years, 6 months ago at Mar 2 19:11
I disagree with some of the picks on this list, especially The Dark Knight which I find to be vastly overrated, but overall it's an excellent list. You clearly know your films and any list with Ran in the top 10 gets my vote.
Posted: 7 years, 6 months ago at Mar 25 1:09
Thank you.
Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at Apr 1 1:06
GrEat lIst Thanx
Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at Apr 2 19:43
One of the BEST lists on listal! Very nice work. Cheers!
Posted: 7 years, 4 months ago at Apr 30 10:03
I think this is one of the best list. This has some real good "content" :)
Posted: 7 years, 4 months ago at May 7 12:38
Thank you. Films, stories and books are a passion. Just showing some love and affection for the ones I love, and ones others love also. :)
Posted: 7 years, 1 month ago at Aug 5 16:19
Fantastic and well-put-together list, keep it up
Posted: 7 years, 1 month ago at Aug 6 1:43
that rly is an amazing list.
One of the best :D
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 29 12:17
Your list is very interesting but I have a question about "The triumph of the will". You say "Back in the day, back in 1935 Triumph of the Will was art, a documentary and a symbol, capturing a great and alive movement" . Which "movement" do you mean ? I hope you don't mean the Nazi movement because there was/is nothing great about it.
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 29 15:04
I compared our choices.
I haven't seen 38 movies.
I disagree on 42 movies.
I agree on 120 movies.
Nice taste !
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 29 17:04
Thats some nice taste you have their ^_^ got some good "want-to-watch" selections out of it too :)
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 30 6:45
I want to upvote this list twice!!
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 30 9:37
Wow a great list of movies, I love so many of these! If you like Michael Mann, check out his first movie Thief if you haven't already and make sure to listen to the commentary.
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 30 9:38
Also I can't seem to load up 151-200 but the first 150 are still impressive enough.
Posted: 6 years, 10 months ago at Nov 2 4:39
Inception movie review link is pointing to Persepolis! Please update link.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Feb 27 6:53
I'm guessing this list isn't exactly in order? I mean, I love Nolan's films, but none of them would make my top ten of all-time. Then again, this is your list not mine.

Overall, nicely done.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Feb 27 14:11
Nice list.I love Inception,but I prefer Memento.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at May 15 5:27
Nice list but I don't think Inception is better than, Watchmen or Fight club for example. Anyway, really nice work.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 26 20:49
Great taste!!!
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Dec 8 21:09
I am in love with this list! :D
Posted: 5 years, 7 months ago at Feb 8 12:23
great list ...
We both are Christopher Nolan's fan !!
regards,
Posted: 5 years, 4 months ago at Apr 29 15:08
Thank you! ^__^!
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Feb 23 7:19
3
8
12
Posted: 2 years, 10 months ago at Nov 16 7:30
You have films here that I am interested to see. You influence me on some movies to watch on my free time.

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