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What are the films that you should watch?

TheGodfather.jpgI thought this might just be a two feature connection, but it's stretching to a third. On the same theme as movies we're embarrassed to have seen and those we haven't, what are the films we really should watch?

Now I'm not talking about the top 250 on IMDB, or what a panel of experts tell you are the best, I'm talking about the films you've seen, your experience of the movies. The films that have really touched you, inspired you, serve a greater good, scare you more than anything you've ever seen, make you happy to be alive, and so on.

Then there are those that deliver everything that cinema is all about, taking you out of your everyday life, entertaining, educating, exciting, intriguing, and above all leaving you with something after the cinema and making a vital connection with you personally.

So if someone came to you tomorrow and said "I've never seen a film before, what should I watch?", what would be your very own, personal response?

For me, as always, I find a great difficulty in choosing a list like this as I always go on and on, but if I were to pick out a few...

Always, which shows filmmaking and storytelling at it's very best. Run Lola Run, another example of superb and this time very innovative filmmaking. Bubba Ho-tep for a deeper understanding of what it is to be old and how we really should treat our elders. The Hills Have Eyes and Switchblade Romance to understand raw, visceral terror. It's a Wonderful Life to remind you just that very thing, and in a similar vein The Shootist...

You see I'm going to go on and on, and there are many, many more believe me, I just deleted an entire paragraph! These are a few of the films I would put on someone's watch list to say "these are the films you have to see". For those of you who watch British TV you might have realised that Channel 4 did a very simliar thing the other day, but let's leave that list for now...

So what are your recommendations for the must see films? What would you tell someone you have to see this and why?



I take your word on Bubba Ho-Tep, Richard! Put that paragraph one day, just out of curiosity.

Gee, I like lists. Now I will come up with some movies I really really recommend to anyone. Some of them moved me to tears. I will put a brief comment on everyone, of course:

-Night of the Hunter: Because it´s just so perfect you can cry over it. The kids are the best ever seen in a movie. And Robert Mitchum is really over the top.

-The Cardinal: Because it deals with difficult choices, the most difficult ones in your life. And because it´s beautifully shot and done, classic stuff.

-Singing in the Rain: In the most depressing moments of your life, a movie like this can make you smile. What else can I say?

-Duck Soup: The same as before, but with the Marx Brothers touch at their best. Laughter ensured, and the jokes are just so brilliant.

-The Shawshank Redemption: Its fame is well deserved. Only this movie can make you believe prisoners would appreciate a Mozart opera!

-Star Wars: If you have a youngling around, showing this to him/her for the first time can change his/her life forever, in a good way.

-Dumbo: We all can fly. We all want to be loved. Just... search around and search hard. This movie is umbeliavable.

-A straight story: The most beautiful movie David Lynch has made, and the simpler one. Hardcore fans were deceived, poor them.

-Schindler´s List: A turning point in film history, and the best movie on the Holocaust ever made, no matter what you may hear. The visuals, the music, the actors... all stunning.

-Hamlet: Yes, the complete 4 hours Kenneth Branagh version. What a feast for the eye and the mind. Jawdropping cinematography to adapt Shakespeare´s most famous work.

Now I can read other´s contributions.

A couple of Peter's there stand out for me too:

The Shawshank Redemption - I'll have to look the narrative up, but when the bent guard got a good kicking by the sisters it showed the "honour amongst theives". Absolutley superb film. I cried.

Schindler's List - the mere thought that one man could save so many is outstanding. The most moving part was the ending with the rocks (not adding a spoiler, but for those who've seen it will know who's who and why they are in that scene). I cried.

Alive - I'm sure I've put this in the previous feature on films you come back to. The film concentrates on the crash survivors and doesn't show the families at home at all, whereas the book does. A fantastic tale of human survival against all the odds. I cried. Lots.

Off the top of my head I would say Elephant, dir.Gus Van Sant.

I knew virtually nothing about it other than it dealt with a high school shooting (always the best way to see a movie) and it blew me away.

It is a beautiful movie, very sparingly scripted, cleverly edited and startlingly clever in how it deals with a shocking and sensitive subject.

A breathtaking return to form for the director. A real find.

I would have to say Goodfellas, I think it's the best mob film made. Great script, great cast and loads of violence.

Taxi Driver, great film and Jodie Foster's performance stands out, especially as she was only 13.

The Shawshank Redemption, that film makes me happy to be alive.

North by Northwest, simply my favourite Hitchcock film.

I would defintley have to say Goodfellas as well. I cant belive martin scorcese didnt get an Oscar for that movie.

Also you must see A bridge too far, wall street and of course, all the james bond films.

Two very spiritual films from asia which are absolute Must See's:

3-Iron (Korea, Kim Ki Duk)
Vital (Japan, Shinya Tsukomoto)

Don't go into either of these with expectations of conventional films, but both of them are masterpieces, and 3-iron especially should be accessible to just about anyone, because even though it is subtitled there are only like 12 lines of dialogue.

Night of the Hunter, Hamlet, Shawshank, North by Northwest and 3-Iron are all superb choices I'd happily go with, and I have most of these in my collection.

I only saw 3-Iron recently, and do not be put off by what you hear about it, it's stunningly beautiful.

Three come to mind....

1 - One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
Has to be one of, if not the most moving film experience I've ever seen. Suffincing to say Nicholson is stellar but he is simply sweetens what is superb casting and amazing production design. The performances are utterly heartfelt and the movie contains a mix of actors and actual hospital patients to create an incredible sense of realism and claustrophobia at times. The revelation that hits McMurphy half way through the film is simply earth shattering for him and the whole movie follows his suffering and rebellious redemption.

2 - The Hustler
One of the coolest perfomances by any actor anywhere. Paul Newman's obsessive "Fast" Eddie Felson can be read for miles as nothing but self-destructive to himself and those around him. A telling tale of when to quit, it shows what can happen when you make bets you can't back up. Leaves you feeling equal parts ambitious and humble.

3 - Casualties Of War
Brian DePalma directs Michael J. Fox and a fresh faced Sean Penn in an uncoventionally personal story set in wartime Vietnam. Much akin to the period parts in the Deer Hunter, it shows the ovious and not-so obvious horrors experienced and committed by American soldiers at war. Some serious heart wrentching moments and some disturbing scenes show the darker side of man and what we should do about it. Highly underrated.

1. Star Wars (George Lucas) - This was the first film I saw as a child at 7 years of age and it started my love affair with movies. I remember when my youngest sister was growing up, we waited until she was about 7-8 years old and we made her watch this film on video, and I can still see how her eyes shone. If you wish to teach young kids the ways of the FORCE, do them a favor, show them this film. I am waiting now to do the same to my nephew, heck its still a long way off as he is only 5 months old. But then we dont want him to be too old do we?

Peter, I like that, youngling. ;D

2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola) - Without a shadow of doubt one of the best film adaptations ever. I read the book first when I just turned 20 and was so impressed by it that I was quoting lines to my dad and to my sister and then we decided to watch it together, as some sort of my initiation. I was stunned as to how very faithful Coppola was with Puzo's work. It's about family, about what you are willing to sacrifice, and about what you will lose in the process, in this case, almost everything you worked hard for not to become. The struggle inside Michael Corleone was brilliantly played by Al Pacino. And I dont even have to tell you how great Marlon Brando was.

The best gangster film ever told and is the yardstick for the rest.

3. "Saving Private Ryan" (Steven Spielberg) - It's been 8 years since this film came out but I still cant understand why it lost the Academy that night. One of the best war films I have ever seen with a wonderful ensemble performance from Hanks, Sizemore, Burns, Damon, Diesel, Ribisi, Pepper, Davies.

*FUBAR* Pardon me. :D

4a. "L.A. Confidential" (Curtis Hanson) - Do I have to spell it out why I thought this film rocked in 1997 and would have been the only real competition for Titanic that year? Look at the cast: Spacey, Crowe, Pearce, Basinger, De Vito.

Rolo Tomasi.

4b. "The Usual Suspects" (Bryan Singer) - I'll keep it simple.

Keyser Soze.

5. "Before Sunrise" (1995) /"Before Sunset" (2004)(Richard Linklater) - To me this is the most intelligent rom-com I have seen in the last 10 years post-"Moonstruck", "When Harry Met Sally". Hawke and Delpy not only looked good together but it's their conversations, and the places that these two characters visited that made the films so beautiful. Its that feeling of, wow, I meet my soulmate but can only spend an evening, what next? Then the sequel comes out 9 years later, how clever! I know guys mostly stay away from rom-coms, but this is something I am sure they will truly enjoy. And watch it with your significant other, and in case she asks where you heard of the film, then come up with something else truly romantic. Awwwwwwwww!!!

Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.

The Godfather is a feast of cinema, it should be in any list of should watch.

The first is my personal favourite, the second is the most brilliant, and the third has the grandest finale of them all.

Actually, we could find some startling parallels between the two most significant trilogies in film history.

No, Mr. Jackong, not yours. And Wachowskis... don´t even dare to touch me LOLOL


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