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Subject: My Favorite FILMS! How about you? rss

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Greetings all,

I am a serious film buff & thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with the BGG community. There are always new (& old) films to find and I would love any suggestions. My present obsession with Asian B-rated films is not reflected here, but I think you may find a few fun ones to see for yourself.

All the best and happy film going!
~Robin

Film Thoughts Jan 3rd 2011
------

At parties, events, film openings, or under candle light people often ask me what my favorite film is. Imagine my embarrassment as my eyes glaze-over, my voice quiets, and I stare back... stunned by not knowing how to categorize my tastes.

Well, this then, is an attempt to answer that vexing question and a chance for me to re-order a few things & perhaps re-discover some gems lost along the way. I'll start with favorite directors, move along to genres, and finish with some embarrassing confessions.

-----------------------------------
Favorite Directors: (In no particular order.)
-----------------------------------

Federico Fellini
Italian existentialism, love-stories through narration, brilliant settings, compelling players, and the pursuit of dreams. In October of 1993 I bought a case of the best Chianti I could find and celebrated the life & films of Fellini with seven friends. Ten hours and one hell of a hangover later, I mused on the life and death of a sublime Italian director.
Introduced to Dolce vita, La (1960) and 8½ (1963) in film school, I fell in love with Fellini's episodic storytelling and, ahem, his starlets. Critics point to his juvenile tendencies, where I tend to view his cup not half-empty but half-full... of wine, certainly! Satyricon is one of my favorite films to re-visit, with its lack of moral or philosophical concepts... I find myself filled with a sense of nostalgia for a time and state I've never experienced.

Enjoy:
Città delle donne, La (1980) (City of Women)
Amarcord (1973)
Satyricon (1969)
8½ (1963)
Dolce vita, La (1960)
& many, many more!


Chan-wook Park
South Korean filmmaker and film critic. With a rough early start, Park, solidified himself as a director to watch and watch with the commercial and critical success of Join Security Area in 2000. Creating the thematically connected Vengeance Trilogy brought him even more international fame, winning the Grand Prix award for Oldboy at the 2004 Cannes film Festival. I find his movies wildly entertaining and recommend them to anyone who is already a K-film fan as well as to friends who have not yet explored the rich Asian film traditions.

Enjoy:
Thirst (2009)
I’m a Cyborg, but that’s OK (2006)
Sympathy for Lady Vengance (2005)
Three Extremes (2004) (Segment ‘Cut’)
Oldboy (2003)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengance (2002)
Join Security Area (JSA) (2000)



Peter Greenaway
Master film maker, visionary, post-modern artist extraordinaire. Peter Greenaway is perhaps my first choice for whom to drink Petrus with, and my most feared rival. Were I to continue making films, they would unfold much in the vein of Greenaway's opulent, theatrical form. Indeed, much of my life is styled in a sumptuous fashion, due in part to these rich films... and my natural propensity for decadence. Ha!
I began with the Cook the Thief while in university and for years only spoke, ate and breathed Greenaway's portfolio. Hell, I could even endure his art-speak lectures and monstrous ego. Yet, on the screen, few can match his vision, his formulation, and his production. His films from 1985 to 1993 speak the most to me. I was not particularly impressed with the Pillow Book, its story telling devise was already explored in Prospero's Books, and Ewan McGregor was not the best casting for Jerome. Furthermore, 8 1/2 women I found overly self-conscious and encumbered by its pedantic inner-structure. A shining example of Greenaway's recondite storytelling.
Before continuing, I must also tip my hat to Greenaway's musical composer, Michael Nyman. Love him or hate him, Nyman's work is integral to Greenaway’s. PS: I love him.
I limit my admiration for Greenaway by not including his most recent works. I beg you, please see:

- The Baby of Mâcon (1993)
- Prospero's Books (1991)
- The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
- Drowning by Numbers (1988)
- The Belly of an Architect (1987)
- A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)



Ken Russell
As a young film student, Ken Russell was my idol. Running the gamut from high-brow to schlock, I found his work richly stylized, well constructed, fun, and a pleasure to study. The Devils continues to be one of my all time favorites; for its period texture, it's psycho-religious madness, and it's well chosen cast. Both Gothic and White Worm offer easy, tongue in cheek fantasy and prompted me to travel 'round Switzerland in Byron's footsteps during the early 90s. RIP.

No miss-ers:

- The Lair of the White Worm (1988)
- Salome's Last Dance (1988)
- Gothic (1986)
- Crimes of Passion (1984)
- Altered States (1980)
- Lisztomania (1975)
- Tommy (1975)
- The Devils (1971)



Russ Meyers
Independent and fringe film maker Russ Meyers would be my first choice of who to drink copious quantities of American beer with. Though I'd have to first dig him up.
His films? ...wonderfully verbose, erudite erotica. And let's face facts, how often can you honestly say that about a movie?! His catalog of films hit me during my formative years and I am still paying for it! In 1992 I interviewed him for a Los Angeles magazine and found him precisely as I had secretly suspected. A living god!
Of his films I recommend 'Up!' as a good jumping off point. Just hold on to yer hat! Interested in his non-adult films? Try Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill (1965) & Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Otherwise enjoy these:

- Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979)
- Up! (1976)
- Supervixens (1975)
- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
- Vixen! (1968)
- Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill (1965)


Takashi Miike
Explicit, taboo, disturbing and notoriously prolific. I am enamored with his interpretations of violence, perversion, and lurid bloodshed. Detractors site much of his work as misogynistic, yet I feel his portrayal of family, women, and culture is so fascinatingly Japanese, it adds a necessary layer of complexity to study. The Audition, Visitor Q and the young-adult film Yokai Wars are some of my favs! Careful about his straight to TV productions… they can be dry. Alas Western Django failed for me but last year’s 13 Assassins was a smashing success!
Telling someone they 'need' to see Miike's films is difficult as 'need' does not apply to the truly bizarre. Therefore, you simply MUST see these:

13 Assassins (2010)
The Great Yokai War (2005)
Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu (2003)
Bizita Q (2001) -Aka : Visitor Q (2001)
Koroshiya 1 (2001) -Aka : Ichi the Killer
The Happiness of the Katakuris, 2001
Ôdishon (1999) -Aka : The Audition




John Carpenter
Ah, John, John, John. I applaud his independence, I admire his stubbornness, & I deeply respect his desire to create outside the hollywood, machiavellian studios system. Yet, limited to small budgets - he walks a precarious path. Carpenter is THE example of a director who has produced A+ works, but is now relegated to B- pictures. And much, it seems, from his own design.
Halloween was a critical success. The Thing also received positive acclaim and is a skillful remake and Lovecraftian tainted masterpiece! Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China has solidified itself amidst my friends to be forever one of our founding favorites. My allegiance to John's work even has me liking Escape from LA, egads. He and John Romero are certainly cut from the same cloth.
Before I move on, I should also say that as a film fan and a serious aficionado of all things Mythos, In the Mouths of Madness is a subtle and well crafted homage to the American horror master; H.P. Lovecraft. See it, and fear.

Grab some popcorn & enjoy :
- Escape from L.A. (1996)
- In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
- They Live (1988)
- Prince of Darkness (1987)
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
- The Thing (1982)
- Escape from New York (1981)
- The Fog (1980)
- Halloween (1978)
- Dark Star (1974)




Akira Kurasawa
If you like sweeping, epic films... this is the director for you. Serene Landscapes, societies in transition, the individual held between betrayal and redemption. I get goose-bumps daydreaming of Kurasawa's bamboo forests. I recently toured Japan specifically to walk the streets ofKyoto, and visit a number of famous filming sites. Simply magnificent! With so many films to see, I humbly recommend:

- Ran (1985)
- Kagemusha (1980)
- Tengoku to jigoku (1963) (aka Heaven and Hell)
- Tsubaki Sanjûrô (1962)
- Yojimbo (1961)
- Kakushi toride no san akunin (1958) (aka The Hidden Fortress)
- Shichinin no samurai (1954)(Seven Samurai)
- Ikiru (1952)



Werner Herzog
Where to start? I guess with one word: GERMAN. I mean, really, how much more damn German can Herzog get?! Whose work is so tortured? Whose main lead (read: Klaus Kinski) is more insane? What director intentionally places himself in harms way? Well, Werner!
Studying Herzog's life work is a pristine example of schadenfreude; the pleasure derived from others misfortunes. Yet the obstacles he overcomes, the madness he courts, and the spears he dodges are all so neatly tucked within a titanic vision... it simply makes for some of the best cinema to watch and study. And while I am at it, let me endorse Les Blank, whose documentary of the making of Fitzcarraldo, titled: Burden of Dreams. It is a must see. I recommend a double bill with Burden of Dreams and My best Friend.
Of his new generation of films, I have mixed feelings. Grizzly man was interesting, but I felt the director was projecting too much of his philosophy into the situation. While the Incident at Loch Ness was a folly.

Enjoy the real deal:
- Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999) (aka My Best Friend)
- Cobra Verde (1987)
- Fitzcarraldo (1982)
- Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979) (aka Nosferatu the Vampyre)
- Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972) (Aguirre: The Wrath of God)




John Waters
Oh, my! Inextricably linked with southern alternative living. And, wow, when I was at university that's what it was all about. Me, my friends, and girlfriends all defining and re-defining ourselves to find our inner-voices... and somehow, Waters' bizzaro films became our breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Forget Cry baby, Hairspray, and Serial Mom... delve deep into Polyester, Pink Flamingoes, and Desperate Living to know what ichor flows in these veins. Even now, all I need do is close my eyes and visions of Divine, Edith Massey, David Lochary, and the Egg Man swim through my thoughts. Can you imagine what that's like?! *shiver* Unnnnn, save me!

Eat and drink this!
- Polyester (1981)
- Desperate Living (1977)
- Female Trouble (1974)
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Multiple Maniacs (1970)
- Mondo Trasho (1969)



David Cronenberg
A Canadian auteur, and definitely the man I want to help me through any kind of surgery…not! Cronenberg's relentless themes of the horror stemming from mutations, parasites, and/or medical conditions have been explored in a wide variety of films. From The Brood all the way up to eXistenZ.
I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when thinking of taking a blind date to see Dead Ringers for the first time. I'm also a huge fan of Naked Lunch and Videodrome. 'Brothers should be close, don't you think?'

- eXistenZ (1999)
- Naked Lunch (1991)
- Dead Ringers (1988)
- The Fly (1986)
- The Dead Zone (1983)
- Videodrome (1983)
- Scanners (1981)
- Shivers (1975) (aka: They Came from Within)



Stanley Kubrick
Bow down and worship. Interesting how many cinema-snobs often fail to site how Kubrick’s three core films are Science Fiction. A genre commonly marginalized by critics. Dr. Strangelove, a satirical black comedy, is perhaps the pinnacle of that sub-genre. He did not exactly go out with a winner, but with accomplishments such as The Shining, 2001, and Clockwork behind him, none fail to applaud his genius. Clockwork Orange alone can keep a film student busy for lets say, kabillion years? Love ya Stanley.
Seen 'em before? Well, just go watch them again, and again, and again....

- Full Metal Jacket (1987)
- The Shining (1980)
- Barry Lyndon (1975)
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
- Lolita (1962)
- Spartacus (1960)
- Paths of Glory (1957)
- The Killing (1956)


David Lynch
Emotional isolation, sexual tension, abstraction, disconnected dialogue, and inchoate psychology. With me so far? Well, it gets better... and more complicated. Lynch is a master story-teller, symbolist and director. Were I stranded on a desert Isl, Blue Velvet would be one of the films I would hope to have. Dune, crashed in the theatre, yet its vision of Frank Herbert's complex universe is eloquent and inspiring. Eraserhead is a magnificent experimental/independent film, see it at least once. Lost Highway (1997), was not made for you to understand, but to enjoy. Though if you enjoy puzzles, you may find yourself watching it many, many times.
Think you know weird (?), see...

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
Wild at Heart (1990)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Dune (1984)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Eraserhead (1977)


John Woo
Something about the 1990s gritty crime-action films from Hong Kong fascinate me. A culture alien enough for me to know... I would not last a second in its underground. Alhough my head may be prominently displayed for some time. With the mass acceptance of Chinese cinema playing state-side, everyone is beginning to realize how much Hollywood owes Woo and his peers for sheer invention and choreography. For me these films are explosive popcorn-entertainment. For some, these films are too loud & aggressive... violence as a blunt tool. For Woo, violence is poetry.
Buy some bullets and watch:

Lashou shentan (1992) (Hard-Boiled - aka: Hot-Handed God of Cops)
Die xue shuang xiong (1989) (the Killer)
Die xue jie tou (1990) (Bullet in the Head)
Ying huang boon sik (1986) ( A Better Tomorrow)



Alejandro Jodorowsky
A mind of titanic creativity. A troubled and frustrating path. Underground success. Jodorowsky's small portfolio is stunning.
Previously a circus clown, a puppeteer and mime under the renowned Marcel Marceau. Jodorwsky's 70s & 80s films struck me with great force. Topo, El (1970) became a NYC Midnight Movie cult classic, as did The Holy Mountain (1973). And here, one of the most exciting/terrifying what-ifs of cinema:
"In 1975 he (Jodorowsky) returned to France to begin work on a film that was never made: a colossal adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune", which was to star Orson Wells, Salvador Dali and others, was to be scored by Pink Floyd, and which brought together the visionary talents of H.R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, and Jean "Moebius" Giraud (Giger and O'Bannon later collaborated on "Alien.") The project's financiers backed out, and "Dune" was eventually filmed by David Lynch." Good lord! *THAT* would have been a different movie!
I will leave you with El Topo's tagline: "See the naked young Franciscans whipped with cactus. See the bandit leader disemboweled. See the priest ride into the sunset with a midget and her newborn baby. What it all means isn't exactly clear, but you won't forget it."
Watch these... you'll be rewarded... in the next life, if not in this one.

El Topo (1970)
The Holy Mountain (1973)
Santa sangre (1989)
(The judge is out on) The Rainbow Thief (1990)
See also : Fando & Lis


The BBC
Our noble cousins have been doing a bang-up job for decades... and while some don't click with dry British humor, I find it stunning. From deep back in its history, the BBC has entranced me with productions like: The Goodies, Benny Hill, Dr. Who, Blake's 7, Faulty Towers, Spitting Image & the ubiquitous Monty Python. I feel the Black Adder series is unstoppable, while Red Dwarf's vocabulary has irrevocably ruined mine own. Alphabetti spagetti! More recent works have re-defined comedy with performers like Ali G and TV shows like the League of Gentlemen... a dark, surreal comedy to challenge the best from any era. In fact, old Bean, find it, buy it, rent it, just see it! Enjoy:

- Benny Hill
- Dr. Who
- Blake's 7
- Faulty Towers
- Mony Python
- Black Adder
- Red Dwarf
- Prime Suspect
- The Pirot Mysteries
- League of Gentlemen


Woody Allen
Cerebral love, stream-of-consciousness, neurotic entanglements, poetic dialogue. I am constantly amazed what comes from this hilarious/haunted director/actor. I'm a fan of his early absurdist comedies straight through to his richer, more thoughtful films. His humor cuts though my defenses, and I find myself gasping for breath! Specifically, I find Sleeper a riot while Love and Death... brilliant. Begin with these before jumping into Shadows and Fog (1992), and Husbands and Wives:

- A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
- Manhattan (1979)
- Interiors (1978)
- Annie Hall (1977)
- Love and Death (1975)
- Sleeper (1973)
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
- What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)



Noboru, Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Naoyuki Tomomatsu
It is probably not fair to group three directors at once, but they seem to blur their talents rather well. Have you ever woken up one fine spring morning just needing to breathe the fresh air and enjoy a long walk? Have you ever left the office knowing you just had to have sushi for dinner?
Well, I often times look toward the gentle heavens and know that more than anything on the earth - that at that exact moment - I need an explosion filled day, complete with cyber-infused flesh, millions of gallons of blood raining onto the ground, women screaming endlessly, and decapitations by the dozens.
Lucky for me, these three Japanese directors clearly feel the same way. You’ve come a long way, Tetsuo.

Watch in wonder:

Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, 2009
Tokyo Gore Police, 2008
Machine Girl, 2008
Sukeban Boy, 2006

------------------------------

What films from my school-daze have stayed the test of time? Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up I'd recommend to everyone! While I forget how good Hitchcock's Vertigo and Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest really are! It's been fifteen years but E. Elias Merhige's Begotten will run in my mind forever. So many more films loop in my memory; I shall endeavor to grow this list...

Which films/directors has time forgotten on my movie screen? Wim Wenders, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Altman, Stan Brakhage, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Bresson, John Ford, Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, and Sergei Eisenstein all are a bit distant to me now... kinda like a wild night, where you remember they were a good kisser... but not much else. And, no. I am not talking about kissing Tarkovsky!

New stuff? I am presently going crazy for the South Korean film scene, with hits like Tae-gyun Kim's ‘Volcano High’ and Sang-Jin Kim's ‘Attack the Gas Station’. Definitely watch all three of Chan-Wook Park’s Vengeance trilogy. Don’t even think about missing; ‘Old Boy’, 2003. You won’t find them at Blockbuster, but they are worth the search! Like many, I am holding my breath for the next installment of the Russian 'Night Watch' trilogy and for the international joint effort of 'Worst Case Scenario', or its prequel.

We all love films, and we all have favorites. Yet how hard is it to say 'that' drama is better than 'that' comedy? To answer the 'favorite film' question I shall create a few categories. Yet, even within these groupings, there is no priority-order. Just love, baby... just love.

Action
-Fight Club
-Die Hard
-Hard Boiled
-Sin City

Adventure
-Brazil
-Raiders of the Lost Ark
-Ben Hur
-The Man Who Would Be King
-Romancing the Stone
-Cleopatra
-Buckaroo Banzai
-Battle Beyond the Stars
-The Signal, 2007

Animation
-Street of Crocodiles (1986)
-Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (1995)
-Faust (1994)
-The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993)

Cheese & more Cheese
-Basket Case
-The Abominable Dr. Phibes
-Plan 9 from Outer Space
-Brain Damage
-Street Trash
-Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
-Blood Diner

Comedy
-Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
-Big Trouble In Little China
-Flash Gordon
-Withnail and I
-Monty Python & the Holy Grail
-Bad Taste
-Delicatessen
-Russ Meyer's UP!
-Raising Arizona
-Time Bandits
-Blazing Saddles
-Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
-Ruben and Ed
-Airplane!
-Super Troopers

Crime
-Chinatown
-Reservoir Dogs
-The Killing
-The wild Bunch

Dark Comedy
-Yojimbo
-Della Morte Della More (Cemetery Man)
-Meet the Feebles
-Evil Dead II
-Dr. Strangelove
-How to Get a Head in Advertising

Documentary
-The Burden of Dreams
-Heart of Darkness
-Koyaanisqatsi
-Powaqqatsi
-Ring of Fire
-Sherman's March
-Baraka (1992)
-The Architecture of Doom

Drama
-Henry V (Branagh)
-Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
-The Cook The Thief His Wife & her Lover
-The Duelists
-Prospero's Books
-Salo: 120 days of Sodom
-River's Edge
-Matador
-Betty Blue
-Sweet Movie

Experimental/Cult
-Begotten
-Forbidden Zone (1980)
-Liquid Sky

Fantasy
-Naked Lunch
-Legend (classical music version, please)
-Gormenghast (BBC)
-Gothic
-Excalibur
-Princess Bride

Film-Noir
-Double Indemnity
-Hollywood Blvd.
-Touch of Evil

Foreign Films
-Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
-Solaris
-Acción mutante (1993)
-Popiól i diament (Ashes & diamonds) 1958
-Blow Up

French Cinema
-Man Bites Dog
-La Femme Nikita
-Diaboliques, Les
-Salaire de la peur, Le (Wages of Fear, 1953)
-Haut Tension
- Inside

Hong Kong Action
-High Risk (Shu dan long wei -1995)
-SuperCop III (Chao ji ji hua -1993)
-The Armour of God (Longxiong hudi -1986)
-Hard Boiled (Lashou shentan -1992)

Hong Kong Flying Fighter
- Stormriders
- Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain
- Flirtatious Scholar
- The Warriors of Zu
- King of Beggars
- The Duel
- Eagle Shooting Heroes

Horror
- Suspiria
- The Thing
- Evil Dead I
- The Ring/Ringu
- The Shining
- The Exorcist
- Donnie Darko
- The Mummy (Karloff)
- Mum and Dad

Horror/Comedies
-Dead Alive
-Evil Dead II (1987)
-Return of the Living Dead
-Shawn of the Dead
-Mr. Vampire

Independent
- Nick Zed's films
- Kung Fu Rascals
- Kenneth Anger's nine short Films
- Titus (1999)
- The Last of England (Dereck Jarman)

Japanese Anime
-Vampire Hunter D
-Ghost in the Shell
-Nausica
-Full Metal Alchemist Series
-Excel Saga
-Gantz
-Full Metal Panic : Fumoffu

Japanese Cinema
-See- Akira Kurosawa
- The Funeral (Ososhiki)
- Tampopo
- Cashern
- Tetsuo (1988)
- Kwaidan
- The Audition

Musical
- Phantom of the Paradise
- Jesus Christ SuperStar
- Something Funny happened on the Way to the Forum
- The Producers
- Spinal Tap

Mystery
- Se7en (1995)
- Usual Suspects
- Manchurian Candidate (1962)
- Don't Look Now (1973)

Occult
- The Saragossa manuscript
- The Wicker Man
- Invocation of my Demon Brother
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- From Beyond (hey, It's Lovecraft)
- Der Golem

Period/Costume
- Brotherhood of the Wolf
- Dangerous liaisons

Romance
-The Apartment
-Wild at Heart
-Natural Born Killers

Science Fiction
- Blade Runner
- Dune
- Total Recall
- Alien
- Metropolis
- The Terminator

Spanish Cinema
-Sante Sangre (1989, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
-El Topo (1970, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
-Matador (1986, Pedro Almodóvar)
-Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, Pedro Almodóvar)
-Abre los ojos (1997, Alejandro Amenábar)
-Sex and Lucia (Lucía y el sexo, 2001)

Special Favorites
- Blue Velvet
- The Devils
- Saragossa Manuscript

Thriller
- Vertigo (1958)
- North by Northwest (1959)
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
- Basic Instinct

War
- Apocalypse Now
- Full Metal Jacket
- Das Boot
- Band of Brothers
-Thin Red Line
-Patton
-Saving Private Ryan

Western
- The Good the Bad & the Ugly
- High Noon
- Pale Rider
- Silverado
- Django

Vampire
- Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
- Near Dark
- The Hunger
- Chronos
-Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl

Zombie
-Undead (Australian goodness)
-Versus (Japan)
-Zombi
-Re-Animator

-----------------------------------------------------------
Guilty pleasures and other confessions.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Deep down, in that dark, secret place, we all enjoy some films belonging to the third (or better yet, fourth) tier of quality. While I can be a pretentious critic, I also happily admit to liking a great quantity of terrible films! Films no sane or self-respecting cineaste would whisper into the darkness. Shall we explore my secret pleasures? hmmmm, I thought so!

-Eagle Shooting Heroes. Silly, dumb, and silly. I can't get enough. Absurd Chinese humor hits me just right. (Sediu yinghung tsun tsi dung sing sai tsau!)

-Flash Gordon. Jeez, I could watch this film every day for a year. Hey, wait a minute! I did just that in 1988, 1989, and 1990! 'Hawkmen, DIVE!'

-Hentai. All of it. All the time. I just don't know what to say, it combines two passions of mine; women and tentacles. Or is it tentacles then women... ah, damned.

-Mortal Combat. Do I really have to explain this one? Flawless-victory!

-Jesus Christ Superstar. Well, truth be told, it's not a bad film... it is just my obsessive enjoyment of it that's so wrong.

-Tromeo and Juliet. Gore + Shakespeare. Nuff said.

-Evil Dead I & II. Funny how there was a time when I was branded a freak for loving (and living) these two gems. Now, they are part and parcel of every film students study. Still, the forehead brand continues to smart.

-Ruben and Ed. Well, it has Crispin Glover and Howard Hessman. There is a cat in a cooler. And I am not allowed to say more. You will need therapy after seeing this film the first time, then therapy on how to stop re-watching it. I still wake up screaming and laughing and screaming and laughing...

The Story of Ricky (or: Ricky-Oh) What can I say? I mean, if I had like a whole big hundred dollars and wanted to make a gritty, hyper-violent tribute to a video game... then this'd be this one!

Bloodsucking Freaks. I first encountered this film when I was 15 years old. I went out and bought a power-drill. My girlfriend left me. No one understands.

Naturally, I attempted to make my love of bizarre cinema a strength, and early on endeavored to own all the films found in 'Incredibly Strange Films' (V. Vale.) This led me to collect and love the works of Ed Wood Jr., Frank Henenlotter, Herscell Gordon Lewis & Ted V. Mikels to name a few.

Liking cult films is now solidly in vogue within the cinema scene, and is not the mocking material Street Trash, Plan 9, and Bucket of Blood used to be. But, we are being honest here, right? So, I really *like* Never Ending Story, Street Fighter, Star Crystal, Ice Pirates, Street Trash, Dr. Who, *and* both Bill and Ted films. From Asian gore to Truffaut's 400 blows. Is that so strange? Well, okay... maybe.

I'll retire now... probably just as exhausted writing this as you are reading it. Heh. And you? What visions creep in the shadows of your film thoughts? Me? More to come...
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Did you watch White Diamond? I liked it much better than Grizzly Man.

Also, on my diagonal reading of the OP I haven't seen Iranian dudes there. Check out, at least, Majid Majidi.

I'm always confused when I'm asked about my favourite films too. I've seen thousands, I could give you hundreds of movies I really like (many you already have here), but promoting only some of them to "my favourite movies" is really hard. Which is why you have such a huge list, I guess.

BTW, no Pulp Fiction?

Thanks, I found here some things that got me interested!
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Zopper Alf
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We share a similar taste of movies!
Watch this - I guarantee that you'll like it:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0430651/



p.s. don't read too much about it - just watch it!
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Morgan Dontanville
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I love quite a bit of this list.

Funny how I haven't thought of Begotten in years and just posted about it yesterday.

I noticed that The Happiness of the Katakuris wasn't on your list:
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faustgeist wrote:
Greetings all,

I am a serious film buff & thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with the BGG community. There are always new (& old) films to find and I would love any suggestions. My present obsession with Asian B-rated films is not reflected here, but I think you may find a few fun ones to see for yourself.

All the best and happy film going!
~Robin

Film Thoughts Jan 3rd 2011
------

At parties, events, film openings, or under candle light people often ask me what my favorite film is. Imagine my embarrassment as my eyes glaze-over, my voice quiets, and I stare back... stunned by not knowing how to categorize my tastes.

Well, this then, is an attempt to answer that vexing question and a chance for me to re-order a few things & perhaps re-discover some gems lost along the way. I'll start with favorite directors, move along to genres, and finish with some embarrassing confessions.

-----------------------------------
Favorite Directors: (In no particular order.)
-----------------------------------

Federico Fellini
Italian existentialism, love-stories through narration, brilliant settings, compelling players, and the pursuit of dreams. In October of 1993 I bought a case of the best Chianti I could find and celebrated the life & films of Fellini with seven friends. Ten hours and one hell of a hangover later, I mused on the life and death of a sublime Italian director.
Introduced to Dolce vita, La (1960) and 8½ (1963) in film school, I fell in love with Fellini's episodic storytelling and, ahem, his starlets. Critics point to his juvenile tendencies, where I tend to view his cup not half-empty but half-full... of wine, certainly! Satyricon is one of my favorite films to re-visit, with its lack of moral or philosophical concepts... I find myself filled with a sense of nostalgia for a time and state I've never experienced.

Enjoy:
Città delle donne, La (1980) (City of Women)
Amarcord (1973)
Satyricon (1969)
8½ (1963)
Dolce vita, La (1960)
& many, many more!


Chan-wook Park
South Korean filmmaker and film critic. With a rough early start, Park, solidified himself as a director to watch and watch with the commercial and critical success of Join Security Area in 2000. Creating the thematically connected Vengeance Trilogy brought him even more international fame, winning the Grand Prix award for Oldboy at the 2004 Cannes film Festival. I find his movies wildly entertaining and recommend them to anyone who is already a K-film fan as well as to friends who have not yet explored the rich Asian film traditions.

Enjoy:
Thirst (2009)
I’m a Cyborg, but that’s OK (2006)
Sympathy for Lady Vengance (2005)
Three Extremes (2004) (Segment ‘Cut’)
Oldboy (2003)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengance (2002)
Join Security Area (JSA) (2000)



Peter Greenaway
Master film maker, visionary, post-modern artist extraordinaire. Peter Greenaway is perhaps my first choice for whom to drink Petrus with, and my most feared rival. Were I to continue making films, they would unfold much in the vein of Greenaway's opulent, theatrical form. Indeed, much of my life is styled in a sumptuous fashion, due in part to these rich films... and my natural propensity for decadence. Ha!
I began with the Cook the Thief while in university and for years only spoke, ate and breathed Greenaway's portfolio. Hell, I could even endure his art-speak lectures and monstrous ego. Yet, on the screen, few can match his vision, his formulation, and his production. His films from 1985 to 1993 speak the most to me. I was not particularly impressed with the Pillow Book, its story telling devise was already explored in Prospero's Books, and Ewan McGregor was not the best casting for Jerome. Furthermore, 8 1/2 women I found overly self-conscious and encumbered by its pedantic inner-structure. A shining example of Greenaway's recondite storytelling.
Before continuing, I must also tip my hat to Greenaway's musical composer, Michael Nyman. Love him or hate him, Nyman's work is integral to Greenaway’s. PS: I love him.
I limit my admiration for Greenaway by not including his most recent works. I beg you, please see:

- The Baby of Mâcon (1993)
- Prospero's Books (1991)
- The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
- Drowning by Numbers (1988)
- The Belly of an Architect (1987)
- A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)



Ken Russell
As a young film student, Ken Russell was my idol. Running the gamut from high-brow to schlock, I found his work richly stylized, well constructed, fun, and a pleasure to study. The Devils continues to be one of my all time favorites; for its period texture, it's psycho-religious madness, and it's well chosen cast. Both Gothic and White Worm offer easy, tongue in cheek fantasy and prompted me to travel 'round Switzerland in Byron's footsteps during the early 90s. RIP.

No miss-ers:

- The Lair of the White Worm (1988)
- Salome's Last Dance (1988)
- Gothic (1986)
- Crimes of Passion (1984)
- Altered States (1980)
- Lisztomania (1975)
- Tommy (1975)
- The Devils (1971)



Russ Meyers
Independent and fringe film maker Russ Meyers would be my first choice of who to drink copious quantities of American beer with. Though I'd have to first dig him up.
His films? ...wonderfully verbose, erudite erotica. And let's face facts, how often can you honestly say that about a movie?! His catalog of films hit me during my formative years and I am still paying for it! In 1992 I interviewed him for a Los Angeles magazine and found him precisely as I had secretly suspected. A living god!
Of his films I recommend 'Up!' as a good jumping off point. Just hold on to yer hat! Interested in his non-adult films? Try Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill (1965) & Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Otherwise enjoy these:

- Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979)
- Up! (1976)
- Supervixens (1975)
- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
- Vixen! (1968)
- Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill (1965)


Takashi Miike
Explicit, taboo, disturbing and notoriously prolific. I am enamored with his interpretations of violence, perversion, and lurid bloodshed. Detractors site much of his work as misogynistic, yet I feel his portrayal of family, women, and culture is so fascinatingly Japanese, it adds a necessary layer of complexity to study. The Audition, Visitor Q and the young-adult film Yokai Wars are some of my favs! Careful about his straight to TV productions… they can be dry. Alas Western Django failed for me but last year’s 13 Assassins was a smashing success!
Telling someone they 'need' to see Miike's films is difficult as 'need' does not apply to the truly bizarre. Therefore, you simply MUST see these:

13 Assassins (2010)
The Great Yokai War (2005)
Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu (2003)
Bizita Q (2001) -Aka : Visitor Q (2001)
Koroshiya 1 (2001) -Aka : Ichi the Killer
The Happiness of the Katakuris, 2001
Ôdishon (1999) -Aka : The Audition




John Carpenter
Ah, John, John, John. I applaud his independence, I admire his stubbornness, & I deeply respect his desire to create outside the hollywood, machiavellian studios system. Yet, limited to small budgets - he walks a precarious path. Carpenter is THE example of a director who has produced A+ works, but is now relegated to B- pictures. And much, it seems, from his own design.
Halloween was a critical success. The Thing also received positive acclaim and is a skillful remake and Lovecraftian tainted masterpiece! Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China has solidified itself amidst my friends to be forever one of our founding favorites. My allegiance to John's work even has me liking Escape from LA, egads. He and John Romero are certainly cut from the same cloth.
Before I move on, I should also say that as a film fan and a serious aficionado of all things Mythos, In the Mouths of Madness is a subtle and well crafted homage to the American horror master; H.P. Lovecraft. See it, and fear.

Grab some popcorn & enjoy :
- Escape from L.A. (1996)
- In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
- They Live (1988)
- Prince of Darkness (1987)
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
- The Thing (1982)
- Escape from New York (1981)
- The Fog (1980)
- Halloween (1978)
- Dark Star (1974)




Akira Kurasawa
If you like sweeping, epic films... this is the director for you. Serene Landscapes, societies in transition, the individual held between betrayal and redemption. I get goose-bumps daydreaming of Kurasawa's bamboo forests. I recently toured Japan specifically to walk the streets ofKyoto, and visit a number of famous filming sites. Simply magnificent! With so many films to see, I humbly recommend:

- Ran (1985)
- Kagemusha (1980)
- Tengoku to jigoku (1963) (aka Heaven and Hell)
- Tsubaki Sanjûrô (1962)
- Yojimbo (1961)
- Kakushi toride no san akunin (1958) (aka The Hidden Fortress)
- Shichinin no samurai (1954)(Seven Samurai)
- Ikiru (1952)



Werner Herzog
Where to start? I guess with one word: GERMAN. I mean, really, how much more damn German can Herzog get?! Whose work is so tortured? Whose main lead (read: Klaus Kinski) is more insane? What director intentionally places himself in harms way? Well, Werner!
Studying Herzog's life work is a pristine example of schadenfreude; the pleasure derived from others misfortunes. Yet the obstacles he overcomes, the madness he courts, and the spears he dodges are all so neatly tucked within a titanic vision... it simply makes for some of the best cinema to watch and study. And while I am at it, let me endorse Les Blank, whose documentary of the making of Fitzcarraldo, titled: Burden of Dreams. It is a must see. I recommend a double bill with Burden of Dreams and My best Friend.
Of his new generation of films, I have mixed feelings. Grizzly man was interesting, but I felt the director was projecting too much of his philosophy into the situation. While the Incident at Loch Ness was a folly.

Enjoy the real deal:
- Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999) (aka My Best Friend)
- Cobra Verde (1987)
- Fitzcarraldo (1982)
- Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979) (aka Nosferatu the Vampyre)
- Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972) (Aguirre: The Wrath of God)




John Waters
Oh, my! Inextricably linked with southern alternative living. And, wow, when I was at university that's what it was all about. Me, my friends, and girlfriends all defining and re-defining ourselves to find our inner-voices... and somehow, Waters' bizzaro films became our breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Forget Cry baby, Hairspray, and Serial Mom... delve deep into Polyester, Pink Flamingoes, and Desperate Living to know what ichor flows in these veins. Even now, all I need do is close my eyes and visions of Divine, Edith Massey, David Lochary, and the Egg Man swim through my thoughts. Can you imagine what that's like?! *shiver* Unnnnn, save me!

Eat and drink this!
- Polyester (1981)
- Desperate Living (1977)
- Female Trouble (1974)
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Multiple Maniacs (1970)
- Mondo Trasho (1969)



David Cronenberg
A Canadian auteur, and definitely the man I want to help me through any kind of surgery…not! Cronenberg's relentless themes of the horror stemming from mutations, parasites, and/or medical conditions have been explored in a wide variety of films. From The Brood all the way up to eXistenZ.
I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when thinking of taking a blind date to see Dead Ringers for the first time. I'm also a huge fan of Naked Lunch and Videodrome. 'Brothers should be close, don't you think?'

- eXistenZ (1999)
- Naked Lunch (1991)
- Dead Ringers (1988)
- The Fly (1986)
- The Dead Zone (1983)
- Videodrome (1983)
- Scanners (1981)
- Shivers (1975) (aka: They Came from Within)



Stanley Kubrick
Bow down and worship. Interesting how many cinema-snobs often fail to site how Kubrick’s three core films are Science Fiction. A genre commonly marginalized by critics. Dr. Strangelove, a satirical black comedy, is perhaps the pinnacle of that sub-genre. He did not exactly go out with a winner, but with accomplishments such as The Shining, 2001, and Clockwork behind him, none fail to applaud his genius. Clockwork Orange alone can keep a film student busy for lets say, kabillion years? Love ya Stanley.
Seen 'em before? Well, just go watch them again, and again, and again....

- Full Metal Jacket (1987)
- The Shining (1980)
- Barry Lyndon (1975)
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
- Lolita (1962)
- Spartacus (1960)
- Paths of Glory (1957)
- The Killing (1956)


David Lynch
Emotional isolation, sexual tension, abstraction, disconnected dialogue, and inchoate psychology. With me so far? Well, it gets better... and more complicated. Lynch is a master story-teller, symbolist and director. Were I stranded on a desert Isl, Blue Velvet would be one of the films I would hope to have. Dune, crashed in the theatre, yet its vision of Frank Herbert's complex universe is eloquent and inspiring. Eraserhead is a magnificent experimental/independent film, see it at least once. Lost Highway (1997), was not made for you to understand, but to enjoy. Though if you enjoy puzzles, you may find yourself watching it many, many times.
Think you know weird (?), see...

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
Wild at Heart (1990)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Dune (1984)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Eraserhead (1977)


John Woo
Something about the 1990s gritty crime-action films from Hong Kong fascinate me. A culture alien enough for me to know... I would not last a second in its underground. Alhough my head may be prominently displayed for some time. With the mass acceptance of Chinese cinema playing state-side, everyone is beginning to realize how much Hollywood owes Woo and his peers for sheer invention and choreography. For me these films are explosive popcorn-entertainment. For some, these films are too loud & aggressive... violence as a blunt tool. For Woo, violence is poetry.
Buy some bullets and watch:

Lashou shentan (1992) (Hard-Boiled - aka: Hot-Handed God of Cops)
Die xue shuang xiong (1989) (the Killer)
Die xue jie tou (1990) (Bullet in the Head)
Ying huang boon sik (1986) ( A Better Tomorrow)



Alejandro Jodorowsky
A mind of titanic creativity. A troubled and frustrating path. Underground success. Jodorowsky's small portfolio is stunning.
Previously a circus clown, a puppeteer and mime under the renowned Marcel Marceau. Jodorwsky's 70s & 80s films struck me with great force. Topo, El (1970) became a NYC Midnight Movie cult classic, as did The Holy Mountain (1973). And here, one of the most exciting/terrifying what-ifs of cinema:
"In 1975 he (Jodorowsky) returned to France to begin work on a film that was never made: a colossal adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune", which was to star Orson Wells, Salvador Dali and others, was to be scored by Pink Floyd, and which brought together the visionary talents of H.R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, and Jean "Moebius" Giraud (Giger and O'Bannon later collaborated on "Alien.") The project's financiers backed out, and "Dune" was eventually filmed by David Lynch." Good lord! *THAT* would have been a different movie!
I will leave you with El Topo's tagline: "See the naked young Franciscans whipped with cactus. See the bandit leader disemboweled. See the priest ride into the sunset with a midget and her newborn baby. What it all means isn't exactly clear, but you won't forget it."
Watch these... you'll be rewarded... in the next life, if not in this one.

El Topo (1970)
The Holy Mountain (1973)
Santa sangre (1989)
(The judge is out on) The Rainbow Thief (1990)
See also : Fando & Lis


The BBC
Our noble cousins have been doing a bang-up job for decades... and while some don't click with dry British humor, I find it stunning. From deep back in its history, the BBC has entranced me with productions like: The Goodies, Benny Hill, Dr. Who, Blake's 7, Faulty Towers, Spitting Image & the ubiquitous Monty Python. I feel the Black Adder series is unstoppable, while Red Dwarf's vocabulary has irrevocably ruined mine own. Alphabetti spagetti! More recent works have re-defined comedy with performers like Ali G and TV shows like the League of Gentlemen... a dark, surreal comedy to challenge the best from any era. In fact, old Bean, find it, buy it, rent it, just see it! Enjoy:

- Benny Hill
- Dr. Who
- Blake's 7
- Faulty Towers
- Mony Python
- Black Adder
- Red Dwarf
- Prime Suspect
- The Pirot Mysteries
- League of Gentlemen


Woody Allen
Cerebral love, stream-of-consciousness, neurotic entanglements, poetic dialogue. I am constantly amazed what comes from this hilarious/haunted director/actor. I'm a fan of his early absurdist comedies straight through to his richer, more thoughtful films. His humor cuts though my defenses, and I find myself gasping for breath! Specifically, I find Sleeper a riot while Love and Death... brilliant. Begin with these before jumping into Shadows and Fog (1992), and Husbands and Wives:

- A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
- Manhattan (1979)
- Interiors (1978)
- Annie Hall (1977)
- Love and Death (1975)
- Sleeper (1973)
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
- What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)



Noboru, Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Naoyuki Tomomatsu
It is probably not fair to group three directors at once, but they seem to blur their talents rather well. Have you ever woken up one fine spring morning just needing to breathe the fresh air and enjoy a long walk? Have you ever left the office knowing you just had to have sushi for dinner?
Well, I often times look toward the gentle heavens and know that more than anything on the earth - that at that exact moment - I need an explosion filled day, complete with cyber-infused flesh, millions of gallons of blood raining onto the ground, women screaming endlessly, and decapitations by the dozens.
Lucky for me, these three Japanese directors clearly feel the same way. You’ve come a long way, Tetsuo.

Watch in wonder:

Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, 2009
Tokyo Gore Police, 2008
Machine Girl, 2008
Sukeban Boy, 2006

------------------------------

What films from my school-daze have stayed the test of time? Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up I'd recommend to everyone! While I forget how good Hitchcock's Vertigo and Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest really are! It's been fifteen years but E. Elias Merhige's Begotten will run in my mind forever. So many more films loop in my memory; I shall endeavor to grow this list...

Which films/directors has time forgotten on my movie screen? Wim Wenders, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Altman, Stan Brakhage, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Bresson, John Ford, Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, and Sergei Eisenstein all are a bit distant to me now... kinda like a wild night, where you remember they were a good kisser... but not much else. And, no. I am not talking about kissing Tarkovsky!

New stuff? I am presently going crazy for the South Korean film scene, with hits like Tae-gyun Kim's ‘Volcano High’ and Sang-Jin Kim's ‘Attack the Gas Station’. Definitely watch all three of Chan-Wook Park’s Vengeance trilogy. Don’t even think about missing; ‘Old Boy’, 2003. You won’t find them at Blockbuster, but they are worth the search! Like many, I am holding my breath for the next installment of the Russian 'Night Watch' trilogy and for the international joint effort of 'Worst Case Scenario', or its prequel.

We all love films, and we all have favorites. Yet how hard is it to say 'that' drama is better than 'that' comedy? To answer the 'favorite film' question I shall create a few categories. Yet, even within these groupings, there is no priority-order. Just love, baby... just love.

Action
-Fight Club
-Die Hard
-Hard Boiled
-Sin City

Adventure
-Brazil
-Raiders of the Lost Ark
-Ben Hur
-The Man Who Would Be King
-Romancing the Stone
-Cleopatra
-Buckaroo Banzai
-Battle Beyond the Stars
-The Signal, 2007

Animation
-Street of Crocodiles (1986)
-Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (1995)
-Faust (1994)
-The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993)

Cheese & more Cheese
-Basket Case
-The Abominable Dr. Phibes
-Plan 9 from Outer Space
-Brain Damage
-Street Trash
-Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
-Blood Diner

Comedy
-Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
-Big Trouble In Little China
-Flash Gordon
-Withnail and I
-Monty Python & the Holy Grail
-Bad Taste
-Delicatessen
-Russ Meyer's UP!
-Raising Arizona
-Time Bandits
-Blazing Saddles
-Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
-Ruben and Ed
-Airplane!
-Super Troopers

Crime
-Chinatown
-Reservoir Dogs
-The Killing
-The wild Bunch

Dark Comedy
-Yojimbo
-Della Morte Della More (Cemetery Man)
-Meet the Feebles
-Evil Dead II
-Dr. Strangelove
-How to Get a Head in Advertising

Documentary
-The Burden of Dreams
-Heart of Darkness
-Koyaanisqatsi
-Powaqqatsi
-Ring of Fire
-Sherman's March
-Baraka (1992)
-The Architecture of Doom

Drama
-Henry V (Branagh)
-Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
-The Cook The Thief His Wife & her Lover
-The Duelists
-Prospero's Books
-Salo: 120 days of Sodom
-River's Edge
-Matador
-Betty Blue
-Sweet Movie

Experimental/Cult
-Begotten
-Forbidden Zone (1980)
-Liquid Sky

Fantasy
-Naked Lunch
-Legend (classical music version, please)
-Gormenghast (BBC)
-Gothic
-Excalibur
-Princess Bride

Film-Noir
-Double Indemnity
-Hollywood Blvd.
-Touch of Evil

Foreign Films
-Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
-Solaris
-Acción mutante (1993)
-Popiól i diament (Ashes & diamonds) 1958
-Blow Up

French Cinema
-Man Bites Dog
-La Femme Nikita
-Diaboliques, Les
-Salaire de la peur, Le (Wages of Fear, 1953)
-Haut Tension
- Inside

Hong Kong Action
-High Risk (Shu dan long wei -1995)
-SuperCop III (Chao ji ji hua -1993)
-The Armour of God (Longxiong hudi -1986)
-Hard Boiled (Lashou shentan -1992)

Hong Kong Flying Fighter
- Stormriders
- Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain
- Flirtatious Scholar
- The Warriors of Zu
- King of Beggars
- The Duel
- Eagle Shooting Heroes

Horror
- Suspiria
- The Thing
- Evil Dead I
- The Ring/Ringu
- The Shining
- The Exorcist
- Donnie Darko
- The Mummy (Karloff)
- Mum and Dad

Horror/Comedies
-Dead Alive
-Evil Dead II (1987)
-Return of the Living Dead
-Shawn of the Dead
-Mr. Vampire

Independent
- Nick Zed's films
- Kung Fu Rascals
- Kenneth Anger's nine short Films
- Titus (1999)
- The Last of England (Dereck Jarman)

Japanese Anime
-Vampire Hunter D
-Ghost in the Shell
-Nausica
-Full Metal Alchemist Series
-Excel Saga
-Gantz
-Full Metal Panic : Fumoffu

Japanese Cinema
-See- Akira Kurosawa
- The Funeral (Ososhiki)
- Tampopo
- Cashern
- Tetsuo (1988)
- Kwaidan
- The Audition

Musical
- Phantom of the Paradise
- Jesus Christ SuperStar
- Something Funny happened on the Way to the Forum
- The Producers
- Spinal Tap

Mystery
- Se7en (1995)
- Usual Suspects
- Manchurian Candidate (1962)
- Don't Look Now (1973)

Occult
- The Saragossa manuscript
- The Wicker Man
- Invocation of my Demon Brother
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- From Beyond (hey, It's Lovecraft)
- Der Golem

Period/Costume
- Brotherhood of the Wolf
- Dangerous liaisons

Romance
-The Apartment
-Wild at Heart
-Natural Born Killers

Science Fiction
- Blade Runner
- Dune
- Total Recall
- Alien
- Metropolis
- The Terminator

Spanish Cinema
-Sante Sangre (1989, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
-El Topo (1970, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
-Matador (1986, Pedro Almodóvar)
-Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, Pedro Almodóvar)
-Abre los ojos (1997, Alejandro Amenábar)
-Sex and Lucia (Lucía y el sexo, 2001)

Special Favorites
- Blue Velvet
- The Devils
- Saragossa Manuscript

Thriller
- Vertigo (1958)
- North by Northwest (1959)
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
- Basic Instinct

War
- Apocalypse Now
- Full Metal Jacket
- Das Boot
- Band of Brothers
-Thin Red Line
-Patton
-Saving Private Ryan

Western
- The Good the Bad & the Ugly
- High Noon
- Pale Rider
- Silverado
- Django

Vampire
- Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
- Near Dark
- The Hunger
- Chronos
-Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl

Zombie
-Undead (Australian goodness)
-Versus (Japan)
-Zombi
-Re-Animator

-----------------------------------------------------------
Guilty pleasures and other confessions.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Deep down, in that dark, secret place, we all enjoy some films belonging to the third (or better yet, fourth) tier of quality. While I can be a pretentious critic, I also happily admit to liking a great quantity of terrible films! Films no sane or self-respecting cineaste would whisper into the darkness. Shall we explore my secret pleasures? hmmmm, I thought so!

-Eagle Shooting Heroes. Silly, dumb, and silly. I can't get enough. Absurd Chinese humor hits me just right. (Sediu yinghung tsun tsi dung sing sai tsau!)

-Flash Gordon. Jeez, I could watch this film every day for a year. Hey, wait a minute! I did just that in 1988, 1989, and 1990! 'Hawkmen, DIVE!'

-Hentai. All of it. All the time. I just don't know what to say, it combines two passions of mine; women and tentacles. Or is it tentacles then women... ah, damned.

-Mortal Combat. Do I really have to explain this one? Flawless-victory!

-Jesus Christ Superstar. Well, truth be told, it's not a bad film... it is just my obsessive enjoyment of it that's so wrong.

-Tromeo and Juliet. Gore + Shakespeare. Nuff said.

-Evil Dead I & II. Funny how there was a time when I was branded a freak for loving (and living) these two gems. Now, they are part and parcel of every film students study. Still, the forehead brand continues to smart.

-Ruben and Ed. Well, it has Crispin Glover and Howard Hessman. There is a cat in a cooler. And I am not allowed to say more. You will need therapy after seeing this film the first time, then therapy on how to stop re-watching it. I still wake up screaming and laughing and screaming and laughing...

The Story of Ricky (or: Ricky-Oh) What can I say? I mean, if I had like a whole big hundred dollars and wanted to make a gritty, hyper-violent tribute to a video game... then this'd be this one!

Bloodsucking Freaks. I first encountered this film when I was 15 years old. I went out and bought a power-drill. My girlfriend left me. No one understands.

Naturally, I attempted to make my love of bizarre cinema a strength, and early on endeavored to own all the films found in 'Incredibly Strange Films' (V. Vale.) This led me to collect and love the works of Ed Wood Jr., Frank Henenlotter, Herscell Gordon Lewis & Ted V. Mikels to name a few.

Liking cult films is now solidly in vogue within the cinema scene, and is not the mocking material Street Trash, Plan 9, and Bucket of Blood used to be. But, we are being honest here, right? So, I really *like* Never Ending Story, Street Fighter, Star Crystal, Ice Pirates, Street Trash, Dr. Who, *and* both Bill and Ted films. From Asian gore to Truffaut's 400 blows. Is that so strange? Well, okay... maybe.

I'll retire now... probably just as exhausted writing this as you are reading it. Heh. And you? What visions creep in the shadows of your film thoughts? Me? More to come...


ditto
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Well written and I appreciate the addition of Jodorowski and EARLY Cronenburg and Woo among Lynch and others. I think the only thing you are missing is an animated section.

I would add:

Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon is a master of the manipulation of reality. His works can best be compared to those of Philip K. Dick. Blending reality and illusion is a common theme in his works which lead to fascinating works of art that are mindbending and surreal. If you like dramas with dark undertones and unhappy characters muddling to uncover their vision of reality then Satoshi Kon is for you.

Perfect Blue
Paranoia Agent (Series)
Millenium Actress
Paprika


Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Kawajiri is the name in classic animes. He is the genius behind the brilliant Ninja Scroll. If 1980s action flicks were translated into cartoons with japanese themes then you would have a good idea of what a Kawajiri film is like. You can look forward to explosions, brutal violence, sex, and an 80s like pastel art style. Most of his films have a dark scifi or demonic setting. If you like bloodlust as well as a sort of serene animation for your eyes then I would highly recommend Kawajiri.

Ninja Scroll
Goku: Midnight Eye
Wicked City
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Cybercity Oedo 808
Biohunter



NON ANIMATED DIRECTOR SUGGESTIONS:

Frank Henenlotter
The intensely creative mind behind Basket Case, Frankenhooker, and Brain Damage.

Charles Band (Writer and director)
You can't watch many B horror films from the 80s without finding Charles Band being involved somewhere in the production. He is responsible for Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, Tourist Trap, Trancers, and Head of the Family among hundreds of others.

Peter Jackson
Before King Kong and Lord of the Rings (which are excellently directed as well), Peter Jackson is responsible for some of the most creative films that I have ever seen. Meet the Feebles and Dead Alive are both masterpieces of their genres, and Bad Taste is pretty excellent as well.

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No love for Lucio Fulcci?

For shame. shake
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peloquin17 wrote:
No love for Lucio Fulcci?

For shame. shake


Christ! Do you want him to list every movie ever made?
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sisteray wrote:
peloquin17 wrote:
No love for Lucio Fulcci?

For shame. :shake:


Christ! Do you want him to list every movie ever made?


i thought thats what this thread was about.
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sisteray wrote:
peloquin17 wrote:
No love for Lucio Fulcci?

For shame. shake


Christ! Do you want him to list every movie ever made?


He should have AT LEAST included Sergio Leone.
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No Powell & Pressburger (the Archers). No Ealing comedy. Barely scratched French cinema or Westerns. Musicals? Spinal Tap was a musical? Only 3 Noir??
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Very cool, and thanks!

A film I'd consider worthy of seeing again & again in the "War" category would be John Sturges' "The Great Escape". Not only is is a great film, it has Steve McQueen in it!
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i like major league
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Nice! We like a lot of the same stuff. I love Fellini--La Strada through 8 1/2 is just an amazing run of awesomeness. Any serious film student who didn't worship Kurosawa I would think was secretly blind or brain-damaged. I can't even begin to tell you how great I think Stanley Kubrick is because people would think I was weird (I wanted to name the dog Stanley but was overruled).

Some of my favorites that you didn't mention:

Directors
Fritz Lang: Dr. Mabuse der Spieler, Die Nibelungen, M, et cetera. I can watch his stuff over and over.
F.W. Murnau: Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, Faust, Sunrise, et cetera. Inventive & cool.
Powell & Pressburger: These guys amaze me. Black Narcissus is my favorite film of the moment.
Alfred Hitchcock: so obvious that I usually forget to mention him.
Luis Buñuel: one of my favorite artists in any medium. Nazarín, Viridiana, Simon of the Desert, The Exterminating Angel, Tristana, The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz, et cetera. I think you would really like his stuff.
Roman Polanski: Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, The Pianist. I don't think people today get what a kick in the balls Chinatown was back then; you are not supposed to like Jake Gittes, or at least not at first.
Martin Scorsese: makes consistently interesting films, even when they're not about gangsters.
Joel & Ethan Coen: no question in my mind that these guys are the best filmmakers of our time.
Wes Anderson: would you think I was weird if I said that The Royal Tenenbaums was one of the all-time great movies? His subsequent films have seemed to travel similar ground, but that's okay.

Movies
Battleship Potemkin: if you haven't seen the recent restoration, you haven't seen the movie. People who think that all silent movies are boring would probably be pretty shocked by the violence.
The Passion of Joan of Arc: this movie would be considered as edgy as hell if it were released today, and it was made in 1928.
Duck Soup: still one of the funniest movies ever made.
Psycho: do I really need to say anything here?
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: ditto.
The Conformist: this movie blew me away like few others have. I must admit that I don't really get Bertolucci's other stuff, though, and I've seen a lot of it.
Blue Velvet: yep, that's a human ear all right.
Boogie Nights: one of the great American movies.
Underground: an amazing experience, but doesn't translate well to the TV screen.
Spirited Away: an amazing feat of imagination.

I'll also just say that you're one of the only people I've ever heard mention The Saragossa Manuscript. I got to see that one on the big screen, once; very cool.
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riddlen wrote:
i like major league


I like It Happens Every Spring also.
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Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't see a single Billy Wilder movie in your list! That's a surprise. I guess a lot of his movies are more about the dialogue and acting than the mise-en-scene, but still...

Nice list anyway. We have similar taste. I was especially happy to see Joint Security Area in there - what an amazing, taut, sad movie.
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Greetings all,

Yipes, work took over - sorry for these late replies

Hope everyone is well!

Asur, I have not seen White Diamond and need to! While I greatly admire Hertzog, I agree that Grizzly Man was not his best work. But does illustrate his recent (and self indulgent) topics/philosophy. Perhaps I should begin to apredciate more his change from mad-muse-inspired to mature and more sublte.

Simon, Oh YES! Survive Style 5+ absolutely rocks, lol. That and Funky Forest are two I quickly recommend to friends. We do indeed have similar tastes, hah. I've not updated this 'Film Thoughts' list in a while... and certainly need to. Here in Columbia, SC I host a weekly film party called 'Asian Action & Beyond' it is a simple Monday night format where 4-20 friends come over and we enjoy a single Asian film : all Asian nationalities & all genres are open. Here has been our line up for the past year +... not everything has been good, in fact some real stinkers, but all fun with the right company

2011
Dec 16th : Helldriver!
Dec 5th : Blood the Last vampire
Nov 28th : Detective Dee
Nov 14th : The Nocturnal Demon
Nov 7th : Little Big Soldier
Oct 25th : Mongol
Oct 17th : Psycho Gothic Lolita
Oct 10th : Demon Hunter
Sept 26th : Naussica
Sept 19th : Flying Dagger
Sept 12th : Chocolate (1yr Anniversary!)
Sept 5th : Samurai Assassin : the Blind Wolf
Aug 29th : Musa The Warrior
Aug 22nd : Survive Style 5+
Aug 15th : Paprika
Aug 8th : Return to the 38th Chamber
Aug 1st : 2046
July 25th : I saw the Devil
July 11th : Dark Water
June 27th : King of Comedy
June 6th : Funky Forest & Eagle Shooting Heroes
May 30th: Summer Wars & Sukeban Boy
May 23rd : True Legend
May 16th : 13 Assassins
May 1st : The Shinjuku Incident
April 11th : Sanjuro
April 4th : Big Trouble in Little China
March 28th : Yojimbo
March 21st : The Twilight Samurai
March 14th : Taboo
March 7th : Shogun Assassin
February 28th : The New Take Of Zatoichi
February 21st : The Hidden Fortress
February 7th : The Seven Samurai
January 24th : Natural City

2010
Dec 6th: Sword of Doom
Nov 22nd : Stormriders
Nov 1st : Royal Tramp I
October 25th : Story of RICKY!
October 11th : IP Man
October 4th : Dragon Tiger Gate


Hiya Morgan, ah, yes... a sublime mix of zombie film with musical... and all by the GENIUS that is Miike. This was a smash-up sucess at a film night where this played the third film of the evening... after, shall we say, plenty of libations. lol, Love it!

Greetings Tony, Cool! I have enjoyed Paprika and Perfect Blue... but have not seen the others... will definitely give them a go! I caught Vamp D Bloodlust when it was released but have not seen any of Kawajiri. I will have to fix that! Good call on Henenlotter... I admire his work and wish him good health. Brain Damage is on of the best! I just caught a more recent Bad biology and it was certainly 100% his work. lol.

Jackson's early work is simply fantastic! Even his Disney film is fun. And of course his mastery of the craft with recent films is a joy to watch, not sure why I did not include him...hmmm....

Rob, Fulcci, eh? Pretty fun stuff but I own only a few... I'll have to fix that! Any suggestions?

Joe Gola, Great films, reminds me to run out and watch plenty, plenty more! Did you see the Saragossa manuscript in SF? I was there for the national premier.. back in ... hmmm... '98?

Hi, Conrad,I did include Sunset Blvd and Double Indemnity... which are SOOO good... but you are right... there is much more to praise from this master film maker! PS: Billy wilder has a damn cool tomb stone too.

Thanks all for your thoughts and suggestions... please keep 'em coming! Lord knows there is always new cinema to look forward too... and lost gems to find.

More soon,
~Robin


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where to start with fulci...

hmmm...

The Beyond
I think its his absolute best.

I had something long and drawn out typed up, but then i figured "why watch all these other movies, just start with the best."

Other Fulci movies...

Zombi (aka Zombi 2)
Dont Torture a Duckling
City of the Living Dead
The New York Ripper
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I like your list.

Myself, I could do without Woo and Cronenberg. I have not seen the Chan-wook Park, Takashi Miike, Noboru, Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Naoyuki Tomomatsu... Woody Allen & John Carpenter - not my fave but I do like some their films ok (They Live, Dark Star, The Thing, Sleepers). The rest on your list are among my favorite directors / films.

To the Director list I'd add:

Guy Madden - Careful, Saddest Music
Hal Hartley - The Girl From Monday, Henry Fool, No Such Thing
Cory McAbee - American Astronaut, Stingray Sam, Ketchup & Mustard Man
Errol Morris - Fast Cheap and Out of Control, Thin Blue Line
Jan Svankmajer - Little Otik, Alice
Terry Gilliam - Brazil, Fear and Loathing, Time Bandits
Jean-Pierre Jeunet - Amalie, City f Lost Children, Delicatessen

I am not going to dissect or contrast and compare the individual films. I have seen less than 1/3 of that list. Of those not duplicated in the director list - Baraka, Manchurian Candidate, Koyaanisqatsi, How To Get Ahead in Advertising are some of my favorites.

Some of mine not listed:

Cane Toads
Tekkonkinkreet
Marwencol
Reflections of Evil
Generation P
Space is the Place
Schizopolis
Cremaster Cycle
Battle of Algiers
Castle in the Sky
Tin Drum
Wave Twisters
Samurai 7
The Jerk
Brother's Keeper
Wax : The discovery of Television by the Bees
Fantastic Planet
After Life (1998)
The Way Things Go
I Think We're Alone Now
Dead Man
The Cats of Mirikitani
Microcosmos
Miller's Crossing
I'm a Cyborg, but That's Ok
Wallace & Grommit
Ren & Stimpy
Wings of Desire
The Great Dictator
The Brother from Another Planet
The Trial
Dark Days
Living Wake
Mister Lonely
Watership Down
Downtown 81
Papillon
In the Realms of the Unreal
Slaughterhouse-Five
Catch 22
Reflecting Skin
...





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Asur wrote:
BTW, no Pulp Fiction?


I thought it was a bad film... except the great soundtrack. After Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction I have given up on Tarantino.
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pronoblem wrote:
I thought it was a bad film...


Why?
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pronoblem wrote:
Asur wrote:
BTW, no Pulp Fiction?


I thought it was a bad film... except the great soundtrack. After Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction I have given up on Tarantino.


Tried Jackie Brown? QT's most underrated film.

Of course I loved PF. but would agree that his more recent work has been uneven.
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Asur wrote:
Why?


It seemed to try way too hard to be controversial or to offend sensibilities. Kinda like South Park or repetitive bathroom jokes. In that it fails at being funny, dark or challenging. The acting, cinematography, script... all not great examples in cinema. I get it... I see the film having some meaning. It is about redemption. Not really that interesting to me and extremely overrated as cinema. I thought it was a waste of my time.
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faustgeist wrote:
Joe Gola, Great films, reminds me to run out and watch plenty, plenty more! Did you see the Saragossa manuscript in SF? I was there for the national premier.. back in ... hmmm... '98?

It was probably about then, except I saw it at the New York Film Festival. I miss those days....
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pronoblem wrote:
Cane Toads

I love Cane Toads! That's a real Chit Chat movie if there ever was one.
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