Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#30-#11 of the Top Fifty Movies

#30 - Rosemary's Baby - dir. Roman Polanski - 1968
#29 - Naked Lunch - dir. David Cronenberg - 1991
#28 - Near Dark - dir. Kathryn Bigelow - 1987
#27 - Shock Corridor - dir. Samuel Fuller - 1963
#26 - Nashville - dir. Robert Altman - 1975
#25 - Sherlock, Jr. - dir. Buster Keaton - 1924
#24 - The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie - dir. Luis Bunuel - 1972
#23 - North by Northwest - dir. Alfred Hitchcock - 1959
#22 - Blue Velvet - dir. David Lynch - 1986
#21 - After Hours - dir. Martin Scorsese - 1985
#20 - A Zed & Two Noughts - dir. Peter Greenaway - 1986
#19 - Z - dir. Costa-Gavras - 1969
#18 - Performance - dir. Nicolas Roeg & Donald Cammell - 1970
#17 - Millenium Actress - dir. Satoshi Kon - 2001
#16 - A Woman is a Woman - dir. Jean-Luc Godard - 1961

And from here on out, I will do a write-up for the top movies, so that you can all know exactly why I love them so much.

#15 - The Lady Vanishes - dir. Alfred Hitchcock - 1938
Technically, it's my second favorite Hitchcock, but Vertigo was not among the 500 I watched this year, so The Lady Vanishes ranks highest on this list. Highly suspenseful, and increasingly complex as the story unfolds, the film manages to be both an effective thriller as well as a romantic-comedy, thanks in due part to wonderful performances by the leading actors, Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. Full of great characters, fantastic dialogue, and brilliant direction, The Lady Vanishes is certainly one of Hitchcock's best.

#14 - Hard-Boiled - dir. John Woo - 1992
I'm not a huge fan of most action movies. Hard-Boiled, however, is quite possibly my favorite, due mostly to the perfectly choreographed action scenes that fill the majority of the movie. From the opening tea-room shootout through the explosive hospital climax, the action in Hard-Boiled puts most other action movies to shame. 

#13 - Dogville - dir. Lars Von Trier - 2003
This is one film that you really just have to see for yourself. It's filmed on a stage, with the basics layout of the town of Dogville marked out on the ground, and with basic furniture of the buildings visible. So, basically, the picture above.

However, the characters don't see any of that. They see a normal-looking town, and they go about their day to day life as if they were in normal buildings living relatively normal lives. That being said, this makes it unique from any other film you are ever bound to see. And it completely works, thanks to Lars Von Trier's writing and direction, as well as the fantastic cast, headed by Nicole Kidman (in what is probably my favorite performance of hers).

Also, this film is dark, brutal, and depressing. And it has one hell of an ending.

#12 - Doctor Zhivago - dir. David Lean - 1965
In retrospect, I'm not sure why I put off watching this for so long, as I've had it readily available for the past few years. Doctor Zhivago is truly one of the most ambitious and epic films ever made - a love story set during the Russian Revolution. So many elements of this film deserve praise: the stunning cinematography, the unforgettable score, the incredible performances of Omar Shariff and Julie Christie (and the rest of the cast, for that matter), and the direction of David Lean. Put together, they create one of the most timeless romantic epics ever made.

#11 - All About Eve - dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz - 1950
Simply put, this has one of the best screenplays ever written. The plot, the dialogue, the performances of Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, and George Sanders... all of it makes All About Eve one of my favorites from the 500. 

Though not quite a favorite enough to crack the top ten, which I plan to add soon. But before I post my top ten, I think I also want to post by bottom ten. So expect more updates in the coming days!

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