February 10, 2006

The Greatest Films According to Reehan

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  1. You should check out Dr. Strangelove on Wednesday 1st March at the student cinema.. if you love Kubrick, you'll love this!

    You have plenty of great films on the list, I like your taste =)

    11 Feb 2006, 10:04

  2. Reehan

    Christ almighty, I didn't expect a comment this early! But um, hello there! And thanks for the tip :) I've seen and admire "Dr. Strangelove…", it's deliciously witty and brilliant as a satirical social commentary but I do feel that it is ever-so-slightly overrated (god, I hate that word…) in the film 'canon', as such. I'd rank the Kubricks I've seen thus:

    01 "2001: A Space Odyssey" – absolute 5* masterpiece as far as I'm concerned, one of the all-time greats and fully deserving of all its acclaim.

    02 "The Shining" – 4 1/2*, absolutely wonderful knack for horror and I LOVE it when Jack Nicholson plays "loony".

    03 "Dr. Strangelove…" – 4*
    04 "A Clockwork Orange" – 4*, fascinating piece of work.

    05 "Paths of Glory" – 3*, I like it a lot, but perhaps a bit too idealistic for my tastes. I've never been a fan of overmoralising.

    06 "Full Metal Jacket" – 2 1/2*, I don't think I "got" this, but I can't remember why. I liked the first half I think.

    07 "Spartacus" – 2*, overlong historical epics + me = clash.

    That's all I've seen of Kubrick's work. I do want to see the rest, particularly "Eyes Wide Shut". In general, I admire him as a director but once again I'm slightly weary of his status in the canon (probably the most widely admired 'classic' director behind Hitchcock, I'd argue?). Apologies for the briefness in the criticism, but I find it far more difficult to remember my thoughts about films that I dislike than about films that I'm wildly enthusiastic on.

    11 Feb 2006, 23:56

  3. Where is Con Air? Seriously, I can only assume you've not seen it as otherwise its absence is unforgiveable.

    Only kidding of course!

    Good list. Nice to see so much Bergman there. Where's Bicycle Thieves though? Surely that deserves a place. Just knock out The Piano or something (I mean seriously, why do you like that so much? I'd be interested, I really didn't think it was especially good). Also, do you actively hate the Coens or something?

    08 Mar 2006, 18:57

  4. Can you believe that I've managed to avoid seeing Con Air all these years? Talk about talent!

    Glad to find someone else who shares my enthusiasm for Bergman (aka GOD). Have you seen many of his works? I've only seen 5, but I'm working on getting round to more asap.

    Re: Bicycle Thieves, I haven't seen it. :( It's appalling I know, I have no right to call myself a film fan really, do I? The stupid library don't have it on DVD, and I know of no one who owns it so what can I do but wait around until I can A – afford it or B – hope the BFI send a copy to the Arts Centre?

    Re: The Piano, I absolutely fucking ADORE that film. It's such a beautiful experience, I think I wrote a very VERY poor review on it at some stage a while back – I'll try and dig it out in a sec.

    Re: The Coens – actively hate them? Hell no, I love 'em as much as anyone. I've seen Fargo, O Brother... and The Big Lebowski and really enjoyed them. Didn't like Raising Arizona much at all, but I'm thinking that's an anomaly. I've got The Man Who Wasn't There taped somewhere so I'll watch that soon. I just don't love anything enough to place it on my 100… yet.

    18 Mar 2006, 13:52

  5. JEEEEESUS. And I thought my top 50 was sad. Where are Shawshank, Amelie, Gladiator, Matrix, Leon, Memento et al…you know, good films of the last couple of decades ;-)

    19 Mar 2006, 02:42

  6. Sad? SAD?! The cheek of it! I'm not SAD.

    Who am I kidding, eh?! :p Everyone's allowed an obsession though. It's healthy in a strange, perverse sorta way… or not.

    Anyway, I don't actually like any of those films that you mentioned much. I realise that verges on heresy for a teenage male film-freak, but I can't help it. I find all to be ridiculously overrated, although I do actually like Shawshank , The Matrix and Memento to some degree. Also, I find that the whole cutesy quirk thing that put me off in Amelie works much MUCH better in A Very Long Engagement , which I found myself surprisingly caught up in. In my crazy head, the context justifies the quirkiness, but that's just me.

    19 Mar 2006, 11:07

  7. Londoner

    Interesting list, some of these movies I haven't actually seen, so might try to get hold of them (if I can). I have to say your no 1 surprised me…why American Beauty? Have you done a lengthy review of it?Would be interested to read it. I personally would've put The GodFather 1 and 2 at top spot, they are for me, because they are incredible movies. And to make a sequel that's as good if not better than the original doesn't happen very often. I think a few more Sergio Leone films are classics like "fistful of dollars" and you definitely need to have "the good the bad and the ugly" up there too. Greatest action I would say for me was "Terminator 2", the special effects in that film were amazing. A definite tragedy you didn't include "papillon" by Steve Mcqueen. A top ten that one. A good list, with an international flavour…

    31 Mar 2006, 19:56

  8. Many thanks for the comments Londoner. This list is in sore need of updating at the moment (primarily thanks to my discover of Tarkovsky). I would certainly not object to anyone placing the two "Godfathers" at #1, but I'm sure that somewhere on this blog I've stated it's enormous sentimental value. For me to really 'click' with a film, it has to push my intellectual and emotional buttons and "American Beauty" REALLY pushes the latter. And it throws in some entertainment for good measure. I just love its so?! I'll scribble down some semi-coherent thoughts on the film one day soonish (like, within the next 2 years…) I'm sure.

    Re: Leone, I seem to have avoided every opportunity that I've been gifted to watch the "fistful" trilogy (or whatever it's called? Man with No Name or something?). Clint Eastwood + me doesn't normally = a good mix, but I suppose I need to give these films a chance seeing as they're so loved by the public. I'll get to them soon, honest.

    I like "Terminator 2" muchly, although I think I prefer the original. I also think I'm one of the few people that quite enjoyed the 3rd film… runs and hides

    Haven't seen "Papillon" ft. Mr. McQueen (is that the one with Hoffman too?), but I will keep a lookout now that you've recommended it!

    03 Apr 2006, 00:06

  9. What Tarkovsky have you been watching? I've only seen Andrey Rublyov and Solaris. I think I preferred Rublyov – Solaris seemed to be a bit more about 'wowing' people at the time and perhaps hasn't aged brilliantly. I shall have to rewatch it though, obviously.

    Papillon is OK. I found it funny at the time though I'm not sure it's supposed to be a black comedy. The acting is excellent though, that's true. Dustin Hoffman is, for my money, the greatest movie actor of all time. Sure, sure, there are Pacino and DeNiro but they just don't have the range or enthusiasm of Hoffman I find.

    Fair enough about not including any Coen brothers films in your list. I thought there might be at least one, but hey not everyone thinks they're as great as I do. For me, Fargo is an utter masterpiece.

    Ah, just seen at the bottom of this page trackbacks to what looks like your review of The Piano and a new 100. Aces.

    15 Apr 2006, 13:37

  10. Mmm, I've seen Andrei Rublev , Solaris and Stalker so far. Absolutely adore all three, especially Stalker (hence the #5 placing... which is a pretty damn big deal for me). I've got Mirror on the top of my DVD rental queue at the moment, and I intend to get Nostalgia from the uni library soon so by that point I'll be pretty familiar with his entire career?! Awesome. I really recommend a second viewing of Solaris , I didn't see it as pretentious at all?! I'm a sucker for his visuals as well, they don't seem dated at all… they just seem like they exist in some completely separate (but fascinating) world?!

    I'll give you the Hoffman thing. Well, at least compared to Pacino and De Niro who've both tailed off into hammy oblivion. Personally I'm really big on The Jack. I have this thing for exceptionally charismatic actors? That could explain why I love Kate Hepburn as well. Also love Chaplin, von Sydow, Mastroianni and Tony Leung when it comes to the males although I really need to check out more of their work.

    Lack of Coen Bros. could well be due to the fact that I just haven't seen that much? I added Blood Simple. and The Man Who Wasn't There to my rental queue the other day, but it's about 128 films long at the moment… I'll get to them eventually though. Promise!

    28 Apr 2006, 13:24

  11. Susan Tolbert

    Nice site. I wandered here, due to a search for info on one of your faves: “Age of Innocence”...interesting take on that one. I agree; it IS a battle! No wonder watching it upsets me so much, yet I obsess over it. Anyway, I am stunned thta you would list “American Beauty” as the best film! Sure, it’s quirky, with some nice performances (esp. Spacey’s), but it’s FAR too self-conscious and grandiose in its wallowing in despair and hyposcrisy. The mid-life crisis, existential theme is SO late 60’s-early 70’s. Peter Gallagher is truly awful and the girl who plays the pseudo-Goth daughter is as numbingly boring as her friend is disgustingly whorish and ugly. The laughable part is that Chris Cooper’s psycho-dad believing that Spacey is having a gay love affair with his son (who obviously saw “Forrest Gump”’s feather too many times!), is actually MORE believable (Spacey simply can’t act “straight”), than what they want us to believe! The end was needlessly gory and shocking, much like the horrid rape scene in “Pulp Fiction”, which I otherwise adore.

    This COULD have been a great film; instead, it’s simply intriguing. And you call LOTR “Overblown shit”?! By contrast, Gandalf & co. were far more restrained and believable! And WHERE are “Lost in Translation” and “Ghost World” on your list? (Maybe there but I didn’t see them).

    Still, excellent analyses, even if I didn’t agree with all of them.

    27 Mar 2007, 17:49

  12. I recently saw Art School Confidential and, good as Ghost World is, I think I’d have to say Art School Confidential is even better. It’s more slickly constructed, being written from scratch rather than based on a work of disparate stories.

    27 Mar 2007, 19:23

  13. Susan, thanks for your comments. It’s funny that you point out American Beauty ’s flaws – whilst I respectfully disagree with regards to that film (I intend to write a reappraisal of it at some stage down the line), recently I’ve been having MAJOR doubts about placing it as my #1 film of all-time. My sentimental attachment to it is enormous (primarily as ‘the film that got me into film’, as such) but do I love it as much as some of the other titles on that list? I’m not so sure anymore. Therefore, I consider the list null and void until I’m done re-watching certain titles. Seriously, this is a major moment in my cinema-life, lol…

    Apologies for describing LOTR as “overblown shit”, that’s a horrifically immature comment. Whilst I’m really not a fan of the saga, and I do consider it “overblown” using the expletive is something that I should’ve gotten over by now (when writing, if not when speaking!). Lost in Translation has never had that much of a profound affect on me to be honest. I find the Murray + Johansson’s performances empty, for the most part and that obviously has major consequences towards my reception of the film. I couldn’t help but feel that Sofia Coppola was trying too hard to be America’s answer to Wong, when watching it? Perhaps I need to see it again, but it won’t happen for a while. If it’s any consolation, I AM anticipating Marie-Antoinette , which I need to get round to soon.

    As for Ghost World , it’s a simple case of having not seen the film I’m afraid. But the fact that both you and James are fans bodes well for when I do see it (same with Art School Confidential ).

    28 Mar 2007, 00:42


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