I'm not really that big on lists, but I figure having a 'top ten' on here can help you see where I'm coming from as a film fan. It's not written in stone and wasn't pored over for weeks on end, it's not even in any particular order, just a summation of ten movies that have absolutely floored me at some point. I'm sure there are plenty more out there that I've yet to see or have yet to be made that could just as easily be included...
2001: A Space Odyssey
USA, 1968. Director: Stanley Kubrick
"I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do."
Once 2001 blows your mind, you're never quite the same again. Evolution, God, extra terrestrials, the perfect silent movie intro, unequalled cinematic advancements, man vs. machine, the dichotomy of synthetic intelligence and then: Through The Stargate. What a trip. God bless you Mr Kubrick.
Also ran: Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now, Dr Strangelove
Director: Martin Scorsese
USA, 2010, 138mins, rated 15
Screening: Notting Hill Coronet, 14 March 2010
Boston, 1954. Two US Marshals – Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) – emerge from the fog on a boat bound for Shutter Island: a maximum security offshore prison for the criminally insane. Dressed in classic film noir attire (hats, suits and long coats) and accompanied by ominous classical music, the tone is set for a dark and unsettling ride. After a decade of overly-contrived epics, Martin Scorsese’s back, relaxing from the need to bring us another magnum opus and sinking his teeth into a glorious homage to Hitchcock and Hollywood’s dark years. An intense psychological-suspense-thriller-mystery awash with fantastic twists and turns, Shutter Island feels at once like a new and assured direction for Scorsese, as well as something pleasantly familiar. It's very possibly his most direct and enjoyable film since Casino.
© William Thomas at 12:10 pm
Director: Neil Jordan
Ireland/USA, 2010, 111mins, rated 12A
Screening: Paramount screening room, 2 March 2010
Neil Jordan, like his fellow British contemporaries Alan Parker and Stephen Frears, has moved back and forth between Hollywood and Britain making dramas and fantasies of varying success for years. With his latest, Ondine, he mixes all these elements to create a charming rural Irish socio-realist drama mixed with a Hollywood-esque fairytale fantasy. The results, while on the whole quite enjoyable, are a little shaky.
© William Thomas at 12:04 am