Thursday, 19 March 2015

Watch the Classics

I would definitely consider myself to be a big film fan. Not a film buff necessarily but a big film fan. I have been ever since I was a teenager. & I've seen a LOT of films!

(A lot more than this picture might suggest haha)

So it comes as a bit of a surprise to myself and maybe to you too, that I've not decided to do this before.

Now for a film fan, I don't actually go to the cinema all that often, but I do watch a lot of films at home. In the last two weeks I have probably spent more time watching documentaries and cartoons (Bojack Horseman) than films but have still managed to watch: Godfather Part II (again), Starred Up, Alter Ego, Locke, American Hustle, Despicable Me 2 (again) and Summer of Sam.

I also write my own films. I have an MA in Scriptwriting and I made my debut short film 'letters' last year. (if you haven't already seen it then do click 'here' to check it out. It's only 8min30sec, well made and the actors are super talented, so what have you got to lose? Then if you like it, be sure to share it with others who might enjoy it too).

So yes, films have and always will play an important role in my life. Knowing this people sometimes ask me for a top five list of the best films or of my favourite films. But I find this to be something almost impossible to do. There are just too many films that I love.

A lot of the films that I like tend to fit into the drama or coming of age category. This list of some of my favourite films might help you to understand my film taste a little better: Stand By Me, 'The Way, Way Back', Submarine, Adventureland, Mean Creak, City of God, This Is England, The Scouting Book for Boys, Son of Rambo, Paper Moon, Goodbye Lenin, Borrowed Time, Moon, Lawn Dogs, Frozen River, Almost Christmas, Nebraska, Half Nelson, The Lifeguard, Breathless, Love Me If You Dare, Blue Valentine, Labor Day, Two Days in Paris, Restless.

Many of those films above could quite possibly make it into a list of my top five or top ten favourite films of all time, but would I say that these films are amongst the best films of all time? No, probably not. I do think that some of them like Stand By Me and Breathless are right up there with the best films in the world and others like Goodbye Lenin or Nebraska will be considered classics one day, if they are not already. But it is sometimes quite hard to declare a new(ish) film to be a classic. That is unless that film is say The Grand Budapest Hotel. One of the very few films that I have seen recently(ish) and thought was an instant classic. In fact one of the extremely few films that I have ever seen and thought "that was a masterpiece!"

But best films of all time? What are the best films of all time? I think that is a pretty impossible thing to decide and also not my place to do so. Well that is all except for what should be at #1 haha. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Godfather is the best film I have ever seen and quite possibly the best film ever made (obviously not having seen all of the films ever made, it is hard to know for sure. However, I think that it is a pretty good shout). The Godfather is a film that quite literally has it all. On top of the fact that the script, direction and acting are all truly amazing, it is one of the most beautifully shot films of all time. It somehow also manages to be exciting, dramatic, gripping, intense, romantic, heartbreaking etc, etc all at the same time. It is 100% definitely a masterpiece in the truest sense of the word!

So The Godfather is the best film that I have seen but I have also seen a lot of other movies that I would suggest should all be termed a classic (some of which could also be called a masterpiece): Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Rebel Without a Cause, Scarface, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Usual Suspects, Vertigo, Dial M for Murder, Marathon Man, The French Connection, Reservoir Dogs, Charley Varrick, Cape Fear, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Trainspotting, The Shining, The Wicker Man, Night of the Living Dead, Pan's Labyrinth, Jaws, Star Wars, The Matrix, Blade Runner, The Big Lebowski, Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, Cool Runnings, Toy Story, Little Miss Sunshine.

A long list including some very different films that for one reason or another I would term a classic. I have spent way too much time watching films, both good and bad over the years and so that list could easily run on and on. Every one of which I couldn't recommend more!

But as much of a film fan as I claim to be, there are still so many great films that I have yet to see. So in the spirit of the Year31Project and with 'ReadTheClassics' - where I attempted to read the books I thought that I ought to - in mind, I am going to attempt to watch one classic movie - a film that I feel I should watch or that somebody suggests that I should watch - a week for a whole year.

So here it is. The start of the list of films that I intend to watch:

Citizen Kane
It's a Wonderful Life
Laurence of Arabia
The Apartment
Enter the Dragon
Three Colours Blue

But please help me out with your suggestions because that's only the beginning of a list - obvioulsy I need to find 52 films in total! So suggest away and just as long as you genuinely believe that it is a true classic, feel free to suggest any film. All genres welcome. I'm not the biggest fan of Horror or RomCom, but I'll do my best to watch all of the films that you suggest.

ps. as part of this or potentially as something separate, I also intend to watch more foreign language films. So if you have any suggestions for good foreign language films that I might not have seen - I have seen some but not nearly enough - then please send me your suggestions for these too.

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