May 15, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Films - Part 6

Though I would have to call it my least favorite decade when it comes to film, I still had quite a struggle picking my five favorite films from the 80s.
By now, you should know the drill: check out both my honorable mention and "Yeah, I'll get to it" lists at the bottom, and please rate this post and leave a comment. And just to make things more interesting, why not answer this question in your comment: Which decade in the history of film is your favorite, and which one is your least favorite? 

Part 6: The 80s

5. Wings of Desire (1987)
Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful films of all time. With its rich black and white and color cinematography, visual and verbal poetry, overall tranquility, and reflective outlook on humanity, how could one not fall in love with this work of art? You don't need to believe in angels to gaze in wide wonder at this masterpiece.

4. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Sergio Leone's final work comes close to Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather as the greatest epic gangster film ever made. It has a runtime of nearly four hours, yet at no point does it feel too long. It seems like time is flying by when you're watching this masterpiece. But you don't ever want it to end, because as the end credits roll it has already become a part of you. And Ennio Morricone's moving score contributes to the unforgettable heartbreak this film causes.

3. Amadeus (1984)
What could've been a long and drawn out (or quite simply dull) story ended up being an extremely compelling one, all thanks to playwright and screenwriter Peter Shaffer. Amadeus is far from being considered a biopic; instead of retelling Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life as it was, it prefers fabricating a tale of rivalry between him and the lesser-known composer Antonio Salieri. And with such a masterful screenplay being the basis of all the extravagant period reconstruction, Amadeus surely is one delightful film. 

2. The Shining (1980)

Must I remind you of my love for Stanley Kubrick every time? Throughout his career, he was able to do what most directors could only dream of accomplishing; he redefined nearly every cinematic genre, including horror. And I do not lie when I say that The Shining is the best horror film I have ever seen. Despised by most Stephen King fans upon its release, this film can fortunately be appreciated today for its bone-chilling suspense, terrifying performances, thought-provoking imagery, and breakthrough cinematography.  


And now for number one...


1. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
I have a strong fondness Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso), mostly because it's a semi-autobiographical film that resonates well with me. It shares every outlook I have on life, whether it's about childhood, friendship, aging, love, or movies. With a deeply nostalgic core, it's a film that can be very heartbreaking and poignant at times. And I must once again give praise to Ennio Morricone for enhancing the true emotion of this masterpiece with what I believe is the most heartwarming music ever composed.


Honorable Mention
Full Metal Jacket
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Blade Runner
Au Revoir Les Enfants
The Last Emperor
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The Princess Bride
Rain Man
Dead Poets Society
A Christmas Story

"Yeah, I'll get to it"
Blue Velvet
Fanny and Alexander
Paris, Texas
Das Boot
The Untouchables
When Harry Met Sally...
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Do the Right Thing
This Is Spinal Tap
The Elephant Man
Grave of the Fireflies
The Breakfast Club
Ordinary People
Chariots of Fire
Terms of Endearment
Out of Africa
The Terminator
Stand by Me
The Color Purple
Hannah and Her Sisters


Check out Part 7: The 90s!