Jun 14, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Films - Part 8

My never-ending list of favorite films is finally coming to its long-awaited close with this very post (sorry for letting so much time pass by since the last post!). So if you must break out into tears, now is the time. Alright. Now take a deep breath, and get ready to find out which films I chose for the final part.

P.S. - Since I have lived through the 2000s more than any other decade (I grew up then), you will notice that I mention a much larger amount of films on here than on any other one of the eight parts. I must stress that this was probably the toughest decision I've had to make for this feature.

The Final Part
Part 8: The 2000s

5. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
I recently experienced this perplexing film for my second time around, and it seems to have cast a spell on me. Whenever I begin to think about this wonderfully mystifying treasure, in a matter of seconds I am overwhelmed by my thousands of thoughts surrounding the film. Why do I love it so much? Maybe because it's strange, enigmatic, eerie, haunting, thrilling, shocking, horrifying, disturbing, hallucinatory, sexy, erotic, beautiful, and heartbreaking-- all at once. Mulholland Drive is a puzzling expression of David Lynch's unique talent as a filmmaker, featuring an amazing performance from Naomi Watts.

4. Almost Famous (2000)
The more I watch Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical Almost Famous, the more I realize how much better off I would've been if I were to be born three or four decades earlier. This nostalgic film captures a whole generation passionate with music, and centers on an ambitious boy growing up during such high times. Watching this film for the first time, I instantly related to it and saw a bit of myself in the main character (which explains why I'm so personally attached to every single scene). When it was over, I felt like I had been going over old memories in my head-- or simply replaying memorable moments from a time so far back.

3. Donnie Darko (2001)
I can't describe what I'm feeling, every time I watch Donnie Darko. It puts me in this nearly singular mood where I seem to be feeling both a great amount of happiness and a great amount of apprehension. I guess the theme within this cult classic that hits me the most is the fear of the future. What lies ahead? What is there to look forward to? My shared agnosticism with the title character makes me emotionally vulnerable to every question asked throughout this film. It's beyond me how any human being could conceive such an original, imaginative story, while mixing elements of time travel with those of a coming-of-age tale. Richard Kelly, I honor you.

2. Amelie (2001)
Life is all about the simple pleasures-- the little details that put a smile on your face. And every contact or encounter-- no matter how minimal-- has some sort of effect on the lives of others. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) is a beautiful portrait that illustrates this wonderful concept of the world we live in. Using engrossing storytelling techniques such as descriptive narration and displaying fascinating imagery with its breathtaking cinematography, it's surely a delightful treat that is impossible to resist. If you're ever looking for something to cheer you up after a long day, be sure to put your trust in this exquisite feel-good movie.


And now for number one...


1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
The first time I watched Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno), I had absolutely no idea what to expect. In essence, it's a fairy tale, but in no way is it a light, fluffy one with your usual happy ending. Guillermo del Toro takes a fantastical tale about an innocent young girl venturing into a world of magic and sets it against the backdrop of the Spanish civil war, integrating powerful dramatic themes and symbolism found both in children's fairy tales and in serious adult dramas. It's this very special cross-breed of cinematic genres that makes it all the more enchanting. The music and cinematography are guaranteed to have a profound, long-lasting effect on you as you go through this heartbreaking experience.


Honorable Mention
Kill Bill
There Will Be Blood
City of God
Let the Right One In
Little Miss Sunshine
Inglourious Basterds
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Requiem for a Dream
Monster's Inc.
The Lord of the Rings
Mary and Max
The Pianist
The Dark Knight
No Country for Old Men
The Lives of Others
Spirited Away
Sin City
Gran Torino
The Prestige
Million Dollar Baby
The Wrestler
Finding Nemo
Into the Wild
Slumdog Millionaire
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Road to Perdition
Children of Men
Mystic River
Letters from Iwo Jima
Gosford Park
The Fall
The Departed
The Incredibles
Big Fish

"Yeah, I'll get to it"
4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
Talk to Her
A History of Violence
Brokeback Mountain
Little Children
Amores Perros
3:10 to Yuma
In Bruges
The Royal Tenenbaums
Before Sunset
Blood Diamond
Infernal Affairs
Y tu mama tambien
Waltz with Bashir
Hotel Rwanda
In the Bedroom
The Secret in Their Eyes
The Hours
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The Best of Youth
The Motorcycle Diaries
The White Ribbon
A Single Man
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
Eastern Promises
The Squid and the Whale
This Is England
21 Grams


I hope you enjoyed this extensive feature while it lasted! I will now return to writing reviews, preferably sooner than later.

Before you leave, share your thoughts on the whole thing!