I know it’s become a cliche to say Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever made but it very well may still be true.
Not only is it groundbreaking for its visual approach but Citizen Kane is as gutsy a movie as you’ll ever see. Welles went after not only one of the biggest figures in media history in William Randolph Hearst but also the notion of consolidated power, extreme wealth, and the power of a media gone wrong to twist a nation. It all very nearly cost him his career.
Funny, razor-sharp and maybe as prescient as any movie ever made, Network to me is everything cinema can be.
2004 Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
An explosion of raw imagination, action, comedy and romance like I have never seen before. I remember standing outside the theater with friends after seeing it and being speechless. It’s a reminder that with cinema you can do anything. There are no limits.
1960 Italy, France
We always forget we’re living in a way that hasn’t existed in the 300,000 years humans have been around. For the last 160 years we have something most people have never had; leisure time. And this movie illustrates how, without work and necessity to moor us to the earth, life becomes strange and detached.
Do the Right Thing
I have never been in a theater that felt more alive than when I saw Do The Right Thing. Race, class, rising temperatures, anger… It’s maybe the most American film ever made.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
1975 Belgium, France
Although not by any means a horror movie, I still have never felt more uncomfortable and tense watching a movie than when I saw this.
Almost every emotion lives underneath the dialogue and routines. And when they finally reveal themselves the ending is like 20 Hitchcock films rolled into one.
The Sound of Music
Yes the songs are incredible and the performances legendary but this is quietly a very subversive movie.
Fighting fascism with music and nature? Yes please.
Did the Baroness get a raw deal? Yes she did. This is still in my opinion the greatest movie musical ever made.
The ways in which an authoritarian society’s ripples of dysfunction trickle into the family in this movie are so well drawn and painful I almost felt like I was being slowly suffocated.
It’s an Iranian film yes, but I had no problem relating to it as an American.
It’s been 23 years since this movie was released to mixed reviews and low box office numbers and it’s still the movie I watch if I want to laugh.
Office Space’s depiction of pre-fab, low pay, degrading Capitalism has gotten even better and more on point with age.
And Gary Cole’s depiction of a mid manager who thinks he rules the world is an all timer.
The morning after I watched this movie for the first time on VHS I immediately got up and put the tape in again to rewatch it because I was convinced I had dreamt it.
Top 10 lists are ridiculous. But very, very fun.
I can’t believe the 30 or 40 movies I didn’t include. No Fellini? How can that be?