SIX FILMS I LOVE

(sorry for the deja-vu, this is a repost – when i changed themes it seems the old post of this got corrupted)

amo, amas, amat… I studied (and I use the term loosely) latin for two years at high school & all I can remember is how to conjugate the verb, but its cinema that I love and here is a brief list of six films that I love dearly and which have profoundly influenced me…

Wings of Desire (1987) by Wim Wenders started it for me in many ways – it was the late 80s & I was at university studying a subject I didnt actually enjoy, let alone wish to pursue as a career & a good friend of mine who was taking german film studies suggested I skip my lectures & come see this film… & thank god I did! It was like someone switched on a light – until that point my idea of film was entirely Hollywood based & I will be eternally grateful that fate lead me to this film. I watched it again recently & it effected me as powerfully as the first viewing… it was also truly resonant to last year visit Berlin for the first time & stumble across locations from the film. Here is a link to the official site and an unofficial site plus a link where you can buy a copy on dvd and the trailer:

Next was Down By Law (1986) by Jim Jarmusch It was about the same time & I totally fell for the pacing, fantastic score by John Lurie & charismatic performances by Tom Waits, John Lurie & Roberto Benigni. Buy a copy on dvd here. or watch the trailer:

Wreckmeister Harmonies (2000) by Bela Tarr was a much more recent discovery, as in this year & thanks to an interview with Gus Van Sant or I may never have discovered the genius of Bela Tarr, master of the long take & truly balletic cinematography.Interview here or buy a copy on dvd here or watch the trailer:

Amelie (2001) by Jean-Pierre Jeunet wasn’t the first film by this brilliant french director that I had seen – i loved Delicatessan & even more so City of Lost Children, but Amelie (& Audrey Tatou) has a charm all her own – it made me want to visit Paris tomorrow… dvd available hereor watch the trailer:

3 Iron (2004) by Kim Ki Duk intrigued the hell out of me via the description in the film festival guidebook: ‘a film with only six lines of dialogue & yet a crystal clear story’ This film is pure genius and it has led me on to discover & thoroughly enjoy many of the Korean directors other films, in particular Spring, Summer Autumn, Winter and Spring Again. Buy a copy of 3 Iron on dvd here or watch the trailer:

And lastly Tony Takitani (2004) by Jun Ichikawa
While researching my first trip to Japan a few years back I googled contemporary Japanese fiction & discovered the truly amazing writer Haruki Murakami and have since proceeded to read & enjoy every book he has ever written. Tony Takitani is a short story of his & represents the only work that he has ever allowed to be adapted for the silver screen. And what a film it is! With a fantastic minimalist piano score by Ryuichi Sakamoto this film is incredibly moving & a true expression of the elusive power of cinema. There is an interview with Murakami here, reviews, excerpts & an audio interview and the dvd is available here or watch the trailer:

There is a common thread to these six films, and its about the human condition… and its sad but true that thirty seconds emotionally engaging with any of these is worth more than $200 million of the cold hearted visual effects/action driven inanities marketed by Hollywood as this seasons next block buster wannabe… but hey thats just my humble opinion, to each their own! But if you are reading this & agree or disagree, please do reccomend me a film or six?

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