101 Films to Watch Over and Over Again – Part 6

Part 6 of this continuing series contains about seven films that, if I ranked this series numerically,  would land in the top twenty easily. These films have influenced me, taught me and have remained over the years pure orgasmic celluloid pleasures.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

invasion-of-the-body-snatchers-1956An allegory on the infiltration of communism in America? A metaphor for people turning a blind eye to the McCarthyism hysteria that was sweeping the country in the early 1950’s? An attack on the potential dangers of conformity and the stamping out of individuality? Don Siegel’s 1956 gem of a film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has been said to “really be about” any and all of these themes since its debut now more than fifty years ago. Siegel, who should know, never mentions any of this kind of subtext in his autobiography, A Siegel Film, so one can assume, all the reading into this classic SF film is just that, critics and filmgoers reading their own thoughts and ideas into a work of pop art. After all, isn’t personal interpretation one of the elements and joys of enjoying art? Continue reading

101 Films to Watch Over and Over Again – Part 5

With part 5, we have reached the halfway mark in this series. I’m still one film over my 101 limit, but have yet to remove it since, as I have mentioned before, titles could be added or subtracted. We shall see, Anyway, here is the next installment…

 The Godfather Part II

MCDGOTW EC001You wouldn’t think it was possible, but Francis Ford Coppola managed make an even better film with The Godfather 2. The filmmaker just didn’t take Paramount’s money and dish out a piece second rate movie making. It’s breathtaking in its scope with its dual storyline and in dep.th characters. Being a third generation Italian-American, I found the Ellis Island scenes fascinating. My grandparents came through Ellis Island and I always imagine them going thru a similar process as young Vito. And I know people whose last name was changed because the Ellis Island ‘reception committee’ could not understand these “foreigners.” There were Italian immigrants who, believe it or not, ended up with German sounding last names or something else as strange for their background. I found most fascinating to watch the contrast between De Niro’s young meditative young Vito and the more power hungry, unsympathic Michael. A study in power gone corrupt. Continue reading

My Best Films of 2014

It’s mid-February, the Oscars are less than a week away, and here I am finally coming out with my best list. The main reason why is due the theatrical patterns here where I live. For example, Still Alice, with Julianne Moore’s superb performance, only opened up here on February 13th. A Most Violent Year opened just one week earlier. If I keep waiting to see every film that should be considered, among them, The Babadook, Inherent Vice, it would be October. That said, here are my top 10, as well as, some honorable mentions.

10. LIFE ITSELF

Life Itself

9. NIGHTCRAWLER

Nightcrawler

8. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL_c371.JPG

7. WHIPLASH

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6. THE IMMIGRANT

TheImmigrantb

5. BIRDMAN

birdman-be-the-first-superhero-movie-nominated-for-best-picture

4. IDA

IDa

3. SELMA

Selma

2. BOYHOOD

boyhood-poster

1. THE IMITATION GAME

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Honorable Mentions

(in alphabetical order)

A Most Violent Year

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Big Eyes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Finding Vivian Maier

Gone Girl

Mr. Turner

The Normal Heart

The Skeleton Twins

The Theory of Everything

Top Five

Venus in Fur

5 Shades of Classic Films Sexier Than…

Here are five films that are sexier, steamier than anything 50 Shades of Grey will expose. Due to the Production Code’s innate rules Hollywood’s films of yesteryear had to find ways to express sexually within rules that would not allow nudity, long kisses or even married couples in bed together. Here are five films from the heyday of Hollywood that are sexier than 50 Shades of Grey. Continue reading

Andre

Andre_DSC_7749._CW

Andre, a Siamese mix, is one of my five cats. Just the other day, I found him sleeping under this quilt my wife made. That in itself is not odd. Generally, he is completely under the quilt. On this particular day, I found him sleeping like this. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped off a few photos.

Week-end Marriage (1932) Thornton Freeland

Week-End-Marriage-1Week-End Marriage is a “cautionary tale” tale about women attempting to manage both a job and a home life. Based on the 1931 novel by Faith Baldwin, the film pushes all the buttons on the dangers a woman faces by attempting to balance life in and out of the home; a unhappy marriage, an unkempt home, no children and infidelity by the husband. Today, with so many double income families trying to survive, the film seems chauvinistic, narrow-minded and quaint. Continue reading

101 Films to Watch Over and Over Again – Part 4

The fourth installment brings up the question what to do when there are films I forgot to include in my list and which film would I take remove? I have been tweaking along the way, but it continues to become more difficult. Getting into the D’s, I realized Dr. Strangelove was missing! I settled on a film to remove though I felt bad. It’s certainly not a better film that Strangelove, but that does not make it any easier. One thing I was sure of, Kubrick’s cold war satire had to be on the list. It’s brilliant filmmaking and one of the darkest and intelligently funniest films ever made. Right now, I am at 102 films. Like many of those loser reality shows, someone has to go. We shall see. Film noir dominates this installment with three films.We also have some Coppola, Keaton and much more. Continue reading