Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest Columnist: Gianna's Top 100 Movies Every Film Buff Should See, Pt 9

OK - So cleary, I'm not meant to see more than 7 out of each list. Jeez!

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993 Dir: Steve Zaillian, Wr: Steve Zaillian)-Based on the true story of a young chess prodigy, Searching for Bobby Fischer is beautiful in its simple execution. Whereas most family-aimed films tend to go down a saccharine path, Bobby Fischer roots itself in pure honest storytelling.

Send Me No Flowers (1964 Dir: Norman Jewison, Wr: Julius J. Epstein)-The third and final film Rock Hudson and Doris Day made together. All their films are wonderful, but this one where Hudson plays a hypochondriac who believes he is dying, is adorable.

Sophie’s Choice (1982 Dir: Alan J. Pakula, Wr: Alan J. Pakula)-Of all the amazing performances Streep has turned in, nothing is better than this particular role. Excellent performances by Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol enhance this film that always packs an emotional wallop.

Thief and the Cobbler (1993 Dir: Richard Williams, Wr: Richard Williams & Margaret French)-Veteran animator Richard Williams spent over 30 years in production making this film, only to have it taken away from him and re-edited at the eleventh hour. The official DVD release only gives you glimpses of the absolutely stellar and intricate animation that was produced. To fully enjoy Williams original intent, a restored work print is available for viewing on YouTube in 11 ten-minute spots.

Time Bandits (1981, Dir: Terry Gilliam, Wr: Terry Gilliam & Michael Palin) -Terry Gilliam’s wonderful time-traveling romp is pure joy to watch. A young boy meets up with a band of little people who have stolen a map to the universe and are using it to rob people throughout time. Time Bandits also features some great cameos by John Cleese as Robin Hood, Ian Holm as Napoleon, Sean Connery as Agamemnon and Michael Palin and Shelley Duvall as a pair of doomed lovers.

Touching the Void (2003, Dir: Kevin MacDonald)-One of the most thrilling documentaries I’ve seen. The harrowing true story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, two mountain climbers who encounter un-fathomable disaster and tragedy on their descent. The story will have you on the edge of your seat, despite the fact you know how it will all turn out.

Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988, Dir: Francis Ford Coppola, Wr: Arnold Shulman & David Seidler)-Francis Ford Coppola’s forgotten gem about the ill-fated Tucker automobile. Jeff Bridges plays Preston Tucker a man who designed a car so good that the auto-industry turned around and killed his car before it even went into mas production. A slick-looking piece of filmmaking, that makes wonderful use of creative edits.

Twice Upon a Time (1983 Dir: John Korty & Charles Swenson, Wr: Bill Couterie)-An adorable, yet snarky, animated tale about a dastardly plot to give the wonderful never-ending nightmares. Twice Upon a Time uses an animation technique called Lumage, a process of using cut out pieces of plastic on a lighted table. The effect is stunning and unique animation.

Valley of the Dolls (1967 Dir: Mark Robson, Wr: Helen Deutsch)-One of the grand dames of Bad-Movies-We-Love cinema. Over the top and ridiculous, it has to be seen to be believed.

Vanishing (1988 Dir: George Sluizer, Wr: Tim Krabbe)-A wonderful mystery/suspense film worthy of Hitchcock. The ending of this film sticks with me to this day. If you search it out, make sure you are getting the original Dutch film and not the horrendous remake.

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