The Greatest Films Ever Made: The Top Thirty (#11-20)

Welcome back to my can’t-miss list of the greatest films ever made. Once again the criteria is basic, almost instinctual: a) The immediate impact of the film and b) The compulsive need to see the film again and again. In other words, these films are not only entertaining but will leave a lifelong imprint on your brain. And so the next ten of the greatest films ever made..

11. Adaptation (Spike Jonze, US, 2002)

Indelible line: “What if the writer is trying to create a story where nothing happens?” (Charlie)

Lasting impression: Kaufmann breaks every screenwriting rule to create an incomparable script

12. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, US, 2006)

Indelible line: “Why a fox? Why not a horse, or a beetle, or a bald eagle? Who am I?”

Lasting impression: Kylie’s eyes and lots of frantic digging

13. 2001 (Stanley Kubrick, UK/US, 1968)

Indelible line: “I’m sorry, Dave. I am afraid I can’t do that.” (HAL 9000)

Lasting impression: Silence, punctuated by breathing, in space

14. Cast Away (Robert Zemeckis, US, 2001)

Indelible line: “I don’t know why!” (Chuck Noland)

Lasting impression: Waves washing up on the beach, denoting prison

15. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, US, 2002)

Indelible line: “That’s that.” (Dean Trumball)

Lasting impression: The arrival of the harmonium and unexplained car crash

16. The Celebration (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark, 1998)

Indelible line: “He raped us. Had sex with the little ones.” (Christian)

Lasting impression: Christian refusing to stop making his speech

17. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, US, 1976)

Indelible line: “1,100 men went in the water. 316 men came out. Sharks took the rest.” (Quint)

Lasting impression: A wide shot of the open ocean and then the music

18. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1946)

Indelible line: “Why should I kill myself worrying when I’ll end up just as dead?” (Antonio)

Lasting impression: The lone bicycle on an empty street

19. The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1986)

Indelible line: “Don’t worry. There’s no such thing as death.” (Alexander)

Lasting impression: The tiny house and then the big house burned to the ground

20. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, US, 1967)

Indelible line: “I can see in the dark, you know. I’ve been here quite a while.” (Mr. Robinson)

Lasting impression: The saddest of happy endings

Top Five High School Movies

I’ve finished a first draft of my coming-of-age high school script and, in trying to avoid cliches, have often reflected on the best of the genre. By my reckoning, there is a pantheon of five films, all of which have characters, story and dialogue that ring true.

5. Election (Alexander Payne, 1999)Election104. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)dazed13. American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973)graffiti122. Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)rushmore-81. Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)superbadInterestingly enough, except for Superbad, these films were directed early in each filmmaker’s careers, all of whom went on to be nominated for Oscars. We’ll see what Mottola does next.

 

Survival Guide: An Upward Turn

As you start to adjust to the imminent end – now just three days away – your life should become calmer and more organized. You are in the upward turn. (That was quick!) Your physical symptoms lessen, and your depression begins to lift slightly. The closing of Mozart’s La Nozze di Figaro just might be, as artist Ragnar Kjartansson suggests, the most beautiful minutes of music ever recorded. Put it on a loop and listen again and again. Phone 167Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is an absolute treasure, combining sophisticated story-telling with joyous detail and wit. I guess my point is, we’ll eat tonight, and we’ll eat together. And even in this not particularly flattering light, you are without a doubt the five and a half most wonderful wild animals I’ve ever met in my life. So let’s raise our boxes – to our survival. mrfoxThe Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is also something to behold. It’s short and lovely and there’s pictures too. All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.princeIt’s time to get out there and do something active. Ride a bike, go for a walk or a swim, do anything but a run. That’s bad for your knees and hips.