So, after nearly half a year of cutting and fine tuning, I have finally gathered a list of a 100 of my favourite films (if you count trilogies, there are slightly more than 100). At first, I had ranked them alphabetically, but I thought that was a little bit of a cop out, so I have done the full-blown 100 to 1. I am sure there will be amendments to the list as I continue to watch more films (especially since I had trouble of actually thinking of anything I would put in this list), but for now, here is what I have got:
Top 100 Films: September 2011
100. Donnie Darko (2001) dir.Richard Kelly
Funny how a film I really couldn't stick the first time I watched it has turned up in my top 100 films. Man, what is there to say about Donnie Darko, though? Apart from playing out as a head-spinning, druggy infused trip for most of its running time, the film will catch you off guard with Jake Gyllenhaal's tender lead performance.
99. All about Lily Chou-Chou (2001) dir. Shunji Iwa
One of the many reasons why I love All about Lily Chou-Chou is the fact it is pretty messed up. As you have without doubt guessed, I like my messed up, psychologically nuts films. And All about Lily Chou-Chou fits into that pigeon hole. Worst of all is that it has a streak of realism which is seriously disturbing.
98. Jackie Brown (1997) dir. Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino may have people on side with Pulp Fiction alone, but Jackie Brown is, for me, the most quality film of his. Pam Grier is as effortlessly cool as a character can get, and paired with a soulfully rhythmic soundtrack, it's hard to find fault with Jackie Brown.
97. Let the Right one in (2008) dir. Tomas Alfredson
I came about the existence of Let the Right One in randomly one day when I was off school and was watching a couple of horror films. Needless to say, I was blown away by Let the Right One in (the book, not really). It is a little corker of a film with a real heart.
96. Inception (2010) dir. Christopher Nolan
While struggling to get the films for this list (as there didn't really seem to be films I had watched and 100% loved that could fill a top 100), both my mum and dad were urging me to put Inception in here. Not because they loved it so much, but because they thought I loved it more than I had done. Thinking it over, Inception does deserve to be here just alone for its ambition. Sure, it may not have been as clever as it likes to make out that it is, but what Inception does best - and why it is so awesome - is it is a joyride of thrills. Entertainment at its best. Plus, it made me converted to the ways of Leonardo DiCaprio's acting and that was a large hurdle to overcome.
95. Fish Tank (2009) dir. Andrea Arnold
Fish Tank took me completely by surprise. The moment I finished watching the film, I knew that it would become a fast favourite. Thanks to this obsession with Michael Fassbender that is sweeping the film and internet worlds, Fish Tank has attracted an audience which I am so happy about. It is a film that deserves to reach as many people as possible.
94. Goodfellas (1990) dir. Martin Scorsese
Goodfellas is typically great Scorsese - quick witted dialogue, stylish shots, and a little bit of a ruff and tumble - no top 100 film list seems to be complete without some of Marty's films. (And films the man himself loves, too.)
93. The Straight Story (1999) dir. David Lynch
The first, and certainly not the last David Lynch film in my top 100, isn't really that weird if you look at it from afar, but it turns out that The Straight Story really is the Lynch we all know and love (it's about a man driving across the country in a tractor for Christ sake), just toned down and set in a time where nothing terrifying happens. That's a world I don't mind so much once in a while.
92. Shinjuku Boys (1996) dir. Kim Longinotto
Shinjuku Boys is an honest portrait of the lives of Japanese bar hosts who are men, but have chosen to live their lives as women. Sometimes, it is easy to forget how people have their own flaws, and that nobody is perfect, and Shinjuku Boys is a great example of this. People do make mistakes, they do say things that we can't agree on, but if they're kindhearted, does it really matter?
91. The Evil Dead (1981) dir. Sam Raimi
Sam Raimi's cult classic, The Evil Dead, must have the crown of one of the best B movies ever, surely? If you're into humour horror, and splattering blood, guts, and gore, The Evil Dead is practically heaven. And I wouldn't mind living in that kind of heaven. Minus anything to do with trees and possessed people, I guess.
90. The Blair Witch Project (1999) dir. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez
On the first watch of The Blair Witch Project, I was adamant that it would become a film where you could only really watch it once, but no. Turns out that it is extremely solid in its own right, especially when it comes to the acting. Can't imagine what it could have been like when people actually thought this shit was real. Now, that is scary.
89. Mother (2009) dir. Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho is a modern master in storytelling, and taking it back to his roots after a turn to sci-fi with 2006's The Host, Mother works more on its simplicity and fucking good acting than anything else. (The Host is great, though.)
88. Easy Rider (1969) dir. Dennis Hopper
Thanks to Easy Rider, I am determined to throw the towel in to the working world and drive around the deserts of America enjoying some crazy hallucinogenic drugs one day. C'mon, who wouldn't want to go on an 'Easy Rider' adventure?
87. The Little Mermaid (1989) dir. Ron Clements & Jon Musker
From sheer terror of Ursula when I was a child, I stayed well away from watching The Little Mermaid for years (and I really do mean years). When I got back into my 'Disney phase', I ended up watching The Little Mermaid and appreciating it a lot more than it had when I was scared out of my wits of the film as a kid.
85. My Neighbour Totoro (1988) dir. Hayao Miyazaki
No one does sweet better than Hayao Miyazaki and My Neighbour Totoro is probably the sweetest film that has been pumped out of the gigantic cinematic force that is Studio Ghibli.
84. Splendour in the Grass (1960) dir. Elia Kazan
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty = perfect.
83. Elephant (2001) dir. Gus van Sant
Gus van Sant is the master of the 'young-adult' genre. With Elephant, he continues to show how damn awesome he is with working with teenage characters and getting into their muddled, confused mindsets. Only van Sant could have directed this film and he did a fabulous job of doing so.
82. Fight Club (1999) dir. David Fincher
It is said that if you know the ending to Fight Club, you won't enjoy the film half as much. Well, I did know the ending, and yes, in a way it did take something from the film (the surprise factor, I guess). However, it stands on its own two feet without the big reveal. Fincher hasn't come close to topping Fight Club ( though The Social Network did a good job of it.)
81. Memento (2000) dir. Christopher Nolan
Round two for Christopher Nolan and enter Memento. While Nolan scores top marks with entertaining, here, he shows that he has the directing smarts to pull off a confusing and forever-weaving plot as a post-Neighbours Guy Pearce leads an awesome cast. Cool tattoos are a bonus.
80. A Clockwork Orange (1971) dir. Stanley Kubrick
A Clockwork Orange, what is there to say about this one? So stylish, so slick, it's Kubrick. Kubrick. It also has supplied The Simpsons with some of their best spoofs. Plus - spoiler alert - death by a giant model penis is quite hilarious.
79. Sunset Blvd. (1950) dir. Billy Wilder
Though perhaps not the noir that everyone claims it to be, Sunset Blvd. does have classic noir elements to it, except one thing - no femme fatale. Instead, the characters are stripped down to lesser stereotypes with a nice touch of romance as William Holden's character, Joe, the unassuming and hapless screenwriter, ends up wooed into the world of Gloria Swanson's aging actress, Norma Desmond.
78. Howl's Moving Castle (2005) dir. Hayao Miyazaki
Miyazaki again with the film adaptation of Dianna Wynne Jones' book, Howl's Moving Castle. A lot more terrifying and surreal than his usual directing efforts, Howl's Moving Castle is a worthy successor to his Western breakthrough, Spirited Away. Another Studio Ghibli film which will stand the test of time.
77. The Ring (1998) dir. Hideo Nakata
As with Fight Club, I knew the ending to The Ring, but somehow managed to enjoy - and love - the film even knowing of that massive spoiler. All in all, The Ring is a really, really great film, even if you know the whats going to happen. A very important lesson was also learnt from the film, too. Don't watch a random tape left in a cabin you are staying in for the weekend. Seriously, don't.
76. When We Were Kings (1996) dir. Leon Gast
My family are big sports fans, and I too delve into a little bit of sport watching (tennis is my thing), but boxing was never something I had any interest in. When we were Kings changed that. Boxing now feels like something that is so dangerous, yet there is a thrilling aspect to it, too. And how can you not love Muhammad Ali and pity poor George Foreman who has to face up to Ali's slickness as a personality? Plus, the Jungle fight is fucking tense shit (watching as someone who didn't know what the outcome was.)
75. Half Nelson (2006) dir. Ryan Fleck
The world and its wife may have fell in love with Ryan Gosling when he starred in The Notebook (which is great for the weepies), but this is where The Gos shows his true acting skills. If I had had a teacher like Gosling, I might not have dropped out of school at 16. Then again, I wouldn't be working now either, so I guess everything works for the best.
74. Some Like It Hot (1959) dir. Billy Wilder
I almost forgot that Billy Wilder had directed Some Like It Hot and how could I forget something like that? It has his mark all over it. And what makes a Wilder film? Well, the fact that it is a classic, that's what.
73. Tokyo Godfathers (2003) dir. Satoshi Kon
Certainly not the last appearance of Satoshi Kon on the list, Tokyo Godfathers is his most tame film when it comes to the surreal, but just as The Straight Story was surprisingly the exact kind of film David Lynch would direct minus the creep factor, Tokyo Godfathers is Kon's comic relief - and a damn well done one, too.
72. Beauty & the Beast (1991) dir. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Let's have a little bit more of classic Disney. Now, no matter their non-feminist ways (girl ends up with prince at the end after she gives up so much; everyone lives happily ever after), their morals don't cloud the fact their films are beautifully crafted, and Beauty & the Beast is just one of those Disney's we all can't help but love.
71. Trainspotting (1999) dir. Danny Boyle
Minus Shallow Grave, this is probably the only time that I have ever seen Ewan McGregor properly act, and he might as well be Scottish druggie Renton in the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's book. Oddly hilarious, but at the same time, pretty depressing.
70. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) dir. Gary Trousdale
While not only being Disney’s finest – and most underrated - hour, The Hunchback of Notre Dame may be hated by a lot of Victor Hugo enthusiasts, but scratch beneath the surface and it is actually a fucking good, creepy, film (though I agree its ending is a bit of a stinker, but hey, it is still a Disney.)
69. The Terminator (1984) dir. James Cameron
James Cameron is getting a lot of shtick these days thanks to Titanic (which I genuinely enjoyed) and Avatar (the same, but not at the level as the former film). Let's not forget that Cameron is actually a good director, and with The Terminator, he unleashed a hellish force of awesome on the world in the shape of Arnie's hardcore cyborg. You cant' deny that ol' Arnie is fucking terrifying in this film.
68. Jurassic Park (1993) dir. Steven Spielberg
Jurassic Park is probably the reason why every kid seems to love dinosaurs (well, it certainly was the reason I dug dinosaurs). Spielberg gets the family films bang on and he is right on the mark with Jurassic Park, a film I can watch so many times and always find something more entertaining, more hilarious and more exciting, just as if I were 6 years old again.
67. The Dark Knight (2008) dir. Christopher Nolan
From a comic nerds perspective like myself, The Dark Knight hits every note possible for comic adaptations (especially on the big IMAX screen). Having been inspired by the bleaker side of Batman such as Tim Sale/Jeph Loeb's Long Halloween series and Frank Miller's Year One, Nolan has perfected the Batman universe with this and it'll be a task for him to come out on top after. Give me one good reason why he doesn't deserve the title of 'king of entertainment.'
66. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) dir. Elia Kazan
A Streetcar Named Desire is probably one of the sweatiest, grimiest films I have ever seen - it's such a claustrophobic watch. If you feel like you need a long, hot, shower after Streetcar, don't worry, you're not alone. It's probably what Elia Kazan would have wanted.
65. Brokeback Mountain (2005) dir. Ang Lee
Brokeback Mountain (trying not to put any puns here, but it is so tempting) honestly broke my heart. I even braved watching it twice in one day which is ludicrous considering how emotionally draining the film is. I also had a phase, one that lasted a couple of months, where I would just watch crappy music videos paired with Brokeback clips. Yes, at that point in my life, I really had no life.
64. King Kong (2005) dir. Peter Jackson
It baffles me that a lot of people hate on Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong. Don't get me wrong, I like the original King Kong (the 60s version, not so much), but Jackson really goes for the heart strings with this film, and get's it spot on. Who cares if it is overlong, ever second counts, and man, I have never cried so much in the cinema ever, and since.
63. Cat People (1942) dir. Jacques Tourner
Cat People is such a mystifying and elusive film, yet there is a touch of femininity bubbling under the surface. Like Freaks before it, a film that has been labelled just as horror and nothing else, Cat People has a lot more going for it than the scares, and that is what makes it so good.
63. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) dir. Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Tetsuo: The Iron Man is pure cyberpunk frolicking fun. Hilarious and action-packed in turns, Tetsuo has clearly influenced a lot of Japanese cinema and manga, and with good reason. Unique doesn't even begin to cover it.
62. Pistol Opera (2001) dir. Seijun Suzuki
Pistol Opera, in the style of some of my favourite films (as you can see from this list) is a weird fucked-up whirlwind of brilliance. Nothing makes sense, but that's why I love it and why it works so well. Plus, it has a killer female assassin in the shape of The Black Cat.
61. Drugstore Cowboy (1989) dir. Gus van Sant
I am not sure it is safe to put Drugstore Cowboy in this list I mean, it hasn't even been a month since I have watched the film. What Gus van Sant does well, though, is - when he is on the mark - he makes you fall deeply in love with his films from the get-go and Drugstore Cowboy is just one of those van Sant gems. More watches of it will ensue, that's for sure.
60. Taxi Driver (1976) dir. Martin Scorsese
Is it possible for someone not to fall in love with Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickle, the lovable outcast who tries to better the world and protect child prostitute Jodie Foster by getting rid of the lowlifes of society? Yeah, okay, I didn't really explain that as marriage material, but never-mind - this is one of the best Scorsese/DeNiro outputs. And hey, I am proud to have my 'I heart Travis' printout on my wall next to the likes of Alex from A Clockwork Orange. Nothing wrong with that.
59. Spirited Away (2001) dir. Hayao Miyazaki
Miyazaki hit the big time when Spirited Away took one of the little gold men home at the Oscars and thank the lord for that, because Studio Ghibli deserve to be viewed as one of the best studios going in the cinematic world. Spirited Away is just one of their many perfect outings.
58. La Haine (1995) dir. Mathieu Kassovitz
My brother has good taste in films, I get that. Most of the films he has suggested I watch, though, for some reason or other, I have never really gotten in to. They are excellent films, but for a 100 list like this one, it's not about what is best, but what are your favourite films, what has affected you the most, and the only suggestion of my brother's that appears in this list is La Haine, a film that was perfect for my 14 year old self. I think at one point I did have a massive obsession with La Haine - not to the extent that I would be watching it everyday - but I recall recommending it to everyone and anyone I spoke too, and that kind of makes sense because it is awesome.
57. Three Colours: Blue (1993) dir. Krystof Kieslowski
I am going to let this film simmer, as there is still so much to think about when it comes to Three Colours: Blue, despite having seen it a fair while ago now. Everything I had said about it being life-changing and whatnot, for the time being, I still stand by that statement.
56. Sin Nombre (2009) dir. Cary Joji Fukunga
When watching Sin Nombre, I didn't realise how much of a personal connection I would end up having with it (and this is why it had to appear in this list). You see, the reason for connecting with the film on a different level than it being 'just a good film' is because it reminded me of the book I have written, Jezebel. I love Jezebel to death, and have cared about the characters in it for so long (four years since I started writing it), so seeing Sin Nombre, and watching those characters making those decisions, and how the story plays out, reminded me exactly of my book, but the film version with a few tweaks for the Mexican setting.
55. Memories of Murder (2003) dir. Bong Joon-ho
Memories of Murder became the new 'thing' in my family for a while (well, after I took my mum to the cinema to see it in a double bill with Mother). My mum became pretty obsessed with it, and in a few weeks, I had at least seen the film 5 or 6 times on DVD after that cinema showing. But hey, I didn't mind watching it relentlessly because it is damn good and has managed to crack my top 100 films, too.
54. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1992) dir. James Cameron
Terminator 2: Judgment Day leans toward the comedy side of the Terminator series (more so than the first one, anyway). I am not entirely sure why I have always preferred the second Terminator outing than the first (The Terminator is obviously a better film), but with Judgement Day, I just can't help but love it a tad more.
53. Mean Streets (1973) dir. Martin Scorsese
Scorsese's first, and Scorsese's best, Mean Streets is an underrated classic. Do I need to say anymore? Not really. The film speaks for itself.
52. Double Indemnity (1944) dir. Billy Wilder
You don't really get more classic when it comes to film than this (unless you're Casablanca). Classic dialogue, classic characters, classic shots, classic direction - it's what I'd like to call 'pretty damn classic'.
51. Freaks (1933) dir. Tod Browning
For some reason, Freaks always features in the best of horror film lists. Not sure why, because, well, it isn't really a horror film. It's still a fucking great film, though, even if it isn't as creepy as everyone makes it out to be. It's more about human relationships and emotions than anything. In my eyes, anyway.
50. Gun Crazy (1949) dir. Joseph H. Lewis
Gun Crazy is a ridiculous top-notch film. It has the ingredients of a perfect noir: style, characters, dialogue, the works, really. And that ending.
49. Midnight Cowboy (1969) dir. John Schlesinger
The prime time to watch films that would stay in my memory for this long seemed to be when I was 10. Midnight Cowboy was one of the films I watched at that age. I am not sure how I possibly could have gotten everything that was going on when I saw it 8 years ago, but you could still find me weeping like a baby at the end. And nothing has changed on that front. I watched Midnight Cowboy a couple of months back and still had exactly the same reaction.
48. Battle Royale (2000) dir. Kinji Fukasaku
Only the Japanese could make such a bloody, gory extravaganza. Based on the popular book of the same name (and adapted into an awesome manga), Battle Royale is the perfect ‘cult’ film. Unfortunately, the American sanitized book version, The Hunger Games, fails to pay dues to its far superior predecessor, but I guess we can’t have everything. The second film does suck, though.
47. Goldfinger (1964) dir. Guy Hamilton
Goldfinger was one of my guilty watches when I was about 8 years old. I secretly used to borrow my brothers video tape of the film and try and get in a quick watch before anyone caught me .One day, though, I was busted when Goldfinger was on for the hundredth time, a film, for some reason or other, I said I had loathed. How could anyone hate Goldfinger? The perfect Bond film, and an awesome film, too. Oddjob's hat - best weapon ever, no question.
46. Edward Scissorhands (1990) dir. Tim Burton
Edward Scissorhands has barely aged, nor has it become a complete bore once you have seen it a million times, and trust me here, I have seen it a lot of times. Just as beautiful and depressing as the first watch. Everyone says it, but it is true - Edward Scissorhands is the modern fairytale of our time.
45. American History X (1998) dir. Tony Kaye
One of the most disturbing scenes I have seen (if you have watched American History X, you'll know what I am speaking about) is also one where you don't really see anything - and that is what is great about American History X, a lot of it is underplayed and never shoved in your face. There are some annoying MTV style shooting moments, but you really can't disagree with Edward Norton being on top form.
44. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) dir. Isao Takahata
Grave of the Fireflies, oh dear. One watch is really enough, probably too much. You must be an extremely brave person to be able to sit through the emotional turmoil this film delivers for a second time round. I tried and failed miserably.
43. Lost in Translation (2003) dir. Sofia Coppola
I can see why people wouldn't like Lost in Translation, mainly because Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson's lives don't seem that bad. What makes Lost in Translation so great, though, is that, when you get down to it, we as people believe that, at times, our lives are the worst they could possibly be, and that is exactly what Murray and Johansson's characters feel. To an extent, yes, they are a bit selfish, but they are also loving and kind people, and hey, that's sort of a little bit like life - we're not perfect and neither are Sofia Coppola's characters.
42. Last Tango in Paris (1973) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
Unfortunately, Last Tango in Paris is now known for the aftermath of the film's release- the fact that it made a shit load of money thanks to the infamous butter scene, and actress Maria Schnieder admitting to feeling humiliated during filming because of director Bernardo Bertolucci and Brando.
If you look at Last Tango as a film, though, it is Brando at his best (and most autobiographical as he has pointed out). More than that, it is a heartfelt documentation of a relationship - the pre Lost in Translation as it were.
41 Mystery Train (1989) dir. Jim Jarmusch
Way before Pulp Fiction worked in intertwining stories into the mould of film, Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train did, a film which is the epitome of quirky, American-cool. Elvis and his music also gets a new lease of life, too. Don't get me started on the style factor, either. I'll be here for hours.
40. Blue Velvet (1986) dir. David Lynch
The second appearance for David Lynch with Blue Velvet, the one film that, I think, people who don't like Lynch can agree on being awesome. It is the work of a genius and that is exactly what Lynch is - a genius.
39. Somewhere (2010) dir. Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola's most recent, and to me, her best film, may be disliked by a lot of people, but there was so much heart in the Somewhere that naysayers really need to give it a second watch. Guys, how could you not have seen it?!
38. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) dir. Ang Lee
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is such an assault on the heart that I can feel myself tearing up from even thinking about it. Let's just say that Crouching Tiger is in a different league compared to Oscar winner Gladiator. I mean, really? Gladiator won over this?
37. Lost Highway (1997) dir. David Lynch
Guess who's back, back again? Lynch is back, tell a friend. Another feature from the man himself, David Lynch's Lost Highway is in a different realm of film-making when it comes to the downright weird, surreal, and, well, you get the point. Having read the screenplay to Lost Highway before seeing the film, I thought perhaps Lynch wouldn't hit the right notes in the way he had done with the script. Boy, was I wrong. Lesson learnt - never doubt Lynch again. He is God.
36. A Prophet (2009) dir. Jacques Auidard
Kick-starting my slightly weird obsession with actor Tahar Rahim two years ago, minus the teenage swoons that may occur when ever Rahim comes on screen (even in those horrible 80s jumpers), A Prophet is damn good solid film-making at its best. Shoulda won that Oscar. Heck, it should have been nominated for Best Picture.
35. The Blood of a Poet (1930) dir. Jean Cocteau
Hardly a film, really, Jean Cocteau's The Blood of a Poet is something different entirely, but it has the two traits of Cocteau's work that makes him so brilliant - peculiar and poetic.
34. In the Mood for Love (2000) dir. Wong Kar-Wai
Nothing happens in In the Mood for Love, but saying that, so much happens, too. It's a quiet, nuanced film, but one with a heartfelt core.
33. The Elephant Man (1980) dir. David Lynch
David Lynch brought in the big weepy guns when he directed The Elephant Man. You'd find it hard to see something more soulful than this, especially the final scene.
32. The Red Shoes (1948) dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Well, what is there to say about The Red Shoes? It is so unique, so odd, but worthy of being hailed as one of the greatest films of all time. Powell and Pressburger are the ultimate killer duo of film, and The Red Shoes is one of their many cinematic endevours that proves this. It is so much more than the much-talked about ballet sequence, too.
31. Black Narcissus (1947) dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
Powell and Pressburger are back with Black Narcissus, a surprisingly pretty fucking scary film. Find me someone that doesn't think this film looks, and is, beautiful. It's one of the surprises of my film-watching years as I never thought I would love it as much as I do.
30. Rebel without a Cause (1955) dir. Nicholas Ray
The pinnacle of the teenage film, Rebel without a Cause has maintained it's wickedly cool edge. I love me some Brando, but James Dean was perfectly cast here as the disaffected teen, backed up by the 'always great' Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo. It would have been a completely different film had Brando won the role as Jimmy. Shame that I hadn't watched Rebel when I was about 13 as it would have been the perfect remedy for my youthful thinking (and would have easily made its way into my top ten films.)
29. Ed Wood (1993) dir. Tim Burton
Tim Burton's best with Johnny Depp on top-form playing the hapless director Ed Wood. Heartwarming and quirk is what Burton does with ease, and here, Ed Wood is the prime example of his talents. Don't hate on the man, he made this film.
28. Confessions (2010) dir. Tetsuya Nakashima
The first film released this year in the UK that makes the list, how could I not love Confessions? It's an insane Japanese delight. At times, it dangles along the line of absolute ridiculousness, but somehow, it manages not to cross it and plays out as a work of psychotic genius. And fear not, it really is a work of such genius.
27. Belleville Rendez-vous (2001) dir. Sylvain Chomet
Getting back to that infamous film watching age (10 years), Belleville Rendez-vous was a film I just didn't like when I first saw it. But now, as the years have passed, it hasn't taken long to realise that Belleville is a trippy masterpiece.
26. Toy Story trilogy (1995 - 2010) dir. John Lasseter; Lee Unkrich
The first entry for Pixar here. I'll admit that it is a bit of a cop out not ordering the three films into separate slots, but as you will see with two other trilogies coming up, it is just too damn difficult to rank them and the Toy Story trilogy is no exception.
25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) dir. Michael Gondry
I don't think anything needs to be said. We all love Eternal Sunshine - it's amazing.
24. WALL-E (2008) dir. Andrew Stanton
WALL-E was a weird film experience because, at first, I really didn't like it. I am not sure why I had that reaction either (I mean, I cried at the end for gods sake, how could I have not liked it?). But whatever mental tip I was on at the time faded away, and I become one of those that loved everything about it.
23. UP (2009) dir. Pete Docter
In years to come, I bet you that first fifteen minutes of UP will be hailed as one of the best openings of a film ever. So magical yet so real to life and living - how you have to carry on when bad things happen; when loved ones leave you. Absolute, 100% quality.
22. Mulholland Drive (2001) dir. David Lynch
Feels like I haven't spoken about David Lynch in a while, doesn't it? Fear not, he is back on the list with Mulholland Drive, where he showed the world the wonders of Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. Can't really describe Mulholland Drive in any other way than to say that it is undeniably great.
21. The original Star Wars trilogy (1977 - 1983) dir. George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquand
Star Wars, again, films that were a massive part in me growing up (which makes A Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones more awful than at first glance). Really, everyone needs to see the original Star Wars trilogy. One day, this law will be enforced. But maybe George Lucas would love this idea far too much. Better leave it then.
20. Ugetsu (1950) dir Kenji Mizoguchi
Ugetsu deserves to be mentioned just for the fact that it is so much more than a film. Like many other entries in the list, it is difficult to describe what Ugestu is about, if it is about anything. The kind of emotions you get from it are feelings I am sure I have never felt before when watching a film. I am certain of one thing, though, and that is Ugetsu deserves its own genre.
19. Lust, Caution (2007) dir. Ang Lee
It took me a while to get into Lust, Caution - probably over an hour, but once that hour passed, I was wrapped around Ang Lee's little finger. Like Last Tango in Paris, Lust, Caution is perhaps more known for its infamously realistic sex scenes, but if anyone actually watches the film, all the sex scenes are needed - they make you involved with the characters. The film becomes surprisingly timid and low key, too. Ang Lee has made some fucking good films in his time, but this is in another league. And my God, the ending. Probably one of the best endings I have ever seen.
18. Tokyo Story (1950) dir Yasujuro Ozu
I have come to the conclusion that if you don't feel an inch of pity for the family in Tokyo Story you have no soul. Seriously, how can anyone not love this film? Only film could do what Tokyo Story did.
17. Peeping Tom dir. Michael Powell (1960)
Playing out as a morbid love story rather than 'the desire to gaze', Peeping Tom's awesomeness is really indescribable. It is a film you have to see to believe.
16. La Belle et la Bete (1946) dir. Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau stole my heart with this adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. La Belle et la Bete is the ultimate fantasy film, and without it, fantasy on film probably wouldn't even exist. We all owe a lot to Cocteau's fantastical, mesmerising worlds.
15. Paprika (2006) dir. Satoshi Kon
One of my interests outside of art are dreams. So watching Satoshi Kon's (heartrendingly) final film years, Paprika, was like - no pun intended - a dream come true. Everything that makes dreams so wonderful and terrifying at the same time has been hit on the nail thanks to the genius that is Kon. Warning: try not to do any drugs when watching this, it'll seriously fuck you up. I mean, look at that image above alone. Heed the warning!
14. Ghost World (2001) dir. Terry Zwigoff
I was about 12 years old when I first saw the last half of Ghost World on TV. At that moment, my love affair with Daniel Clowes's work began. He is not only a master of the comic world, but with the film adaptation of Ghost World, he has managed to transfer Enid and Rebecca from the page to the screen with perfection, and give them a whole different lease of life. Unfortunately, it has become a staple for the Tumblr universe, but once you forget about the hipster context that Ghost World now seems to have, it is a fucking good film.
13. Eraserhead (1977) dir. David Lynch
I am sure you're all bored by David Lynch's world featuring so much in my top 100 list by now, but seriously, how could you think Eraserhead wouldn't make an appearance? The directorial debut of Lynch is still one of his best. Eerily creepy, yes, but there is a strange source of heart in Eraserhead - and one particular scene where I want to throttle protagonist Henry. If watched, you'll know what I am talking about.
12. Orpheus (1950) dir. Jean Cocteau
Orpheus solidified my love for Jean Cocteau, and if you have seen the film (which I urge everyone to do now) I am sure you'll understand why. Cocteau was originally a poet before stepping into the film world, and it shows. Just as rap is poetry in sound for the music world, Orpheus is poetry on celluloid.
11. My Own Private Idaho (1991) dir. Gus van Sant
In a drunken state, I rambled on about my love for River Phoenix, and that I would marry him one day. Of course that could never happen even if the wonderfully gifted actor were still alive. I think we all know where this love for River stems from, though, and of course, it has to be My Own Private Idaho. I have recommended this film to the high-heavens (and probably bored everyone to tears by doing so), but I just can't stop doing so. I am still baffled as to why I am so emotionally involved with this film, but it doesn't stop me from being head of heels in love with it.
10. The Matrix (1999) dir. The Wachoswki's
The Matrix may be the more well known cousin of Ghost in the Shell, but while the latter is without doubt an excellent film, it just doesn't ooze the cool factor. Again, a massive childhood favourite, The Matrix has gladly stood the test of time and remains one of my favourite watches (and most quotable.)
9. Perfect Blue (1998) dir. Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon's first feature will probably be linked to Darren Aronofsky for life now, but never mind that. This is probably his most mindfuck of a film (and that is taking TV show Paranoia Agent in mind). As warned with Paprika, it is probably best to remain completely sober when watching this. You'll thank me for it.
8. The Warriors (1979) dir. Walter Hill
"I'll shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a popsicle." Ajax, The Warriors. Need I say more?
7. Millennium Actress (2001) dir. Satoshi Kon
One of, if not, the most beautiful love story ever told, Millennium Actress is not only an ode to Japanese cinema and Setsuko Hara, but is one of the country's best exports, too. Surely there cannot be anything more heartbreaking than the final scene?
6. West Side Story (1961) dir. Robert Wise
West Side Story is a powerhouse of emotion - both on the eyes, ears, and heart. Shakespeare would be proud of this one.
5. INLAND EMPIRE (2006) dir. David Lynch
It takes a lot for me to be scared by films (obviously this means I am pretty hardcore..) but INLAND EMPIRE threw that out of the window, and has now become a life scarring watch. The film that David Lynch's directorial career was driving toward, love it or hate it, you can't deny that there is really nothing like it. And c'mon Lynch, this is a horror film. Probably the best horror film made, too.
4. Blue Valentine (2010) dir. Derek Cianfrance
How can such a recent release (January 2011 here in the UK) be featured so highly on my list? Well, I have honestly never been so emotionally affected by one film before, and for that alone, there was no way that Blue Valentine wouldn't be riding high in the top 10.
3. The Illusionist (2010) dir. Sylvain Chomet
The Illusionist, by far the best film of 2010, is also one of the best films I have ever seen. Director Sylvain Chomet has made a film that you can barely sum up into words let alone have the courage to speak about without tearing apart inside, but one that everyone, and I do mean everyone, should see in their lifetime.
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001 - 2003) dir. Peter Jackson
If there is one thing Lord of the Rings has defined over the 10 years since its release, it is the word 'epic'. Just like many other films featured here, Lord of the Rings has played a massive part in my childhood - from collecting the figures, to wearing my One Ring and Arwen Evenstar wherever I went at one point. My obsession with the trilogy is still alive and kicking (I was genuinely upset when I found out that I was too tall for once - standing at 5'2/3 - for the casting of a hobbit in The Hobbit, and that I didn't live in New Zealand). Maybe one day I will achieve my lifelong dream of being an extra in Middle Earth - preferably as an orc. Doubt it, though.
1. Akira (1988) dir. Katsuhiro Otomo
8 years ago, I watched a film. A film I wasn't really bothered about because I was too busy drawing. Then, for some reason or other, I decided to give that film another go, and that, I can safely say, changed my life. Had I not watched that film again, I may have never experienced the love I have for it, and to think about that now, well, it is pretty scary stuff. That film is Akira. If there is a reason why cinema was created, this is it. Yes, it may not be anywhere close to being as emotional as the others featured in this list, nor is it considered a masterpiece a la Citizen Kane (it is a masterpiece mind you). Still, nothing has succeeded in toppling Akira from my number 1 spot. When I say that Akira is one in a million in every possibly way, I really mean it, and that doesn't come from my attachment with the film either. It's not just a film - it's an experience. An unforgettable experience. Bring on my Akira themed tattoo, I am ready!