From Atlantis to Interzone

Best of July
August 1, 2010, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Film

Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) (Rewatch)
A long overdue revisit to this film, and its dark beauty and unbearably tense sequences are even more potent than ever. For me, this is still the greatest horror film ever made.

Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009) (Rewatch)
Rapturously beautiful, its depiction of the Keats and Brawne romance loses none of its charm, nor does its devastating conclusion lose any of its impact.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999)
A real surprise for me, despite my fondness for the director’s previous work. RZA’s score is a thrilling compliment to the gun play, while Jarmusch’s offbeat humour is utterly hilarious. A delightful curiosity.

Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1970)
While it feels almost trite to fall back on suggestions that this film “captures the end of the 60s”, the sense of dread and chaos in the film’s section devoted to the disastrous Altamont Speedway Free Festival is palpable. Equally as electrifying is the concert footage scattered throughout.

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
A blockbuster full of bombast, Nolan’s ambitious fantasy of often stunning set-pieces is a thrilling piece while it lasts, though absolutely nothing more than that.

Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki, 1992) (Rewatch)
Miyazaki’s adventure is an unabashed joy full of charm, wonderful set-pieces and great wit. Probably still my favourite of all of Studio Ghibli’s output.

Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki, 1997) (Rewatch)
A rewatch of this film after four years has since made it feel, in some ways, like something of a rehash of the since-viewed, and arguably better, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by the same man. Nevertheless, Miyazaki’s vision is a delight to behold, and the darker elements of this film in comparison to his earlier fare are pulled off successfully.

Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007) (Rewatch)
While not quite Bird’s best work, it’s perhaps the prettiest film Pixar has yet produced. And oh so funny.

La reine Margot (Patrice Chéreau, 1994)
A sumptuous, bloody epic with the great Isabelle Adjani on top form, and a magnificent scenery-chewing turn from Jean-Hugues Anglade as Charles IX.

There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) (Rewatch)
A film that gets better with every viewing, its dark humour this time being a particular highlight. The baptism scene is one of the funniest sequences of recent times.


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