Is The Sixth Sense a horror movie, a thriller, or a ghost story? What is Fight Club?
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What is Being John Malkovich? Even American Beauty—is it a coming-of-age tale or a fantasy? Something was definitely shifting. Storytelling itself was in the middle of a mutation. Aided by quick-moving digital editing machines and cheap video cameras, filmmakers ripped up and remixed the century-old rules of cinema, screwing with time, perspective, and expectations.
And The Matrix and The Phantom Menace used immersive digital effects to render entire artificial worlds, which could then be altered with a computer; it was almost as if the filmmakers could actually reach right into the frame and reorder their onscreen universe. You could be lost at the beginning, or you could repeat things, or you could have people flying around the Matrix.
Others, such as Michael Mann The Insider , had been revered as sly, stylish troublemakers since at least the eighties. And they often subverted the expectations of their own fans. If the writers and directors of shared one unspoken trait, it was the ambition to make something no one had seen before. But they were also giving each other fire and enthusiasm. By the time arrived, it felt like anything could happen.
Meanwhile, at smaller get-togethers across the country, revelers stuck close to friends and family, waiting to make sure the millennium went off without a hitch. Shyamalan—no stranger to surprise endings—sat in his Pennsylvania home, keeping an eye on his newborn daughter. Pantoliano had stockpiled some valuables for the millennium, just in case.
ATM machines are going to spit cash everywhere! Yet with an uncertain new decade now closer than ever, it was hard to put such concerns completely out of mind. That night in Los Angeles, Reese Witherspoon, the twenty-three-year-old star of Election and Cruel Intentions, was at a party in Los Angeles, just months after giving birth to her first child. At one point during the festivities, her Cruel Intentions costar and then husband Ryan Phillippe took a photo of Witherspoon posing underneath a giant Y2K sign, her hands covering her head. Meanwhile in Mexico, Marc Gurvitz was heading down a long, darkened road.
Fincher, riding with him, noticed the lights had suddenly gone back on at the resort, and asked the gun-toting officials to allow Gurvitz to return to make a phone call. Reluctantly, the driver agreed.
Soon the vehicle was pulling up at the beach—which is where Pitt and the rest of the revelers were waiting. The meltdown of Y2K never arrived. Computers kept humming; planes remained airborne; bank accounts survived. Y2K was its own kind of phantom menace. And if you wanted to see it, all you had to do was go to the movies. About The Author. Photograph by Tom Martin. Brian Raftery. Product Details. Raves and Reviews. Resources and Downloads. Hardcover Get a FREE e-book by joining our mailing list today! Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover! See More Categories.
Your First Name. Zip Code. The songs of Cat Stevens are wafting through the airwaves. Buy, rent or watch Harold and Maude. The most romantic movie I know. Gotta put Hitchcock on the list. Buy, rent or watch Notorious. Buy, rent or watch Being There. A double mind blower. We used to listen to the soundtrack when he drove me to Little League games.
Buy, rent or watch A Clockwork Orange. Now considered to be the quintessential Christmas movie, this saccharine-sweet melodrama follows suicidal George Bailey Stewart as an angel shows the frustrated businessman what his small town would have been like without him. Buy, rent or watch It's a Wonderful Life. When I saw his final movie, it hit me hardest for having grown up terrified by nuclear holocaust. The Sacrifice goes on a perfect double bill with WarGames. Buy, rent or watch The Sacrifice.
Great character diversity. For all the film's painstaking sensitivity, one longs for more muscle, which only Nicholson consistently provides.
37 of the Best Classic Films Ever Made
Shedding her starlet status and disappearing into the darkest role of her career, Charlize Theron brings real-life criminal prostitute Aileen Wuornos back to life in this frightening biopic about the last years of a serial killer. She captures every single detail of Aileen Wuornos and the physical transformation is tremendous. Buy, rent or watch Monster. The Tennessee Williams adaptation against which all others are measured, this barnstorming melodrama stars Marlon Brando as the brutish Stanley Kowalski, and Vivien Leigh as the spiraling sister-in-law who drops anchor in the broiling New Orleans apartment that Stanley shares with his wife.
This was more or less his first film and I can barely imagine what it must have been like to see it at the time. Here was this handsome, brutal bundle of pain yelling and screaming and sweating across the screen in a searing version of a play.
I wish I'd been around then. Buy, rent or watch A Streetcar Named Desire. Buy, rent or watch Blade Runner. Buy, rent or watch The Thin Red Line. Just knowing that every stunt here is presented as is, with no camera trickery, is mind-blowing. He really blew up a bridge, with a real train on it! Buy, rent or watch The General. But returning to it recently, I was struck by how hilarious it is.
Closer to a nightmarish Barton Fink than is discussed. Buy, rent or watch The Third Man. We all knew Haneke could do cerebral; now the notoriously severe director officially proves he can do emotionally resonant just as well. Buy, rent or watch Amour. Mac Sledge Duvall has a drinking problem, an ex-wife Buckley and a country-music career on the skids.
But he struggles to find a way forward, via reflection, abstinence and the affections of a widow Harper. I played Duvall's ex-wife: country-western star Dixie Scott. I got to work with my heroes in this movie. I sang it on the Globes. This film is an American classic. Buy, rent or watch Tender Mercies. Just about every Ozu film is worth seeing, but this one may be his finest.
It blew me away. And made me want to call my parents. Watch it. Buy, rent or watch Tokyo Story. Sure, the dialogue sounds like it was translated from Serbo-Croatian. Still, the first film in the series still retains an earnest, can-do charm, not to mention plenty of Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan. Or would you prefer The Sound of Music? Buy, rent or watch Star Wars.
He likes these boys for their foibles, their vulnerability and fecklessness as much as for their fundamentally good nature.
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Buy, rent or watch A Room for Romeo Brass. It was probably the second Ingmar Bergman film I saw, after Wild Strawberries, and it terrified me: such fearless acting, such a complicated, truthful, watch-through-the-fingers depiction of a relationship. Now a bit older, not much wiser, I'm not sure I dare watch it again. Buy, rent or watch Scenes from a Marriage. Johnny Thewlis , a viciously snide layabout, flees the Manchester rape police to drop in on his wary ex-girlfriend Sharp in London. After seducing her roommate Cartlidge , he hits the town on a verbal rampage.
Buy, rent or watch Naked. Buy, rent or watch The Goonies. Once seen, never forgotten. Some of my favorite actors pop up all the way through it, too. Buy, rent or watch Brazil. A TV host Auteuil and his wife Binoche start receiving ominous videotapes of their comings and goings filmed outside their Paris home, coupled with suggestive crayon drawings. Their happiness unravels as the police are powerless in the absence of a clear threat. Steelworking Pennsylvanians put away their hunting rifles, down their final beers and head off to serve in Vietnam, where unimaginable horrors await them.
He was dying of bone cancer during filming and Meryl Streep threatened to leave the shoot if the studio fired him like they wanted to. Running against the grain of liberal guilt and substituting Fordian patriotism, it proposes De Niro as a Ulyssean hero tested to the limit by war. Buy, rent or watch The Deer Hunter. Gent has piano. Gent demands sexual favors in exchange for lady to play said instrument. Lady and gent fall in love. Roll end credits. Buy, rent or watch The Piano. Murray Abraham. In a towering pink mansion situated somewhere in a dreamlike s Alps, the elegant Monsieur Gustave Fiennes keep old-world civility alive as best he can, while a young lobby boy Revolori comes under his fragrant tutelage.
Buy, rent or watch The Grand Budapest Hotel. Love Harry Belafonte. Buy, rent or watch Carmen Jones. Simple and sublime. Buy, rent or watch The African Queen. An exquisite French restaurant is taken over by louche investing gangster Albert Spica Gambon. I was in awe. Then seeing him in this made me understand what type of actor I wanted to be. To transform. Between, there lies a simple tale of adultery, jealousy and revenge.
One side effect is the trenchant, rueful portrait of Mexico which emerges on the margins: the vast disparities between rural and urban standards of living; between old and new world cultures. Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason turn the pool table into an existential battlefield in this remarkably sordid, unsentimental drama. Buy, rent or watch The Hustler.
Director: Alan J. Brooklyn, summer, A wanna-be novelist MacNicol befriends a wildly passionate couple who charm him with their impulsiveness: intense Nathan Kline and his Polish immigrant girlfriend, Sophie Streep , who hides a deeper pain.
Buy, rent or watch Sophie's Choice. Simmons, Paul Reiser. It never apologizes. Buy, rent or watch Whiplash. As Christmas nears, ten romantic plots play out, in a London-set ensemble comedy with room for sympathetic stepdads Neeson , American graphic designers Linney and an affable, recently elected Prime Minister Grant. Buy, rent or watch Love Actually.
An Indiana power-grid worker Dreyfuss begins to have unshakable visions after he gets a glimpse of an alien presence. It terrified me as a child, then later it spoke to me about the sacrifices of artistic vision, and later again about a spiritual journey towards death and beyond. Buy, rent or watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Buy, rent or watch Paris, Texas. Buy, rent or watch Persona. A wealthy ophthalmologist Landau deeply ensconced in an extramarital affair that could ruin his life turns to violent assistance, while a struggling documentary filmmaker Allen trains his camera on a glib success story Alda to make ends meet.
This movie is Woody's closest at achieving the Bergman-esque toughness he's always admired. Future learning and skills. Education events at BFI Southbank. Classroom resources for teachers. Courses, training and conferences for teachers. BFI Film Academy. About BFI Education. Film industry statistics and reports. Future learning and skills — giving everyone the opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with film. I want to…. Browse our education events. Use film and TV in my classroom. Read research data and market intelligence.
Credit: Kobal Collection. And the loser is — Citizen Kane. So what does it mean? But it does mean that Hitchcock, who only entered the top ten in two years after his death , has risen steadily in esteem over the course of 30 years, with Vertigo climbing from seventh place, to fourth in , second in and now first, to make him the Old Master. Welles, uniquely, had two films The Magnificent Ambersons as well as Kane in the list in and , but now Ambersons has slipped to 81st place in the top So does — the first poll to be conducted since the internet became almost certainly the main channel of communication about films — mark a revolution in taste, such as happened in ?
Texts below are quotations from our poll entries and magazine coverage of the top ten. Paranoia and obsession have never looked better.
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After half a century of monopolising the top spot, Citizen Kane was beginning to look smugly inviolable. Still, even ardent Wellesians should feel gratified at the modest revolution — if only for the proof that film canons and the versions of history they legitimate are not completely fossilised. There may be no larger significance in the bare fact that a couple of films made in California 17 years apart have traded numerical rankings on a whimsically impressionistic list.
Yet the human urge to interpret chance phenomena will not be denied, and Vertigo is a crafty, duplicitous machine for spinning meaning…. But those two films are just still the best at doing what great cinema ought to do: extending the everyday into the visionary. Clearly, no single film is the greatest ever made. But if there were one, for me Kane would now be the strongest contender, bar none. All celluloid life is present in Citizen Kane; seeing it for the first or umpteenth time remains a revelation.
So why is it Tokyo Story that is acclaimed by most as his masterpiece?
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DVD releases have made available such prewar films as I Was Born, But…, and yet the Ozu vote has not been split, and Tokyo Story has actually climbed two places since It may simply be that in Tokyo Story this most Japanese tofu-maker refined his art to the point of perfection, and crafted a truly universal film about family, time and loss.
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