Rarely are we in the opportunity to watch someone actually try and discover or codify something. Murnau’s classic horror film is such a thing. While the movie vampire itself is more tied to the later version featuring Bela Lagosi, this iteration is responsible for a large number of horror movie staples that will go on to dominate the genre in the future. That in combination with the unforgettable visual spectacle that is Count Orlok himself, makes this my tenth favorite film of the year.
9.The Gold Rush
If there is a Chaplin vs Keaton debate, I’m firmly on the Keaton side. That doesn’t mean that I find Chaplin without his merits. The Gold Rush is an absolute gem of a movie. One thing I noticed watching these older, silent movie era comedies is that they aren’t shying away from showing just the worst possible human condition. Keaton On Hospitality is one such film. Chaplin is able to both show the absolute brutality of the Gold Fever period of the United States, show how certain members of higher classes treated those of those far below them, and still make a hilarious comedy, with a barrage of jokes coming at you at every scene.
8. The Lavender Hill Mob
A brilliant Alec Guinness in one of the most well written and charming thrillers I have watched. Guinness plays a bank clerk. To the outward world he is seen as your average, by the book bureaucrat. But inside, there is a devilish figure, a greedy figure, just waiting for an opportunity to get rich and live out his days somewhere far away, enjoying his life, with no care in the world. Once he meets a new neighbor, his dream seems just a few melted Eiffel Tower replicas away.
7. Wild At Heart
Every film David Lynch has made, has some dream qualities about him, but this one, Wild at Heart is the one that is closest to resembling a proper dream from start to finish. Like in a dream, we are catapulted into a story that has many out of place or bizarre parts, but we accept the whole. That is the magic of dreams, and the magic of a good David Lynch film. Nicholas Cage and Laura Dern stars as a pair of almost star-crossed lovers, who face oddity, violence and the surreal on every turn they make.
6. Boxing Helena
One of the best erotic thrillers I have ever seen and I ended up learning about it by accident. A friend is a big fan of The Misfits. I listened to a few of their albums and they have a very disturbing sounding song based on the movie. Watching the movie, you realize they stayed very faithful to the source material. The movie is a story about a very successful and Oedipal surgeon, who’s obsession over a woman leads him towards some very dark turns in his psyche. The movie is also a very brutal and visceral commentary on the condition of women throughout time, portraying a very literal situation which could be use for a wide variety of metaphors for what women are enduring still today.
5. Sherlock Jr.
Buster Keaton stars as a worker in a cinema, who is madly in love with a girl, but struggles financially to impress her. He is also a fan of Sherlock Holmes and reads up on detective work in his free time, or during his work time if a movie is too boring to pay attention. But this is not just a comedy, or just a movie. Keaton experiments with anything and everything, adding elements of a daredevil show, an experimental film, and tries out different narratives techniques as well. Absolute event of a film.
4. Gintama The Final
Ah man. My enjoyment and high placement of this movie is based purely on its emotional impact. Gintama has been part of my life for close to a decade, with some breaks in between. And now, its finally over. It is GIntama and you never know, but it is a beautiful and beautifully animated ending to one of the most memorable cast of characters I ever had the blessed opportunity to make acquaintance.
3. Shadow of a Doubt
I think this is my favorite Hitchcock film. It is a neatly and well crafted psychological thriller. It follows a family in the States, a slightly better off than average family. One of their family members thinks they are living a very boring and unremarkable life. But then their uncle Charles shows up, a man who seems both very generous and very well off. But there is something, a tiny bit wrong and worrying about uncle Charlie. Be careful what you wish for. Meeting your heroes isn’t always the best thing in the world.
One of the most rewarding and beautiful watching experience of the last few years for me. Tarkovsky uses the camera like nobody before or after him. There are so many shots I this movie where the camera feels like a gentle, caring omnipotent and omnipresent entity. The movie is set in an post-apocalyptic soviet union. There has been an incident, and the soviet government has built a Zone around this incident. The characters are traveling to that Zone, all three of them with very particular goals in mind.
1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Could be recency bias, since this is one of the last movies that I saw, but it was most definitely the most moving one I saw. There is so much to love about this movie. It is a story about a young female painter in, livingin the 19th century, who is commissioned to paint a portrait of a young heiress who is schedules to marry into a well-off family. In the relationship between the two woman that is central to the film, especially their gases and what they can or are allowed to portray at a given moment. It is also a window into a world we don’t often see portrayed in film, a world of ordinary women who lived during that time, women who tried and succeeded to make a living by doing art.