Some favorites not yet mentioned: The Big Lebowski
(obviously) -- for many reasons--it's as quotable as Python, and Jeff Bridges is almost frighteningly natural in the lead role. He has an elusive diffidence in most other films I've seen him in, but he knows The Dude inside and out. How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Karl Hungus? Koyaanisqatsi
-- There simply are no words.
Actually the first of a recently-completed trilogy. Unfortunately Powaqqatsi
didn't preserve the same sense of stark, desolate natural beauty (ironically mirrored in Koy
's unorthodox presentation of the human condition) and the general sense of unease, foreboding, abstraction, and alienation I got out of the first one. Powaqqatsi
in particular seemed much more "ordinary", like a National Geographic PBS special set to "world music". Mulholland Drive
-- well, either you like David Lynch, or you don't.
I've always found it hard to explain the appeal. This one actually has a more comprehensible plot than people allege, and it's worth figuring out--if nothing else, you won't feel nearly as cheated. Memento
-- A lot of people accused Chris Nolan of relying too heavily on the central gimmick, but it was a damn good gimmick. As with Lynch, I like movies I can pick apart and mull over. I'd put Fight Club
, Jacob's Ladder
, and (dare I say it) The Matrix
in this general category as well. Heat
-- Hey, anything with both Pacino and DeNiro chewing the scenery has to be good. Rather than offering the usual context-devoid escapist portrayals and binary moral universe typical of "big heist" films, Michael Mann at least tried to address the human consequences of actually living one of these cop/criminal stereotypes. The Replacement Killers
-- OK, pure escapism now. I just dig Chow Yun Fat. More Vietnam films: Born on the Fourth of July, Apocalypse Now
Almost anything involving Monty Python: A Fish Called Wanda, Holy Grail, Life of Brian
... Seconded: 12 Angry Men, Citizen Kane, Usual Suspects, Ghost Dog, Donnie Darko, Grave of the Fireflies
(talk about depressing.) Not having seen Purple Noon
, I can't really compare...but does no one stick up for Minghella's Ripley
? I thought it was decently done.