Monday, March 28, 2016

My all time fav films


I’m a real sucker for watching the same damned film all over again and again and again. Some of them I love so intensely that I just can’t get enough of them. Each and every single time I watch them again, I feel like I notice different things that I hadn’t noticed before, but even if that wouldn’t actually be the case, I would still love watching them again just because watching them feels like immersing into delightfully hot water filled with rose petals and bath foam sloshing over the rim of the bathtub onto the marble floor where thousands of burning candles dimly lit the majestic room. Watching these films pretty much equals becoming absorbed in pure happiness. I’m sure this is an extraordinary subjective experience that I have, but I think that some people might recall similar feelings when watching films that they think are remarkably marvelous.

Now there are multiple films that I can get really fan-girly obsessive about, but there are these few films that are in my favorite list for many, many years and in these years I have watched only one that could outdo them, which will be the very first mentioned on the list below. This may also be due to the fact that I spend more time watching the same films than discovering new ones.
Even though this selection of all time favorite films has been invariably much, it is not as if I don’t like any other film than the ones mentioned in this article. Not at all – there are many films that I love a lot and that I indeed have watched many times over again, but still - there’s nothing on my all time favorite films.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Just hearing Audrey Hepburn sing Moon River makes me want to quit writing this article and hop on the couch to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s again. Audrey Hepburn might be the very reason why I adore this film so much. To be exact - the way she plays her role of Holly Golightly in combination with the mysterious and highly interesting personality of this character. I like her elegance in combination with her somewhat impulsive way of doing things and her confusion about the world. Then, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a romantic movie, but it portraits love in a different and unique manner, more beautiful and mysterious than anything you usually see in typical romantic movies nowadays. In the end of the film you might feel like it’d told a story and revealed all that was to know, but there are many questions that remain unresolved, and even though I am usually not amused when a film leaves you with terribly aching questions, I think in this movie, that is exactly the thing that makes it so great.
Funny thing is that I have never ever read the book as I’m almost just as scared of reading a book on which a film that I love was based, as I am of watching a film that is based on a book that I love. I might just be scared that the book has actually too many details that will ruin the feelings that I have for the movie, but I hope that once I'll finally read it, the book will enlarge those feelings instead of reducing them.

Thirteen (2003)
It might seem unlikely, but when you put a Twilight actress and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke together, you get one of the best films that I have ever seen. The film is loosely based on things that happened to actress Nikki Reed, also Rosalie in the Twilight Saga, when she was 12 to 13 years old, and written by Catherine Hardwicke in only six days. It’s not just the story that I think is so good, but also the way of filming is incredible: filming effects modify accurately as events become darker. Thirteen tells the story of 13-year-old Tracy, a girl that gets more and more depressed by her own life of being unpopular but smart in school, having divorced parents with a former alcoholic mother who is struggling to support her family, and Evie, who happens to be the most popular girl in school. Through some events, the two girls become friends and Tracy becomes involved in Evie’s world of sex, drugs and other illegal stuff. Evie’s influence makes Tracy change a lot in behavior, and when the movie continues, the girls get more and more out of control. Even though she tries to, Tracy’s mother has a lot of trouble intervening in her daughter’s bad behavior……And I’m just not going to tell you anymore YOU SHOULD WATCH IT. It’s even better when you think of the fact that this was a low-budget movie and still it’s excessively better than some of the films that were expensively produced. Like, most of the clothing the girls wear in the film came from their own closets, and they began dressing more similarly the more the filming continued, even though this was not specifically asked to them. And more of those facts that can be found on Wikipedia – and this kind of information only increases my impression by this film.
I think this might have been the point at which I started to become interested in adolescence, and especially in the psychology of adolescence (before watching this film I was mostly interested in physical changes that are characteristic for puberty) around age 12. And voilà, here I am, studying Psychology at University with a focus on developmental psychology, and particular, adolescence. This film is to blame. 

Lolita (1997)
The story told by “Lolita” might appear strange to some of you as it is about a man who is obsessed by young girls, basically a pedophile. And he’s especially obsessively interested in “Lo”, whom he, by dumb luck, is legally allowed to take care of, and a sexual relationship between the two evolves. In the movie Lo is portrayed as a happy and outgoing little brat, who seems to enjoy their strange relationship, but who reads the book will come to realize that it’s actually pretty said how she is pretty much blackmailed sexually, as she is an orphan who depends on her obsessor – at least that’s what I think, because it’s not really clear how Lo really feels about the pedophile. It might be love after all. I read the book a while ago and even though I remember that I enjoyed reading it, the film has left me more impressed. I think Lo’s character, or the way she is portrayed in the film, is what got me most, along with the way she dresses herself, plus the way the whole film was shot – aesthetically valuable. In the movie, Lo and the pedophile drive around the country together, revealing a beautiful view of 1950s America. When they finally settle down somewhere, tension between the two increases. Lo gets annoyed and bored with the pedophile, and also starts to desire some more independence. I don’t know why but I seem to be very much into films that are in some way a bit disturbing, but are filmed beautifully. I like the eye candy details in this film, I like the acting of actress Dominique Swain, I like Lo, I even like all the background music – this is the type of film that is such a pleasure to watch even though it is a bit disturbing when you think about it.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)
It is so incredible how Sofia Coppola turned The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, that I recently finished reading, into a movie. All the vibes throughout the film are just on point. This movie is filmed so creatively and arty, but it accurately captures the right feelings that the story is supposed to transmit. This is another film that will leave your brain filled with questions, but again in a pleasant way. One time I went to an art house movie theatre where they were showing The Virgin Suicides and afterwards you could have a debate about the movie in psychoanalytic terms. As I think psychoanalysis is interesting I decided to go and I found myself in the middle of this group of mainly fifties who all happened to be, or have been, a psychologist. Nevertheless, I, as an underaged layman, was the one mainly pointing out suggestions on the motives of the five teenage sisters who have killed themselves in the story – sorry for the huge spoiler but what would you expect from a film named “The Virgin Suicides”? So, the thing about this film is, we see a couple of events from the point of view of some neighboring boys who happen to know as much as nothing about the feelings, thoughts, or even the lives of the five sisters, so we don’t know anything about them as well. We just see the events like facts, in the same way the boys experienced them, or probably had heard about them, so the five sisters are five equally mysterious creatures and why they would kill themselves we could only speculate on. The sisters are raised in an extremely religious environment, having a authoritarian mother and a pretty hopeless father, and it seems plausible that after they get locked up in the house by means of ‘protection’, they get severely depressed and end up putting an end to their lives. Perhaps they, being raised in such an extreme catholic way, believed heaven must be a better place than their lives so they may have decided to go there by means of an escape. Perhaps one of the more dominant sister, supposedly Lux as she is the most remarkable one of the sisters, pushed them all into it, being more manipulative than the film shows. Maybe, because the five sisters were locked up in the house together, felt connected in such a way that if one wanted to leave this life, they all wanted to follow. It probably also has something to do with their age, feeling confused about life, which is made even worse by their family life, and also the strict way by which they are raised, so they must not only feel trapped in their own house but probably also in their own minds. It’s hard to explain this film in just a few words because there is so much to know, especially about the characters, but we learn so little about them and their motives, so this story only leaves us guessing. Maybe after all I do like to guess. My favourite book (Wuthering Heights) also leaves the reader with a lovely big pile of psychoanalytic questions. I don’t think I would love it just as much if all those questions were answered. 

Let me know if you have seen any one of these films and what you think about them, and more importantly: if you can think of a film that could beat these of my list!

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1 comment:

  1. I've never heart of Thirteen but I'm going to remember that one!

    ReplyDelete

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