Monday, June 24, 2013

Talking Picture

I watched Adaptation. again last week and it continues to be my favorite film in the whole wide world... Well, it actually shares that honor with a handful of others: The Green Ray, My Neighbor Totoro, Safe (the Julianne Moore one, not the Jason Statham one!), Mulholland Dr., Lost in Translation... and I think it's time to add Oslo, August 31st to that list. However, I don't think there's any movie out there besides Adaptation. that manages to be so smart AND funny AND moving at the same time, and the following scene is a great example of that:

Orlean's Book: There are too many ideas and things and people, too many directions to go. I was starting to believe the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size.

Kaufman: Such sweet, sad insights. So true.

Kaufman: I like looking at you.

Photo of Orlean: I like looking at you too, Charlie.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Underseen Masterpieces

The hardest part about compiling this top ten of best underseen films was not mulling over the order of the list (though that was difficult too, of course), but deciding which movies qualify as "underseen" in the first place. After all, most great films have been seen by depressingly few people. In the end, I simply used good old IMDb and decided that those gems that are rated by only about five thousand users or less especially need more people praising them. To put this number in perspective: basically every Nolan, Tarantino or Lord of the Rings-related movie has been rated by hundreds of thousands of people (and most of those movies also place very high in the IMDb Top 250, but the less said about that mess, the better).

First, ten honorable mentions (in chronological order):

Summer Interlude (1951, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
Vanya on 42nd Street (1994, dir. Louis Malle)
Wild Reeds (1994, dir. André Téchiné)
Morvern Callar (2002, dir. Lynne Ramsay)
35 Shots of Rum (2008, dir. Claire Denis)
Involuntary (2008, dir. Ruben Östlund)
Lourdes (2009, dir. Jessica Hausner)
Archipelago (2010, dir. Joanna Hogg)
Wuthering Heights (2011, dir. Andrea Arnold)
Sister (2012, dir. Ursula Meier)

Update: I forgot about The House of Mirth (2000, dir. Terence Davies), which probably wouldn't have cracked the top ten, but is definitely worthy of a mention.

If I ever make a list of best taglines,
"Nothing tests faith more than a miracle" will be a strong contender.


10. Opening Night (1977, dir. John Cassavetes)

Gena x 4

9. Julia (2008, dir. Erick Zonca)

"It's time MY luck changed, and it's time something went right for ME for a change!"