Films that Make Me take a Sigh of Intense Satisfaction and Relief!

So I have been planning on making this list for quite sometime now. I look at it more as a project. It will be an archive of all the films that have made an immediate impact on me on the first screening.

Hmmm lets see now, I wanted to make this list on Ms Word or keep a notebook and give it a more traditional look but blogging about it will make it easier for me to share it with everyone, add side notes, pictures, provide anecdotes etc and etc. Besides it is simply convenient to maintain a list online then keep a hard copy which is bound to get lost. And here is the best part people, I will keep adding films to this list. I watch a lot of films so this list is potentially never gona end.

Ok… what else yes before I continue let me tell you why I am doing this project.

Films are a medium of expression. A way to tell a story that has happened or COULD have happened. They are a way people can bring their ideas to life. Literally. That is what I love about them, they are born purely out of thoughts, an artists rendition of a piece of their mind. The sad part is that there is a lot of fuzz out there which the mega million dollar film industry of the world churns out every year but every once in a while I discover a film that just makes my day. That is the sorta film that keeps me hooked for the entire run time, hits the right spots in the brain, puts me in a state of bliss and after it is over I take a huge sigh of relief. But as is with everything that I do I tend to forget about it, this list will hopefully end this problem once and for all. Enjoy:

Perfume

The tag line goes “Story of a murderer”, but the story has a lot more to it. Reducing it down to simply a murder wouldn’t be fair. Our protagonist has an obsession, a fetish yes but not like the vulgar shit you see on Brazzers. This movie is about the human condition stylized and beautifully captured. A must watch!

Animatrix

For the fans of philosophy and for all those who like to think, fantasize and dream. This is it. And if you are a fan of The Matrix, possibly the best action film after Terminator 2, you shouldn’t miss this one on principle. Now I hate watching films like these on low resolution  hate missing the color and the photography, but the story was so intense that I couldn’t stop after the first few minutes of watching it on a low Youtube resolution. Oh yes you can watch Animatrix on Youtube here is the link.

Solaris

Hmmm, this is one of those movies which compelled me to start making this list. I have talked about this movie before. One of my all time favorites.

The Beach

😉 follow the yellow brick road.

The Bourne Identity

A Crackshot CIA Assassin has lost his memory doesn’t know who he is wakes up and finds an offshore bank account number stitched inside his hip. Police, Interpol, Car chase, Sniper rifle, some really kick ass espionage stuff and fancy karate moves, the girl Franka Potante gives the movie a very European flavor which is always a plus point for me. Some melodrama does not hurt either. I like this movie.

Midnight in Paris

Now this is a recent development. The movie won an Oscar this year. Woody Allen is our director here with Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard WOWW!! I wouldn’t call it a dreamcast not because these two aren’t great but because the best inspiration and the best hollywood work comes out of the strangest combination of people. Leave it to Woody Allen to pick em. Huge huge fan of Owen Wilson i am personally and I was mildly impressed by Marion Cotillard in NINE but over here she has her own league. The movie is set in a very scenic Paris. The feel of the movie is again very European and the story deals with drama and fantasy and there is a good lesson to be learned too.

Kaboom

The sexual awakening of some college students. It is a bit oversexed I mean what lucky bastard has this sort of a college experience. A rockstar? perhaps I am not sure. But I like the fact that the scenes have a visceral feel to them. I don’t know maybe I aspire to have a college life like this one, who knows. The movie is not for everyone but then again most of my recommendations aren’t.

The Virgin Suicides

Oh man. Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett look sweet together. This movie will make you romanticize about your high school and college days. The things you could have done, the pick up lines you might have used, or perhaps the crazy things you did, the make out on some random roof top one night, I don’t know. This is way ahead of American Pie mind you. It is closer to reality which is why we can relate to it so much specially being a Pakistani, living in a conservative society.

Before Sunset

Going beyond the usually fascination for the actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy this film is so down to earth and real that it is beautiful. There are no fairy tale castles here, cruel antagonist keeping the maiden fair away from the knight in shinning armor. There are just two characters in the movie and all the do is talk but the conversation is so natural with real emotions that it makes for a wonderful watch.

Ok , there is a prequel to Before Sunset too, .. Before Sunrise, it is part one of this movie, both are incredibly beautiful i have reviewed this one only because i can relate to this one more…

Blade Runner

I am a big fan of the fantasy genre, movies that have a far reaching almost fantastic subject matter. Blade Runner is one of those movies that i wouldn’t mind watching on mute with the latest episode of a state of trance playing in the background ;-).. did i mention Riddle Scott directed it?

Sucker Punch

Besides having a cast of incredibly hot chicks 😀 , this movie has amazing cinematography that you should only watch in high definition (I really mean it, cause it will be a crime against humanity if you watched in a shitty print). There is everything in it, kickass action scene, hot chicks, amazing landscapes, zombies, robots, goblins, eye candy for all…. ok mostly guys 😛 hahah hey i didnt produce it!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Love the concept, love the direction, love the cast, Jim Carry and Kate Winslet a sort of a romantic, fantasy, drama. When a relationship goes wrong the guy tries to undergo a procedure to literally erase the girl out of his mind… during the procedure he realizes that he doesn’t wana lose her anymore and a ruckus ensues. Man what a movie! The writer for this movie it turns out is quite eccentric , if you have seen Being John Malkovich you will know what i mean.

The Doors

Ahhh… Morrison. Riders in the Storm, Cmmon baby light my Fire, The Ghost Song, I do not have to add much except to say that Oliver Stone is the director and Val Kilmer is just out of control in this movie. The movie is a wild roller coaster ride through the 60’s there are flowers here sure, but there is more, there is spirituality, there is acid, there is passionate sex but above all there is some really good rock music. Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll . Yea baby 😉

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

A small gipsy performance enters a town. They have portable room, once inside you will have journey of your life and will be transformed. Watch it see what happens in the room!

Strange Days

Ok this movie is my most recent mental sighing journey :-D… ok look here is the deal, imagine a device which lets you ‘experience’ someones memory. Forget the Pensieve in the Harry Potter, that only allows you to view what is going on in a memory.. I am talking about actually feeling, what the person is feeling, looking what the person is looking .. and doing! what the other person is doing. And to top it all its is a semi-post apocalyptic America.

My Love Affair with the Film Industry

I wanted to talk about anything but movies today. I am kinda in a mood where you feel unhappy about somethings in your life but you know you cant avoid the inevitable. Like for instance you have been seeing someone you really like but for some shit reason you two can’t be together anymore; cruel parents, sectarian issues (Yes! that still happens), long distances, trust issues take your pick or some project you have been working really hard on out of a necessity while knowing that it wont be approved at the same time or the fact that one day you will die. Normal people would call these situations tragic.

The problem is, I do not look at these situations as tragedies. I mean I do but not tragedies per se. I believe that it is situations like these that make me who I am and I .. kinda enjoy the feeling of being in such situations. While this may sound very emo and some might even go as far as to call me a masochist, I don’t know, these feelings keep me on edge. They give me the will and determination to keep pushing. Most of all they remind me of the thousands of shades this life has and adds depth to the things around me. I guess I am weird this way.

When I am not personally in a tragic fix I like to look for it in other people or things. Maybe that is why I like to know the people I interact with on a daily basis very intimately. I hate small talk. I like really knowing someone. You know, like where they are from, why are they in a particular profession, what makes them tick, what is their story, what is the craziest thing they ever did, what are their beliefs and values etc.

Maybe this is also why I have found a life long partner in the motion pictures. Films are after all  a portrayal of the extraordinary event(s) in the life of a protagonist. They start from a scratch, build up characters, show their environment, take them through some exciting ordeal and then explain why the people did what they did. Ahh, I just love all of it. An exciting script goes a long way to keep me happy. And I am not talking about action films and the usual Hollywood fluff. Take for example:

The Beach (2000)

One of my all time favorites. Directed by Danny Boyle who will more popularly be known for Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo is quite an actor. Give him any role and he will excel at it, trademarks of a good actor. Tom Hanks anyone? The most amazing thing is that the son of a bitch has never won an Oscar! Not yet any way a testament to how messed up the award system really is. Any way, The Beach is a story about a guy looking for something new, something different in his life, away from the sickening mass of humanity. And he finds that thing in the form of a beach, an island paradise hidden from everyone but for a select few.

For those who like romantic flicks prepare to see love and relationships as they truly are in  Blue Valentine (2010). Again, guys, the industry has evolved into something alot more captivating then romcoms starring Jennifer Anniston, Anna Hathaway, Owen Wilson and

Blue Valentine (2010)

Ben Stiller. Nothing against these actors, hell I sometime aspire to speak like Owen Wilson but I just can’t stand popcorn flicks anymore. Blue Valentine, starring a very talented and upcoming actor, Ryan Gosling shows how two people meet and not in the usual cliched ‘extraodinary’ circumstances in usual romcoms either but in simple everyday situations. Something that might happen with you or me. The story goes on to show how they start to really care for each other and get married and then how later on in life their marriage is facing difficulties. Very true to life scenarios without special effects. A must watch and while we are on the subject of romance Paris, Je T’Aime (2006) is another incredible recommendation.

Ok this post is turning out to be a This Weeks Top 10 on HBO 🙂 I just want to impress my hobby of watching films. I watch alota them. and I mean alot!! So, for my final film review and this movie caught me completely by surprise; behold, Solaris (2002) is a remake of Solaris (1972) directed by one of the most influential names in Russian cinema, Andrey Tarkovskiy. The movie depicts the depth of the human conditions, the inevitability, the metaphysical and alternate realities. It challenges what the term ‘reality’ means. For those who are into sci-fi it will be an added bonus. Don’t get put off now I am perhaps trying to sound too articulate but the movie is directed by Steven Soderbergh popularly known for the Ocean’s Eleven series, Traffic, Insomnia and Syriana. Also it might be significant to add that Steven Spielberg together with James Cameron is an executive producer and oh did I mention George Clooney is the lead actor? So… trying to sound articulate? I think not do watch it if you really want to find out.

Solaris (2002)

For all these films I have stated above, if you are looking for a nice cinematic weekend experience over a 60 inch screen or a sunday family time you will be disappointed. Watch them with an open mind, for a quite stimulating time.

Well these are some of the films from my personal must watch list. Perhaps I should make film reviews a regular feature of this blog. Give me your feedback. I am sure Pakistan will have loads of film enthusiast, we are among the few nations who watch alota films; piracy! (one word explains it all). But back to the way I was feeling like today, it is films like the ones I have mentioned above that gives me the solace I require. Its an addiction. And sometimes when they come with just the right soundtrack, its orgasmic. Just like this one from the movie Kaboom (2010):