My Movie Alphabet.
This is my third blogathon this year and it’s yet another good one. It was started by Mettel Ray as you can see from the image above and you can find a little more info by visiting here.
The aim is to work through the alphabet with anything film related; The first one will begin with a number and then A-Z after that. It’s a little more tricky than you’d imagine as some favourites need to be left out. Not everyone can make the cut but honourable mentions are given also. Anyway, here goes with my alphabet that hopefully, reflects my taste in movies.
Under the watchful eye and Imaginarium of Terry Gilliam, is this fantastic, time-travel, Sci-Fi gem. Based on the short French film “La Jetee” and written by “Blade Runner” scribe David Webb Peoples. It also boasts career best performances from Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.
(others I thought of) 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1900, 12 Angry Men.
For the ultimate, heart-warming, feel good movie, Amelie is second to none. It also happens to be a highly artistic, creative and visual spectacle. That, and Audrey Tautou is adorable in the title role.
(others I thought of) Al Pacino, Angel Heart, Aliens, Alfred Hitchcock.
The Big Lebowski.
Intelligent and meticulous comedies don’t come much better than this. Every character and line of dialogue is delivered to perfection. It has a solid cult following for a reason and remains one of the few films that gets better with every viewing.
(others I thought of) Blade Runner, Bill Murray, Boogie Nights.
The Coen Brothers.
The bros. have never made a bad film in my opinion and rank as the most consistent and reliable of director’s. They’ve stumbled on occasion (“The Ladykillers“) but still always bring something fresh and unique to the screen.
(others I thought of) City Of God, Children Of Men, John Carpenter.
Day-Lewis is, quite simply, one of the greatest actors to ever grace the screen. His commitment to every role is matched only by the class of DeNiro. It’s always a pleasure to see what he brings to a role.
(others I thought of) Drive, David Lynch, The Darjeeling Limited, Dog Day Afternoon, The Dude.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
Or, the ‘Elaborate Complexity Of The Kaufman Mind‘. A stunning piece of work from the wonders of writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry. It could also, arguably, possess the best work from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. A heartbreakingly surreal, near masterpiece.
A massive ‘Fuck You’ to capitalism and the establishment. Very few mainstream films are as daring and as well constructed as this is. Another film to boast one of Brad Pitt’s finest characters and to have him coupled with Edward Norton is stuff of cinema gold.
(others I thought of) Fargo. Francis Ford Coppola.
One of the true, great, mafia films which might not be as grand as Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” but works equally as well on a more domestic and personal level. It was difficult to chose between them but had to go with Scorsese’s (for now).
(others I thought of) The Godfather parts I & II, Glengarry Glen Ross, Gary Oldman, George Clooney.
Harold & Maude.
(others I thought of) Harvey Keitel.
(others I thought of) Inception, Inland Empire.
Highly underrated actor that had received 4 Oscar nominations over nearly 40 years before eventually winning one for “Crazy Heart“. He followed his win up the following year with another (his fifth) nomination. Always reliable and he’s also responsible for embodying The Dude.
(others I thought of) Jack Nicholson, Jackie Brown.
For authentic, working-class or political cinema, I can’t see past the great director Ken Loach. He works with minimal budgets and mostly untrained actors and his results are always raw and realistic.
(others I thought of) Killer Joe, Kill Bill.
As a big fan of crime-writer James Ellroy, it’s a pleasure to see an adaptation of his material actually work onscreen. Credit to everyone involved and it also marked a big step into the limelight for Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce.
(others I thought of) Lars von Trier.
Christopher Nolan seems to have made a bigger impression on the movie-going public with “Inception” and his “Dark Knight” trilogy but it was in his early days with Memento that his class really showed. A sublime, labyrinthine modern noir with more twists and turns than you shake a stick at.
(others I thought of) Martin Scorsese, Miller’s Crossing, Mickey Rourke.
No Country For Old Men.
Finally, the Coen brothers got their hands on well deserved Best Director Oscars for their work on Cormac McCarthy’s neo-western. Dark, gripping and boasts a villain to remember in Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh – who’s weapon of choice is a hydraulic cattle-gun. One of the Coens’ finest.
(others I thought of) Christopher Nolan.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Radical points of view and anti-establishment voices were rife in the
60’s/70’s. Very few films or characters captured this as well as Cuckoo’s Nest or it’s protagonist Randall Patrick McMurphy. Jack Nicholson is on scintillating form and the film remains only one of three that have won all top 5 Oscars.
(others I thought of) Once Upon A Time In America.
Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Versatile actor that always brings a real depth to his characters. Each and every one of his performances, no matter how small, are powerful character studies. Possibly the best of the modern generation of actors.
(others I thought of) Pulp Fiction, Paul Thomas Anderson, Paddy Considine, Pedro Almodovar.
Tarantino managed to change the face of cinema in the early 90’s and he done it by merging lots of others’ work into his own idiosyncratic style. Some believed him to be a flash in the pan but Quentin is just as strong now as he ever was and very few director’s have as much anticipation on the release of a new film.
(others I thought of) Jesus Quintana.
In my humble opinion, DeNiro is the finest actor that we’ve ever had. There are not many (if any) who can claim to have worked with such an abundance of top class directors and do it year after year. Now, he may not be reaching the heights he once did but there’s no denying the presence that DeNiro brings onscreen or the iconic roles he’s brought over the years.
(others I thought of) Reservoir Dogs, Robert Carlyle, River Phoenix.
To kill two birds with the one stone, and allow me to mention two of my favourite films, I’ve chosen the director of both of them. “Hunger” and “Shame” are two very fine pieces of work and McQueen’s collaborations with their leading actor also allows me to bring special mention to the brave and highly talented Michael Fassbender.
(others I thought of) Sergio Leone, Stanley Kubrick, Sean Penn, Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg, Se7en.
Before the heights of an Oscar for “Slumdog Millionaire“, director Danny Boyle tackled the ‘unfilmable’ novel by Irvine Welsh about the Edinburgh drug scene. Most of the actors have went on to bigger things but their performances here are still career highlights. Robert Carlyle as the violent psychopath Begbie, is especially memorable.
(others I thought of) The Thin Red Line, The Tree Of Life, Terrence Malick.
The Usual Suspects.
With one of the finest twists in cinema history, it would be very difficult not to include this. Director Bryan Singer has never quite managed to emulate his success here but it’s a film that lasts long in the memory and another that is always mentioned and referenced.
Since I’ve struggled to include “Reservoir Dogs“, I’ll include the most memorable character from the film; Michael Madsen’s sadistic portrayal of Mr. Blonde aka Vic Vega is completely unforgettable and instantly went down as an iconic piece of cinema with his ear-slicing jig to Steeler’s Wheel’s, Stuck In The Middle With You.
It’s a delight to have such a quirky and creative director working in film these days. No-one makes films quite like Anderson and he’s a director that I genuinely get excited about upon the news of a new project. Love or loathe him, there’s no mistaking his idiosyncratic style.
(others I thought of) Tom Waits, Wild At Heart, Waking Life.
For want of a better choice, I had to go with this. Not because the films were great but the tv series that spawned them was absolutely fantastic. Mulder and Scully are also two characters that have easily entered popular culture.
Y Tu Mama Tambien.
(others I thought of) Yojimbo.
The second film to appear from director David Fincher. Choosing anything involving the letter “Z” doesn’t leave a whole lot of choice but I haven’t picked this because I was limited. It is genuinely a magnificent film and one of my favourites from Fincher. It makes a great companion piece to his other, more visceral, serial-killer thriller “Se7en“.
(others I thought of) Zombieland.
So there you have it. My Movie Alphabet that hopefully gives you better idea of my tastes. To view others who have taken part in the blogathon go here