Monday 30 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #10-1

#10: Do The Right Thing – The Doomsday Clock of racial tension

This film genuinely gives me chills every time I watch it. The depiction of a tight-knit Brooklyn community in the midst of a record-breaking heatwave highlights so many real-world racist attitudes that it feels less like it’s painting a specific target and more like it’s depicting, with blinding honesty, how much everyone gets caught up in it. While community connections run deep, prejudices run even deeper, to the point where some people hold onto these bigoted beliefs because… well… it’s all that they know.

Friday 27 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #20-11

#20: Ouija: Origin Of Evil – Even The Other Side has rules

This is one of those films that instantly sounds like a bad idea. The 2013 film Ouija was such a horror non-event that it’s surprising that anyone even cared enough to remember it, let alone try and expand on it. Add to that the influence of producers like the annoyingly prolific Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions and the reliably dismal Michael Bay, whose studio Platinum Dunes have made the words “horror” and “prequel” synonymous with “run” and “hide”. Enter director/co-writer Mike Flanagan, fresh off of an already unprecedented success with Oculus, who did something that no-one would have expected from a production with this starting point: He put the effort in to make it work.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #30-21

#30: Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life – Life is absurd, go out with a song

While most people go with the religious satire of Life Of Brian or the absurdist masterpiece of The Holy Grail as far as the best Monty Python has to offer, my heart has always lied with the dark horse in this race. I’ve always been more interested in their sketch work, like the Trade Descriptions Act or the ever-popular Dead Parrot, than their lengthier narratives and this film shows them at the height of that mode.

Saturday 21 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #40-31

#40: Terminator 2: Judgment Day – Grabbing the metallic throat of destiny

Watching “classic” films for me has always come with a certain amount of baggage. I feel like, because a given feature has garnered legendary status since its initial release, I’m under some obligation to at least understand why, let alone agree with the masses. This film is one of the major exceptions to that, as not only was it instantly clear why this film has held up as well as it has, I also fell in love with the thing pretty damn quickly.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #50-41

#50: The Shawshank Redemption – It pays to play the long game

A man is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. For the next ten years, he bides his time inside Shawshank Prison, making allies where he can and waiting for the moment when he can finally escape his confines. Frank Darabont, co-writer of the previously-discussed Nightmare On Elm Street 3, has a penchant for bringing the works of Stephen King to the big screen, but he tends to stick to the less recognisably-Kingian stories. From this to The Green Mile to his later work with The Mist, he not only chose decidedly different material but also showed a startingly amount of understanding of the text to bring it roaring to life on screen. This film, more so than anything else he has touched to date, accomplishes that goal.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #60-51

#60: The Castle – White guilt as cultural understanding

Part of the Aussie culture is a very ingrained want to stay the hell away from itself. It’s a weird side effect of just how little of a fuck we collectively give, but cultural cringe plays a large part in the national mindset. It also plays a large part into what makes this film so good, as a lot of it banks on lovingly ribbing the white Aussie middle-class, exposing it as being far less sophisticated than it thinks it is. The people who see seasoning on chicken as something exotic, and plastic faux-French housing decorations as the height of class.

Thursday 12 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #70-61

#70: A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – No one knows an illness better than the patients

A string of teen suicides has struck the town of Springwood. Professionals claim they want to stop it, but they also think that the victims are cowards unable to deal with their own guilt and vices. It’s only with the interference of people who have personal experience with the creature they share to give the others a moment of clarity; a chance to fight back.

Monday 9 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #80-71

#80: Trainspotting – The use of drugs and people

There are a lot of users out there. People whose only real drive is to get that next fix, that hit that can help them escape their surroundings, if only for a little while.

Friday 6 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #90-81

#90: Polyester – The tragedy of camp

Honestly, first time watching this, I didn’t see what was so funny about seeing a disaffected housewife deal with the kitsch version of the Book of Job. You know, having every bizarre bad thing happen to her at once. Of course, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t engaged; I was just engaged under the impression that this was a tragedy, and between Divine’s solid performance in the lead and the rather over-the-top forces working against her, I was not displeased with the result. Sure, upon rewatching it, some of the more farcical elements made themselves more noticeable, not to mention the origins of the nuanced title, but part of me will always remember this as the tragic tale of Francine Fishpaw, her complete dick of a husband and the extent to which he inflicted his dickery on that poor woman.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: #100-91

#100: The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence – What every sequel should aspire to

Well, ain’t this an ideal way to start a list of good movies?(!) Okay, to be clear, I’m not much of a gorehound so my liking for this particular film isn’t because of its graphic imagery, its gore or its showing of infanticide. Instead, I have a lot of respect for this film because it feels like the most natural progression possible from the first film.

Sunday 1 April 2018

Top 100 Favourite Films: Introduction

For as long as I can remember, cinema has been my magic bullet. The one medium that seemed to fit with me the best. The one that gave me access to stories, themes and ideas that I would hold onto the closest over my lifetime. The one that let me unload my pent-up emotions in a way that doesn’t involve inflicting them on others. My understanding of cinema has gone from strength to strength over the last several years. That understanding has allowed me to put the pieces together and pinpoint those special films that not only engaged me greater than most but also taught me lessons that would stay with me and shape my perspective of the world. Growing up on the autism spectrum, I always found it easier to learn from films than it was to learn directly from another person. In fact, it’s because of certain films that I learnt how to interact with people in the real world and come to terms with my place in it. I honestly think tapping into my love for cinema to the extent I have changed me for the better.