Thursday, May 23, 2013

These are a few of my favourite films! Part 1

My favourite films are like my children, whenever anyone asks me what my favourite film is I can never answer them. It's like asking a mother what her favourite child is! When Nicolas Cage was asked in a recent interview he answered that it changes daily, and he's right. It changes daily, it falls into categories too. I cannot rank my favourite action films against my favourite dramas because I like them for different reasons and to pit them against each other is mean. I will not limit myself! There are films I love for my emotional connection to them, there are films I love for their aesthetics, there are films that blow me away with their scripts. I have got-to films for when I'm sad, when I need a laugh, films to share with others and films I LOVE but will never watch again. See! How on earth do you expect me to restrict it to just ONE film and why would you want to? 

However I am going to share a few of my favourite films I would state if someone put a gun to my cat and threatened to shoot her gorgeous being if I refused to answer. Like I mentioned, tomorrow it might be completely different but whatever. It can also be a collection of films I think are wonderful but definitely not an exhaustive list and they are in no particular order. 

COME BACK TO THE FIVE & DIME JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN


I adore this film. I have a penchant for films with several female leads, their stories and interactions intrigue and fascinate me. This film is all female apart from one character who appears in flashback so it already ticked that box. I know it comes across as sexist but we so rarely in the film industry see STRONG and VARIED female characters that when they appear I get overexcited! Granted I adore male lead driven films too, Stand By Me has a very special place in my heart but female ensemble casts just...get me. The characters are all different and yet all written really well. The film is based on a play and describes the reunion of a James Dean fan club to honour the 20th anniversary of his death. Watching the film it is obvious it was a play beforehand because the director Robert Altman has kept a lot of the feel and intimacy of a play. It all pretty much happens in the 5&Dime shop with flashbacks between the present and not long after the death of James Dean as the fan club struggled to cope with the death of their hero. The cinematography is gorgeous and mirrors are used to wonderful effect throughout the film. In essence though it's a film based around a group of friends reuniting. It doesn't need set changes, flashy effects or weird camera shots because the characters are strong enough to move the action along. The cast is wonderful, it has three of my favourite actresses in Cher, Karen Black & Sandy Dennis. They are all strong, self assured actresses and could teach you a thing or two! You know when you daydream about being a famous actress and what roles you'd love to play? No? Just me? Oh okay, well I do that and I always think I'd love to play Sandy Dennis' character in the film. The film also has one of the most powerful endings I've ever seen. It's so simplistic yet incredibly effective. 

SECRETARY



Again I love this film for many, many reasons. Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of my favourite actresses because you can tell she gives so much of herself in a role and I really admire the films she chooses to be involved in. Her performance in this film just won me over straight away, I class myself as a feminist and usually this film would be a film I would have a problem with considering its content but SHE made me overlook that and realise that every woman has the right to do what's best for her. (the last shot really drives this home) So the premise of the film is that of a young girl named Lee Holloway who becomes a secretary after a spell in a psychiatric hospital. She begins an unconventional relationship with her boss and it causes her and her boss to re access their lives and desires. The main hook of Secretary is how it deals with the tricky subjects of both mental illness and S&M. Usually films that tackle sexuality are gratuitous and are aiming to target the high school audience however what I like about Secretary is how it explores the idea that love has many different faces and how as a society we are so used to pigeonholing people. You may still leave the film  disagreeing with the idea of S&M but it's definitely opened your eyes. One of my favourite types of love stories are 'fucked up love stories'...as I rather eloquently call them. What I mean by that is I adore love stories that are not the corny ones written from a cardboard cut out of a rom com from the 90s. So Secretary fits my need for 'unusual yet lovely love stories'. 

THE WRESTLER



I'm a HUGE fan of wrestling. I'm the girl that religiously watches it every week and goes to the shows whenever she can. It's a fun hobby I share with my two brothers and it's our weird form of family bonding! It's just so exciting keeping up with the wrestling world, it's like a soap opera with physical contact! I got insanely happy last night when a WWE referee replied to my tweet on twitter, I am that sad when it comes to wrestling. So this film is a must for wrestling fans (obviously) but you needn't be a wrestling fan to enjoy it. It tells the story of a wrestler who was at his height about fifteen years ago and yet he's still wrestling despite his battered body. The film means so much to me because this is the life many 80s/ early 90s wrestlers ended up living, guys like Jake Roberts ended up with no family, a crippled body and addiction problems. Mickey Rourke plays the role wonderfully, he breaks my heart completely as a wrestler who is so consumed by his passion he refuses to give up, even if it means losing out on love and a relationship with his daughter. The role was originally given to Nicolas Cage and MAN, I wish I could have seen that. As you will soon discover I have a huge obsession with Nicolas Cage but that's another blogpost. Yet as much as I'd love to see that I think Mickey does so well. The wrestling scenes are done incredibly well with the finale being filmed at a ROH set, and other real life wrestlers popping up here and there. 

PARIS,TEXAS


This is an example of a film that took my breath away the first time I saw it. It reinforced the reason I love film so much, it's just so powerful. It's beautifully shot, the actors are perfect and it has one of my favourite scenes of all time within it. Harry Dean Stanton is the lead character who plays a man who is found wondering in the desert and his journey in reconnecting with his son and finding his wife. Harry is a great actor, he's not a name you'd recognise but you'd know his face for sure. He's a guy who always plays a supporting role but yet steals the show. Her however he plays the lead and does it so well. He's an actor who realises that sometimes less is more and despite holding back for the most time he still gives a great performance.

THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES


Barbra Streisand is one of my queens. One of the women who inspires me and whose music and films will always mean so much to me. When I'm at my lowest she always keeps me going. She inspires me as a female in the film making industry because she's one of the few famous female directors, she's had a successful film and music career for over 40 years and is a woman who stands up for herself. In this film she tackles a topic that has haunted her for years, beauty. She's always been haunted her looks, that's another reason why I feel so close to her. She struggles with how she looks, especially with her nose. I too have nose issues, I'm always being reminded I have a big nose and I now think 'so what? so does Barbra Streisand and she's ten times cooler than anyone who takes the piss out of me will ever be'. So I really respect her for tackling this role. The story tells of a lady who is conventionally beautiful (although to me she is always stunning) who enters a platonic marriage with a university lecturer (played by Jeff Bridges who is yummy) because he believes that a love based on sexual attraction will never last. Eventually in the good ole fashioned way they end up falling in love, sex and all and I start crying because it's all so beautiful. 


Stay tuned for Part 2!