MARTY AT THE MOVIES: PART ONE
I recently found, in my old digital diary, a list of my favourite films from a time which was probably late eighties to mid-nineties and I was surprised to see how many of them still rate quite highly with me today.
I am shamelessly into popular culture as a practical means of reaching a far wider audience with new ideas - although I personally try to balance that by exposing myself to as many of the more cultured classics as I get the opportunity to view.
I thought I'd share the list with you, adding a few more recent favourites, and including some comments.
I'd love to see your responses!
Part two to follow soon!
The original list (alphabetically) and including the odd more recent item is as follows...
BLUE VELVET (1986) I don't own it and haven't seen it for years so I cannot say whether it would still be up there in my faves. David Lynch was always one to pay great attention to his soundtrack music and I do recall that this movie really benefitted from that.
CITIZEN KANE (1941) I still agree with those who rate it as one of the greatest films ever made and I believe that there are a number of people who go out of their way to find fault with it in some sort of reverse-snobbery. It is absolutely a movie made for the age of DVD when the viewer is able to rewind and check out details - there is just so much going on and so many outstanding camera shots.
DONNIE DARKO (2001) Beautifully weird with some wonderful realism - isn't the parents' relationship with each other fun and believable? There is a special illusion-like quality that permeates parts of this film so that it stays with you like some half-remembered dream and aspects of it will pop up in the most unexpected situations.
DRACULA (1931) I am one of those who believe that, in many ways, this version directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi is still probably the best. And (finally!) we can compare it with the Spanish-language version which was shot at night on exactly the same sets used by the other crew during the day-time and which looks, in many places, better than the more famous version. Unfortunately though, their
Dracula actor looks a bit dorky really. (I love many of those Universal horrors from the thirties but I'll get back to that later!)
EASY RIDER (1969) This hasn't dated as badly as it could have by any means - and STILL has one of the best movie soundtracks ever! In fact I believe it was the main movie to start that trend. Its low budget also caused a lot of head-scratching amongst movie-moguls who could not get to grips with such imagination and craftsmanship from such a small out-lay of expenditure. In fact this brave little movie shook up
the industry for ever!
ERASERHEAD (1978) It's still powerfully disturbing and is one of the very few films to get close to the TRUE sensations of nightmares as we actually experience them.
EVIL DEAD II (1987) The first 'Evil Dead' was remarkably fresh and novel - especially considering the small budget it was made with, but the sequel is excellent! If you see it for the first time then remember that the Steady-cam was new and exciting back then. The third in the series, 'Army Of Darkness', initially slightly disappointed many fans of the first two, but I really recommend giving it another chance. You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) This is still one of the best sci-fi movies made and the effects, by and large, have stood the test of time extremely well. It looks great, the robot is phenomenal (and was recently totally repaired) and the story's concept about the power of our subconscious id was a partial inspiration for my song, 'The Male
Monster From The Id'.
HAROLD AND MAUDE (1972) I recently found this on DVD, at last!, and it was even better than I'd remembered. It truly deserves its large and loving cult status. Incidentally it was good to see the, sadly, often over-looked Bud Cort (who plays Harold), appearing in 'The Life Aquatic Of Steve Zissou' (which I'll get to in another part of these movie reminiscences!).
HEAD (1968) No, really! Made by The Monkees when they had taken control of their reins - with Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson in charge - it really is one of the best psychedelic movies of the late sixties. It's serious AND hilarious. You OWE it to yourself to check it out!