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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.

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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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Your Favorite(s) Movie....and why?

Hi everyone,

I'm usually pretty serious in the other forums. I like the slow pace of TOTEM...and having the option to start some light conversation.

** What is your favorite(s) movie and why?

MY LIST (in no order):

Stars Wars (first 3 of the trilogy - not the new ones!)
- Because when the opening starts it makes my skin crawl. The music, acting, story...just perfect for the time. I'm 5 years old again!!

Raiders of the Lost Ark
- I should have grown up to be Indiana Jones. What happened?

Good Will Hunting
- Something about the story, Will crying and Robin Williams finally being soft and quiet.

Singin' in the Rain
- I saw the new DVD recently and damn it...color has never been used the same way. It's a perfect story that uses theatre elements with filmmaking savy. It's just cooler than you think if you always watch new movies...old movies have just as much if not more value.

Shawshank Redemption
- The story is great - it's just a great movie to watch over and over.

Pulp Fiction
- The first movie where I thought - "hmm, that's not really a movie like other movies out right now...or ever?!"

Apocalypse Now
- Dark, dark...dark. I love dark movies that were made under stress because it shows on screen. If a movie was easy to make it looks that way. But, Apocalypse Now has dread running through every frame and it's napalm.

Rear Window
- I saw a new print out in CA a few year ago. It was awesome in the theatre. I felt like it was back when it originally came out. I love Hitchcock...sometimes I wish I were born a lot earlier, so I could see all the classics in the theatre first run!

- Dark again! I love this movie...David Fincher is amazing with using a dark room and a flashlight.

Fight Club
- Dark (with neon green?) I love this just like Se7en.

The Great Dictator (and everything else he did for that matter)
- I saw a new 35mm print at Boston's MFA last year right before the DVD release. Chaplin's great granddaughter was there and I talked to her...I felt a presence! Also, more importantly...the film made me incredibily amazed at Charlie Chaplin. The guy was the first true auteur - he did it all. There were destined to be better, but he was the first true all encompassing filmmaker.

A Christmas Story
- Something about this movie tells me that sometimes you just need to make people feel good and laugh.

Stand by Me
- Some movies connect with you - this one makes me feel like I'm a young boy again with my friends. It's amazingly spot on!

Back to the Future (I-II-II)
- Is popcorn entertainment great? I love these.

Schindler's List
-Made me realize that a blockbuster doesn't need to be popcorn entertainment. The adult me loves these movies because it's important. :(

-Yeah, I cried when ET was in the little river all cold..

- I love this movie because it's not typical storyline. It's about water! I'd rather it be water than drugs or whatever.

- This is my all-time favorite I think...amazingly told, not perfect which is ok! It's got great editing...lots of film types like 8mm, 16mm, 35mm..on and on. It's just great and Oliver Stone is great for making movies and not backing down.

Let's hear yours! I love watching movies, so I need some input for some new rentals.

Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
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Old January 13th, 2004, 02:24 PM   #2
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My two favorite films were, coincidentally, both released in 1980, the year I was born. (There are many more coincidences between them, including the sharing of several cast members, but I leave the fun of spotting those to the reader.)

The Empire Strikes Back stands alone in the STAR WARS series as a perfectly concocted confection of science fiction, fantasy, myth, fairy tale, and noir pulp. The story's methodical, episode-by-episode revelation and the cliffhanger climax lend a profluence--the audience's sense that we are getting somewhere--akin to reverie. The hero Luke hits the nail on the head when he sits lost and forlorn on the dim swamp planet Dagobah and muses, "It's like something out of a dream." Then not twenty minutes later he's battling his inner demons in a metaphorical dream-duel that no film has ever topped for its strangeness and shock symbolic meaning. The plodding, maudlin Gone with the Wind never achieved such unblemished balance.

The Blues Brothers is meant to be watched (for the first time, at least) late at night, between the hours of midnight and 2 am, when one's critical faculties and resistances to wonton wackiness have already retired. It's an epic musical, with two fighting heroes battling a system that would throw orphans on the street over $5000 but would send countless cars, legions of mounted police, boats, helicopters, tanks, a SWAT team, etc. after two troublemakers whose greatest threat is that they can make people get up and dance and enjoy themselves. Surprise cameo after surprise cameo--some you might not recognize until the end credits roll, and some you'll have to turn to the internet to spot--typify the sheer giddiness and delight of the movie. When you see the film for the second time, the symbolic meaning of the toasted white bread may unlock in your thoughts, and for a moment, the universe will seem in order.
All the best,
Robert K S

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Old January 13th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #3
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Little Big Man - Great Western and a wonderful portrayal of Custer by Richard Mulligan.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - "Hell, the fall will probably kill you."

The Sting - Too much greatness to single out any one part.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - First movie to make me cry.

October Sky - Good father/son conflict.

Men In Black (only the first one) - "The FBI does not have a sense of humor that we know of."

Pirates of the Caribbean - Just so I can list one from this century.

Finding Nemo (okay, two from this century), Toy Story 1 and 2, Monsters, Inc. - The people at Pixar turn out some wonderful stories.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #4
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This is fun.

Star Wars is the only movie that I ever saw in a theater more than twice. I was at the perfect age at its release to think that it would be the greatest epic of all time. Of course, now we know that any movie that relies on special effects will lose its luster in a matter of a few years. The effects look a little cheesy by today's standards.

Apocalypse Now and The Godfather have convinced me that Francis Ford Coppola is one of the true masters of the craft. He also runs one of the best wineries in Napa. How could you not worship him?

Recently, I was completely smitten with Master & Commander. So much so, that I am currently on the 5th of the 20 novels that the movie is loosely based on.

But for all time, nothing can top Casablanca.

EDIT: I had a nagging thought in the back of my mind as I was finishing this that I left something out that I had intended to include. It was One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. Jack plays nuts better than anyone in Hollywood. Robin Williams has given him a challenge with a couple recent films (Insomnia and One Hour), but he is still the king.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #5
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Forbidden Planet: Something about the future as seen through the eyes of the 1950's is really charming, and I think it is the first great science fiction movie. I am also a sap for technicolor. Besides which, it has robots AND monkeys. Totally underated.

The Birds. Hitchcock's hatred for humanity is so close to the surface here. I love it!

Akira: I'm not too crazy about anime in general, but there are a few really good ones. this is the best.

Rope. More Hitchcock, and with Jimmy Stewart, and Farly Granger; what could be better? It's also a pretty daunting technicle achievment.

X2: I really dig the way it's lit. Same thing with-

Sleepy Hollow: The only Tim Burton film I like 100%

City of Lost Children: I like the fairy tale style of it, and the way it looks.

Princess Mononoke: another great Japanese film. Simply the most beutiful animation I've ever seen.

Thirteenth Warrrior: the greatest, cheesiest guy movie of all time!

Blade Runner (Director's cut): I think that everyone in it does the best work of their respective careers.

Almost forgot: Millers Crossing and The Big Lebowski: the Choen brosthers at their very best, hitting both ends of the spectrum.

" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old January 13th, 2004, 08:02 PM   #6
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I'd have to say "The Godfather" (the first one) is tops because after seeing it hundreds of times, I can still watch it over and over.

The Third man
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Touch of Evil
Pulp Fiction
Bullets Over Broadway
The Conversation
All That Jazz
The Maltese Falcon
All About Eve
The Piano
Blood Simple
Topsy Turvy
True Grit
His Girl Friday
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Old January 13th, 2004, 08:58 PM   #7
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The World According to Suzie Wong - because it made me as a kid in West Texas in the 60s dream about going to exotic places...and look where I am now! (not married to a prostitute though...yet)

Some girls - because it proves that a small film can be a poetic orchestration that outclasses the big boys

Harold and Maude - same as above...and because of its offbeat style

Bottle Rocket and Rushmore - because Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson are two of the most underrated collaborators in the business

Winged Migration - because it gave us a view of the birds that we've never seen before, and gave us their view of us

The Graduate - because it's so full of symbolism and artistry that it still inspires long discussions
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Old January 13th, 2004, 09:12 PM   #8
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Mmmm Big call.

Coming out on top, and as the only movie I've seen 4 times in the Cinema:

The Matrix.

Talk about blow my mind!

Shame the next two parts didn't follow up, but then, how could they?

Close second: The Blues Brothers (And what a soundtrack).
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Old January 13th, 2004, 09:49 PM   #9
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I donīt have favorite movies.. but Iīll mention the ones that pop out as the ones that impressed me the most (for good).

Dead Or Alive (Takashi Mike):
This is my last discovery... and this director just blew me away.... Iīm actually still picking up my brain. Itīs like Tarantino on Nitro with that Japanese Oriental touch... Iīm getting Takashi Mike Addiction.

The Clockwork Orange:
It was the first movie I saw that kept me thinking about it for a week. (I was 12).

Takeshi Kitano goes to L.A. Need I say more?

Natural Born Killers:
Itīs not my Oliver Stoneīs favorite but for some reason that day I decided I wanted to make movies.

Conan-Braveheart-(sword movies in general)...
Thereīs something about swords chopping heads that I like since I was little kid. I guess itīs my visual fettiche...

Itīs my favorite Stone movie.. and the cast... itīs perfect...

Big trouble in little China:
I donīt really know why, but Iīve seen this one about 12 times, and everytime itīs on TV I just can sit and watch it all the way through without noticing that the FXīs are crappy and that I allready know whatīs going to happen.

The Usual Suspects:
Great Script... great Spacey... Great Movie

Scar Face:
Tony Montana

Pulp Fiction:
I know it sounds cliché but, itīs one of the best movies Iīve seen... great script, great actors, fast pace...

Dark City:
This one I rented without even reading the back... and I was impressed by the story and the visuals..

I really like Michael Caine in this movie... and the script... itīs great...

John Carpenterīs Vampires:
I couldnīt let this one out of my list.

I guess I need to start getting impressed by non violent movies, or maybe Iīm a little violent today...
Other day Iīll post non-violent ones that I like..
Messenger Boy : The Thessalonian you're fighting, he's the biggest man I've ever seen. I wouldn't want to fight him.
Achilles : That is why no one will remember your name.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #10
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In no particular order:

Lord of the Rings Trilogy - To me they're all just one big 12 hour film. I consider them the most well crafted films I've seen in a very long time. I was mesmerized from beginning to end, and left the theater wanting more, even though they're 3.5 hours each. Absolutely amazing.

Back to the Future Part II - Fun, fun, fun. Enjoyed every minute of all three of them, but especially how they really mess with time-travel in Part II.

Aliens - I know, I know, the first one is a classic. But the sequel was so tense, action packed, and well written... The best Hollywood action of the 80's.

Apollo 13 - Breathtaking music, an amazing true story, and top notch production values. Ron Howard at his best.

Jaws - Yeah, the shark look fake, but it still scares the crap out of me. Endless repeat value.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind - The best Spielberg movie. Richard Dreyfuss is phenomenal.

The Abyss (Extended Edition) - The most intense thriller I've seen. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio deciding she has to drown is just heart-wrenching.

The Matrix (Part I only!) - Blew my mind in the theater. Excellent concept, good writing, stylish cinematography, bullet-time. The other 2 were cheap rip-offs.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - All three Indy movies are great, but the third one was very clever, and tied up a lot of loose ends very nicely. Great music by John Williams.

Saving Private Ryan - I'm not too fond of war movies, but this was just a work of art. The D-Day invasion was unbelievable, as was the end battle sequence. Gripping, moving, disturbing.

The Empire Strikes Back - The best of all Star Wars. The drama, the action, the family reunion! Good dialogue, cool special effects, and a cliffhanger ending round out the movie.

Forrest Gump - I just get completely absorbed by the story. Great acting all around, perfect blend of humor and drama, and impressive FX work.

North by Northwest - Hitchcock messing with our minds! Great intrigue all around.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 10:13 PM   #11
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Smoke - with Harvey Keitel. One of the first times that I really understood film as something that could represent basic reality, and not just fantastic fiction, and I realized it's what I wanted to do.

Next Stop Wonderland - what can I say, I love Bossa Nova, and textured films.

Dazed and Confused - I didn't go to high school in the 70s, but this was almost just like my high school experience (minus the hazing). Love Richard Linklater!

Dances with Wolves - every time I see it, it makes me wish I was there. Quiet fantasy of mine to be in John Dunbar's place, alone on the frontier, 'before it's all gone'. Too late now though.

And more recently:

Lost In Translation - what atmosphere!
Pieces of April - real and beautiful.

There are so many more, but there's no way I could cover it all. I won't really mention any blockbusters as they're being well covered by others.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 10:30 PM   #12
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Oh my.

The what is your favorite film(s) question. Agghhh. There are so many! Coming to mind are:


Saw it at the drive-in with my mom when I was 5 or 6. Let me just say WOW.


It's like the first time. Ya know? 7 years old in the theatre. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) offically becomes my hero for life.


The first movie I ever saw in an actual walk in movie theatre. Need I say more? Oh yeah, I fell asleep.


This was the film that made me ralize that there was a Director. Need I say more?


Perfect Carpenter.


Just cool.

Of course there are many more films (classics and modern) that I could put on a BEST OF list. But these are the ones that are responsible for me wanting to make films.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #13
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There are too many "greats" to remember, but luckily some of your lists jogged my memory:

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou--Great writing.

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade-- Ford & Connery at their best with some great lines.

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid -AND-
The Sting -- Can't love one without the other. Best acting duo in history, IMO. And to add to Philip's quote, "I've got vision and the rest of the world wears bi-focals!"

Revenge of the Pink Panther--I think that's the one; get them mixed up sometimes. And speaking of Peter Sellers:

Murder By Death--Hilarious. Neil Simon fare.

Waking Ned Devine -- So well-written. And the gentleman who played Michael was excellent.

Star Trek: Generations--When the saucer section crashes on that planet it makes up for Data and all his stupid laughing.

Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn--Pretty dated now, but I'll bet I watched it at least a half-dozen times.

Bowfinger--Weak, but the sub-plot with the illegal aliens just cracks me up. And Eddie Murphy running across the LA freeway...

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Another Steve Martin favorite.

Those are just the ones that sprang to mind; there are lots more!
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:25 PM   #14
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Just to mention two,


It's hard to find another movie that would be so beautifully cinematographed and would work with the music in such a powerful way


Stunningly powerful acting in a powerful story set up in one of the most beautiful places in the world
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Old January 14th, 2004, 03:13 AM   #15
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I just saw Barry Lyndon for the first time in a few years. I was brought through adolesence by Kubrick's films, but became an adult (and wannabe filmmaker) via Tarkovsky and Marker. Anyway,

Barry Lyndon -

Kubrick expresses everything in this one film of his, I feel/think. I feel an emptyness after watching his films, great artist though I think he was, or was capable of being. It's like there's a birth every time that zoom ring gets twisted. Blasting the reprise over the credits was entirely the wrong thing do, though.

Russian Ark -

Saw this very recently. This film offers what very few films offer: time. Tarkovsky was a master of this. Sokurov, very keen. Very generous, too.

Andrei Rublev -
Mirror -
Stalker -
Nostalghia -

Tarkovsky's gift to us: sprirtual transformation.
Without a doubt, the most important filmmaker of the 20th century.

Sans Soleil -

Chris Marker is my model for being a human being as well as artist.
More scholarly filmmakers, please. This film is vacation footage turned masterpiece. It can be done. All you need to do is be an interesting person.

The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting -

What a marvelous mind Raul Ruiz has. Absolutely brilliant.
Pure entertainment.

The Color of Pomegranates -

I can't keep up with all of this Sergei Paradjanov film, part of the attraction, I suppose, but Pomegranates has these terrifically occult effects, at moments, on me, that mean the world to me.

My list doesn't go on and on. There are others, but these stand out as representative.
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