Last week’s Friday Favourites post came out of a social media challenge that I was forced to take on board. This week is a similar thing. This time the challenge was:
Post a still from a film that’s influenced me over the next 10 days. Every day I’ll nominate one person to do the same.
Normally if someone tags me on a Facebook thing I just pretend I didn’t see it and walk away. Selfie challenges, Ice Bucket challenges, you name it, I’m avoiding it. But I haven’t got to where I am today by missing the chance to show off my love of films. So I did it. Even though I knew that trying to whittle down the list down to just 10 films would almost beak my brain. But I did it? Did anybody care? Nah. But nobody really cares about this blog and I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years. It’s part of my charm.
I had to start with this one. If I were a more decisive human being, I’d probably say this was my favourite ever film. The fact that I included the world “probably” in that sentence shows you that I’m not a decisive person. Putting my failings to one side, this film has everything. It’s incredibly funny, it’s a little scary, it’s got romance, and it’s Jenny Agutter. What more can a girl want? Oh, the fact that it’s technically brilliant and still holds up almost 40 years later? Yeah, that’ll do it.
Day 2: Get Out
An absolutely phenomenal and surprising film. Annoyingly, I never actually gave this film a proper review but that was mostly because I didn’t want to spoil it at all. I had such misconceptions of Get Out before I saw it. Jordan Peele making a horror film? Pfft. It didn’t sound like my kind of thing. Oh, how young and stupid I was. It’s a fantastic piece of social commentary and an incredibly clever film. As well as a great homage to classic horror films.
Day 3: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I should definitely watch this for a TBT review at some time because this film is fabulous. It’s all thanks to a clever and original script from Charlie Kaufman, some exciting direction from Michel Gondry, and two amazing lead performances from Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey. This film has so many layers and so many different genres all expertly woven together. It’s part science fiction, part romance, part psychological thriller. On paper that sounds like an insane mix that just won’t work but this is some intelligent film making.
Day 4: True Romance
Some films stick with you because of how they make you feel and others stick with you because of how well made they are. I think if I really stepped back and looked at it, I’d not think quite so highly of this film. But I always enjoy watching it. It’s kind of batshit but it works. With a great Quentin Tarantino script and the steady hand of Tony Scott, this film just works. The performances are so over-the-top but you can’t imagine it being played any other way. It’s kind of stupid but delightfully so. This is a film for people who just love watching films.
Day 5: Parasite
When coming up with these 10 films, I could probably have only used films that came out in the last 2 or 3 years and still been spoilt for choice. The last few Oscar ceremonies have been crammed full of greatness but none more so than the current reigning champion. Parasite was such a strange film but Bong Joon-Ho is an expert at making it come together. The script is funny but still showcases the real social issues that exist. It has a strong message behind it and such an engaging story. This film has haunted me since I watched it and I can’t wait to watch it again and again.
Day 6: Moonlight
Just think, we could very easily have been in a world where La La Land won the Best Picture Oscar instead of Barry Norman’s beautiful coming-of-age story. Norman has quickly become known as the creator of timeless stories and Moonlight is such an effective and provocative film. It stays with you because of how close you get to Chiron. This is a beautiful film and it’s very intimate. The camera stays close and picks up every detail. It’s breathtaking and brilliant filmmaking. To quote my review “with such apparent ease, Jenkins manages to make his film both intensely personal and universal.”
Day 7: Victoria
I was worried that Victoria would be nothing more than a gimmick but I was wrong. Yes, the fact that director, Sebastian Schipper, films the whole thing in one take is impressive but it also adds to the story. Not only does it create a raw and authentic feel to the film but it creates a sense of claustrophobia. We’re stuck with these people. We’re along for the ride. The audience really comes to know them and we share in their victories and their defeats. Victoria never feels forced but is intensely realistic. And, to use a word that really annoys me, it’s incredibly immersive.
Day 8: Mad Max: Fury Road
A film 30 years in the making. Clearly, it was 30 years well spent. Fury Road is an absolute triumph thanks to its breathtaking visuals and stunts. Something that is made even more impressive when you consider that everything was done in real-life. It’s a film that pushes filmmaking to its limits and managed to create a masterpiece. Every sequence is executed perfectly. All of the technical aspects are perfect. It is a film with spectacular pacing, sound design, editing and music are all miles better than one could hope for with a film of this type. It also champions women in such an unassuming way. I bloody love it. Fury Road showed us that not only was George Miller a genius but that there is so much more to action films than Hollywood will let us see.
Day 9: Breathless
Because if I didn’t include at least one piece of French New Wave then how would people know that I’m a serious film person? But seriously, it might seem pretentious (and it is) but Breathless deserves to be on this list. Is it Godard’s best film? Probably not. Is it an important piece of film history? Most certainly. Breathless is so much more than that though. You’re seeing a director having fun with his craft and trying things out. There is such a playfulness about this film. Not just in the direction either. Jean‑Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg are willing to push things too. Over 60 years later, Breathless is still such a brilliant film to watch.
Day 10: Paddington 2
What a way to end things. The sequel to Paddington is definitely better than the first and, let’s be honest, the first was pretty flawless. Paul King is such a fantastic director and this film is beautiful. It’s like a British Wes Anderson film but with the precise framing of Stanley Kubrick. But, really, it’s better than that because there’s a CGI bear voiced by Ben Whishaw. Oh, and Hugh Grant playing an actor with multiple personalities. Paddington 2 is the kind of feel-good film that we need right now. It great to watch and is really well-made. If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.