|The Wizard of Oz
|The Philadelphia Story
|Do the Right Thing
The Wizard of Oz
There has never been anything like the moment when Oz bursts into Technicolor and there never will be again.
Sturges' masterpiece somehow both takes the piss out of filmmakers thinking they are changing the world and is one of the most insightful arguments for making art ever put on screen.
"I like it that way, makes me look the way I feel." Sure, "Shut up and deal" is the most often quoted line in Wilder's lonely-souls masterpiece, but the one I always return to finds Shirley MacLaine's Fran Kubelik justifying why she likes her mirror broken. It cuts like that shard of glass.
The Philadelphia Story
Star power at work, from Hepburn to Grant to Stewart. Still one of the funniest eviscerations of the upper class.
Do the Right Thing
The heat radiates off Do the Right Thing. It's sexy and angry and grows more and more potent by the year.
A subversive erotic drama in period clothing. Stirs the mind and the heart as it untangles one woman's desires.
Like, teen girls have been totally underestimated throughout time, but Amy Heckerling's comedy is a full-on Baldwin. I mean, c'mon, it invented its own language. Would I leave it off my list? As if!
Who says comedy can't be cinematic splendour? The moment the Lincoln Center fountain erupts is as sumptuous as anything in a "serious" film. A middle finger to Nazis, with musical numbers that would make Busby Berkeley take note.
Scorsese's rock symphony about the gangster lifestyle. Thoroughly fun until the insidiousness creeps in without you even realising.
Overshadowed by its delayed release, Kenneth Lonergan's film is an opera of post-9/11 New York life, teenage emotions and guilt.
I know the flaws in my list. It's very American. It's very Hollywood. But I went for sentiment above all else. I chose movies that have given me comfort. Movies that have blown my mind. Movies that showed me what cinema could be. The "greatest" is such a hard thing to quantify, so I trusted my gut. I assume I'll change my mind as soon as I submit.