|Breaking the Waves
|Lars von Trier
|Over the Edge
|Dont Look Back
|Dallas Buyers Club
I love this film beyond measure. It is a powerful manifesto for non-violence and vitally important viewing for anyone alive. It is also masterfully written, directed, acted and shot! The cinematography is stunning, and especially impressive given that most of it takes place in a single barn/set. Blew my mind at Telluride FF!
Joanna Hogg knows where to place the camera and how to make every scene a visceral experience that puts us right in the heart of our main character, who Honor Swinton brings to life with such dimension and grace.
Breaking the Waves
Breaks every boundary there ever was - whether we knew there was a boundary or not. It is heartbreaking. You will be in pieces by the end, but it is also stunning to look at, and the first film I can remember with chapters - brilliant.
My favourite film of the 90’s, bar none. A young filmmaker myself, I saw this and was blown away. Everyone checks into the house and we have hope, but the family reunion devolves until we land at the truth that bubbles beneath the surface of every raw scene in this stripped down masterpiece. I was introduced to Dogme filmmaking by this film and have been following its principles (for the most part) ever since!
Over the Edge
Matt Dillon’s first film. It was my favourite film when I was just 10 years old! But also I loved that actor that played “Carl” - you know what I mean if you have seen it, comb in the back pocket and all. I discovered rebellion in this film, and Cheap Trick's “Surrender” became my theme song. It’s an anthem for youth and an early lesson, which I carry with me now as a parent, that we can’t protect our children and that it can really backfire if we try!
Dont Look Back
The second cinema verité film I ever saw, this film by the great D.A. Pennebaker brought me alongside Bob Dylan and showed me how visceral documentary filmmaking could be, and more, how intimacy and authenticity were the key to a meaningful and impactful cinematic experience (way later in my life, Dylan called me up to come play guitar, and we discussed the film in depth, and Penny and Chris Hegedus - his amazing partner in every way - came to all my premieres, and we did a big two-part retrospective for my talk show BYOD!)
Dallas Buyers Club
My favourite film of all time, because of the transformation they (the director and Matthew) pulled off turning a protagonist who is utterly distasteful at the top of the film, into a lovable hero who we relate to and root for down to our core by the end.
The way this documentary opens is unforgettable. A woman with dementia in a catatonic state - her eyes pop open when she is played a familiar rhythm and blues song from her youth. BAM, she starts telling us about life when she was twelve. This special documentary brilliantly demonstrates the power of music and the transcendence of the human spirit.
I have never been more on the edge of my seat, horrified, and engaged, in my life than when watching “The Room.” It was incredibly real and important, and what they managed to capture in that tiny space was a unique and stunning accomplishment.
The editing and music editing in Elvis is mesmerizing, among the best I have ever seen. I was also very impressed with the non-linear style of storytelling Baz employed in almost ever key sequence - made for brilliant and poignant character development, and Austin Butler is a phenomenal talent.
#11 - American Beauty - That paper bag changed my life.