HELLO EVERYONE! WHAT WE’RE DOING OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS OR SO, IS POSTING ABOUT EACH OF OUR FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME (THE TOP 5 TO BE SPECIFIC/ 1 PERSON PER WEEK) AND A BIT ABOUT WHY WE LOVE THEM. WE HOPE IT’LL LET YOU LEARN MORE ABOUT ALL OF US HERE AT STICKERFRIDGE IN DOING SO. THIS WEEK IS ADAM DAUFEN!
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my all time favorite directors, and no doubt, this movie is one of my all time favorites. This movie clocks in at two and half hours and yet extremely re-watchable and mesmerizing. Daniel Day Lewis gives a performance of a decade as Daniel Plainview, an oilman who will stop at nothing to be the top in his field. The themes range from the macro scale to the micro, all the while interweaving the glories and the follies of masculinity in a fair and consequentialist manner. This all accomplished with Anderson’s mastering of the cinematic language to fully convey the subtleties of the film’s mood and motivation. Daniel faces numerous opponents to his rise and follows only his strength of will rather than any moral compass, whether derived from within him (governed by his love for his “son”) or by that of society (Christianity or monetary security). The film is a deep dive that splices the monster genre and the western genre into a thought-provoking film like no other.
You’ve heard it before, but there’s a reason for that. Step aside A Christmas Story this is the ultimate Christmas film. Bruce Willis as John McClane does his breakthrough role as the down-to-Earth, reluctant hero that one has genuine sympathy for in his fallout with his wife. Put in a building he never wanted to be in, to resolve a terrorist plot led by none other than the brilliant Alan Rickman. The film is an almost perfect action film with an amazing three-act structure, watertight script with incredible payoffs, and generally badass action sequences. It doesn’t carry complex metaphors or masterful shots, but that’s the charm; it knows what it is and isn’t ashamed to flaunt it. And I’ve fallen for its spell. Unfortunately, its sequels take away what made this one special, but the charm of the original Die Hard, well, dies hard.
A bit of a deep cut, but truly a “le hidden gem” as most fucking nerdy-movie-buff-kino-pretentious assholes would say. But you have to give this film credit; it had a micro budget of only $5,000; truly inspirational to any filmmaker. It goes to show, write a good script within your parameters first, and worry about the political/marketability bullshit later. A film that is simple in plot, but complex in its execution: two engineers in their free time accidently discover time travel. It’s not hard to see why this film is a turn off to most people with its complicated timeline and its lack of regard for exposition. But for those willing to stick with it and watch it numerous times, it has the rewards of solving a puzzle. The beauty of the film comes from its coherent logic that at first looks like a pure madness on first viewing. Some would argue that it’s the job of the filmmaker to guide the viewers’ through the waters of plot, but like as the director/actor, Shane Carruth said in Primer while informing his wife of his day in a slight snarky manner, “…I had to come downtown and hold some of these guys’ hands.” Giving a subconscious cue to wear your big boy pants and explore the logic of the film, rather than the film doing it for you. A puzzle is no fun if you are given the instructions, and why should that be exclusive to film?
I know… “Adam, Pulp Fiction is Tarantino’s best! Objectively!” There’s no doubt in my mind that Pulp Fiction is Quentin Tarantino’s Magnum opus, and he hasn’t even come close to replicating the glory of it, despite his filmmaking techniques growing with his age. But Reservoir Dogs… it’s the film that got me into to film. The cool black suits, the slick music, the extreme violence… I could go on. When I first saw the film, I was in high school, only aware of blockbusters, and Reservoir Dogs popped my cherry with its nonlinear timeline adorned with vulgar dialogue. I fell in love with it immediately and followed Tarantino, and by default, cascaded into exploring other films and filmmakers. It might seem like I putting Reservoir Dogs down as an average film, but really, it’s a great film about consequences with rich, but disturbed characters in the always-exciting realm of the heist genre.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Surprise, surprise. What a conservative choice one might say. I do not give a shit how trite this is, the film is a masterpiece. Stanley Kubrick plus Space plus philosophy plus cinematography plus a rise and fall plot structure plus moral ambiguity, you got the ultimate Adam movie. Although Reservoir Dogs got me into film, 2001 showed me you can still make an intelligent, engaging film on an epic scale, and at least, some Hollywood producers have faith in these sorts of genres. Although the film is usually associated with being cold, only Kubrick could somehow offer up a computer bent on killing its passengers to be more emotional and sympathetic than its human counterparts. A wonderful journey that explores more themes that I thought possible to fit into film, albeit with a rare intermission in the middle (We do need more intermissions nowadays). A film that still has people questioning its ending, with no definitive answer to it. Kubrick knows how to walk the line between being explicit in intent and mysterious right before being too postmodern. I can’t think of any filmmaker who can masterfully tread that line consistently; it is really an impossible standard. Too mysterious and you turn off everyone, too obvious and everyone thinks you’re heavy handed. 2001 is a film darling and no doubt, one of the greatest of all time. It is timely, yet timeless no matter the year its title suggests.
- Rashomon – Akira Kurosawa
- Barry Lyndon – Stanley Kubrick
- 8 ½ – Federico Fellini
- Stalker – Andrei Tarkovsky
- A Serious Man – The Coen Brothers
- Inception – Christopher Nolan
- Paris, Texas – Wim Wenders
- Ex Machina – Alex Garland
- Shrek – Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
- Mulholland Drive – David Lynch
- Drive – Nicholas Winding Refn
- Blade Runner 2049 – Denis Villeneuve
- Raiders of the Lost Ark – Steven Spielberg
- The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
- Pulp Fiction – Quentin Tarantino
- Fargo – The Coen Brothers