Thursday, October 14, 2010

One Hundred Wonderful Movies #1

Okay, this year was kind of a snooze at the local cinema.
Since January, there have been about five movies I've really wanted to see in a theater, or bothered to, for that matter.
Youth in Revolt, Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception, and The Social Network.
(I rank them 5, 4, 2, 3, and 1, respectively. Social Network gets points over Youth for starring Jesse Eisenberg, Inception gets major points for Joseph Gordon Levitt, looses some for being in a race with no real competition)
(Note, I still need to see Get Low and Ondine) Still scheduled for release sometime this year are The Rum Diary, The Black Swan, (in which Darren Aronofsky decided not to cast his wife, so he could make it extra "adult" apparently) King's Speech starring Colin Firth, and The Tempest. (wow, really? yes, the actual The Tempest. Ooh, that's spectacular. I know, right??) Also, the Coen Brothers are remaking True Grit. But until they actually debut, it's been a rather slow 10 months for us film people.
Good news, we have Netflix, and all kind of things "on demand". (How do I sign up for Dr. Pepper "on demand"? Where's the button I hit for that? Isn't this A'merca?) So, if you're looking for something to watch you may have missed the first time around, I'm going to make a list, in no particular order, of my 100 favorite movies.

Starting with (again, in no particular order) The New World.
Terrence Malik is the kind of director who turns up every decade or so with an offering of lyrical, heartbreaking cinematic poetry, only to disappear again until the next Transit of Venus, or whatever it is that entices him to get back in the director's seat. In 2005, he shot the million feet of film that would become The New World (His next film Tree of Life, will premiere in 2011)

And so it goes. For over 135 minutes, or 170 in Malik's rerelease, hardly anyone speaks aloud, and every frame is completely captivating. There are no theatrics, almost nothing explicit. The film diverges from the historical record to focus on the legendary but probably fictional love story between Pocahontas and John Smith. The relationship between them is delicate and subtle, (partly because the actress was only 15) but it still manages to illustrate love and a true connection between souls with sincerity and brilliance. Smith and Pocahontas don't need to speak for us to understand exactly how they feel - her surprise and curiosity, his deep inner conflict and mistrust of his own feelings. Inaccurate as it may be historically, it's one of the best depictions of true love on film.

I thought that would be a good one to begin with.
99 to go!

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