I've had this feature floating around in my head for a really long time now and finally decided that it's time to kick it out of the nest. Mondays, I'm talking about movies... not just any movies but my all time favourite movies. I don't think you'll find a single person who's interested in fashion that will tell you that movies and fashion do not go hand in hand. You simply cannot make a movie without style (at least not a good one, though many have tried). Growing up with my brother (who happens to be an acting agent), movies were integral to life. Movies run the gamut for me, they make me sad, they make me happy, they make me angry (you'd be surprised by how often this happens) and then there are movies that can transport me back to a time, sitting in the darkened living room at three in the morning with Kae discovering genius in the form of directors, actors and stylists. Movies aren't just entertainment to me, they're a very real piece of life, a new outlook in the waiting, a memory that you'd almost forgotten. This features in a testament to those little two-hour lifetimes that help shape who we are. Every Monday from now on, I'll be featuring something to do with movies, be it one of my favourites, something I've just discovered or something I'm really looking forward to.
The first few posts I'll be talking the big kahunas. The ones that changed my life... my top 20 of all time (I couldn't narrow it down any further... though I really did try!). I'm posting them in bits because otherwise this post might never end! Here are the first four. So here we go!
(PS. I'd love, love, love some suggestions. Always looking for new movies.)
Title: About A Boy (2002)
Quote: "Suddenly I realized - two people isn't enough. You need backup. If you're only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least."
About: Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy.
Why?: Unbelievable screenplay based on a Nick Hornby novel, incredible acing by Hugh Grant, Toni Colette and a young Nicholas Hoult, freaking outstanding soundtrack by Badly Drawn Boy and a great bro-mantic storyline with an unusual twist.
Best Scene: There is an incredibly moving scene in which Marcus is getting ready for his mother to return from the hospital and he's tidying the house. Though the scene has no dialogue, the song ('Minor Incident' by Badly Drawn Boy) says so much.
Title: Reality Bites (1994)
Quote: "I've wanted you like this for all these years."
About: In this study of Generation X manners, Lelaina, the valedictorian of her college class, camcords her friends in a mock documentary of post-education life. Troy is her best friend, a perpetually unemployed musical slaker. Vickie is a manager at the Gap who worries about the results of an AIDS test, while Sammy has problems grappling with his sexuality. When Lelaina meets Michael, an earnest video executive who takes her homemade video to his MTV-like station, she must decide what she values - the materialism of yuppie Michael or the philosophical musings of Troy.
Why?: This movie to me is the epitome of romantic movies. It has it all. Wicked 90's style, a sexy young Ethan Hawke in a role that will make you fall in love and make you so annoyed that you wanna scream in frustration (not to mention his singing moments, call me a typical girl but a guy with a sexy voice kills me). It has a soundtrack that will be stuck in your head for days and sharp witty barbs of pop culture that will make you wish you'd thought of them. This movie is the reason why things like 'Girls' exist. Ask Lena Dunham, I'm sure she'll back me up... except this is so much better than Girls.
Best Scene: As you'll start to see, I'm crazy for a well placed song in a movie. One of my favourite scenes in this movie is when Troy goes home to Chicago and struggles with how to fix his Lelaina problem and they're playing U2's 'All I Want Is You". It's perfect!
Title: Lolita (1997)
About: Humbert Humbert, a british professor coming to the US to teach, rents a room in Charlotte Haze's house, but only after he sees her 14-year-old daughter, Dolores (Lolita), to whom he is immediately attracted. Though he hates the mother, he marries her as this is the only way to be close to the girl, who will prove to be too mature for her age. They start a journey together, trying to hide that they're not just step-father and daughter, throughout the country, being followed by someone whom Humbert suspects to be from the police. The profound jealousy and guilt from the forbidden love, seem slowly to the man emotionally labile.
Why?: Based on Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel, the screenplay in this 1997 incarnation lends a level of understanding to the Humbert character that the first film version lacks. my brother is a HUGE Stanley Kubrick fan so we constantly argue over which version was better. Yes the Kubrick version was very good but this one was so much more emotionally driven. The awesome 1940's style and the beautiful cinematography lends such an easy beauty to the story. Plus it helps that Jeremy Irons was a babe back then.
Best Scene: The scene in which Humbert, now driven crazy by his paranoia and jealousy comes back to the hotel room to find a dishevelled Lolita waiting for him and the have intensely upsetting sex, Humbert knowing that it will be the last time. Both actors in this scene are amazing and it truly is the climax the movie was building up to until this point. It's just an amazing scene.
Title: Lost In Translation (2003)
Quote: "The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you."
About: Bob Harris is an American film actor, far past his prime. He visits Tokyo to appear in commercials, and he meets Charlotte, the young wife of a visiting photographer. Bored and weary, Bob and Charlotte make ideal if improbable traveling companions. Charlotte is looking for "he place in life", and Bob is tolerating a mediocre stateside marriage. Both separately and together, they live the experience of the American in Tokyo. Bob and Charlotte suffer both confusion and hilarity due to the cultural and language differences between themselves and the Japanese. As the relationship between Bob and Charlotte deepens, they come to the realization that their visits to Japan, and one another, must soon end. Or must they?
Why?: This is one of those movies that I'm not entirely sure why I like. Sure it's uber stylish in it's simply lack of stlyishness. But in all honesty, nothing really happens. And I think that might be the reason why I like it. It's not like all those other movies where nothing happens where when you're done watching it you're like "What was the point?" I think the point of this movie is that the point hasn't really been made yet... does that make sense? Sure the acting in this movie is superb and the mix of an incredible score by Pheonix and the insanely beautiful visions of Tokyo definitely makes this movie awesome. I think the real genius of this movie is that it makes you wonder all the different things that are yet to happen to both characters, whether you believe those happenings will happen to them together or separately. It's a movie that I come back to again and again.
Best Scene: Though there are many great scenes in this movie to choose from, including the much talked about farewell scene, my favourite is a small one. Right after their night of Karaoke when Bob is carrying a sleeping Charlotte back to her hotel room and puts her to bed. I love the complexity of this scene. So many things are happening, but in that truthfully small way that things happen.