I am a mad film buff. I am in fact wild for films so choosing just 10 is a challenge, to say the least. I spent the day thinking about it and what the criteria should be. In my opinion, it boils down to the director as it is very much their medium. There are so many incredible storytellers who I would want to recommend but then of course there are also the marvellous actors with their skill and charisma …Well anyway, I could ramble on and on so why not just get to the list.
1. Cabaret (1972)
Director: Bob Fosse
Made in the 1970s, it has stood the test of time. Based on Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories, it depicts the life of unconventional characters as Nazism rises in the 1930s. The musical numbers all take place in the Kit Kat Club and the singers don’t actually break into the singing in the middle of the street, which gives this musical a modern edge that even resonates today. The cast led by Liza Minnelli, who won an Oscar for her role, is superb. It is a must-watch for a film aficionado or those who want to be one.
2. Boogie Nights (1997)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
One of my all-time favourite directors’ first big hit, Boogie Nights is impeccably directed and written. The opening scene with its rambling one-take shot is worth the watch. The director deals with multiple characters deftly with dialogue that is hilarious and heart-breaking. For a film set in the porn industry, it is not sordid at all and instead humanises the people involved. It has a remarkable ensemble cast, including Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds and the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman and many more.
3. In the Mood for Love (2000)
Director: Wong Kar-wai
This Hong Kong film is one of the most elegant motion pictures ever made; a charming love story in which a lot is left unsaid. In the Mood for Love will leave you breathless with its style, cinematography, romance and gorgeous musical score, not to forget the divine clothes worn by the heroine.
4. The Age of Innocence (1993)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Not the first film that comes to mind when talking Martin Scorsese but one of my absolute favourites. New York high society in the 19th century is quite similar to any mafia family in a modern Scorsese film. The rules and the stifling responsibilities are beautifully illustrated in this film based on Edith Wharton’s classic novel. The cast is superb with the incredible Daniel Day Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. It’s a beautiful film where every frame is a delight.
5. The Sound of Music (1965)
Director: Robert Wise
The hills are alive! Based on the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music is an undisputed classic and has been playing in some cinema or the other since it came out, some 50 years ago. If you have not seen it then I don’t know where you have been living. It’s a feel-good family romp. The crystalline Julie Andrews leads the cast with the moody broody Christopher Plummer and the bunch of Von Trapp children who sing their way across the Alps, fleeing the Nazis. Each song is a delight and it’s the kind of film that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
6. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
One of the most stylish action films ever made, Kill Bill is a thrill from beginning to end. The fight sequences, the characters, the dialogue, the humour! All of it is razor sharp and riveting and if not for anything, see Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu go at it in the snow with samurai swords as Santa Esmeralda’s version of Don’t let me be Misunderstood plays. This film is a must-watch! Mr Tarantino is a mad genius and no one writes dialogue like him or puts together a soundtrack like him.
7. Boyhood (2014)
Director: Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater’s magnum opus filmed over a period of several years, Boyhood is a remarkable picture in which the characters actually grow in real-time. It’s a sensitive slice of life’s everyday trials and tribulations and growing up. It’s a naturalistic tour de force; a subtle, emotional, beautiful gem of a film. While Patricia Arquette gives an Academy Award winning performance, everyone in this film is brilliant.
8. Annie Hall (1977)
Director: Woody Allen
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen make for an iconic pairing in this classic. I cannot have a film list without my weird and wonderful Allen. Annie Hall is a delightfully neurotic film about a relationship that does not last. Nobody writes like Allen. He makes funny look so easy! And let’s not forget the Keaton’s Ralph Lauren clothes.
9. Notorious (1964)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock, need I say more? It is one of the most elegant, sexy and thrilling films ever made. Just watch it!
10. Gosford Park (2001)
Director: Robert Altman
An upstairs downstairs whodunit set in an English country home in the 1930s, Gosford Park is the inspiration for Downton Abbey, also written by Julian Fellowes. It might not be the best film of Robert Altman’s career but it’s one of my favourites. Dame Maggie Smith is a delight as is the icy Kristin Scott Thomas. Dame Helen Mirren is excellent as usual as is the entire ensemble cast.
Courtesy : Express Tribune