– No Wes Anderson!?
– No Tarantino!?
– Requiem For A Dream!?
– No animated films!?
Putting together a list like this is much like trying to explain to your girlfriend why you were staring at that blond girl’s cleavage all night. You’re going to get in trouble no matter what you say, so you might as well be honest.
So here it is. My attempt at picking the top 15 films of this decade. And my God was it hard. The list changes pretty much daily. It’s a floating selection, a living creature, constantly changing. The only thing I’m sure of is that the top 5 on this list will always make the top 15. As for the rest, they could easily loose their place depending on day and mood. Thats how vague it is.
That said I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed in myself. The list is fairly obvious. Some surprises, but mostly films you’ll find at the top of IMDB. But let’s get down to it and you can see for yourself.
Chris Nolan might just be the most important director of this decade and could have easily had four spots on my list. However, I only gave him two. The first one goes to his brilliant memory mystery, Memento.
Now, where was I? Yes, Chris Nolan might just be the most important director of this decade, and, yes, Chris Nolan might just be the most important director of this decade, and where was I, yes, Chris Nolan might just be the most important director of this decade, and could have easily had four films on my list.
Where am I?
Some people, me included, see the world as an endless set of lists. Whether it’s the top 5 things you want for dinner, the 15 best films of this decade or your top 5 records to play on a Monday morning. It does not matter. It’s our way of understanding the world in which we live in.
So when Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity came along, it was like if he grabbed a hold of our sense of reality and put it in to words. Stephen Frears then turned those words into film, and did so without loosing as much as a drop of the books’ essence.
It’s geeky, funny and most importantly it’s one of the most quotable films of this decade.
«Sometimes I got so bored of trying to touch her breast that I would try to touch her between her legs. It was like trying to borrow a dollar, getting turned down, and asking for 50 grand instead.»
In this world there are a chosen few whose creativity is beyond the limits of what us ordinary people could ever begin to imagine. And then, beyond them you have Michel Gondry. His music videos display a level of creativity that always seem to leave me baffled. So when he teamed up with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, first for Human Nature, and then again for their masterpiece Eternal Sunshine, it was pretty much evident that the result had to be something extraordinary.
The story is captivating, and the film’s theme stays in your mind for days and days after you’ve seen it. And Jim Carrey proved once and for all that he could be more than just the funny guy.
What the ..? Did they just do all of that in one take? And again? And again?
Even after seeing how they did some of the scenes, I still find it hard to fathom that they managed to pull it off. The film is basically a showmanship in technical- and directing skills from Cuarón and his crew. At the same time it’s a captivating story that’s hard to forget.
Put a bunch of Japanese teenagers on an island and have them kill each other off. One by one they fall. It’s like if Lord of the Flies had sex with And Then There Were None and had a Japanese splatter offspring. How is it possible not to love that?
I could try to tell why I love this film, but I’d rather show you.
I remember seeing the trailer for the first time at computer party back in 9th grade. We watched it about 20 times that night.
I remember the midnight premiere screening and a sleepy attempt at the mid-term test the following day, 3 years in a row.
I remember stealing the poster from the wall outside our local cinema.
I remember the feeling of holding the 4-disc special edition, the smell of plastic, my fingers softly gliding across the cover.
I remember 12-hour LoTR-marathons, and endless screaming of “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” when encountering a fellow fan in a hallway.
Oh, and the films were great too.
If you want to look up the word “cool” in a dictionary you might just be better off by using the movie Snatch as your definition. Every young male of this decade has at some point wanted to be a gangster, all thanks to this film.
Fun fact: The word “fuck” is said 163 times in this film. With a run time of 104 minutes, that’s about 1,6 “fucks” per minute.
So brutal, so realistic, so well acted and most importantly such a good story.
I hated this film the first time I saw it. I really did. It was boring, slow paced and it didn’t really have anything to offer.
But when I saw it again a year later Icouldn’t really seem to remember why I didn’t like it. By the third and fourth time, I loved it. How did this happen? Was it Bill Murray? Scarlet Johansson? Sofia Coppola’s spot-on directing? Or had something simply happened in my life that made me connect with the story?
The truth is.. I don’t know. But I do love this film.
I remember seeing the poster for this film from a distance and thinking that it was some sort of Clint Eastwood inspired western, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhal. I laughed. Then I took a closer look, got intrigued and decided to see the film. I cried.
I could go on for hours as to why I love this film. So let’s get drunk sometime and discuss it. Until then, have a look at this excerpt from the script. And if you try to tell me that you can’t see the Joker clearly in your head when you’ve read the last line, I’d say you’re lying.
The Joker gets a switchblade in Gambol's mouth- SHARP METAL PULLING THE CHEEK TAUT. The Bounty Hunters subdue the remaining bodyguards. THE JOKER Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was a drinker and a fiend. He'd beat mommy right in front of me. One night he goes off crazier than usual, mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. The Joker TUGS Gambols cheek with the blade. THE JOKER So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. Turns to me and says 'why so serious?' Comes at me with the knife 'why so serious?' Sticks the blade in my mouth- 'Let's put a smile on that face' and... The Joker looks up at the ASHEN FACES of the remaining Body Guards. Smiles. THE JOKER Why so serious?
The film was coming to and end, and I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I had just seen. All I knew was that it was captivating.
And then, suddenly, Mad World.
So even though I couldn’t quite get a grip on the story, it felt as if all of the pieces were falling into place. In a strange way it made sense even though I couldn’t understand it.
Back in the day a friend of mine told me that this was the crappiest film he had ever seen. So I didn’t bother watching it until years after its release. I think it did me good. Because I’m not sure if I would have liked it when I was 16.
And that’s the thing about films and lists like these. My taste constantly changes so I always have to decide if I’m going to trust my present self or the me from 10 years ago.
But thanks to my friend I don’t have that problem with this film. Because by the time I saw it I was old enough to appreciate it. And now, it’s one of my favorites.
One word: Perfect.
The music, the visuals, the story, all perfect.
Since this is the number one spot on my list, I know I should probably write something more about why I love it, but the film speaks so perfectly for itself. Watch it tonight, and hopefully you’ll see what I mean.
If not, leave a comment with what you think of the list and which films you would put on yours. And then I’ll try to explain why I was staring at that blond girl’s cleavage all night.