Top 10

by Vincent Cerreta

Created 11/13/17

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  • Okay, think of four of YOUR favorite films and try to decide between any of them for the top spot - you can't. Even at that, favorites are a constantly changing thing - whatever "does" seem to be your favorite film or even the contents of your top 10 are liable to be changed on a dime. With that being said, I don't think there will ever be a time when I make an all-time favorites list where these four WON'T be on it. Each of them informed my own artistic aesthetic in their own ways: the heart, humor and empathy of Gilliam's The Fisher King, the stately beauty and murky psychology of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, the style, guilt and paranoia of DePalma's Blow Out and the elements of all of those in Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. Each one also belongs to each of the last four years of my life, informing the paths I've taken and growth I've had as a person. Without any of these films, I wouldn't be who I am today and I wouldn't be resolute in my choice to be a cinematic storyteller. This medium has the power to change whole lives and worlds - it's done wonders with mine, and I have these films to thank.

  • Show me an American citizen whose heart doesn't well up at the end of Nashville and I'll show you a Russian spy in disguise.

  • Discovering Linklater was like discovering an older brother you've always heard about in whispers around the dinner table as a precognizant child that you never met until you were in middle school - then he drops his life experiences onto you and changes your worldview and for those brief flashes he shares whole lives that exist in this finite world, you feel less alone and more alive.

  • Absolutely, pants-shittingly terrifying. Nothing cheap about the scares here - all are based in real human fears.

  • Breaking down the editing of this in college for a Japanese Film essay woke my brain up to the possibilities of cinematic storytelling - truth and fiction existing simultaneously in a twisted ouroboros chopped and screwed to the point your brain can't even function anymore. Great style, great story.

  • Scrumptious, exciting and completely emotionally-voiding at the same time - Fellini is a master critic of modern life.

  • Watched this in a Western Film Genre class in college and had absolutely zero expectations going into it - boy was I wiped out by the end. Ford takes the post-Western concept of 'no heroes' years before it even develops and adds it to the legendary OK Corral gunfight story, and still manages to create a wonderful portrait of human connection and love. These aren't superheroes; they are real men with real emotions and wistful feelings, and that makes their sacrifices to defend their homes and families (true and adopted) all the more potent.

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