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Ten movies you should see

The intention of this list is not to rank what are, presumably, the top 10 most loved films of all time, but to give a nod to 10 films that the avid movie buff may have overlooked. They certainly aren’t for everyone, and I can’t guarantee they will all be equally regarded as appropriate picks. However, they are all unique in their obscurity, timelessness and their cult following. Enjoy.

Paper Moon (1973)
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writer: Joe David Brown, Alvin Sargent
Actors: Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn

It’s a one-of-a-kind piece set during the Great Depression. Filmed in black and white, as part of its charm, the story follows a con man and his inevitable realization of the virtue of friendship and family.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
Director: Tom Tykwer
Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman

Based on the 1985 novel “Perfume” by German author Patrick Süskind, this film makes the list because of its intoxicating cinematography, superior story structure and perhaps one of the most profound endings in movie history.

Sunshine (2007)
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Actors: Cillian Murphey, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans

“Sunshine” is a science-fiction thriller. It puts into perspective the overbearing effort and comprehension of physics it would take to solve a problem as daunting as reigniting the sun – a task many of us can’t even fathom but may soon find ourselves attempting to.

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Director/Writer: Joel and Ethan Coen
Actors: Gabriel Byrne, John Marcia Gay Harden

This film is a lesser-known Coen Bros. classic and an exemplar of gangster film noir. This film caused the brothers years of writers’ block while they tried to make sure the dialogue was authentic, and the plot as complex as it was entertaining. Watch it thrice. Seriously. There is a lot going on in there.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

Director: George Clooney

Writer: Charlie Kaufman

Actors: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore

It’s based off of the memoirs of popular game show host and producer Chuck Barris, who claimed he was an assassin moonlighting for the CIA. It’s everything you never knew you wanted to know about something that probably didn’t happen.

Adaptation (2002)

Director: Spike Jonze

Writer: Charlie Kaufman (screenplay), Susan Orlean (book)

Actors: Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper

It’s a film about writing an adaptation of the book on which the film is loosely based. Never before has that process been so fascinating or so new.

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (2006)

Director/Writer: Mike Clattenburg

Actors: Ricky, Julian, Bubbles

This movie, like the television show, was made with so much love and dedication from its creators that it will call the attention of anyone who knows what it’s like to be poor, proud and funny.

East of Eden (1955)

Director: Elia Kazan

Actors: James Dean, Julie Harris

This one is loosely based on the second half of the novel “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. It is, perhaps, the perfect movie.

Irreversible (2002)

Director/Writer: Gaspar Noé

Actors: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel

This makes the list because it makes “Pink Flamingo” look like “You’ve Got Mail.” I warn you, this is a treacherous and gruesome flick, to say the least. I had to fast-forward through many parts. But it raises an interesting question: by watching a movie in reverse, does the ending justify itself once the beginning has been reached?

Gas Land (2010)

Director/Writer: Josh Fox

It’s a bold and disheartening documentary. This film fights the good fight, and will have you trying to light your tap water on fire by the end of it.

Notable Mentions: They Live, Blue Velvet, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, The Life of David Gale, Bottle Rocket, The Usual Suspects, Stripes, From Hell, Boogie Nights, Brazil, Dogma, Idiocracy, Nobody’s Fool, Straw Dogs, Easy Rider, Leaving Las Vegas, City of God, Sling Blade, Garden State, Harold and Maude, American History X, Amadeus, City Lights

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  • J

    Justin BFeb 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I have seen a few of those from the old Willamette theater. Perfume was a crazy one! I’m curious, have you seen the new Justin Beiber film, what did you think of it? I believe he is the most talented individual to ever grace the earth, what do you think?