Thursday, December 8, 2011
#6 - Do The Right Thing - This blew the roof off African-America, hip hop, street fashion, and sneakers for every one outside NY. If you grew up in NY, you already know, but for a kid in Orlando who's only connection were Puerto Ricans who moved South or Jews that relocated and a subscription to The Source, Do the Right Thing was it... There are so many memorable scenes: love/hate, brothers on the wall, bird fan smudgin' buggin' out's Jordan's, Rosie Perez's intro, WLOVE, johnny pumps, etc. The Martin-Malcolm dilemma that's played out through the film is super ill and a question for the ages. It's something there's no answer to but the discourse is the purpose. I'm a sucker for films that capture neighborhoods, an era, and a people, Spike done did it with this one. Live from Bed-Stuy...
#5 - Rear Window - Like DRT, Rear Window captures a neighborhood. But, no one moves a camera quite like Hitchcock. Besides maybe Citizen Kane or Breathless, I think Rear Window has the most interesting framing and movement to the camera. I'm no expert so I'm sure there's better or more obscure, but I just like this movie. The thing that gets me with Hitchcock films is how well he integrates and consistently applies themes throughout the film. Whether it's doppelgangers in Strangers on a Train or "gaze" in Rear Window, it's dope. Truth be told, watching Rear Window and then reading feminist criticisms of it are pretty dope. The idea of "gaze" in the film is really cool because you think about it, what better set-up to explore social hierarchy than to see a neighborhood in the context of apartments through Jimmy Stewart's window. Classic white man in cat bird seat steez. It's interesting on a lot of levels.
#4 Good Will Hunting - It'll make more sense when the book comes out, but growing up a reluctant "gifted" kid who was bussed to schools and then caught 2 assaults... This was my movie. It was always fun to walk around with my Mecca shit on, having people assume I was a dumb ass, and then son the shit out of them. The Howard Zinn shout-out is super ill too. For anyone that lived on one side, but understood another... this is your film. It's all about duality and finding happiness on your own terms regardless where you're from or where others want you to go...
#3 Royal Tennenbaums - Yo Wes Anderson has been shark bit to death, but this is my dude. I FUX WIT THIS SHIT. It might be the whitest thing I've ever liked, but in a way, it's the least white thing as well. It's mad honest about being dysfunctional and from the minority perspective, I think that's one of our biggest beefs with white people. We feel like we're always being judged for the way our families operate, but they're just as fucked up. That's why we all fuck with Kenny Powers too. He's real and white haha. Rachel Ray, Kelly Ripa, these other chicks are Stepford wives. We want to see the real, which is why I kinda didn't mind Martha so much after she did a bid. I mean, damn, she just trying to get her paper, I can't hate on that. I write about my boy, Warren, a lot and this was pretty much the first film we both agreed on.
From a filmmaking perspective, Wes Anderson, like Hitchcock is a master of creating themes, looks, mis-en-scene and then sticking to it. It's not half assed, it's not a ploy, it's not a gimmick, and actually supersedes every thing else in the film. The tone, the voice, the image, are all enhanced by the mis-en-scene and it's arguable that Anderson is the father of hipster fashion, culture, and voice... When I read about the Ronsons, I just imagine them as the Tennenbaums. I think they might have even done a spread framed as the Tennenbaums. Anderson deals with childhood/family themes in a lot of his movies and I'm a stuck in the past type too. I like red sauce italian, chinese restaurants with lazy susans, and the mcrib. What can I say? I don't want to grow up.
#2 Annie Hall - I'm a huge fan of Manhattan, but Annie Hall is it for me. Manhattan is a better looking film visually, it captures the city, but Annie Hall has these insights into the human condition that fucking kill you! Woody breaks shit down and explains things you think about in fucking circles. After it all, you're left with an "egg" joke that pretty much explains every thing you need to know about women and men. As a neurotic Asian who went to a Yeshiva and loves Brooklyn, I had no choice but to love this film.
P.S. Pay attention to the jump-cuts. Woody likes French films and you can see the Godard influence... Thanks Dr. Boles
#1 - There is no name to this film. If someone says the "Greatest Film Ever Made" you know, what it is. If this isn't #1 on your list, we can't be friends. It's that simple. Greatest film ever made and it's not even up for debate. I watch this easily 3 times a year. Especially when negotiating deals haha. It's Sun Tzu for the West.
If you got a top 5, put it in the comments!