Since the beginning of film in 1878, the industry has grown & bloomed throughout the following 20th & 21st centuries. Film has become a form of escapism; to leave behind the real world & submerge yourself in an alternative world. Whether it be horror, dramas, sci-fi, or even simply a chick-flick, there’s something for everyone. Here, we take you through, what could be considered, some of the must-watch films. From ghastly gripping dramas to chilling psychological thrillers, here are some of the best.
Pulp Fiction, 1994
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Tarantino’s iconic film has evidently become a cult favourite amongst film lovers. Though a reappropriated collage of his foreign, noir influences, Pulp Fiction is widely regarded as innovative in terms of the Hollywood narrative. Furthermore, it possesses perhaps the greatest dialogue of all time.
The Shining, 1980
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick had forever been an incredibly artistic director. His 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining is now one of the most loved & known horror films of all time. Infamous for its array of vibrant interpretations from film fanatics, The Shining is a psychologically terrifying confusion of ambiguity. Symbolic both in terms of narrative and imagery, it is on the surface an intriguing study of the human psyche, not to mention the film that revolutionized tracking shots with the invention of Steadicam.
Blue Velvet, 1986
Directed by David Lynch
Lynch’s masterpiece exploring the horrors beneath suburbia uses the aesthetics of the American dream and the seedy underbelly of Americana, with dream-like cinematography, to create a certain surrealistic beauty to the film, investigating disturbed characters and female subjugation.
The Basketball Diaries, 1995
Directed by Scott Calvert
This coming-of-age film adaptation of the book, of the same name, by Jim Carroll follows the heartbreaking story of a boy who loses it all to heroin addiction.
The Godfather, 1972
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Known as one of the greatest films of all time, The Godfather is a truly iconic mob drama. With The Godfather, Coppola had the choice to make it into a drama mafia story. Instead, he chose to film it as a strong metaphor for the experience of an Italian Immigrant in America during the 1940’s.
Directed by Danny Boyle Irvine Welsh denied several directors the rights to his novel detailing the troubled lives of heroin addicts in Brit-pop crazed, socially unjust Edinburgh. It was only when Boyle suggested his vision of creating a slick and funky interpretation of what other directors wished to create a social realistic piece with that the rights were sold. The result is a heavily stylized sub-cultural phenomenon with perhaps the greatest soundtrack of all time.
Lost In Translation, 2003
Directed by Sofia Coppola One of few films to earn a female director an Oscar nomination, Lost In Translation is a dreamy exploration of two confused souls falling, awkwardly, in love against the backdrop of a globalized Tokyo’s neon haze. Nuanced character studies, criticisms of appropriation, a dreamy shoegaze score and cinematography awash with colour create one of the most beautifully suppressed love stories.
Paris, Texas, 1986 Directed by Wim Wenders German director Wim Wenders crafts a story of a lost man in adoration and alienation, extracted from his hapless wanderings through the American desert and given new purpose through his young son and lost partner. This film displays perhaps the most beautiful cinematography, with pastel sunsets, vibrant neon motels and the bleak landscape of Americana, hospitable only to the lost and loveless.
Incendies, 2010 Directed by Denis Villenueve Based around a militant female communist during the Palestinian civil war, Incendies focuses on dark themes of female subjugation and incest. Punctuated with powerful imagery, compelling performances and impressive connoted symbolism, it is a roller-coaster ride of loss and shock, with analytical commentaries on the religious and military state of contemporary middle eastern politics, and perhaps has of the most incredulously nauseating twist endings.
The Skin I Live In, 2011 Directed by Pedro Almodovar Another twist ending comes from the pioneer of queer cinema Almodovar. It’s difficult to prove a synopsis due to the films frequent unexpected twists and turns, but it follows an unstable surgeon on a quest to create a fully synthetic skin for burns victims proceeding the death of his wife in a car crash. Almodovar is a master of narrative pacing and provides bizarre, surreal imagery in this effort that may burn itself into your memory.
Un Chien Andalou, 1929 Directed by Luis Bunuel This art-house short was co-directed by infamous surrealist artist Salvador Dali. An allegorical narrative of the disturbing and the macabre, it is an early example of the surrealist cinema movement that provoked audiences to vomit in cinemas – mainly over the incredibly innovative slicing of the eyeball.
Fish Tank, 2009 Directed by Andrea Arnold British cinema, along with French expressionism, has pioneered the social realist movement. Arnold’s post-Loachian drama following a working class 15-year-old girl in her exploration of maturity and her illicit affair with her stepfather. The film uniquely uses a 4:3 ration to convey a sense of being trapped in one’s deprivation, and involves incredible performances from its cast, heightening its bleak tone.
- Moonlight, 2016
- The Exorcist, 1974
- The Wizard Of Oz, 1939
- To Kill A Mockingbird, 1962
- Clueless, 1995
- Apocalypse Now, 1979
- Psycho, 1960
- Dogtooth, 2009
- Eraserhead, 1979
- Taxi Driver, 1976
- Spirited Away, 2001
- The Royal Tenebaums, 2001
- The Piano Teacher, 2001
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 1992
Co-written by Abi (user: @visions0falife) and guest-writer, Morgan Till.
Featured image: Exepose