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09 June 2005

What's your favourite movie? Last New Year's I bought myself a used TV and DVD player after having lived without a TV since 1996. I'd never lived with a DVD or VCR. I also couldn't afford to go to theatres very often. So I've got a lot of catching up to do. What's your all-time-favourite, changed-your-life-philosophy, heavily-quoted-from, social-network-injoke, personal-frame-of-reference movie?
Oh, heavens: as I'm thinking about it... it seems "The Big Lebowsky"? Maybe not, I don't know. We are also way crazy about "Boogie Nights", which we have decided had some fabulous, ever-memorable, iconic scenes, but almost no fabulous lines. Oi. Will get back to you.
posted by taz 09 June | 09:17
Napolean Dynamite!

I kid. Although it is very quotable, gotta give it that.

Can I pick more than one? These are not my favorite movies per se, but these are my favorite quotable, pop-culture, in-joke referencing movies. I don't think a movie ever actually changed my life though.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Office Space
Reservoir Dogs
posted by iconomy 09 June | 09:22
Spinal Tap - you don't have to like metal to love it.
posted by dodgygeezer 09 June | 09:29
As long as we're talking about emotion and cinema, I was incredibly delighted with Zeferelli's version of "Jane Eyre". It didn't change my life, but I read the book about eleventybillion times, begininning when I was, like, eight... and he didn't fuck it up. So that has to count for something.
posted by taz 09 June | 09:30
Ooooh, and Election - I could never get bored of that movie.
posted by dodgygeezer 09 June | 09:30
The movie doesn't have to meet ALL those criteria. If you loved the movie, that's enough recommendation.

And feel free to suggest the obvious. I've never seen Star Wars - any of them.
posted by Orange Swan 09 June | 09:31
pi (low budget brilliance, Ken Ishii soundtrack.)
sexy beast (Ben Kingsley is superb)
Office Space (good fer a laugh, or ten)
posted by dabitch 09 June | 09:35
the above were all released after 1996 so I figured you missed them. 1999 for office space, 2001 for Sexy beast.. I think Pi was in 98....?

But hang on this means you missed the big-bangs like The Matrix (#1 only) Star wars, Fight Club and all those huge films (audience wise) too right?
posted by dabitch 09 June | 09:39
Grand Illusion
posted by matteo 09 June | 09:45
Well... speaking of Star Wars, I'm a huge "Dune" geek. Love the books, loved the movie. Bite me.

Also, insanely crazy about "Blade Runner". If I had to pick one over all, it might possibly Blade Runner.
posted by taz 09 June | 09:48
Dazed & Confused. Clerks. The Godfather.
posted by jonmc 09 June | 09:56
In addition to several already mentioned:
The Fisher King
Schindler's List
posted by yhbc 09 June | 10:04
Hey I did the same thing last Christmas! I was going to post a question like this to askme, but instead I got myself a blockbuster online subscription & have been slowly working my way through the movies that I always heard other people talk about & never saw. So I finally got to see Office Space & the Royal Tenenbaums & the first two episodes of Deadwood. At this point with a kid home with a broken arm, though, I've seen so many movies that they all blend together & I can't remember any of them.

My personal long term desert island favorites: the Coca-Cola Kid (strange 80s straight to video, hard to find), The Secret of Roan Inish & The Man Who Would Be King - and anything by Miyazake: if you haven't seen Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, you should. Even if you think you don't like anime. Currently my son & I are slowly watching all Kurosawa's films; so far we've seen Rashomon, Seven Samurai & Hidden Fortress & they've all been great.
posted by mygothlaundry 09 June | 10:05
Here are some of my favorites off the top of my head (can't just pick one):

All the Presidents Men
Cyrano de Bergerac (with Gerard Depardieu)
Raising Arizona
Lost in Translation
The Life of Brian
The Fifth Element
Band of Brothers (mini-series)
posted by papercake 09 June | 10:18
if you haven't seen Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, you should.
I loved Princess Mononoke...fantastic movie.
posted by iconomy 09 June | 10:28
Schizopolis. Steven Soderberg runs off to do 'his own movie' The results are hilarious and thought provoking. Like he says in the beginning of the movie: "If you don't understand it, you will have to watch it over and over and over." And you will watch it over and over and over. It's really that good.
Swimming with Sharks, The Player, Bob Roberts are some other faves. Of course Office Space, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with Johnny Depp, Apollo 13, Kung Pow (a brilliant satire of Kung Fu films) and Down With Love. This should provide you with many hours of enjoyment.
posted by mk1gti 09 June | 10:31
Waiting For Guffman
Lost In Translation
Strictly Ballroom
Office Space
Cool Hand Luke
Donnie Darko
posted by rainbaby 09 June | 10:34
Seven Samurai
Riders of the Storm
Miller's Crossing
Big Lebowski
Hunter in the Dark
Hidden Fortress
Samurai Trilogy (Musashi)

(I've linked to the two somewhat obscure ones for your viewing pleasure)
posted by warbaby 09 June | 10:39
In the Mood for Love, I think.
The Seven Samurai.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
A Shot in the Dark.
posted by kenko 09 June | 10:53
Bambi Meets Godzilla
posted by quonsar 09 June | 10:54
So many good movies out there. Here's a few favorites (a couple have already been mentioned).

Ashes of Time (Kar Wai Wong)
House of Flying Daggers (Yimou Zhang)
Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)
Lone Star (John Sayles)
Fargo (Coen Bros.)
Miller's Crossing (Coen Bros.)
She's Gotta Have It (Spike Lee)
Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach)
Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman)
Barcelona (Whit Stillman)
Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh)
Spanish Prisoner (David Mamet)
Heist (David Mamet)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)
Rushmore (Wes Anderson)

And piece de resistance:

Blue Streak (Les Mayfield directs Martin Lawerence)
posted by safetyfork 09 June | 11:11
Dead Poet's Society
Hotel Rwanda
The Hustler
Monsoon Diary
posted by darsh 09 June | 11:12
Of course Office Space

Am I the only one on the internets that doesn't like this movie?
posted by papercake 09 June | 11:14
If I had to pick just one in terms of personal "frame of reference" and constant in-joking amongst cohorts it would probably be a tie between: Kicking and Screaming, Last Days of Disco, and Rushmore.

Damn, I also forgot The Faculty (Robert Rodriguez).
posted by safetyfork 09 June | 11:18
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Total Recall
Paths of Glory
Tokyo Olympiad
Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Das Boot
Pathfinder (Ofelas)

Without all of which I would be nothing.
posted by Hugh Janus 09 June | 11:20
papercake: yes.
posted by matildaben 09 June | 11:20
papercake: no. I thought it was just, well, okay. Still I had to see it.
posted by mygothlaundry 09 June | 11:22
Looking at my dvds (I only buy movies that I absolutely love) I would have to say:

Royal Tenenbaums
The Graduate
Heathers (my most quoted movie ever, it's not a great movie by any stretch, but I love it anyways)
Clockwork Orange
Spinal Tap
Sunset Boulevard
Best in Show
The Station Agent

...and that's all the films I own! (tv shows on the other hand...)
posted by gaspode 09 June | 11:25
Road Warrior - with Mel Gibson

(and, of course, Terminator)
posted by sarah connor 09 June | 11:48
Mash by Robert Altman (So, so good.)
Nashville is also good.
posted by omiewise 09 June | 11:51
matildaben: oh. damn.

mygothlaundry: oh. good.
posted by papercake 09 June | 11:55
papercake, I thought it sucked.
posted by kenko 09 June | 11:57
kenko: right on. I thought there were a few funny (definitely quoteable) bits in it, but whoever edited the movie should learn about a little something called pacing. Although, perhaps that makes it the perfect DVD movie -- skip to the funny bits ("my 'O' face") and skip the so-called plot.
posted by papercake 09 June | 12:04
Star Wars (original)
Whale Rider
Last of the Mohicans
The Godfather I&II (III was ok)
Fifth Element
Blade Runner
Indiana Jones I&III (II was ok)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
A Christmas Story
Finding Nemo
Monsters, Inc.
Terminator 2
Lost in Translation
Leon/The Professional
Starship Troopers (shut up)

And I adore costume dramas: Emma, Elizabeth, Room with a View, Sense and Sensibility, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice (BBC mini-series), The Age of Innocence, Howard's End, Mrs. Brown, Shakespeare in Love, Dangerous Liaisons.

I'm nothing if not eclectic.
posted by deborah 09 June | 12:08
I won't duplicate a bunch that have been listed above, but:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Stranger than Paradise
posted by matildaben 09 June | 12:21
The Thief of Bagdad 1940's version
Amazing Grace
Dirty Dancing
Pulp Fiction
Pirates of the Carribean
Cool Hand Luke
Fight Club
posted by Tarrama 09 June | 12:44
Many of the above, and don't tell anybody, but...Demolition Man.
posted by puddinghead 09 June | 13:02
Totally. The part in Demo Man where they're talking about President Schwarzenegger is priceless, er, creepy. Both.
posted by Hugh Janus 09 June | 13:03
taz-Dune? I love the books, but the Lynch movie is so hard to watch. My best friend loves it, but we argue about it all the time. I want to love it so much, but I can't.

Pride & Prejudice
Last of the Mohicans (cheesy, I know, but I keep going back)

quonsar-I love love love Bambi Meets Godzilla, but I always forget to list it.
posted by omiewise 09 June | 13:19
Let me throw in a plug for one of my favorite movie sites. I confess: I love terrible movies & I am just happy sometimes to sit down and watch Gamara movies until my eyes fall out of my head. The Creature from Crater Lake? The Car? Killer Klowns from Outer Space? I adore ridiculous monster movies. And everything Hammer Films or Troma ever made. And all the Tremors movies - just brilliant.
posted by mygothlaundry 09 June | 13:35
Hudsucker Proxy.
posted by hopeless romantique 09 June | 13:48
Great list! Here's what I'd add, without trying to duplicate suggestions:

American Beauty
Il Postino
Born Romantic
Woman On Top
Iron Giant
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
The Incredibles
The American Astronaut

The last one is a 'space-age Western musical' high on absurdist humor by the folks in The Billy Nayer Show. It may be a little hard to track down, but well worth the effort.
posted by Frisbee Girl 09 June | 13:49
Of many, The Roots Of Heaven is one.
posted by y2karl 09 June | 13:49
Schizopolis (seriously watch it at least twice, then again a few days later)
Office Space
I [heart] Huckabees
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Anything Wes Anderson:Rushmore, The Royal Tennenbaums, Bottle Rocket, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
American Graffiti
American Psycho
North by Northwest
The Wall
Wizards (bizzarre Ralph Bakshi cartoon)
posted by Schyler523 09 June | 14:44
A lot of my favorites have already been mentioned, but my all-time most quoted movie by far is When Harry Met Sally.

"Oh yeah, and babyfishmouth is sweeping the nation."
posted by grapefruitmoon 09 June | 14:44
mygothlaundry, yeah, Tremors I is totally awesome. I love the special features on the DVD.
posted by matildaben 09 June | 15:44
Animal House will teach you what to do in any social situation.
posted by LarryC 09 June | 15:50
The Hustler
True Stories
On the Waterfront
Big Night (like the movie just fine, but it's on the list because it has my all-time favorite last scene)
Oklahoma! (I know, I know, but the scenes with Rod Steiger are worth it)

posted by mudpuppie 09 June | 16:51
Buckaroo Banzai's Adventures Across the 8th Dimension
The Duelists
Hard Times
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
Lawrence of Arabia
Tunes of Glory
Extreme Prejudice
You Only Live Once
Apple War
King of Hearts
posted by warbaby 09 June | 17:10
Doctor Strangelove
Paths of Glory
The Killing
La Jettee
The Three Musketeers
The Four Musketeers
The Revenge of the Musketeers
En Garde
Captain Blood
The Black Swan
Blackbeard (just for Robert Newton chewing the scenery)
Wages of Fear
The Third Man
posted by warbaby 09 June | 17:15
La belle et la bÍte (Beauty and the Beast - Cocteau)
Saint Jack
Hollywood Boulevard
posted by warbaby 09 June | 17:34
I think warbaby has a thing for swords.
posted by mudpuppie 09 June | 18:30
How could I forget Tremors?!

And I, like, totally forgot the five sacred 80s teen movies:

The Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink
Sixteen Candles
St. Elmo's Fire

and last, but certainly not least,

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
posted by deborah 09 June | 20:12
Paths of Glory (1957) Seconded.

Rushmore (1999) Seconded.

Eternal Sunshine. . . (2004) Seconded.

posted by mlis 10 June | 00:20
Battle of Algiers (1965) Amazing and topical.

Full Metal Jacket (1987) Foul language, graphic violence, disturbing images. That said, the most realistic depiction of US military boot camp (circa mid-1960's) ever filmed.

The Right Stuff (1983) Also an amazing book. About the US space program from Yeager (Sam Shepherd) breaking the sound barrier to the Mercury 7 astronauts.

Your Friends and Neighbors (1998) Not a feel good movie at all, but Catherine Keener is fantastic.

Adaptation (2002) Amazing film - run out and rent it today!

Raging Bull (1980) Brutal. If you don't mind a boxing movie, you will understand why everyone makes a fuss about DiNiro after seeing this movie.

Trois couleurs: Bleu (1993), Blanc (1994) and Rouge (1994).
posted by mlis 10 June | 00:21
"Grand Illusion"

I am seething with rage. That was what I was going to say!

Well, other than that, I would venture to say that Last Life in the Universe, Hotel Rwanda, City of God and Harold and Maude have all been very important movies for me.
posted by invitapriore 10 June | 00:42
Raging Bull (1980) Brutal. If you don't mind a boxing movie, you will understand why everyone makes a fuss about DiNiro after seeing this movie.

mlis, in case you didn't catch it, Scorsese's editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, was on Fresh Air recently. She talked a lot about Raging Bull. I liked it okay when I saw it for the first time a few years ago, but the interview made me want to run out and buy the anniversary DVD. There's a lot I missed the first time around.

Check out that interview.
posted by mudpuppie 10 June | 00:54
mudpuppie: I caught the end when Schoonmaker was dsicussing her marriage. Thanks for reminding me! I will get the whole interview tomorrow.
posted by mlis 10 June | 01:04
Anyone want a copy of "The Thief, the Cook, His Wife and Her Lover?" Stupid blockbuster sent it long ago after i cancelled my "free" membership--

the only movie that reliably make the list for me of the top of my head:
the jerk

loved Hegwig and the Angry Inch, Harold and Maude, Buckaroo Banzai, Bladerunner, Wes Anderson stuff, a lot of what's mentioned (how do you people make lists?!)

Fight Club is great on dvd, as are tv shows (nothing like knowing you have a bulk of eps to rely on)

Movies i can always watch then they are on:
Spalding Gray monologues, Waking Life, period pieces of the Merchant Ivory kind, sorry, brain cloud coming in--

Amazing movies i don't think i ever need to see again:
Breaking the Waves, Bent

recently liked Tokyo Godfathers
*waiting for the Adventures of Pete & Pete in the mail*
posted by ethylene 10 June | 18:25
apparently the cheese stands alone
and i'm swiss

it's just me and Brazil
posted by ethylene 30 June | 15:41
oh, i add Dangerous Liasons
i'm not sure how it stands up,
but that's another cast i'd reassemble
posted by ethylene 04 July | 03:08
C'mon...don't be us your mug! || Celtschmerz!