Sad to say, I have been too busy recently to write for Elan. However, I managed one idle afternoon this past week to take stock of all the wonderful (and, in some cases, less than wonderful) films I've seen over the years. Film is something I've taken quite seriously since the age of sixteen, when my friends and I took the bold step of founding our own film club of sorts. We called it Cult Movie Night and held it normally on Friday evenings back in my hometown of Burlington, Ontario.
It wasn't long, however, before we found ourselves viewing more than mere 'cult films.' Soon, we were watching a wide range of great films, at first primarily American, but eventually European ones also. Several of my best friends at the time attempted to create their own films, often as creative projects for high school English classes. We also took to seeing new and classic foreign films at the Broadway Cinema, then Hamilton's premier art house theatre, which doubled at the time as the city's most stimulating art gallery.
Shortly after completing high school I embarked on a personal study of the history of film, inspired especially by a list of great films passed down to me by a friend's older brother, who for several years had aspired to become the next Al Pacino.
And I have been going out of my way to watch great films ever since.
So, without further ado, here is an alphabetical list of my sixty personal favourite films, including their titles, directors, and year of release. Most of my choices I would assume others might support as well, though there are no doubt films in my list whose virtues are peculiar to my own personal tastes. Nevertheless ... happy reading, and, perhaps, as well, happy viewing ...
My 30 Personal Favourite Films
-American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999)
-Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
-Baraka (Ron Fricke, 1992)
-Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
-The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)
-Che (Steven Soderberg, 2008)
-Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee 2000)
-Cyrano de Bergerac (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1990)
-Dead Poet's Society (Peter Weir, 1989)
-The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991)
-Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)
-8 and a Half (Federico Fellini, 1963)
-Ferris Bueller's Day Off (John Hughes, 1986)
-Gandhi (Richard Attenborough, 1982)
-The Godfather I (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
-Koyaanisquatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1983)
-The Lives of Others (Florean Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
-A Month in the Country (Pat O'Connor, 1987)
-Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004)
-No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers, 2007)
-Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005)
-Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994)
-The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
-The Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
-A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951)
-The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)
-The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
-Waterwalker (Bill Mason, 1986)
-Witness (Peter Weir, 1985)