100 Favourite Films from DigitalDreamDoor.com - Page 1 of 4
Criteria: 100 Favourite Films from DigitalDreamDoor.com movie forum users. (wantabodylikeme, ClashWho, Two Headed Boy, Dreww, Smallows, pnoom, Deany, Zach, Sherick, PBR Streetgang, pauldrach, pave, Sodacake, Vil, Adequate Gatsby, Fincher, George, Joe C, tudwell, Sanjuro, Rudy Rules, Lostio, That_guy, Ryan, Jess, Snoogans, Foggy Notion, Quixote, tyler, monga18, Avery Island, Forgotten Son, ahawk, led for your head, rockvirtuoso)
Compiled By: Quinnsy Lohan
List Begun: 2013-06-28
100. Night of the Living Dead
1968 - Director: George A. Romero
"Night of the Living Dead came out of nowhere, or to be more precise, Pittsburgh, and turned into the most influential horror film since Psycho. George Romero's remarkably assured debut deflates all genre clichés. It traded the expressionistic sets of the traditional fright flick for a neorealistic style - Romero's use of natural locations and grainy black and white gave his gorefest the look and feel of a doc... This was Middle America at war, and the zombie carnage seemed a grotesque echo of the conflict then raging in Vietnam."
Night of the Living Dead photo courtesy of Image Ten
99. Beauty and the Beast
1991 - Director: Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise
"Beauty and the Beast" is one of the films to put Disney on the map. With a tale as old as time, this fairytale is more believable than most of the animations that come from this studio. Having a down-on-her-luck girl being wanted by a man who she despises, she gives up her life to save her father, where she finds herself confronted with a scary beast. The destiny of the film unfolds and will warm everyone's heart while watching it unravel. It's a film that will never falter or fail to impress, no matter how many times you watch it. With perfect writing and a story that will be remembered forever, "Beauty and the Beast" is one of the best Disney films out there to date!"
Beauty and the Beast photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
98. 28 Days Later
2002 - Director: Danny Boyle
"Like the best horror movies, the attacks by the savage infected mutations are sudden, often breaking a quiet moment of reflection and creating overwhelming tension and suspense as one never knows when the "infected" will attack again. The entire movie is riveting from beginning to end never letting go of your attention thanks to Boyle's brilliant pacing which makes sure you never know what will happen next."
28 Days Later photo courtesy of DNA Films
97. American Beauty
1999 - Director: Sam Mendes
"An acerbic, darkly comic critique of how social conventions can lead people into false, sterile and emotionally stunted lives, "American Beauty" is a real American original. Multilayered, bracingly resourceful and tweaked to push its many brash ideas to the edge and beyond, this independent-minded feature represents a stunning card of introduction for two cinematic freshmen, screenwriter Alan Ball and director Sam Mendes."
American Beauty photo courtesy of DreamWorks SKG
1940 - Walt Disney Productions
"Sixty-five years after its 1940 release, Walt Disney's self-styled exercise in "a new form of screen entertainment" remains a masterpiece of the art of animation. The concept and some of the episodes are tainted with kitsch, but there's no other animated film with its scope and ambition—it is, in Otis Ferguson's words, "one of the strange and beautiful things that have happened in the world."
Fantasia photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
95. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
1977 - Director: George Lucas
"The start of an amazing mythology, and the beginning of one of the most well known movie franchises of all time. This story tells the journey of how a young man gains knowledge of the universe he lives in, and becomes a force to be reckoned with. It is classic Hollywood storytelling at its finest. The characters, the world, and the meaning behind everything is what really sticks out, and I love this film for that. A movie does not have to be perfect, to feel perfect. "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" is fantastic filmmaking and perfect storytelling."
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope photo courtesy of Lucasfilm/Twentieth Century Fox
94. Yi Yi: A One and a Two
2000 - Director: Edward Yang
"One of the best films of the year, Edward Yang's Yi Yi combines a diagnosis of modern times with seemingly old-fashioned 'literary' storytelling - scene by scene it's slow, character-focused and dense with realistic detail, while the sprawling, coincidence-laden plot harks back to the nineteenth-century novel. The references to globalisation and the software industry are pointedly up-to-date, yet the themes are scarcely new: the shock of change, the failure of tradition, and the question of how to stay human in the midst of an impersonal, profit-driven society."
Yi Yi: A One and a Two photo courtesy of AtomFilms
1966 - Director: Ingmar Bergman
"Persona is perhaps Bergman's most enduring masterpiece precisely because of the work's complex, ambiguous and multi-level narrative; a key work of both psychodrama and meta-cinema...Two of major themes of this richly densely text concern the fragile, flexible nature of identity and role-playing as prescribed by society and then defined by individuals. Alma and Elisabeth cross identities after engaging in games of power and battles of control. Persona is notable for many achievements: the 'film within a film' devices, the eerie, erotic charge of the two women's agonized relationship, the super-imposition of images that suggest the protagonists' psychic dissolution and convergence."
Persona photo courtesy of Svensk Filmindustri
92. Days of Heaven
1978 - Director: Terrence Malick
"...but fans will also know that these motifs were put to their most sublimely sensuous and conveniently approachable use in 'Days of Heaven', his peach-hued masterwork from 1978. Richard Gere and Brooke Adams take time out from life to frolic in the swaying wheatfields of the Texas Panhandle, hawkishly overseen by Sam Shephard's tragic Jay Gatsby figure who eventually lets his suspicions get the better of him. Theirs is a tale of almost biblical profundity: a furtive love allowed to bloom momentarily in this glowing, golden paradise before commerce, responsibility, law and violence put a heartbreaking end to their innocent bliss. Visually and thematically, it's still one of the most beautiful films ever made."
Days of Heaven photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures
91. The Matrix
1999 - Director: Andy & Lana Wachowski
"The most striking aspect of The Matrix is obviously its visuals; highly influenced by the wire work of Asian cinema, the Wachowski Brothers cranked it up another level by creatively using computer software to pretty much perfect the action sequence. The mix of fetish wear, brilliantly designed cyber punk technology and suave actors makes for an audio visual cocktail that influenced virtually every action film that followed."
The Matrix photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
90. City of God
2002 - Director: Fernando Meirelles
"A powerful and haunting film that explores the myriad of stories that lie deep within the slums of Rio, City Of God shocks, enlightens and above all affects us by taking us into a world where drugs and organised crime are a way of life. Meirelles's intense and extraordinary film marries the rhythms and flavours of Rio seamlessly with the human drama... The visceral music pumps its way through our veins for the entire 130 minutes, colouring the violence with the very brush that is Rio. And as the fates of Rocket and L'il Ze come together, they face each other with two very different weapons: a gun and a camera. The circle of life continues and we realize that we have only just had a small taste of life in The City of God. Uncompromising and totally unforgettable, this is an experience to savour."
City of God photo courtesy of O2 Filmes
89. Early Summer
1951 - Director: Yasujiro Ozu
"Writer/director Yasujiro Ozu combines two of his favorite themes--the culture clashes in modern Japan and the emergence of the independent Japanese woman--in Early Summer (Bakushu). Setsuko Hara plays a young woman of the post-war era who is promised in an arranged marriage. But too much has happened in the world and in the girl's own life to allow her to agree to this union without protest. The characters in Early Summer are neither remote historical personages nor distant foreigners. They are types as easily recognizable in Japan as in any country, and this commonality enhances the universal appeal of this austere film."
Early Summer photo courtesy of Shôchiku Eiga
1994 - Director: Bela Tarr
"The marathon "Satan’s Tango" is a magnum opus to end all magna opera, a dark, funny, apocalyptic allegory of the Hungarian psyche that stimulates, irritates, soothes and startles with blinding strokes of genius in equal turn."
"Allegorical yet historically precise, it is an anti-authoritarian satire and metaphysical treatise. In addition, it might well be the great film of entropy. A soundscape of weary accordion and resounding bells balances the sacred and profane spheres. Formally in dynamic tension between the claustrophobic intimacy of Tarr's early influence, Cassavetes, and the rigorously choreographed grace of Tarkovsky and Jancsó, this startling, apocalyptic work is sometimes over-extended, but it builds to a powerful, rhythmic climax of breakdown and withdrawal."
Satantango photo courtesy of Mozgókép Innovációs Társulás és Alapítvány
87. Dead Man
1995 - Director: Jim Jarmusch
"A dark, bitter commentary on modern American life cloaked in the form of a surrealist western, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, a newly-orphaned accountant who leaves his home in Cleveland to accept a job in the frontier town of Machine...For a while the narrative plays out as a collection of anecdotes, a horseback road movie; then, as Blake draws nearer to death and makes it to Nobody's village, Jarmusch goes all the way into mysticism and absurdity…Physically beautiful, temperamentally reflective, "meaningless" scene for scene until you ponder it afterward, the film is itself a poem -- a meditation on death that shrugs at life but then moves beyond a shrug."
Dead Man photo courtesy of Pandora Filmproduktion
2001 - Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
"It is a rare thing to have an illuminating experience whilst watching a film, but that is exactly what is encountered with Amelie. This film is quirky and eccentric with its surrealistic sensibilities and loony characters, but never comes off as pretentious; funny and cheeky, but never resorting to immature stabs at humour. All of this is anchored by a touching lead performance from Audrey Tautou, the extremely cute, petite French actress a superb casting choice, who was more than able to bring forth her characters' complexities, eccentricities, and above all, loving warmth."
Amélie photo courtesy of Claudie Ossard Productions
85. The Mirror
1975 - Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
"This non-linear autobiographical film is considered by many Russian-speakers to be his best film and is his most personal meditation on time, history and the Russian countryside. In a series of episodes and images, he captures the mood and feeling of the period just before, during and after the war. Lyrical reminiscences of his mother and of his father's poetry figure large in the film, along with extraordinary images of nature. Combining black-and-white and color work, with some unusual documentary footage, this highly regarded movie is structured with the logic of a dream."
The Mirror photo courtesy of Mosfilm
2003 - Director: Park Chan-wook
"Park Chan-wook's Old Boy is a delirious, confronting ride, a movie full of visceral shocks and aesthetic pleasures: it has an explosive immediacy and a persistent afterlife, a lingering impact that is hard to shake. While it has scenes of considerable brutality, its violence is expressed in a range of ways: its shock value lies most of all in what it tells us about its characters and their emotions. Full of visual and auditory pleasures, it is a dense, carefully structured film, an enigma laid bare with merciless inevitability and moments of lyrical beauty. Some of its patterns and repetitions are apparent on a first encounter, but its intricacies need more than one viewing. It is, in the most disconcerting and disorienting of ways, an exhilarating movie."
Oldboy photo courtesy of Egg Films
83. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
2004 - Director: Quentin Tarantino
"Quentin Tarantino revels in the art and craft of cinema; so much so he has managed to mine all his favourite genres and make the style the substance...Kill Bill 2 is a Quentin Tarantino road movie, with each chapter bringing a new character or a fresh direction for us to follow. It’s a blast of an escapist movie - a fitting conclusion to Tarantino’s ultimate revenge movie, with a plot that never falls into the predictable, and keeping us breathless throughout."
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 photo courtesy of Miramax Films
1979 - Director: Ridley Scott
"In only his second feature-length film, Scott created a tight, controlled vision of a dark and ominous future where being alone in the universe might not seem like such a bad thing after all. He uses his camera to create a claustrophic and gripping environment where the characters and the audience can feel a sense of dread, confusion and terror as a mysterious alien creature slowly rips its way through the confined interiors of the ship. He also generates a sense of awe and enthusiasm in early scenes adequately displaying how human nature, with all its curiosity, can find fascination in the most simple and unusual situations. It's a vision of the future that is gritty and frightening while intriguing at the same time."
Alien photo courtesy of Brandywine Productions/Twentieth Century-Fox Productions
81. Schindler's List
1993 - Director: Steven Spielberg
"Perhaps the greatest argument for the sincerity and dedication Steven Spielberg put into Schindler's List is how radical a departure it was for the artist. Schindler's List is not the first film to showcase Spielberg's aesthetic mastery within the confines of more serious-minded narrative ambition, but where The Color Purple used too many tricks to tell its story and Empire of the Sun eased up on the director's visual skills for its cynical but affecting humanism, Schindler's List finds the balance. I would never presume to say the film captures even a fraction of the Holocaust; it is instead what Stanley Kubrick labeled it, not a film about six million who died but 1,000 who lived. It is worth telling the good stories with the bad; they deepen our understanding of mankind's darkest hour."
Schindler's List photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
1982 - Director: Godfrey Reggio
"Famous and influential at least as much for Ron Fricke's hypnotic cinematography as its ecology-minded message, Koyaanisqatsi has earned something of a cult following, for whom it's a mind-expanding experience. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola in 1983, Koyaanisqatsi has no actors or characters in any conventional sense. No dialogue or narration. No plot. Yet here's a film that speaks with severe beauty in a language that is pure cinema. Godfrey Reggio, who has said that his intent was to show our society overwhelmed by spectacle, distancing us from what we should instead be connecting with. From the lyrical majesty of ancient cave paintings and Monument Valley to mountain ranges and desertscapes that seem utterly unearthly, then to hyper-accelerated city lights and human traffic pulsing and blurring through the mazes of Manhattan and L.A., Reggio's exquisite visual-musical choreography reveals the subjugation of the primal by the techno-modern, all with elegant ferocity."
Koyaanisqatsi photo courtesy of IRE Productions
2000 - Director: Ridley Scott
"Ridley Scott's modern classic may take a lot of cues from the likes of Spartacus and Ben Hur, but in many ways it surpasses them. The thrilling combat sequences are as good as any committed to celluloid, and as impressive the CGI recreation of ancient Rome is, it's the wonderful dialogue, characters and design that breathes life into it. Russell Crowe charismatically heads a magnificent cast, but it is Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus who is the show stopper, brilliantly portraying a spoilt child whose ambition combined with weakness of character and desire for a father's love twists him into a malicious tyrant. This is what brings the film to life, and this level of sophistication makes its contemporaries such as Alexander or Braveheart look like school pantomimes in comparison. Proof that the Hollywood system in the hands of true artists can produce something genuinely beautiful."
Gladiator photo courtesy of DreamWorks SKG/Universal Pictures
78. Blue Velvet
1986 - Director: David Lynch
"David Lynch crafted this hallucinogenic mystery-thriller that probes beneath the cheerful surface of suburban America to discover sadomasochistic violence, corruption, drug abuse, crime and perversion. Mulholland Dr. gets all the love, but this is truly David Lynch's best film. The standout here is Dennis Hopper in what may be his best performance to date. He's simultaneously hilarious and terrifying...Like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet stands as a towering cult film, seared in the memory for bizarro tableaux strange enthusiasms for blue velvet and Pabst Blue Ribbon, and crazed dialogue. At once appealing and repellent, Blue Velvet embodies cultural taboos and the attendant furtive guilt that only feeds bad behavior."
Blue Velvet photo courtesy of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
77. The Night of the Hunter
1955 - Director: Charles Laughton
"The Night of the Hunter is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell, whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil. The war of wills between Mitchum and Gish is the heart of the film's final third, a masterful blend of horror and lyricism. Laughton's tight, disciplined direction is superb. The music by Walter Schumann and the cinematography of Stanley Cortez are every bit as brilliant as the contributions by Laughton and Agee."
The Night of the Hunter photo courtesy of Paul Gregory Productions
76. Wild Strawberries
1957 - Director: Ingmar Bergman
"It can be very embarrassing and difficult to think about your past. Things you did or didn't do. Things you said or didn't say. Or worse yet, things you can't even remember. I'm still young, so I have a difficult time fully connecting with Isak, but I can meet him halfway, I think. Even though I'm not exactly looking forward to it, I know and accept that one day I will die. When I get really close to dying, getting a chance to go back and revisit some of the moments in my life would be a very good bit of closure. Hopefully I can leave myself with some interesting moments to revisit; otherwise old Matt is gonna get bored quick." - led for your head
"One of Bergman's warmest, and therefore finest films, this concerns an elderly academic - grouchy, introverted, dried up emotionally - who makes a journey to collect a university award, and en route relives his past by means of dreams, imagination, and encounters with others. It's an occasionally over-symbolic work, but it's filled with richly observed characters and a real feeling for the joys of nature and youth. And Sjöström gives an astonishingly moving performance as the aged professor."
Wild Strawberries photo courtesy of Svensk Filmindustri