Ah. I love the smell of highly flammable sink water in the morning.
75. GasLand (2010) — Josh Fox
Whether Josh Fox sensationalizes the truth or not, GasLand provides ample room for the discussion about the environmental impact of fracking and corporations’ inability to engage in dialogue about it.
74. The Elephant Man (1980) — David Lynch
Dumbo, but with an elephant who is actually a man. Surprisingly straightforward for David Lynch, but the true-life plot is so surreal that it fits.
73. Tadpole (2000) — Gary Winick, Heather McGowan and Niels Mueller
A digital home movie about a preppy teenager who’s in love with his stepmother. Hilarious Voltaire quotes ensue.
72. Computer Chess (2013) — Andrew Bujalksi
A trippy movie about computers performed mostly by actual computer programmers (including Wiley Wiggins, the star of Dazed and Confused). When we created the first computer chess programs, did we create sentient life?
71. The Ice Storm (1997) — Ang Lee and James Schamus
A 70’s period piece about a family on ice… during an ice storm. Nixon lied to us, so why shouldn’t we cheat on our spouses?
70. Stardust Memories (1980) — Woody Allen
Made me feel very anxious for the rest of the day in the way most Woody Allen movies make me feel. That withstanding, you can’t beat that use of Moonlight Serenade.
69. Whiplash (2014) — Damien Chazelle
Definitely not on the bandwagon about this film being the example for achieving greatness, but I am on the bandwagon that this tense, sharply edited and scored battle of egos hits the mark on the troublesome ideology of “Practice makes perfect.”
68. Apocalypse Now (1979) — Francis Ford Coppola
A symphony of the violent effects of American interventionism. Excluding the ending with Brando, this has my money for one of Coppola’s best films to date.
67. The Hunt (2012) — Thomas Vinterberg
Even if your small town Danish neighbors love you, the first chance to besmirch your character will be taken. One of those movies that manages to be a repetition of the same scene without feeling repetitive.
66. The Bicycle Thief (1948) — Vittorio De Sica
A deep look at how the community of Rome’s poor suffers and how a lack of compassion creates a mentality of having to fend for yourself. Sad as hell ending.
65. Fargo (1996) — The Coens
I’m usually not a fan of the Coens fucking-with-you-ness, but hearing these people with different accents fail to communicate with each other is too hilarious not to be charmed by.
64. Bernie (2011) — Richard Linklater
A weird but great blend of documentary and drama with one of Jack Black’s greatest performances. The only film to lead to the parole of the film’s subject to live in the director’s garage.
63. Side by Side (2012) — Christopher Kenneally and Keanu Reeves
A education on digital filmmaking as told by its critics like Scorcese and Nolan and its staunch supporters like Cameron and Lucas. Also gives the industry opinion on the Canon 5D (they’re not about that life).
62. I Killed My Mother (2009) — Xavier Dolan
A Breathless for the digital age. Proof that the boundaries of filmmaking can still be pushed in visually breathtaking ways (I mean, just look at his eyebrows).
61. The Double Durum Challenge (2014) — Dylan Freehauf
A must-see for any fans of Mustafa’s and fine döner.
60. Certified Copy (2010) — Abbas Kiarostami
All of the Before Trilogy film mashed into one a la Alan Renais. Begs the question “What is a certified copy and what does it matter?”
59. Wild Strawberries (1957) — Ingmar Bergman
A movie that moves me the more I think about it, this film about nostalgia demonstrates some of Bergman’s best abilities to communicate feelings of mortality and relationship ennui and point at something hopeful at the end.
58. Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013) — Frank Pavich
The hilarious Alejandro Jodorowsky recounts his failed attempt of creating his adaptation of Dune, the plans of which went on to influence some of the biggest sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s. It’s amazing to see how personally attached he got and how he’s able to laugh it off years after the fact.
57. Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) — John Cassavetes
It’s mind-numbingly frustrating to see these two people who have little chemistry keep running back to each other, but there’s something truthful about it. Sometimes the people who get a rise out of us are the ones we crave.
56. The Big Chill (1983) — Lawrence Kasdan
Where were all those civil rights protestors when America turned to its neoliberalism ushered in by the Reagan era? Right, they became yuppies. A tender and grounded look at the disconnect between friends who no longer like who they’ve become and are forced to reexamine themselves when one of them commits suicide.
55. Blue Valentine (2010) — Ryan Cianfrance
The whole reason they don’t work as a couple could be summed up in one line “…I found Megan”.
54. Clerks (1994) — Kevin Smith
Just because you’re a loser doesn’t mean you can’t have a day of witty existentialist banter and an impromptu hockey match on the roof.
53. Waking Life (2001) — Richard Linklater
Takes a while to get going, but once the conceit becomes clear, it’s exhilarating to see Linklater take us through this journey of dreams, which as per Linklater’s characters, features more philosophical musing than it does dream-like imagery (although there’s a fair amount of that as well).
52. Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow (1964) — Vittorio De Sica
Delivers cartoonish characters so hilarious the social critique just trickles in. I’m still not fully sure how the three shorts line up (maybe reaffirms matrimony and religion over money and bureaucracy?), but it’s so funny what does it matter? “Rusconi!”
51. Say Anything… (1989) — Cameron Crowe
Manages to sidestep the trappings of the “my dad doesn’t like my boyfriend” trope to tell a story about rejecting every corporation out there except love.
Stay tuned next time for the revolution, y’all.