August 9, 2008 Seth Perkins

A Brief Summary of the Best Movies List

Alright, after last night’s post, panning The  Brown Bunny, I thought I better post something a bit more positive so that I don’t just come across as arrogant.

This is a brief summary of what I consider my favorite movies.  I’ll try and break them up in what I’ll call “Arthouse” and “Mainstream”.


  • Mulholland Drive by David Lynch – I’m not one for chosing favorites in any category (places, food, music), but I will say Mulholland Drive is my favorite movie.  It’s haunting, lyric, and beautiful.  It’s a mystery that digs into my imagination for weeks after the experience in the theatre.
  • Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love and 2046 by Wong Kar-Wai – hands down, these are the most visually beautiful, dreamlike pieces I’ve seen.  Kar-Wai’s style just carries the audience like the movements of water.
  • Old Boy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance by Park Chan-Wook – you have to see to understand
  • Branded to Kill  by Seijun Suzuki – if you listen to interviews with Suzuki, he was only out to entertain and make money; if you watch his work, it’s just art
  • Brazil by Terry Gilliam – take it or leave it, Terry Gilliam’s vision is very unique – also see Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn by Sam Raimi – you have to see this one, as well as it’s predecessor films and its sequel.  In the Woods, Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness chronicle the evolution of Sam Raimi’s career into the man who directed Spider-ManEvil Dead 2 is hilarious (at least, I think so… and my brother agrees)
  • Dark City by Alex Proyas – On the DVD, Roger Ebert gives the best commentary ever discussing Dark City’s position in film noir history.  After you watch Dark City, check out Proyas’ short films “Groping” and “Strange Residues”
  • Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick – This film scared me when I first saw it at 18.  I seriously felt if my girlfriend said something akin to “I fantasized about someone else”, that would be enough to drive me into a downward spiral of obsessive thinking.
  • Dr Strangelove : Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Atomic Bomb by Stanley Kubrick – probably the darkest “dark comedy” out there.  (btw, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, 2001: A Space Odeyssey, and Full Metal Jacket are also well worth a watch)
  • Blade Runner by Ridley Scott – Noir is definitely my favorite style and Blade Runner is the modern embodiment with a unique twist.  The neon lighting is incredible.
  • Ghost in the Shell


  • Chinatown by Roman Polanski – Robert Towne’s script is one of the best.  The music, photography, scenery just makes me wish I could step back into that lost LA.
  • Platoon by Oliver Stone – a character you latch on to, an absolutely believable fall from grace and spiritual redemption
  • Back to the Future by Robert Zemekis – I imagine you agree
  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – the best of the Indiana Jones films (though I haven’t seen the fourth, yet)
  • Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola – a journey into the hell of a war, the hell of duty, and the hell of an insane mind
  • Meet the Robinsons and The Incredibles – story, story, story
  • The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson – I can’t tell you how many times I watched The Fellowship of the Ring projected on my dorm room wall while I worked on my senior project in undergrad.
  • Harry Potter and the (fill in the blank) – I only finished the Harry Potter books a month or so ago.  Up until then, I’ve very much enjoyed the movies, obviously, they pale to the novels, however, they certainly can stand on their own as great entertainment.
  • Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, The Jerk

Other Great Films

    The Darjeeling Limited, The Red Violin, Awakenings, Taxi Driver, Last Tango in Paris, Dead Poet Society, The Mummy (the first one only), The Shawshank Redemption, Arsenic and Old Lace, North by Northwest, The Maltese Falcon, Psycho , Le Samourai, Amelie, L’ Accompagnatrice, 

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