Perfect Blue (1999)
Director: Satoshi Kon (1st)
Satoshi Kon is a magnificent and visionary director responsible for such classics as “Tokyo Godfathers” and the famous dreamscape “Paprika,” but neither of those films hit the exact note that “Perfect Blue” hits. In a visually stunning and corrupt world, Perfect Blue captures the heaviness of selling ones image and the consequences of chasing fame. It’s beautifully surreal. Add in the harrowing score and this becomes a classic.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock (2nd)
Hitchock’s defining horror film, led by a perfectly cast and brilliantly unbalanced perfomance from Anthony Perkins, but gets its reputation from Hitchock’s touch on the filmmaking. The cinematography induces pure shock and presents images that are so unseen that it quite literally stuns you. A film to be studied and marvel at for the rest of time!
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Director: Stanley Kubrick (2nd)
I have a confession: the second half of this film is a dramatic tonal switch that fails to match the intensity of the first act.
HOWEVER, the first act is the most disturbed and jarring piece of filmmaking in history. Witnessing the deteriorating mental state of Pvt Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio) and the debilitating relationship with Sgt. Hartmann played magnificently through R. Lee Ermey is purely captivating. The inevitable ending to their story left me speechless. Fantastic sequence.
The Trial (1962)
Director: Orson Welles (1st)
An intellectually challenging and deeply philosophical Kafka adaptation that could only be brought to life through the eye of Orson Welles and his brand of editing technique. Anthony Perkins takes the audience through a looping and neverending journey as the accused. It’s fascinating and visually stifling. The Welles set designs convey a level of narrative that only few directors can achieve through image alone.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (1st)
From the pop of the famous opening shot with the steadicam to the memorable last shot of Mark Whalberg (lol), the film constantly holds the image of overindulgence and self-importance. It’s funny, complicated, lost, and most of all, completely batshit. A film that sort of romanticizes porn in a way that leaves you discouraged for these morally questionable characters. It’s a unique film that defined itself in many different ways. Burt Reynolds will always be remembered for his smooth, cool and influential role as the innovative porn director (RIP Reynolds) moving from film to digital.