– Five new director entries onto the list, including three of the all-time greats
– Welcome back to the list, Daniel Day-Lewis. He gets on twice in part seven, and his third overall appearance (most of any actor so far)
– Each film here is drastically different from the rest and yet many are influential pieces of cinema
– Spinal Tap is the first of many satires on the list
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Director: Rob Reiner (1st)
“This Is Spinal Tap” is THE defining mockumentary and one of the greatest satirical films ever made. Reiner’s vision for the film is absolutely golden and the execution from the excellent cast of Michael McKean (David S. Hubbins), Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnel), and Harry Shearer (Derrick Smalls), to the incredible production on their album “Smell The Glove.” I will always have ‘Big Bottom,’Stonehedge,’ and ‘Rock and Roll Creation’ floating around my music playlist. And Reiner crafts thr humor and acting that perfectly captures the rock bands of the late 1970’s. The bit about their drummers horrific accidents will always make me laugh.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Director: Quentin Tarantino (1st)
In Tarantino’s most precisely edited, gorgeously lit and shot, and best produced film in his entire filmography, “Inglorious Basterds” serves as one of his defining moments that ushered in a new wave of storytelling. And being a sucker for the World War II genre, matching Tarantino with this highly sensationalized, almost erotic obssession with pain and anger makes this revenge fantasy even more explosive. It’s funny, delivers good performances from the entire ensemble, and is intense as all-hell. It also features one of the most jaw-dropping opening sequences in some time. Christopher Waltz navigates that scene well, but the compositions and lighting carry the moment. It’s a brilliant film.
Age of Innocence (1993)
Director: Martin Scorsese (1st)
Scorsese getting the opportunity to work with Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, and Michelle Pfeiffer in a entrancing period piece about nobility and standing, was a match made in heaven. As Scorsese describes the heart of the story as “his most violent film” relating to the inside politics and the heavy societal burden placed upon the characters. Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer carry this enormous emotional weight that goes unconsumated. One of the greatest produced and shot films in history, see: unmotivated camera techniques
The Truman Show (1998)
Director: Peter Weir (1st)
“The Truman Show” is pure, unadulterated movie magic at it’s finest. It allows the viewer, much like the audience of the show within the film, to be enthusiastic about life in a childlike amazement. Jim Carey (Truman Burbank) plays the unsuspecting participant of the show and his journey to liberation is as gratifying as it gets. Carey’s corny-yet-smart humor was the born to play Truman. The Weir direction feels almost cartoonish at times, but works splendidly in this large human zoo. It’s bizarre, tragic, and most of all, hopeful.
8 1/2 (1963)
Director: Federico Fellini (1st)
From legendary Italian director Federico Fellini comes “8 1/2” a film about a director played instinctually by Marcello Mastroianni, that’s in way over his head. Shot to convey the overwhelming stress and compounding anxiety as his gigantic set-design reaches empire state building levels and his relationships fall apart. The narrative is brilliantly constructed and moves delicately to the strengthen the impact of the result of all these problems building on top of each other. The filmmaking is otherworldly good from Fellini, and Mastroianni is a great lead for his vision. A masterful work of abstract but humane art.