To list or not to list. That is the question.
Over the past several days, I've been ruminating on whether to make a list of my favorite movies. Why? Well, because every once in a while, it's a good idea to inventory the things you find important in your life. And each of us has been shaped by what we've seen and been diverted by on the silver screen. In this regard, it has been my firm conviction that we should approach movies the same way Sir Francis Bacon told us to approach books: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly and with diligence and attention."
So what follows is a (by no means exhaustive) list of movies I've "chewed and digested". In other words, they have nourished my heart and soul, and have given me the numinous sustenance that makes life worth living.
1. "The Wizard of Oz" : The greatest film fantasy of all time. A classic that never palls.
2. "Casablanca": Love not only conquers, but ennobles. The best movie to come out of WWII.
3. "The Road to Morocco": Crosby and Hope are inimitable.
4. "It's A Wonderful Life": An unabashedly sentimental story with univeral appeal. Nothing better says why each individual counts.
5. "The Third Man": Film noir at its highest level. Captures the atmosphere of post-WWII Europe. A trenchant indictment of war profiteering.
6. "Shane": The enigmatic hero nonpareil. Perhaps the most poignant point of view of all classic Western films.
7. "High Noon": A Greek drama in Western garb. Unparalleled for its temporal focus, tension, and unity of plotline.
8. "Singing in the Rain": Pure musical joy and fun. The transition from silents to talkies satirized and memorably etched with moments like Kelly's iconic downpour choreography.
9. "Vertigo": Hitchcock 's Freudian excursion into the recesses of fear, passion, and obsession. With its haunting , mesmerizing, bewitching score.
10. "North by Northwest": A masterful and peerless treatment of mistaken identity. The love scenes between Grant and Saint sizzle with eroticsim without resorting to the sensationalism of graphic sex.
I'll leave off here, in 1959. I hope you enjoyed my choices and comments. Rest assured I still have more favorites I'd like to revisit.
Filed under: Movies