In which I document some of my favourite movies of all time.
Numero Uno: Trainspotting (1996)
A brilliant movie that covers an array of terrible, terrible subjects, such as heroin addiction, aids, infant death, under-age sex and people just generally being ratbags to one another. But still one of the best movies out there, with comedic gold at every corner and a killer soundtrack, which includes the likes of Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Blondie, David Bowie, Primal Scream, Joy Division and many others. It's a gritty film that leaves you humorously fearful. Good times.
Number two: Barbarella (1968)
Barbarella is crappy mid-century sci-fi at it's absolute best, with flesh eating dolls, coitus pills, blind flightless angels, evil seductresses and living plasma-like goo. The ridiculous amount of convenient costume changes which occur throughout the movie is completely excusable because it gives us a chance to ogle at the marvellous outfits, which are designed by the incredible Paco Rabanne. The set is flimsy, the plot line patchy and the special effects laughable, but that's the exact point of Barbarella, poking fun at a genre that often takes itself far too seriously. Barbarella is continuously slipping out of trouble and into 'something more comfortable' with the aid of her new-found sexual prowess. So essentially, it's a story of a futuristic astronaut with killer style and a furry space-ship who continuously saves the world through 'making love'. And the starring role of two of my favourite leading ladies, Anita Pallenberg and Jane Fonda don't hurt, either.
Anita Pallenberg and John Phillip Law.
Barbarella, doing what she does best.
Having narrowly escaped the flesh-eating dolls. Time for another costume change?
Number three: Pulp Fiction (1994)
Okay, we all know how great this movie is, I don't need to spell it out for you. And if you haven't seen it already, Jesus Christ, get your shit together, you are missing out. All I'll say is hey, how great is Uma Thurman's look in this movie? Also Urge Overkill's cover of Neil Diamond's Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon is a highly commendable effort, and the scene in which Vince and Mia twist to a spot of Chuck Berry always makes me want to rent a time machine. Or a jukebox at the very least.
Number four: Across The Universe (2007)
Butchering of beloved Beatles' songs aside, Across The Universe makes a tremendous film. The visual feasts, surreal sequences and great music all make me swoon, and while I still cringe at the auto tune on my favourite songs, the guest appearances of Joe Cocker and Eddie Izzard make up for it (Bono shows up as well, but that's not the source of much excitement). Julie Taymor manages to cram a significant portion of the political and social issues floating around in the sixties and seventies into the movie, and while I think it's important to acknowledge that the sixties wasn't all hippies, flowers and free love, it feels a bit falsified. That aside, new meanings are given to songs such as I Want You and Across The Universe, which is nice and refreshing and in the end, it's a colourful musical with great music, so what's not to love?
Number five: Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
And here is where I completely shatter any illusion you may have had about my sophistication when it comes to films. Here's a clue; I have none. Jodhaa Akbar is a Bollywood movie about an Emperor who is forced to marry a woman of a different religion and it's all dramatic etc. and as well as being horribly historically inaccurate and incredibly cheesy and predictable, it is still a truly magnificent movie. Beautiful cinematography of what I assume to be the less inhabited parts of India, wondrous period costumes and two incredibly attractive leading actors make this movie well worth the three hours it takes to watch. Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai float around a magnificent palace bejewelled from head to foot, gradually falling in love, and although there is treachery along the way, it's a pretty easy movie to watch. I know not a thing about Bollywood, but I can truly say that Jodhaa Akbar is an incredibly beautiful movie.
Number six: Performance (1968/1970)
Filmed in '68, but released in 1970, Performance is an ambitious film, filled with music, incredible interiors and really long, awkward pauses. Like a lot of films from this period, Performance lacks the pace and sound to drag it from a mediocre mess to a dynamic movie. Having said that, it features two of my favourite people ever; Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg, the latter's voice left undubbed, an unusual occurrence in her career. As I said, the interior of the house where the second half of the movie is set is phenomenal, which a bohemian middle eastern vibe. The first half of the movie is a bit of a bore, but for a nerd like me it's just a chance to observe 1960s London.
Number seven: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro playing Hunter S Thompson and his attorney on a drug trip through the desert en route to Las Vegas to the soundtrack of Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds? Yes please. And where am I going to find a better excuse to holler "We can't stop here, this is bat country!" at sporadic intervals? Nowhere, that's where.
Number eight: Das Wilde Leben (Eight Miles High) (2007)
Eight Miles High is the biopic of Uschi Obermaier, German model, groupie and left wing revolutionary. It makes for a fascinating story filled with adventures to far away lands via an old hippie bus, rondez vous' with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, tragedy and quite a bit of nudity. The people, the fashion, the music, the settings all make my heart flutter in this movie, a must watch for all interested in the seventies.
Number nine: Singin' in The Rain (1952)
The ultimate musical, with catchy tunes, unbelievable dancing, upbeat comedy and fantastic costumes. Cyd Charisse makes a guest appearance to do a stunning scene with Gene Kelly, and Donald O'Conner pretty much charms my socks off. Debbie Reynolds is incredibly cute and Jean Hagen serves as a hilarious dumb blonde. Moses Supposes is a stand out number, Gene and Donald throwing caution to the wind and put all modern dancers to shame. It's hard to watch movies like Step Up and Honey when Singin' In The Rain is fresh in your mind.
Number ten: Bunny And The Bull (2009)
Bunny And The Bull is one of the most aesthetically pleasing films I've seen, it's an eclectic cross between the corner of a dusty old antique shop and a stack of drawings done by a four year old. Directed by Paul King, director of the Mighty Boosh and starring comedy veterans Edward Hogg (Misfits, Alfie), Simon Farnaby (Spoons), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh), Noel Feilding (The Mighty Boosh, Luxury Comedy) and Richard Ayoade (IT Crowd) and introducing Veronica Echegui, a fierce Spaniard with a thirst for misadventures. The movie is absolutely hilarious, foul, and quite depressing in places. You really have to see it to believe it.
So there you have it x