Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Desert Island Movies

Guy Pearce in "The Proposition," written by Nick Cave. A brutal, occasionally surreal Australian Western in which Pearce has to track down his own brother and kill him. How weird that the kid next door from "Neighbours" became such a wonderful actor.
Sam Riley as Ian Curtis of Joy Division in "Control." This movie's very close to me, for obvious reasons, and hard to watch too. It's tough to see your own experience portrayed so accurately and honestly. The music, if it needs to be said, is thrilling.
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in "Before Sunrise." I'm told some people find this trilogy of films infuriatingly self-indulgent. Some people are wrong. They're beautifully acted and directed vignettes of love between a man and a woman capable of talking.

Cary Grant in "The Bishop's Wife." Forget the ridiculous remake. Grant is an angel who hasn't earned his wings yet. He comes into the life of a jaded bishop to help restore his faith and (uh-oh) falls in love with the Bishop's wife. Magical, and not in a phoney way.
Marie Riviere in Eric Rohmer's "Le Rayon Vert," which was released in the UK, I believe, under the title "Summer." (Why?) Rohmer made many beautiful films but this one is singular because of its really exquisite ending. If you are human, you will cry.
Clint Eastwood ordering a gang of gunslingers to apologise to his mule in "A Fistful of Dollars," my favourite Eastwood pic even though there are better ones. My mate Salvatore used to do a great Italian-accented impersonation of this speech.
David Thewliss in Mike Leigh's intense, harrowing "Naked." Lesley Sharp turns in a wicked performance in this too. My friend Lee saw "Naked" first and said I reminded him of the central character Johnny (Thewliss). When I saw the film I wasn't flattered.
Al Pacino in "Serpico." I first saw this in '81 or '82 and something in it chimed with me immediately. Perhaps it was Serpico's rather unbending morality; or maybe just his loneliness. I didn't feel I fitted in with the crowd either.

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