D'avey wrote:Other than Spinal Tap, I think I actively dislike the entire top 5.
I'm surprised you would feel that way about Withnail & I
. I actually thought that film would be right up your street- particularly considering what the film has to say about the 1960s, class, alcoholism and music. And of course it's bloody funny. There's no argument that Richard E Grant's entire reputation rests on this one film, but it was the performance of a lifetime. I think if there is a flaw it's that it belongs to that British tradition of relying heavily on its acting and script at the expense of its direction, which, a couple of scenes excepted (mostly notably when Withnail and Marwood hitch a joyride to the strains of "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" or the hilariously claustrophobic situation when they first arrive at the cabin), was more functional than impressive- although it certainly does the job. But it's a very warm and funny film, and the final sequence set to that Hamlet soliloquy is oddly heartbreaking.
Question for those who have seen the film- the original script ended with Withnail hanging himself
- but instead they went for the more bittersweet ending. Do you think they got the tone right? I think it was the right decision, in the end- Withnail is ultimately a Falstaffian character who Marwood has to eventually shred ties with if he is going to move forward. Incidentally, Roger Ebert's
essay on the film is well worth reading.
Anyway, here was my 25, with the bolded ones making the final 50.
BLUE VELVET (Lynch, 1986)
ROBOCOP (Verhoven, 1987)
BLADE RUNNER (Scott, 1982*)
DRUGSTORE COWBOY (Van Sant, 1989)
FANNY & ALEXANDER (Bergman, 1982)
WITHNAIL & I (Robertson, 1987)
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (Zemeckis, 1988)
THE THIN BLUE LINE (Morris, 1988)
PARIS, TEXAS (Wenders, 1984)
BRAZIL (Gilliam, 1985)
THE KING OF COMEDY (Scorsese, 1983)
THE KILLER (Woo, 1989)
DO THE RIGHT THING (Lee, 1989)
A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING (Kieslowski, 1988)
WINGS OF DESIRE (Wenders, 1987)
THE TERMINATOR (Cameron, 1984)
FITZCARRALDO (Herzog, 1982)
THE VERDICT (Lumet, 1982)
THIS IS SPINAL TAP (Reiner, 1984)
THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY (Mackenzie, 1980)
SCARFACE (DePalma, 1982)
THE SHINING (Kubrick, 1980)
REPO MAN (Cox, 1984)
DIE HARD (McTieran, 1988)
AIRPLANE! (Abrahams, 1980)
*My preference would be for "the Director's Cut", obviously!
About what I expected, but I agree with maskedman that it was a seriously directionless decade for mainstream cinema. The ones I picked were those I have watched the most-rather than any claims for "greatness" as such. The right film was number 1 in my book- Blue Velvet
portended a whole lot of dreadful and rote "indie" cinema and television, for that matter, but it also remains a hugely singular viewing experience- so many different elements and so much force to it. And not all of its influence was bad by any stretch.
It's before my time but I've been told, he never came back from Karangahape Road.