… with added ramblings
(1960) Billy Wilder
I love films set in New York – usually romantic comedies – not your Along Came Polly’s or your Two Weeks Notice’s – but you know, quality stuff. Billy Wilder IS the greatest director ever.
The Apartment is not only very funny and terribly romantic, it is also beautifully shot and bitingly honest as it shows the darker side of 60’s Manhattan office life – isolating, cutthroat and unforgiving. Jack Lemon and Shirley Maclaine are , as ever, twinkly and lovely. And THAT’S the way the cookie crumbles!
When Harry Met Sally
(1989) Rob Reiner
Another Manhattan island fave. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal have never been this great. The chemistry is perfect, Ella and Louis singin’ away and the script is filled with zingers (I said it!) from start to finish! I probably watch this film about nine or ten times a year and it never ever gets tired. I love it! It’s what sooo many romantic comedies have tried to do since it came out in 1989 but most have failed. It’s a simple story told well with wit, intelligence and charm. Get your act together Hollywood/Jenny Aniston/Gerard Butler/Kate Hudson/Vince Vaughn et al…!!!
(1979) Woody Allen
Woody Allen – what can I say? He used to be great, he’s not anymore. Manhattan is a masterpiece. Yes it has many similarities with Annie Hall (also awesome) but the black and white cinematography, George Gershwin soundtrack and the last scene in which he recounts all the things that make his life worth living (Groucho Marx, Louis Armstrong, Swedish movies…) are all things which elevate this film to absolute greatness for me.
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
(2004) Michel Gondry
I love Kate Winslet – not all the time mind – but I do love her. This is probably her best role (I love Sense and Sensibility too!) but it’s waaaay better than The Reader for starters.
Jim Carrey is absolutely excellent too, he’s pretty good at playing fuck ups. Actually the whole cast is brill – Mark Ruffalo on sexy nerd form, Kirstin Dunst (nice pants), Elijah Wood (creepy hobbit!).
Basically Charlie Kaufman is a screenwriting legend. I love or at least admire everything he’s done but this is by FAR his best work and it gets better and better with every viewing and always makes you question… sort of… everything!
(2000) Stephen Frears
The film that dictates the way in which my peers and me live our lives – this is obviously a slight over statement but the list thing is pretty major. It’s rather sad to think that the lead singer of Kathleen Turner Overdrive is currently looming large over Billy Connelly and others in the land of Lilliput. Ugh.
P.S. At time of writing the perfect archiving movie/music system has still not been discovered.