I always have a tough time ranking my top five. I’ve never really put them in a specific order, mostly because they keep shifting back and forth between places. One day my #1 will be my #3, my #4 will be my #8, and so on and so on. So, in the case for this ranking, I’m just going to list my top five films right now, and in no specific order.
What I’m going to cover here mostly deals with my most memorable time watching them. Not necessarily the first time, but the time that stuck out to me the most, that left the biggest impression.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
I’m a regular church-goer, but I’ve never had a religious experience quite like going to my first midnight showing of Rocky Horror. The way the actors recreated this delightfully campy classic has stuck with me ever since I first saw it. It has a crazy-not-going-to-care-what-you-think attitude that makes it stand out in my mind. On top of that, this film has one of the best soundtracks of all time. As a big David Bowie fan, the music really hit my sweet spot. I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, but this film is one of my all-time favorites.
I remember the first time I ever watched this, watching it with my mom during October (my way of celebrating Halloween involves binging Hitchcock movies I guess). I was glued to my seat for the entire 109-minute run-time. The change-up of character wowed me. It constantly reminds me about the power that shooting in black-and-white has on a film: exposing the raw intensity of the film, all of its darkness and evil rising to the surface. It remains my favorite Hitchcock and cemented him as one of my favorite directors of all time.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
I don’t remember if it was the first time I watched it (I think it was), but my most memorable time watching this classic was with my friends during our junior year of high school. As we watched, we would point out the real-life people we knew who reminded us of the characters in the film. I love the fact that this film has no plot. It reminds me so much of my high-school days: just me and a couple of friends trying to find something to do. Not everything we live through is cinematic; there’s no inciting incident, there’s no midpoint, there’s just a beginning, middle, an end, and a hell of a lot of subplots.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
I think this is where I first started to really enjoy cinema. I remember sitting in my grandma’s hot-ass living room watching Raiders on VHS when I was either ten or eleven. And every time I watch this, I’m brought back to sitting in my grandma’s house all those years ago. I love how bad-ass Harrison Ford is as Indiana Jones, especially that scene where he shoots the swordsman instead of fighting him. I think it’s the sense of pure adventure that brings me back to this movie.
The Graduate (1968)
I rewatched The Graduate last year during my film history class. There was something about experiencing this film on the big screen that just made it a hundred times better. Everything about this film works so well, from the beautiful Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack to the amazing cinematography to Dustin Hoffman’s stunning performance. It’s both deeply hilarious and deeply heartbreaking.
I look forward to writing more for FilmEra. Expect some great things.