There’s a unique pain in choosing a top five out of the seemingly endless favorite films I have, as probably everyone on FilmEra can agree to. My passion for cinema experienced a resurgence in 2015 after several years of dormancy, and the past few years of my journey of fully diving into the art of film have been the most creatively and intellectually fulfilling of my life. While my “top” favorite films shift in taste and dynamic depending on the mood I’m in at a given time, hopefully this list will give you an idea on where I’m at in my taste. Without further ado:
5. Deep Red (dir. Dario Argento)
Black leather gloves, disco, and killer dolls. The crown jewel of giallo pictures, and quite possibly of Argento’s career, Deep Red left an indelible impact on horror films that few, if any, have been able to replicate. Everything that’s addictive and seductive about Argento’s films can be found here: stunningly fluid camera work and a score seemingly designed by science to get stuck in your head almost immediately. On top of all of that, the film manages to be genuinely frightening on top of having a certain amount of fun with itself. Deep Red is what kickstarted a fascination of Italian horror films (and by extension, spaghetti westerns) for me, and it’s a fascination I don’t see stopping any time soon.
4. Blade Runner (dir. Ridley Scott)
3. Once Upon a Time in the West (dir. Sergio Leone)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick)
2001: A Space Odyssey
This is where things get tricky. My top two as of this moment both represent different aspects of my taste, so take the placements of #2 and #1 a bit lightly. But no top ten or top five list is complete without the science fiction film. A million words could describe 2001. Miraculous, unimaginable, gargantuan. But I could never try to describe this film. It’s simply something one must absorb through osmosis. You don’t watch 2001 as much as you let it overtake your body, mind and spirit. If we as a species were to launch one film into space on the off chance intelligent life were to find it, I couldn’t think of a better film to showcase our history, the wonderful and terrible things we’re capable of, and what could be possible for us in the future.