A little while back I wrote a post about how it didnít feel right posting about movies and shit here, this being such a game-centric community. But then I felt silly cause most people just told me to write my post.
But I didnít really have a post in mind; I was thinking about my favourite movies posts I used to do on my old blog, but Iíve since started doing that as an IMDb list. And I donít want to just, like, copy-and-paste from there, or worse, just rewrite the same shit in slightly different words. But I DO still want to tell you fine folks why the incredibly obscure film Heart of Glass is the best movie ever made. Also, nobody talks to me on IMDbÖ
So how do I write a favourite movies post differently, perhaps, more specifically catered to this community? The answer: superfluous videogame comparisons! Oh god, this is gonna be awful. Okay, Iíll probably just end up trying to cater my writing style, and focusing less on the sentimental tear-jerky movies and more on the balls-mental movies I like; what I think my audience is more interested in (Iím fascinated by the way, by this delusion that I have an Ďaudienceí).
So here goes! Iím gonna do my top 21, in groups of seven Ė my seven favourite favourites counting as #1, the next as #2, and the next as #3, and beyond that in alphabetical order. Because beyond that, the order doesnít mean much.
Anyways, I like movies about madness and cutting people.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God Dir. Werner Herzog
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Uncharted. Fuck me Iím off to a bad start with these video-game comparisons. Iíve offended myself with this one. But they both are in the jungle and make reference to El Dorado, so thatís something.
Werner Herzog is my favourite filmmaker. I consider his movies to be about man vs. nature Öand God vs. all. They almost all deal with madness. His films are gloomy, but they are also hilarious, and this juxtaposition is to me their primary appeal. Also of note is how ridiculous the productions get. For this film he shot in the middle of the jungle on a shoestring budget, filming for example from atop rafts in actual rapids. His lead actor, Klaus Kinski, was a madman who would yell and berate the crew for hours at a time Ė at one point fired a rifle blindly into a tent full of extras, blowing one of their fingertips off. Near the end of filming he decided to leave, to break contract and the whole film would have been for nothing. But he took Herzogís death threat seriously and finished the film. The pair went on to make four more films together. I could go on forever. I love this.
Anyway, the film is about an expedition to find a non-existent treasure, about men meaninglessly Ďclaimingí land that is hostile and unliveable. Itís a slow and atmospheric descent into collective madness. Itís oft considered Herzogís best film Ė itís pretty rad.
Branded to Kill Dir. Seijun Suzuki
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: No More Heroes. Itís about a ranked assassin working his way to #1. In itís insanity, itís perhaps the closest film here to a Suda game.
This movie is completely incoherent and completely awesome. Itís sort of like a Bond movie if there was literally no exposition, never any established sense of time and space, and every scene was absurd and baffling. You get the essence Ė he shoots some guys, he gets the ladies, he gets turned on by sniffing boiled rice; you know, the basics. Itíll take you a few viewings to begin to piece together the story, and perhaps to fully appreciate the way it deconstructs the genre, but fuck this movie is always such a good time.
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser Dir. Werner Herzog
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Oh fuck, god, I donít know. Fez, because they both feature the colour green.
Another Herzog movie! This oneís about a (real) person who showed up in an 1820s German town one day out of nowhere, speaking only a couple words, who would later learn to speak and describe having spent the first 16 years of his life locked up in a tiny dungeon, being fed bread through a crack Ė never seeing another human being. The way Herzog explores this character is beyond fascinating. The performance by Bruno S. Ė a non-actor, beaten as a child by his prostitute mother, who spent most of his life in a variety of mental institutions Ė is magnificent. And you must understand the significance and hilarity of the scribe character!
Fanny & Alexander Dir. Ingmar Bergman
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Killer7. Iím actually serious about this one, crazily enough! If youíve read my post about Killer7, you may remember I described the last section of the game before the epilogue as having some kind of unprecedented and equally inexplicable but incredible effect on me Ė to do with the colours and the sound design and the mood created by everything that led up to that pointÖ well, the same thing with the last section before the epilogue of Fanny and Alexander. The film is over five hours long (donít watch the shorter version), and I didnít even think the first half was all that great at first, but the final part is somehow one of the greatest parts of any movie, and it works because of the mood created by all that came before it.
Mulholland Dr. Dir. David Lynch
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Deadly Premonition. I dunno, itís sort of surreal and it features creepy smiling. Also itís from David Lynch who did Twin Peaks (my favourite live-action show), which Deadly Premonition is based onÖ
I wasnít crazy about this movie the first time I watched it (at least not the bizarre and moderately pornographic second half), but some of the imagery came back to me one day like a year later and I decided I had to watch it again and that I would fucking love it and I did. Those creepy fucking old people!
Star Wars Trilogy Dirs. George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquandt
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: One of those Star Wars games.
Itís Star Wars.
Woman of the Sands Dir. Hiroshi Teshigahara
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Journey (because sand).
Okay, for seriously, this movie is best watched knowing nothing about it. You know nothing about it. Now watch it. Itís SO COMPELLING!
Okay so thatís the first group down! BTW do you like my wallpaper I made up there? I fuck around in Photoshop trying to make these things and I felt as I was making it that it was a massive waste of time and was shit but then it turned out pretty cool in the end and I stare at it a lot. Yeah. Itís got pictures from my top 16 favourite films which include Woman of the Sands and Aguirre from the first group.
Harakiri Dir. Masaki Kobayashi
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Uhhhhhh. Fuck. Metal Gear Solid. Because in both the dude has a beard. And Metal Gearís pretty intense.
I fucking love samurai movies so much. This is like the culmination of everything I learned from watching so many of these films, about ronin and the Bushido code of honour Ė its not a good entry point if you havenít watched samurai cinema, but itís arguably the ultimate film in the genre. Itís cunting incredible. Itís a drama, itís very Ďtalkyí, and yet it is somehow the most intense film Iíve ever seen.
Itís a Wonderful Life Dir. Frank Capra
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Command & Conquer: Generals. Because an angel guides George Bailey kind of like how the player guides tanks in the game.
If you havenít seen this classic (which plays every Christmas), watch it, ya idiot. Itís easily the best Christmas movie ever and instantly became a staple of my Xmas Eve when I finally watched it a couple Christmases ago. Itís also easily the best thing Classical Hollywoodís ever done, and easily the best a lot of other things I could come up with too. Itís sentimental, a tearjerker, but donít underestimate its effectiveness.
Kill Bill Dir. Quentin Tarantino
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Red Steel 2. Cause itís a mix of Western and Eastern influences. Yeah! I thought about that one for a bit! Can you tell?
I havenít watched it in a while, but a few years back I was completely obsessed with this film Ė Iíd watch it like once a week for a while. I donít think thereís a not-great scene in the whole thing. Vol. 2 is particularly awesome. You know.
Lawrence of Arabia Dir. David Lean
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Uncharted 3. Cause theyíre both about T.E. Lawrence. And one of the wankers in the game references the film.
The epic of all epics. Just try to watch it and tell me camels arenít the best!
Paris, Texas Dir. Wim Wenders
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: No More Heroes 2. You see, Suda referenced this once when asked what his favourite film was. And, there are a few things in the No More Heroes games that can be seen as sort of homages to Paris, Texas. Travisí name; Sylviaís accent. But especially in Desperate Struggle, that sort of phone sex bit through the two-way glass Ė itís a concept this film invented. It should be noted however, that NMH2 is not a slow and quiet film about heartbreak.
This is my favourite portrait of the U.S. This might have something to do with the fact that it was made by a German.
Seven Samurai Dir. Akira Kurosawa
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Way of the Samurai 4. Cause they both got samurai. Although WOTS is extremely silly. I mostly just wanted to mention it because I played 30+ hours of the thing and itís one of my favourite games of the year.
To me the appeal of Seven Samurai is its ability to transport and endear me to a time and a place better than any other film. I sincerely love those characters.
Stroszek Dir. Werner Herzog
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Dishonoured. Because Stroszek is the movie Iím writing about now, just as Dishonoured is the game Iím playing now (not literally).
Stroszek is my second favourite Herzog film, and itís probably his film that I feel most effectively or with the greatest balance captures that juxtaposition of gloom and absurdist humour I was talking about. Also, Bruno S. and the (actually) crazy old guy who played the scribe are back after Kaspar Hauser and even better. Also, the ending is THE best thing ever.
Thatís it for the second group. Now the #1s! These movies are all ones I will happily call my favourite movie of all time. For reals. These movies are the shit. My the shit. Are you excited? Iím not. Cause itís almost 3:30am. And I can sense my writing getting less sensible and I keep having to fix noticing weird mistakes. Also, Jesus balls this is getting long. Iíll have to finish later.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dir. Sergio Leone
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Red Dead Redemption. Obviously.
This is simply one of the most thoroughly stylish and enjoyable and perfect movies ever. Recommended for everyone, forever.
The Happiness of the Katakuris Dir. Takashi Miike
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Ummmm, Katamari Damacy because itís kind of crazy and thereís some music in it.
This movie, which I have only seen once, is literally the most entertaining anything I have ever seen. Itís a horror-musical-comedy (with some Claymation to boot) about a Japanese family that opens an inn, but whoís guests keep dying on them. When they discover the first guest dead, that scene blew my mind. I was very literally screaming with delight and disbelief at what I was seeing Ė at the energy of it. As I continued to do for most of the rest of this film. Holy hell itís entertaining.
So if you like the kinds of crazy Japanese videogames I like, then this is my highest movie recommendation. Also, one of the actors kind of looks a little like Suda51.
Heart of Glass Dir. Werner Herzog
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Uhhhhh, Majoraís Mask because there are chickens in it, while, in the movie, thereís a duck that looks kind of like a chicken at one point.
So, the story is this: the foreman of the local glassworks in a small 18th century Bavarian village dies, and with him the secret of their famous ďRuby glassĒ. Unable to continue making the red glass, the entire town falls into a collective madness. Yes. A seer predicts their doom but none listen. The dialogue is equally baffling and amazing:
-ďI want the Ruby again. I want the red glass, understand? I need a glass to contain my blood, or it will trickle away. The sun is hurting me.Ē
-ďYou will never see the sun again. Rats will bite your ear lobes.Ē
If that quote doesnít explain why Herzog is my favourite filmmaker, I donít know what will. Maybe this: this is a movie for which Herzog had all of his actors (save the seer and the glassblowers) act under hypnosis. Their movements are jerky and unpredictable. The result is an atmosphere quite unlike anything else Iíve ever seen: of trance and sleepwalking. By the end of it, I feel that I too am in something of a trance. And the more I think about it, the more I think this is my single favourite film, if I have to choose. I can watch it as a comedy, or completely seriously, or halfway between and regardless I always adore it.
The Human Condition Dir. Masaki Kobayashi
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Medal of Honour: Heroes 2. Iím not sure why I choose that one specifically, since literally the only connection is they both take place in WWII.
Iím slightly embarrassed about having a movie called ďThe Human ConditionĒ here, because I always associate that term with Jim Sterling making fun of pretentiousness. Itís totally not a pretentious movie though! It is the greatest war film Ė the most powerful cinematic anti-war statement! It is ten hours long but itís length is necessary Ė the character development is unprecedented, and the degree to which you grow attached to Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai, who will become your favourite actor after you watch this) after spending so much time with him is a big part of what makes the final third of the film the most incredible piece of cinema Iíve ever witnessed. Heart of Glass is my #1 today, but Human Condition was my #1 yesterday (so you can understand why Iím doing this alphabetically hereÖ).
Ikiru Dir. Akira Kurosawa
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: God, I donít even care any more. Kirby. Because both are Japanese.
This is the very best tearjerker type movie on this list. But I said I wasnít going to focus on those. So Iíll leave it at that. But it is fucking incredible.
Ran Dir. Akira Kurosawa
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Wahhhh. I donít know! Halo, cause they carry flags of a certain colour so you know what side theyíre on.
This is the very best of the best of Akira Kurosawa Ė my 2nd favourite director. Itís justÖ perfect and incredible. Itís an epic about madness Ė Shakespeareís King Lear reimagined and surely bettered in feudal Japan. There is nothing I donít love about this film.
Unforgiven Dir. Clint Eastwood
Video-game it is(nít actually) similar to: Ah, fuck it. None! There doesnít have to be! Videogames are and can be great for completely different reasons than movies. Comparing them can be good when the comparison is apt, but just comparing them all the time is pointless. And further, itís a waste of a videogameís potential if it just seeks to emulate movies. ÖAw, shucks, what a valuable lesson weíve all just learnt! :) Ö>_>
So, this is a great movie to watch after youíve seen The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and other such movies. They set your expectations. Clint Eastwoodís character, older now, recalls stories that you can easily imagine in those films. But when I reached a key scene in Unforgiven, I was completely blown away by how different in tone it turned out to be. And ultimately I ended up liking it just as much as tGtBatU, finding it just as perfect, but in a completely opposite way. I consider them now companion pieces.
And thatís all! Hopefully this wasnít too badly a regurgitation of what I wrote on my IMDb list (which is way longer). And hopefully Iíve piqued someoneís interest on a few weird-ass movies.
And feel free to recommend me some movies I guess, if you want. Occams recommended me ďVisitor QĒ a while ago which is now the most disturbed thing Iíve yet seen.
Anyways, I won't have reason any more to post about not-videogames for a while now.