So we finally made it to the top 3! (I agree – doing this in a week or less probably would have been advisable.) In any case, I’ve enjoyed writing this list and hope you’ve enjoyed having a chance to see it. As a bonus today, I’m adding 5 more movies to make it a top 30 (though you won’t get any descriptions, sorry). I’ll refer you back to my first post on this subject for movies I still haven’t seen so they couldn’t make the list, as well as the general description of the list itself.
(See previous days’ posts for descriptions of the other movies on the list.) I hope you enjoy and post your comments somewhere for me to see any omissions or suggestions! Happy New Year!
#30: Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
#29: Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army (2004)
#28: Wordplay (2006)
#27: Children of Men (2006)
#26: Donnie Darko (2001)
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)
#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)
#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)
#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)
#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)
#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
#11: Juno (2007)
#10: Spellbound (2002)
#9: The Weather Underground (2002)
#8: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
#7: Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
#6: All the Real Girls (2003)
#5: Cidade de Deus (2002)
#4: Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
#3: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)
When I saw this movie, I decided that if I were to make a documentary, this would be my model and inspiration. Jonestown combines rare footage and audio of the goings on of the Peoples Temple, both in California and later in Guyana, with interviews with former members of P.T. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t drink the kool-aid,” and Jonestown is where that came from. You have a vibrant leader, Jim Jones, who does talk about some great things of social justice and community, but unfortunately he uses his power in harmful ways again women and other followers and Peoples Temple becomes a cult. It also makes an excellent case that this was not a case of mass suicide, but of pred-meditated murder. It’s powerful and provocative and a true must-see!
#2: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) (Amélie)
I’m lucky that I saw this movie in the theater, as it was still early in my accumulation to the wonders of foreign film. I fell in love with this movie quickly, as the opening sequence where the various characters are introduced is so original and beautiful I just couldn’t help myself. It’s quirky and stylized (when I showed it to my parents, they just didn’t get it), but it’s also sweet and romantic like any good love story should be. Audrey Tautou‘s smile lights up the screen, and the appearance of a gnome throughout made me smile. And I’m not really sure if it would be as beautiful, either, if it weren’t in French; that just adds to the charm factor. Maybe this film isn’t for everyone (as my parents would contend), but can’t imagine life without it.
#1: The Corporation (2003)
I feel very comfortable making a documentary my #1 film of the decade, because I think films should make a difference in your life, and documentaries often times do. And of all the films I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure this is my most recommended. I’ve lent out my copy on multiple occasions (feel free to request it yourself, or watch it online here) because the information is too powerful to be kept quiet. Based on a book by the same name, it operates on the premise that current corporations, in many of the ways they are operated today, would be defined as psychopaths if they were actually human. You see how corporations have done everything from patented genetic material (Monsanto owns most crop seeds now) to externalized costs the government picks up (where would automotive makers be without roads?), not to mention the environmental toll many corporations take on the environment. Perhaps the real culprit is industrialization, but since we can’t go back in time there, it’s up to us to patrol how corporations are operated. It is thought provoking and eye-opening, and if it doesn’t cause you to change at least some lifestyle practice, then you weren’t paying attention. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I implore you to see it as soon as possible, but definitely before the coming year is over. It will rock your world, as any good film should!