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Some films are a must-see because of the part they play in our collective cultural conversation.
Watching them unlocks a world of references, pub trivia answers, metaphors, and dinner
party icebreakers.
But other films are required viewing because of what they can teach us about love, hope,
despair, faith, family, and even—warm and fuzzy alert—ourselves.
Here are just a few movies you need to see...
Before Sunrise
Regardless of your own romantic track record, it behooves you to catch Richard Linklater's
1995 romantic drama Before Sunrise before you kick the bucket.
It's perhaps the most accurate depiction of two young people falling in love in cinematic
history.
And since it takes place in as close to real-time as most people would be willing to bear, it
affords you the privilege of being swept-up into the ardor—in beautiful Vienna, Austria,
no less.
It's like you're a fly on the wall of a room two impossibly charming people have built
out of pure conversation, on the first day of a decades-long relationship.
Dear Zachary
The 2008 documentary Dear Zachary is one of the rawest, most heart-wrenching depictions
of what it means to be a family ever committed to film.
It's an emotionally devastating love letter that also requires you to think critically
about the meaning of justice, friendship, and parenting.
Just one thing: make sure you watch it with someone who has already seen you ugly cry,
because tears are almost guaranteed.
Groundhog Day
Harold Ramis's 1993 comedy fantasy Groundhog Day is mandatory viewing not only because
it's widely considered a comedy masterpiece but also because it's been adopted, and rightfully
so, as a sort of Zen guide to self-improvement.
"Ugh..."
"What?"
The fact that Bill Murray's spiritual makeover is thoroughly non-denominational makes the
film, and its message, all the more universal.
The change comes from within and is ultimately motivated not by a desire to escape his time-prison
but to instead improve himself and improve the lives of those around him.
And it's funny to boot.
How could you go wrong?
Spotlight
In the same family as "All the President's Men" - Spotlight shows the power of investigative
journalism and how a free press can take down the powerful; Spotlight is the film for you.
The film, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2016, is a tense, dramatic thriller, even
though almost all of the action involves people talking - debating, discussing, and thinking
about what the ultimate meaning and importance of truth is.
"We gotta nail these scumbags.
We gotta show people that nobody can get away with this.
Not a priest, or a Cardinal, or a freakin' Pope!"
It's not always an easy film to watch, but when you're done, chances are you'll want
to watch it again.
O.J.: Made in America
Dedicating almost eight hours of your life to a 2016 documentary series about the O.J.
Simpson trial may sound like a lot to ask, especially to those who already sat through
a lifetime of media coverage about the trial back in 1995.
But O.J.: Made in America is less about the trial itself and more about celebrity, misogyny,
Los Angeles, identity, justice, race, and, yes, the American Dream, including why that
dream is off-limits to large parts of the population.
It's essential, not just to understanding the O.J. trial, but to understanding our nation
as well.
Election
Alexander Payne's 1999 comedy Election is an almost perfect film about high school,
politics, class, and infidelity.
Set in Nebraska, the film captures the dreary midwestern sadness and also takes stereotypical
characters, the jock, the trying-to-leave-the-closet lesbian, and the overachiever and masterfully
humanizes them..
And of course, there's Reese Witherspoon's masterful performance as the deceitful Tracy
Flick.
"I don't know what you're referring to, but maybe if certain older, wiser people hadn't
acted like such little babies and gotten so mushy, then maybe everything would be OK."
Of course, almost everyone in the film is also a pretty awful person, but hey.
This is high school, after all.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
If you've ever wondered what the big deal about Scientology is, 2015's Going Clear:
Scientology and the Prison of Belief is exactly the documentary for you.
But even if you don't think you're interested in Scientology, the film is a fascinating
discourse on blind faith, manipulation, and the willingness of crowds to follow charismatic
leaders, despite all logic and reason.
And that's a message for everyone, no matter what your religion.
Citizen Kane
No doubt some of you have avoided watching 1941's Citizen Kane simply because everyone
keeps telling you to see it.
But there's a reason the Orson Welles classic is considered by many film fans and historians
to be the most important, most influential, and straight up best film of all time.
Not only did it innovate all sorts of filmmaking techniques that are still in use today, it
did it in service to a dazzlingly well-told, thoroughly contemporary story about a rich
businessman who uses his money, personal charisma, and influence over the media to become a powerful
politician.
"I made no campaign promises, because until a few weeks ago, I had no hope of being elected."
Some stories - and some movies - are simply timeless.
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8 Movies You Need To See Before You Die

2433 タグ追加 保存
bb52005 2017 年 4 月 24 日 に公開
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