|by The Viewing Public
The AFI said the best film ever was Citizen Kane. Empire said it was Star Wars. The box office says Titanic. You know what we say? Screw 'em all. We asked YOU what your favourite movies of all time were and you came forth in droves. Over 4,500 votes were registered and here, at last, we reveal what films were your all time faves. You might be surprised...
Let's start things off with the TOP 10 PICKS OF 1999 (just building the excitement, man).
1. THE SIXTH SENSE
"I see dead people." Bruce Willis made his first good film in years, and the public came out in droves. But there was something different about this supernatural smash hit: it was very, very good. M. Night Shyamalan is a new auteur, Toni Collette's chasing an Oscar and Haley Joel Osment moved everyone with his extraordinarily touching performance.
2. FIGHT CLUB
What do you get when you cross two dynamic actors, an intelligently warped screenplay and a director ready to hurl himself into the darkness? Answer: one of the most dazzling and thought provoking films of the year. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton rock the house in this lacerating take on nineties anxiety and imminent societal collapse.
3. THE MATRIX
After their tricky lesbian thriller Bound, auteurs-in-waiting the Wachowski Brothers took their guns to town with this hi-tech sci-fi melange of eye popping visuals, breath taking martial arts, technological paranoia and richly layered story telling. Keanu Reeves got it on, Laurence Fishburne played it cool and now the sequels are on their way.
4. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
The big question is how this incredible film got made. The only answer can be "Thank god it did." Video clip maestro Spike Jonze threw down the funniest film of the year with this deliriously kaleidoscopic comedy about a puppeteer who finds a portal leading into the head of notoriously serious actor John Malkovich.
5. THE THIN RED LINE
It took twenty years, but Terence Malick finally came out of retirement to produce the best movie of his career with this mesmerising war film that charts the darkest and most euphoric corners of the human condition. Too short at over three hours, The Thin Red Line is a moving, profoundly intelligent work of art.
6. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Okay, the Oscar speech was pretty annoying, but Italian comic Roberto Benigni did create a very special movie in Life Is Beautiful. Between the laughter and the tears was a moving tale of a father who shields his son from the horrors of the Holocaust with his playful sense of wonder and imagination.
Obscene phone calls. Rape. Masturbation. Child molestation. Murder. Todd Solondz (Welcome To The Dollhouse) made sure everyone was catered for with his pitch black masterpiece of perversion, dysfunctional families and perfectly wrought suburban angst. Incredible script. Incredible performances. Incredible film.
8. RUN LOLA RUN
German tyro Tom Tykwer showed what you could do with not much money, a film camera, loads of imagination and lashings of gutsy determination. His lead character Lola - with her flaming red hair, funky wardrobe, rippling physicality and driving street cred - is the perfect late nineties icon.
Doug Liman's Swingers was money, but his follow up film Go is another roll of the dice all together. A cast of very hot young stars (Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley, Scott Wolf, Timothy Olyphant) liven up this already lively tour through America's rave scene. A fast paced, darkly funny, techno fuelled thrill ride.
10. EYES WIDE SHUT
Stanley Kubrick kicked it, but his libido lived on with this sensual, darkly alluring through-the-peephole look at the dysfunctional sex lives of two upwardly mobile New Yorkers. The couple? Real life item Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in two of their most brave, uninhibited and instinctual performances.
Okay, enough of 1999, enough suspense-building, let's move on.
It's BEST OF ALL TIME time!
These are the films that you, the readers, picked as your all time favourites. Not necessarily the artiest or prettiest or cinematically brilliant, just damn good to watch. The films you view again and again.
1. STAR WARS
George Lucas provided the dreams for a generation with Star Wars, a film that not only changed the way that movies were made, but changed the way we looked at them as well. No other film before it had actually become a cultural phenomenon in the way that Star Wars did. A sci-fi masterpiece that delights just as much today as it did 22 years ago.
2. BLADE RUNNER
After creating the incredibly cool character Han Solo in Star Wars, Harrison Ford turned his persona inside out with Ridley Scott's dank, rain drenched, claustrophobic vision of the future. There were no heroics here as Ford's embittered android hunter struggled with his identity and a mean case of future shock.
3. PULP FICTION
Quentin Tarantino went from the video store to indie cred (Reservoir Dogs), and finally to massive mainstream success with Pulp Fiction. This uber-cult film of the nineties brought John Travolta out of mothballs, made Bruce Willis respectable and gave audiences the time of their lives, as well as an increased fear of needles and gun store owners.
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman embrace on an airport runway in one of the most romantic moments in cinema history in Casablanca, an example of classic American filmmaking at its best. Romance, thrills and richly drawn characters combine in this beautifully directed masterpiece from the Golden Age of Hollywood. And you don't have to be Bill Collins to love this film.
5. TAXI DRIVER
Martin Scorsese has never been one to pull punches and Taxi Driver is his most immediate, savagely involving film. Robert De Niro is truly amazing as Travis Bickle, a mohawked avenging angel who blasts his way through the scum and sleaze of seventies New York. Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster and Cybill Shepherd weigh in with extraordinary, career defining performances.
6. CITIZEN KANE
What would a film poll be without Citizen Kane? And it's always there for a reason. Boy genius Orson Welles made one of the first examples of rebel cinema before the expression even existed. Dark, swirling visuals and an obvious love affair with the possibilities of film itself make Citizen Kane one of the true benchmarks of modern cinema.
7. GONE WITH THE WIND
Films don't come any more "classic" than Gone With The Wind. This 1939 drama set during America's Civil War is epic in every sense of the word: extraordinary battle scenes, incredible four hour running time, masses of absorbing characters and enough sexual tension between stars Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh to melt marble.
8. THE GODFATHER
Francis Ford Coppola brought the American mafia to cinematic life with operatic glory in The Godfather, his first epic. Marlon Brando was back with a vengeance, Al Pacino's career was born, Diane Keaton gave Woody Allen her first come on, James Caan made getting shot look cool and audiences all over the world received an offer they couldn't refuse.
9. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Sinister and more mature than Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back was the dark heart of George Lucas' classic sci-fi trilogy. Luke gets his hand chopped off, Darth Vadar reveals he's the big daddy and Han Solo gets turned into a big ice block. But sometimes it's the bad times that you remember the most. This is one classic that proves that sequels don't always suck.
10. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
At last, a three hanky weepy for men. From a novella by Stephen King came this epic story of an unjustly imprisoned man, the hardened lifer who takes him under his wing and a poster of Rita Hayworth that covers up a daring escape plan. Tough, uncompromising and heart breaking in its power and depth of sensitivity.
The biggest grossing film of all time is also one of the best. The ever ambitious James Cameron threw down for the biggest crap game in cinema history with this massive epic of sea faring disaster. But even without the special effects, the burning chemistry between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet could have kept this film afloat.
12. THE SIXTH SENSE
This year's surprise blockbuster obviously has a place in the hearts of the readers. With only a few months to work its magic, The Sixth Sense has hurdled into your list of all time favourites as well.
13. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Before Star Wars had taken the magic of modern special effects to a mass audience, iconoclastic director Stanley Kubrick had used the latest technologies to bring Isaac Asimov's revered novel of man's future in outer space to the big screen. You mightn't remember anyone who was in it, but you'll never forget the quiet menace of the out-of-control computer HAL.
14. THE MATRIX
Not just a film of the year, but a film of all time. You obviously all love this sci-fi thrill ride very much, and its hard not to. Martial arts action combined with humungous effects and a role just made for Keanu, one word sums it up. "Woah!"
15. APOCALYPSE NOW
Martin Sheen had a heart attack, Francis Ford Coppola lost half his body weight, Marlon Brando went mad and Dennis Hopper consumed nearly all of the drugs in Asia. Everyone went to the edge to bring this Vietnam war epic to the screen, and it more than deserves its place in your top 100.
Snotty, low brow and spilling over with some of the raunchiest dialogue ever committed to celluloid (at least until director Kevin Smith's next film), Clerks is an embittered, but riotously funny, cry from the cynical, smart mouthed agitators who ride the cash registers and give you your change. And at a discount price too!
17. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
British director David Lean is the master of the epic, and Lawrence Of Arabia is his tour de force. In an amazing star turn, Peter O'Toole essays the title character of an exiled Brit who makes his name blowing up trains during WW1. Despite the huge canvas, this is still an intimate and ultimately haunting experience.
18. PARIS, TEXAS
German director Wim Wenders is a lauded cult favourite, and his curiously languid examination of the American heartland remains one of his most cherished films. The craggy monument of Harry Dean Stanton's face, the ethereal beauty of Nastassja Kinski and the hypnotic cowboy poetry of Sam Shepard combine to make %Paris, Texas% an unforgettable piece of richly personal cinema.
19. RESERVOIR DOGS
"Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?" This little doggy did more than just bite, it took a massive chunk out of Hollywood's big, flabby arse. Quentin Tarantino gave the finger to conventional wisdom and made filmmaking fun again with this blood splattered mix of fifties style, seventies sounds and nineties attitude. Vicious, gripping and blackly hilarious.
20. WINGS OF DESIRE
A German film with a warm heart and blood running through its veins? Wim Wenders shrugged off the Germanic stereotype of aloof studiousness with this poetic and profoundly moving meditation on the nature of death, sacrifice, love and personal identity. Wings Of Desire is the cult film for the romantic at heart.
And the rest.....
21. THE WIZARD OF OZ - I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.
22. THE THIRD MAN - some say Orson Welles' finest hour.
23. BLUE VELVET - David Lynch is one fucked up individual.
24. FARGO - The Coen's greatest work.
25. THE SOUND OF MUSIC - Nazis and hills, what a formula.
26. SEVEN - You can't hate Brad Pitt after this flick.
27. THE USUAL SUSPECTS - You can't hate Spacey after this.
28. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - Surprisingly low in the ranking.
29. SEVEN SAMURAI - Kurosawa work that's been plagiarised by every 2nd director out there.
30. THE GODFATHER II - Some say this is better than the first.
31. TRAINSPOTTING - Has anyone NOT seen this yet?
32. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - Oh Audrey...
33. ERASERHEAD - Oh Lynch...
34. BRAZIL - Oh, my head...
35. TRUE ROMANCE - A love story for geeks. What more could you ask?
36. BARAKA - Haunting images that will leave you astonished.
37. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE - Haunting images that will make you queasy.
38. CINEMA PARADISO - Haunting images that won't leave you.
39. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST - The Chief. It's all The Chief.
40. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL - Benigni's masterwork won't die in a hurry.
41. ROMEO + JULIET - Could Shakespeare have been any cooler?
42. RAGING BULL - Classic De Niro.
43. DR STRANGELOVE - Classic Kubrick.
44. SCHINDLER'S LIST - Classic Spielberg.
45. BEN HUR - watch for the watch in the chariot scene.
46. PRINCESS BRIDE - As you wish...
47. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW - Transvestites are box office gold.
48. MIDNIGHT COWBOY - Hoffman and Voight on fire.
49. QUEEN MARGOT - It didn't win at Cannes for nothing.
50. JAWS - What?! Jaws at 50? are you guys nuts?
51. ALIENS - lakddldsakasdkjh! Are you all high?
52. PSYCHO - We assume you guys weren't voting for the remake.
53. PLATOON - War is hell.
54. VERTIGO - Hitchcock hits another high note.
55. TERMINATOR II - Big effects, big budget, big ranking.
56. OUT OF SIGHT - For a film that so many people love, this tanked at the box office.
57. THREE COLOURS BLUE - The Juliet Binoche episode of the famed arthouse trilogy.
58. SINGING IN THE RAIN - Bust out the brollys!
59. ON THE WATERFRONT - Classic Brando, classic Kazan, just classic.
60. ET - Fifteen years later, it still makes us cry.
61. ANNIE HALL - So does this, but for different reasons.
62. THE SHINING - Heeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!
63. THREE COLOURS RED - Julie Delpy enters into the French trilogy.
64. THE THIN RED LINE - Terrence Mallick make a big ol' comeback.
65. DR ZHIVAGO - Over the years, this film has dropped like a stone.
66. THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN - Surreal in the extreme.
67. RAN - More Kurosawa masterwork.
68. THE PROFESSIONAL - Luc Besson, Jean Reno and Natalie Portman, can they do no wrong?
69. PRETTY WOMAN - Excuse us while we vomit.
70. DEAD POET'S SOCIETY - Robin Williams was on a good thing here. He's never got off it since.
71. WITHNAIL & I - Funny, funny British film.
72. THE TRUMAN SHOW - Peter Weir just doesn't direct bad movies.
73. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - Spielberg does, but they LOOK like good movies.
74. GOOD WILL HUNTING - Not bad for the first time writing team of Affleck and Damon.
75. SWINGERS - It's like this big bear and it has these big teeth, and you're the little bunny...
76. THE FIFTH ELEMENT - Besson makes an error. He casts Chris Tucker.
77. DAS BOOT - If you've never seen this masterpiece, find it now. Amazing.
78. GOODFELLAS - Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a gangster.
79. LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS - Marcel Carné directs this 40's flick of love, passion and murder.
80. LION KING - If it's a kid's film, why do we all enjoy it so much?
81. LIFE OF BRIAN - I'll thump him if he calls me 'big nose' again.
82. ALL ABOUT EVE - Monroe makes a belated appearance in the list.
83. THE EXORCIST - Clap your hands. Take your partner. Spin her head. Round and round.
84. BRAVEHEART - They can take our land, but they can never take... our freedom!
85. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - If you didn't see this in high school, your school sucked.
86. RETURN OF THE JEDI - One word - muppets.
87. JEAN DE FLORETTE - This 1986 French classic proved that Depardieu wasn't just all reputation.
88. BETTY BLUE - If you're a film fan, you've already seen it. If not, for shame.
89. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS - A census taker once tried to test me...
90. AFRICAN QUEEN - Bogart and Katie Hepburn. Magic.
91. THE PIANO - It won an Oscar or two, but can Harvey get dressed please?
92. STAND BY ME - Teen angst has never been angstier.
93. NAKED - Mike Leigh and David Thewlis combine to great effect for an intense drama.
94. LA HAINE - Yet again the French come good with Mathieu Kassovitz's drama an unexpected listee.
95. FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF - You've seen it how many times?
96. LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS - Flash in the pan or next big thing?
97. BOOGIE NIGHTS - PTA and Marky Mark - there's a combo you wouldn't expect.
98. HEAT - Well, we can't explain this one.
99. THE SWEET HEREAFTER - Underrated, underseen, Egoyan is the bomb.
100. FORREST GUMP - Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what to expect.
That's your top 100, folks. Lots of French films, lots of recent releases, lots of Lynch, Hitchcock, Besson and Tarantino. A solid mix of cult classis, masterpiece, pop culture icon and utter crap. One thing is for certain, if you took that list to the video store and renter one film per night for the next 100 days, you'd not spend too many nights bored.
Now that we've paid credit to the French, let's give the aussies a run.
BEST AUSTRALIAN FILMS OF ALL TIME
1. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK
Peter Weir played a big role in kick starting the Australian New Wave of the seventies with Picnic At Hanging Rock, a film of staggering beauty and almost suffocating mystery. When the innocent school girls disappear at the end of the film, you never really want to know what happened to them because it's obvious that the answer would never live up to the divine enigma that Weir has so masterfully created. Mesmerising in the true sense of the word.
2. MAD MAX
Action doesn't come much more bone crunching than Mad Max. Director George Miller used his experience as an emergency room doctor to inform the blood curdling horrors of the road in this gritty, streamlined sci-fi thriller that went on to become an influential hit around the world. Mel Gibson became a star in the process, and Australia got its first real icon of the action genre in the part-cowboy, part-samurai, all road warrior, Max. See you on the road, bronze.
3. MURIEL'S WEDDING
"You're terrible, Muriel." Like a long lost daughter, Australia took the stumbling, desperate but utterly endearing Muriel Heslop into its heart. The story of an under achiever from Porpoise Spit who turns her life around through her own grit and determination, Muriel's Wedding is a bold, upbeat winner that finds the happiness behind the tears and the pain under the smile. And it brought Abba back too, so what more could you want?
4. TWO HANDS
It was only released in Australia last year, but Two Hands made such a critical and commercial impact that it was no surprise when it romped into the Australian top five. First time feature director Gregor Jordan gave Australian audiences exactly what they wanted to see with this tough, gutsy and very funny look at a young bruiser who gets mixed up with a gang of thugs in Kings Cross. A new star was born in Heath Ledger, and an old one was reborn with Bryan Brown's superb performance as hard nosed crook Pando. Look for a US release soon.
The battle at Gallipoli was a blood drenched defining moment in Australia's history, and Gallipoli was equally important to the local film industry. It showcased Peter Weir at the height of his very ample powers, put extra shine on Mel Gibson's already rising star, dragged punters into cinemas in big numbers and proved that Australian audiences were ready to embrace their history on screen.
And the rest:
7. THE CASTLE
8. ADVENTURES OF PRISCILL QUEEN OF THE DESERT
9. MAD MAX II
10. STRICTLY BALLROOM
11. CROCODILE DUNDEE
12. BREAKER MORANT
14. ROMPER STOMPER
16. BAD BOY BUBBY
17. HEAD ON
18. THE PIANO
19. THE YEAR MY VOICE BROKE
20. KISS OR KILL
21. LOVE SERENADE
24. THE BOYS
25. THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER
26. WAKE IN FRIGHT
27. ANGEL BABY
30. SOFT FRUIT
31. MY BRILLIANT CAREER
32. LOVE & OTHER CATASTROPHES
33. HIGH TIDE
34. THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH
36. SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY
37. MAN OF FLOWERS
39. THE INTERVIEW
41. THE BIG STEAL
42. THE SUM OF US
43. YOUNG EINSTEIN
44. IDIOT BOX
45. THE WELL
46. PUBERTY BLUES
47. DEAD HEART
48. DEATH IN BRUNSWICK
49. HOLY SMOKE
Thanks for taking part, the prizes have been won, history has been made. Stay tuned in the year 2099 for the next FILMS OF THE CENTURY poll.
link directly to this feature at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=154
originally posted: 01/18/00 23:04:26