TG10 Guest List: Eric M (Issaquah International Film Festival)

Welcome to TG10s. This year, echoing another publication, we are posting our top 10s, and taking votes from you. Keep reading The Twin Geeks for lists from our regular writers, as well as some extra special selection of lists from some amazing guests.

Eric is an independent filmmaker, the Festival Director for the Issaquah International Film Festival and Crypticon Seattle Film Festival, co-host of Strange Aeons Radio, and a great follow on Twitter.

1. Amadeus

Amadeus is a true cornerstone of my film experience. Seeing it in the theater with my parents was fantastic. I loved it. Salieri exalting the music in his confession and revealing that it wasn’t his blew me away, and it still sits with me as a powerful moment in cinema. It helped me in two monumental ways. It helped me understand that movies could be more than I expected. It also helped me understand my dad a little more. He was an avid lover of classical music. The scene between Solaria and Mozart writing on his deathbed helped me with the music and to understand him just a little more.

2. Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace is An unexpected surprise of a truly dark comedy in a classic film. The whole storyline is crazy, and Cary Grant’s performance is inspired and truly funny. 

3. In the Mouth of Madness

In the Mouth of Madness, I saw this in the theater. A few rows in front of me was a loud group of friends, and I thought, damn, that’s going to make this a different experience. When the title music hit, I knew it would be a movie I liked, and magically a short time into the film, the loud group grew quiet and was immersed in the movie. I love The Thing and several other Carpenter classics, but this one hits me in a place of imagination and otherworldly horror.

4. Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Lord of the rings (trilogy) What big budget movies should be. A vast wild story that, if looked at on the surface, feels simple and has been wrongly dismissed as a long-walking movie. This is a fantastic story of friendship, powerful forces intersecting, and a unique introduction to a new world. Also a must-read series of books!

5. 8½

8 1/2 this is a filmmaker’s journey put on film. I have made a movie and some short films, and it is wild to see a true master of film experiencing things that I, in my amateur status, recognize in the filmmaking process. I am in no way saying I have anywhere near the skills of Felilinie, but it is a fun film to watch with just a tiny little touch of personal experience.

6. The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride a fairy tale told well. With all the joy, innocence, and fun that should be in a movie like this. Outstanding performances in various styles significantly contribute to this incredibly well-written and directed film. The book is good too.

7. Hellraiser

Hellraiser is a film that blew me away the first time I saw it. I was reading Clive Barker at the time and knew he was a different kind of horror writer, and this film nails it to the wall. Imaginative, strange, and also disturbing violence make this a film that still stands as a singular creation.

8. Dune (2021)

I felt like one of the few people that enjoyed the Lynch Dune and loved the book. I had finished rereading the book the year this came out, and It impressed me with its beauty and power in a way few movies do. I am looking forward to the completed film.

9. Watership Down

Watership Down is one of the more violent animated films ever made, and the story is compelling, powerful, and a hell of a ride. It is also a film with a fantastic sourcebook.

10. Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries is one of Bergman’s underrated films. It’s a hard film about death and dealing with the life you lead. Well, worth experiencing.

This list will change from time to time, but a few of these movies will always be in my top ten.

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