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.
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In no particular order, because the thought of ranking them makes me sweat:
Teenaged me was home sick from school one day (a frequent event) and wanted to watch something heady. When Mulholland Drive started I was someone who enjoyed movies, but after its credits rolled I quite suddenly morphed into that person at a party who traps you in the corner to talk about movies for 2 hours because they’re her lifeblood. This weird magnum opus is the only movie I’ll ever dare to say “changed my life”.
Not having Richard Kelly’s one-hit wonder on this list would be extremely embarrassing, because – and this is even more extremely embarrassing – I have a Donnie Darko tattoo on my arm I got when I was 18. Luckily, I still think it’s one of the finest science-fiction movies ever made. Another teenage discovery, I fell in love with its moodiness and intense – but not cruel – cynicism.
Arrival is rather difficult for me to talk about because as cheesy as this sounds, I do put it in that category of ‘you feel the movie instead of watching it’. The way it approaches grief and the timelessness of love is incredibly moving, and it’s something I return to for another hit every few years. I first saw this at an advance screening, before people really knew it was on the horizon. I walked out of the cinema in a complete daze, and that’s all you can ask for!
Now… this is one that earns me some stares when I broach it with other like-minded film aficionados. I can’t help myself. It’s absolutely hypnotic, and personally, I find the undertones of being working class in dead-end towns and willing to do and experience anything to escape the monotony to pierce through the fluorescent superficial layers at the surface.
Saying anything about this that hasn’t already been covered endlessly is impossible, but something unique about my experience with it is how my perception of it has evolved over the years. The older and more jaded I become the more I connect with the film’s obvious disdain for capitalism and the ugliness of a society that values falling in line as opposed to self-expression. The machines used to scare me, now it’s the office cubicles.
Often said to be too sentimental and nonsensical, the parts of Interstellar that get the gooiest are the ones that light my little heart on fire the most. I love existential, hard sci-fi, and I love stories about meaning and how we transcend barriers through the unique experience we as human beings can have. Interstellar has everything, and every time I press play I look forward to its vast voyage.
For such a stylistic movie, I find Drive to be quite heartbreaking. To me, it evokes this quiet desire inside all of us to be living another life – to be all of the things we are lacking. It’s also one of the best examples of how a terrific soundtrack can elevate something and give it lasting impact and identity.
This is one of my favourite films to talk to people about purely from a filmmaking point of view. To put it plainly, it’s one of the best shot/edited/scored/whatever films ever made. The eerie tracking shots, Kubrick’s famous framing techniques, and the attention to detail are magic. The presence of evil radiates with such force I find it hard to believe the film cells from the original shoot are not themselves haunted.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
My mother informed me a few years back that this was the first piece of media I ever responded to emotionally. I was too young to remember, but apparently, silent sobs from my high chair and E.T.’s ship leaving were involved. ‘Nuff said.
Perhaps an outlier on a list with so many accredited films that even the most pretentious person wouldn’t scoff at, but I love it. This was a staple of my childhood, and it’s stuck with me all these years as something I look to remind myself of what’s important, and how any one of us can do good in this world. It’s a magical film and breathtakingly earnest where so many other superhero films try to be cool and indifferent.