Category: Films

[:en]Film reviews amongst other things.[:de]Filmrezensionen unter anderem[:]

31st December 2017 / / Films
6th May 2009 / / Films

This isn’t meant to be a list of classic films. In fact, many classics would find it difficult to creep on to this list. These films don’t have to have bemusing screenplays, flawless acting, blood-pumping soundtracks, or brilliant cinematography. But they are all linked by that special je ne sais quoi which makes me able to watch them time and time again. That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of great movies that share this rather dubious accolade. I could and would watch many of them again, but the experience is always be somewhat diminished from that initial viewing.

The films on this list, however, have something special that gives them enduring longevity. It’s not the film itself but the film experience that counts. With the intricacies of the plot laid bare, the twists, turns, shocks and surprises all blunted by experience, what’s left is whatever ethos the film can conjure up. Which is precisely what some cult classics manage so successfully. Umberto Eco once wrote that “Casablanca became a cult movie because it is not one movie. It is “movies”.” 1Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality, (London, 1986), p. 208. His point was that the film itself wasn’t any particular gem, but it encapsulated what movie-goers expected to see. The lines were famous before they were spoken, perhaps the most famous line of all being the one that wasn’t even in it (“Play it again, Sam”). But films that are able to do that go on to be remembered long after they’re made, irrespective of their individual merits and the quality of their cinematography, acting or screenplay.

This is simply a list of films that qualify merely on account of springing to mind first when considering what makes a film rewatchable. They’re mostly quite mainstream, with a heavy slant on the action side, no doubt in part because drama is a singularly poor trait for repeat value. But they are foremost a very personal example, and I doubt whether others will share even a portion of their number.

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1. Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality, (London, 1986), p. 208.
31st May 2008 / / Films

The Indiana Jones saga was complete. He had trumped the Nazis, saved his father’s life, solved one of the greatest archaeological mysteries, and ridden off into the sunset with his companions. At least, until now. The recent spate of late-coming sequels and series restarts no doubt to a large extent prompted Indy’s return to the silver screen, and whilst this is no bad thing by itself, it does however spoil the rather nice ending to the previous series finale Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. Although Sean Connery declined to come out of retirement for the film, the late Denholm Elliott sadly missed, and there being no part for John Rhys-Davies, the film’s still alluring combination of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, John Williams and Harrison Ford will no doubt kick this film to the top of the box office. The problem is that the potential for disappointment runs almost as high as it did for Lucas’ own Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and one imagines that The Crystal Skull will only suffer as a result.

22nd February 2008 / / Films

Caught Andrzej Wajda’s Katyń this week as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival…

21st May 2007 / / Films