As some of you may know, I’m leading the Movie Club for our upcoming Winter Intensive Program for English Village. Earlier today, we voted on the movies we’ll be showing the kids. In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d revive my Top 5 lists with one on my all-time favorite movies.
- This is not a list of the movies I think are the best, but the ones I’m most likely to be watching on a random cold, winter night.
- Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind: I remember walking out of this movie for the first time and immediately thinking, “I’m going to need to see this one again.” It is on a very short list of movies that had a profound impact on the first viewing. And, on an even shorter list of movies wherein that profound impact was a positive one. The majority of the narrative occurs inside the dreams of the main protagonist, Joel, as he relives his most recent relationship as it is being erased from his brain. The story is engrossing until the last frame, with an ending that leaves much to the imagination of the audience, and adds to the overall rewatchability of the movie.
- Grosse Pointe Blank: I love this movie, and not just because of my bro-mance with John Cusack. The dialogue is witty, the cast is great, and the soundtrack–compiled by the former Clash frontman, the late Joe Strummer–is fantastic. It’s funny, smart, and has a lot of heart, especially since the main character is a hitman.
- The Shawshank Redemption: This was #1 on my list for a long time, but I thought it was time for some fresh blood. That said, I still LOVE this movie. The ending is still one of my favorites in any movie. Also, I wish Morgan Freeman narrated every movie.
- Ghostbusters: I’ve seen this movie probably more than any other, and I still love it. Obviously, I enjoy it for completely different reasons than my 4-year-old self did.
- Pulp Fiction: This was a tough call for me. I wanted to include either American Gangster or Gran Torino, but alas, there are only five spots. So I gave the nod to my fellow Knoxvillian, Quentin Tarantino, and his masterpiece, Pulp Fiction. Somehow, between the profanity, gore, and out-of-sequence scenes, Tarantino constructs an engrossing narrative that is still entertaining nearly 20 years later.