3rd Part of the Cinematic gems that inspire me the most. We're continuing from where we left off in PART 1 and PART 2
IMPORTANT NOTE #1..:
Of course, "The Movie Is In The Eye Of The Beholder".
One movie fan's heaven can be another's hell or vice versa. These are just my thoughts and reflecting my own taste. I hope this list serves you well and you find some of the movies I mentioned here worthy of bookmarking to watch them later. Please never hesitate to share your own thoughts about ANY MOVIE in the comments' area. You're always welcome to do that whether the movies listed here are your type or not. It's all about exchanging our opinions!
IMPORTANT NOTE #2..:
DEAR MOVIE INDUSTRY, what is the purpose of a "MOVIE TRAILER" that contains many SPOILERS? To ruin our precious movie-moments?
As you might be guessing, there are many movie trailers that mostly include "Spoilers". So, instead of using movie trailers in this post, I just used images to protect you from any kind of spoilers (For those who haven't watched them yet... In most of the time there will be NO SPOILERS here. I may talk about the storyline but NOT to the extent of a spoiler. I NEVER DO THAT). I don't know why are "they" including spoilers in movie trailers but it seems that it's almost a tradition now (ABSURD, right? - Unbelievable).
"MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS" (1995) (Directed By Stephen Herek)
Who doesn't love to watch movies about inspirational teachers (as you noticed, I didn't use a "question mark" at the end of the sentence). From To Sir, With Love to The Emperor's Club, from "The Man Without A Face" (yes, I count that as a teacher movie too... I think a man without a face can be a very good teacher) to "Good Will Hunting", movies about "education" are hard to resist, and they usually have a charismatic teacher figure as the main Protagonist.
"Mr. Holland's Opus" is "Forrest Gump" in a clasroom (I mean it. "Life is like a box of chocolates", and this time, you know what's inside of it), and it's my favorite "teacher movie"
(A note here: I've also watched "Dead Poets Society" ;) - In my humble opinion, Mr. Holland teaches better than Mr. Keating, and Mr. Holland is less dangerous for teenagers :) But surely, there is something to learn from everyone and Mr. Keating has his own special place in my heart too! R.I.P. Robin Williams!).
Mr. Holland not only teaches, but also learns a lot throughout his journey which he starts as a composer but ends as a teacher (but, being a teacher is not an obstacle to compose, right?
Is "music" the only way to compose?).
He's a teacher "by accident", actually... Mr. Holland is an idealist composer, and to him, "teaching" is just for paying the bills. But as you know, LIFE always has a different plan. In Mr. Holland's case, a "different plan" like that can extend to three decades!
They say these were the last words of Beethoven who expressed himself with the magic of music throughout his life. I couldn't even imagine a more powerful way to describe the AGONY of an individual who adores the harmony between sounds. But, would he be Beethoven if he had been lived free from the same agony? The mysteries of life, I think, "The Great Plan" always has its own tricks to play.
Mr. Holland has his dreams, he wants to create his own MAGNUM OPUS, yet financial difficulties force him to teach music in a high school named after John F. Kennedy... During the movie, we see ups and downs of Mr. Holland's life and his mistakes, yet he has the courage to face them all. That's one of the things I like the most about this movie..: Glenn Holland has his charisma but he is not perfect (who is perfect anyway?), he has his weaknesses but there is one thing that separates him from the rest; he's aware of them.
And, the movie has a beautiful soundtrack along with the beautiful music of Mr. Kamen... May he rest in peace.
- "My point is rock and roll, by its very nature, leads to a breakdown in discipline."
- "Well, what would you like me to do? Deny that rock and roll exists?"
- "What I am... What we are saying is that you should be pushing the classics. Brahms, Mozart, Stravinsky"
- "Stravinsky was the music of the Russian Revolution, if you want to talk about a breakdown in discipline."
"BILLY ELLIOT" (2000) (Directed By Stephen Daldry)
"BILLY ELLIOT" is the story of a brave boy who has the courage to follow his dreams of becoming a ballet dancer in the "macho land", where you may dream of becoming the next Alan Shearer or Ryan Giggs BUT, a ballet dancer? It doesn't happen in Durham where your father would rather have somebody punch you in the face in a gym...
Everyone has their own boyhood dreams and these dreams often remind me dear Red's quote from Shawshank Redemption..: "Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane". If you remembered Red's quote, then you may also recall Andy Dufresne's answer to him which comes a lot later..: "Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Whether you have realized your dreams or not (maybe it's not about realizing them in the first place, but chasing them with everything you've got), "BILLY ELLIOT" has more than enough spirit to inspire you and the movie is a living proof that you don't need "epic special effects" to create epic scenes! You'll have a lot of them!
The dialogue between Debbie and Billy will make you smile, and Gary Lewis is a great joy to watch as Billy's Dad... There isn't a single moment in "BILLY ELLIOT" when I didn't believe Gary Lewis was his father.
"I don't want a childhood. I want to be a ballet dancer."
"All right for your Nana, for girls. No, not for lads, Billy. Lads do football... or boxing... or wrestling. Not friggin' ballet."
(a.k.a. "THE HUNT" - Directed By Thomas Vinterberg)
"The dictatorial power of the common neighbourhood", I think that would be a fair description of the movie "JAGTEN" (THE HUNT)... A masterpiece from Denmark, and this time, it's not coming from Lars Von Trier! Denmark has Susanne Bier and Thomas Vinterberg too!
Mads Mikkelsen (you may remember him from The "HANNIBAL" TV series) plays the role of a well-loved and well-respected Kindergarten Teacher, Lucas... "JAGTEN" (when referring to movies I like to use their Original titles) is a powerful drama from the North, about child molestation and the dark side of the contemporary world. Thanks to Mads Mikkelsen and his acting talent, this is a highly distracting movie (and it should be).
I like the nonchalant stance of the Scandinavian cinema. I can't help but think how this film would be ruined in the hands of Hollywood with lots of emotional abuse. Scandinavian cinema never does that (they had a legendary teacher, Ingmar Bergman), so you're in safe hands. Thomas Vinterberg (director of the movie) tells a universal story and his focus is absolutely on the right spot.
The movie is based in a cute neighbourhood in Denmark, where people respect each other (by the way, just like Lars Von Trier's "DOGVILLE", the neighbourhood in question could be any place in the world. This is not a "Denmark story", this is a "human story") - These are good people, they keep smiling and they look civilized! They're just like you and me; fathers, mothers, friends, lovers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters; and, barbarians?... How thin can be the line between a civilized society and a barbaric tribe? What's the point of telling the truth if the entire community believes that you're a liar, and, a ... ?
"JAGTEN" means "THE HUNT", and hunting is a regular activity for the residents of the neighbourhood. What does it tell us? If becoming a victim, OR, becoming a "hunt" is that easy in our society; what's the difference between the witch-hunts of the medieval period and the 21th century? Is there any difference at all? Lucas' resistance (Mads Mikkelsen) to becoming a HUNT teaches powerful lessons that could be teached in any class of Social Sciences.
"Hell is other people" (Jean-Paul Sartre)
Don't expect a shocking conclusion at the end of the movie.
Because the movie does it regularly.
"The world is full of nastiness, but if we stand by each other it would be ousted"
"REMEMBER" (2015) (Directed By Atom Egoyan)
Atom Egoyan movies are special... Mr. Egoyan himself is an intellectual who deals with themes such as denial and alienation in his movies. "REMEMBER" involves two Auschwitz survivors (legendary actors Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer) seeking revenge from a Nazi Officer who emigrated to United States and is held responsible for the murder of their families.
Now, I should definitely shut my mouth here to protect you from any kind of spoilers. Don't watch any movie trailer of "REMEMBER", don't read anything about it (except this one). Just watch it.
IT'S GENIUS! (so my thanks also go to Benjamin August, the writer.)
"We are the last living survivors from our prison block. Besides me, you are the only person who could still recognize the man who killed our families."
"ZORBA THE GREEK" (1964)
(Directed By Mihalis Kakogiannis)
[Photo Source] - Irene Papas ("The Widow"), from the movie "Zorba The Greek"
I must admit that, to me this is a "weak" movie when compared to the book written by Nikos Kazantzakis (yet the film holds 3 Oscars, but as you know we don't care about any awards here, especially when they come from The Academy), and I don't think that there is anyone to blame here. Because the book itself is to literature what Michelangelo's "David" is to sculpture, and it's impossible to reflect it's beauty in a medium other than literature. The movie is in this list because of the book, as you see I have a soft spot anything related to Kazantzakis' work which I consider literary magnum opuses. I wish I could read the story in its native language.
"Zorba The Greek" tells a lot about freedom, struggle, prejudice, misogynism, dogma, "the right of being different", humanity (if there is any left), and LIFE, in general.
We see two men here... One is an intelligent man but lacks the courage, knows a lot on paper but doesn't know much about LIFE and tries to learn it from the books... And the other one, Zorba, knows nothing about books, but knows a lot about life. Zorba teaches this young man a lot about LIFE and the "madness" he lacks (but desperately needs) in his life, throughout their daily conversations.
If you didn't read the book, I suggest reading it first, it's a MUST READ whether you're a regular reader or not. But if you watch the movie first, you might find yourself demotivated to read the book and miss one of the greatest treasures of literature (please don't let that happen), because as I've already said, unfortunately it's a weak movie (but it's always worth to watch a legendary actor like Anthony Quinn... And, we have Irene Papas... What a charismatic talent she is!).
The grave of Nikos Kazantzakis. It reads..:
"I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free." - [Photo Source]
- "Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everthing except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else..."
- "Or else?"
- "...he never dares cut the rope and be free."
"INTERSTATE 60: EPISODES OF THE ROAD" (2002)
(Directed By Bob Gale)
[Photo Source] - You see this man? Don't mess with him. (Gary Oldman)
What a FUN to see Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the same movie together with Bob Gale! I was wondering why a part of this movie has the same magic as "Back To The Future"!
Be careful what you wish for!
You already know the rest, right?
Because someone might hear you and take it seriously!
(Or, was it "Because you just might get it!")
I am still indecisive about this movie..:
Too fun, OR , too serious? Can both exist in the same basket?
Lewis Caroll's "Alice In Wonderland" meets a metaphysical "Back To The Future" on the "Interstate 60" which leads to self-discovery... How about that?... There are a lot to enjoy in this movie. Wonderful cast and crew (Gary Oldman, Kurt Russel, James Marsden, Amy Smart, Amy Jo Jhonson, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Chris Cooper), deep dialogue, great storytelling, social satire to the extremes, a native-american Leprechaun who smokes a "monkey head" pipe; and all of these happen on a highway that doesn't exist...
And along the road, people who don't know what to wish for!
- "Say what you mean, mean what you say. You know that if everybody followed that rule, there'd be a lot less trouble. You know, we still have a contract, Mr. Oliver. Sure hope you're not thinking about breaking that contract."
- "Thinking about it? Yes. Doing it? No, sir."
- "That's a very honest response. That's a breath of fresh air"
"FIELD OF DREAMS" (1989)
(Directed By Phil Alden Robinson)
"If you build it... He will come."
"If you build what, who will come? #$!X*#x$!"
"Wow, what an amazing patience this woman has" was my exact thoughts when I was watching this movie for the first time (but not for the last time). When you're broke and all alone, I think it's easier to deal with it; you still have your responsibilities but at least the only person you are responsible for is YOU... But when you have a family and if you're still broke you should think more than twice (approximately 20000 times) to risk all you've got to build a... Hey wait a minute, build what? Come again? GODDAMMIT!
AN ABSOLUTE CLASSIC; with the voice of our beloved Darth Vader, James Earl Jones (it's impossible to not recognize that charismatic voice, and this time we see the owner of the voice too as the character named Terence Mann), Amy Madigan, Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, and... Burt Lancaster! When you see Burt Lancaster enter the scene (and he's only there for just a few minutes), it's hard to describe that feeling but, you feel a "change", you feel the essence of true magic and that's what Cinema is all about. I think it must be something with these actors and actresses like Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, James Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn and others...
"FIELD OF DREAMS" (adapted to film from the book written by W. P. Kinsella) is one of the best "fantadramasy" movies ever, a thoroughly inspirational story where "fantasy" successfully meets "drama". If you're a baseball fan, then you might have an extra soft spot for this movie for understandable reasons, but calling this film a "baseball movie" would be more than injustice. It has a lot to say about "Baseball" (I mean it and you'll love it no matter which sport is your favorite one) but it also has a lot to say about making peace with oneself, courage, love and solidarity.
Would you have the same courage to follow a mysterious "voice" that comes from nowhere? Especially when you don't have a dime to spare and everything you have is under financial threat? "If you build it... He will come." - What does it supposed to mean, what should we build in the middle of a corn field? Don't we need the same corn field to pay our bills? "Fantasy Genre" is risky business where even a tiny glitch in the acting performances, atmosphere, or story, has the potential to ruin a movie entirely. This movie doesn't have a glitch, none of them. "FIELD OF DREAMS" is a masterpiece where you might find the inspiration to follow your own DREAMS.
"I'm 36 years old, I love my family, I love baseball, and I'm about to become a farmer. But until I heard the voice, I'd never done a crazy thing in my whole life."