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Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:55 pm
by Kazu
William Ward wrote:For all those who listed Seven Samurai, give 'The Hidden Blade' a try. Similar to Twilight Samurai, but I liked it a little more.
I've been wanting to see that, especially since Yoji Yamada's previous film, The Twilight Samurai, is one of my recent favorites. In fact, this is reminding me of why I'm so excited about the upcoming 3:10 to Yuma. It's looking like another solid little gem of a western, and I could really use that kind of inspiration right now (I mention westerns, because I just see samurai films as Japanese westerns).

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:27 am
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240

Another samurai film from the director of Twilight Samurai? How did I miss this?

Gonna rent it tonight, for sure.

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:41 am
by Azzamckazza
1) Toy Story 1 and 2 <- You can't really have one without the other. The quality of TS2 still blows me away. As close to a perfect film as you could want

2) Delicatessen - Saw this film for the first time last year and it rocketed to the top of my list. Storytelling and design in it's purest form.

3) Brazil - Wonderfully bleak vision of the future. Brazil is closer to a totalitarian future than 1984...and it's terrifying.

4) Magnolia - I get a strong urge to watch this film about once a year. Every time I do I get something new from it. A very deep masterpiece

5) Amelie - another Jeunet, but I'm a big fan of his. If this movie doesn't make you feel all warm and gooshy inside you need to check your pulse.

6) Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory - Nostalgia feeds into this one, but I love it for it's simplicity. Something went wrong with the Burton version

7) Hot Fuzz - (and Shaun of The Dead) These films inspire me not only because they're fun, but because it's so obvious that they're made by friends making a movie that they want to see. Geeks like us. Makes me want to do the same.

8 ) The Iron Giant - Enough has been written about this one.

9) Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind - Love put on screen in such a unique way. This movie takes trust, but it pays off. Inspirational in the way that Gondry tried to do as many of the effects shots as possible in camera, old school film trickery.

10) Who Framed Roger Rabbit- Another near-perfect film. They don't need to make another live-action/animated film ever again. They got it right with this one.

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:06 pm
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240
Azzamckazza wrote: Hot Fuzz - (and Shaun of The Dead) These films inspire me not only because they're fun, but because it's so obvious that they're made by friends making a movie that they want to see. Geeks like us. Makes me want to do the same.
Amen. :)

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:33 am
by Scott Hallett
Wow, this is a great thread! These wouldn't be my top 10, but probably fit the bill of artistic influence the best. I'm sure I'm forgetting a dozen or so. My two cents (in no particular order)

1) Spirited Away - Simply amazing. Not only for the character design and story, but for the use of subtlety in conveying character traits. The scene that stands out is in the furnace room when Chihiro is fiddling with her shoes... a subtlety that cost a fortune (in frames of animation) but does so much to speak to her apprehension and her insecurity, remaining a little girl in spite of her fantastic situation.

2) Nausicaa - Breathtaking, epic, and beautiful. Just pure perfection.

3) Akira - I don't know if anyone mentioned this one, but if not I'm surprised. This film is the single reason I am a big manga and anime fan today (and all the influences that those things have brought to my work). There was a rumor going around saying someone was going to make a live action remake of this, and one journalist nailed it on the head: "Why would you remake a movie that's already perfect?"

4) Memento - Absolutely original, and a wonderful introduction to a brilliant director.

5) Shaun of the Dead - Just brilliant, start to finish. The love for this project (Hot Fuzz as well) just pours out of every frame. If you can hunt down their tv show "Spaced" you should do so, also brilliant (starring Simon Pegg with Nick Frost cameos, directed by Edgar Wright).

6) Pan's Labyrinth - True fantasy played out on screen.

7) Tron - I know, it's corny. But if you asked my 8 year-old self, it was pure gold, and it gets the imagination spinning. Probably one of the first times I wanted to create characters and worlds in my head (and on paper).

8) Goonies - Same reasons as number 7. Pure high adventure.

9) Alice in Wonderland - Disney really took a risk with this one given their bread and butter. I think it's the reason I always want forests to have fantastic mushrooms and crooked tree stumps in them.

10) Sleepy Hollow - Not the best film Burton's ever done, but one of my favorite design wise. The town of sleepy hollow and the surrounding woods are characters in and of themselves.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:05 pm
by mr cow
too hard! i think i have 200 or something. here's 10 just off the top of my head because i can't resist listing...

1. Ferngully- I'm in love with Crysta!

2. Secret of Nimh- Bluth's Best by far.

3. Ghost World- just great character relationships all the way through.

4. Nightmare Before Christmas- yup.

5. Just pick a Ghibli film- but i guess Kiki is the one i put in the most.

6. The Incredibles- the story structure of this is what's incredible.

7. Silverado- my favorite western! everything is just thrown in there for fun and yet it's still a great story. terrific characters too.

8. POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl- possibly one of the most perfectly executed modern films.

9. the LOTR trilogy- they put the books on screen. and they are great books.

10. Braveheart- set the standard for every period epic since. and still the best. this movie propelled my already huge love of film scores too. james horner's best and last great year.

I could go on!

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:16 pm
by angeldevil
I love this sort of question because I live in the midst of a film collection to rival most (really good) video stores, and I see so many films and TV shows that my influences change all the time. This is what I'm into this week, I may resort to listing film makers when I can't narrow it down to a single film...

1 Evil Dead 2 is an all time favorite of mine. It's completely surreal and, I think, Sam Rami at his best. I like a lot of his other films, too though.

2 Del Toro's (who doesn't love him?) Cronos and Devil's Backbone are the two films I'm closest to, and I think his view of childhood is very close to mine -- that may or may not be a good thing.

3 The City of Lost Children/Delicatessin/Dernier Chaperon Rouge and a host of other French films made by that group of filmmakers (which would include La Haine and some others I'm forgetting the titles of right now...)

4 Leon with Jean Reno. Hey, they shot it in my home town. Luc Besson at the top of his game. It works as an action film but also as an art film. It makes me long for the days when Besson had teeth...

5 Kairo (or Pulse) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who is an art-film director I can only compare with Cronenburg. All his films are chilling, and beautiful. He knows how to do atmosphere.

6 Spaced is TV, but so many people brought up Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz... I saw Spaced first, and fell in love. I mean, that's my life! I never see my life on the screen...

7 Satoshi Kon. Go on, pick a title. All his stuff is incredible. One of those animators who transcends anime and is just brilliant animation.

8 Mind Game (and the Studio 4°C crew) is one of the flat out best animated features I've seen. Ever. Very experimental. Great style. I should add Tekkonkinkurrito and Nekojiro-so to that as well, they share some of the same creative personnel.

9 The Red Shoes and Singing in the Rain which have nothing in common short of being classic cinema and very stylish. Films you would have to watch in your Cinema 101 class but won't hate. Both had a huge influence on my use of color at a young age and lasts to this day. The fake out doors sets in Bringing Up Baby stuck in my brain as well.

10 Battle Royal and Uzumaki have nothing in common but came out the same year. Both really struck me by the use of action and visual style. Mind you, Kinji Fukusaku has done a host of brilliant, visually stunning films, but BR is the most like his Yakuza crime stuff of the 1970s, but with a bigger budget and scale. Uzumaki is a great example of a graphic novel being translated to screen successfully. With that in mind, one of the best comic to film adaptations has got to be Danger Diabolik.

To end it all, I'm going through a faze of flashy action while I work on my (decidedly violent) urban fantasy of a book proposal, so it's most likely that I will spend the rest of the week re-watching Banlieue 13 and Attack the Gas Station... and maybe The Host... if I don't get lost in a the stack of obscure anime on my work table first.

Whew, sorry for the super long post.

Top Ten Inspirational Movies

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:47 am
by James_80
In no particular order here thay are.

Dark Crystal - I love Jim Henson's stuff with a passion so you with find three of my ten are his movies. Dark Crystal scared me as a child but I could never bring myself not to watch it. The world is so rich and exciting. Due in a large part ot Brian Froud's conceptual artwork.

Labyrinth - This one I love even more than the Dark Crystal, I think the dark crystal had a more epic serious feel to it. Labyrinth had some wonderful theme's involving growing up and friendship but it maintained a great sense of zany humor throughout. Again due to Brian Froud's amazing conceptual work and the writing of one Terry Jones.

The Muppet Movie - Just a classic a great premise of the craziest characters in the world on the road to go to Hollywood to get a contract to be rich and famous. Full of running gags and bears in studabakers.

Princess Mononoke - An all-time favorite of mine. I went to see this in an independent cinema when it was released in North America because there was no way at that time that a major theater would have played this in Winnipeg. I love it, and of all the Anime movies I've watched since I think the themes in this one touch me the deepest. It makes me reflect on many different subjects such as the human relationship to the earth, to each other as individuals, about hatred and most of all about love. A beautiful film.

Conan the Barbarian - I love this movie, and I love Arnold in it. As I grow older it is hard for me to keep enjoying some of his other movies, but this one. James Earl Jones as the Villain, man I just can't get enough.

Cool Hand Luke - A slow paced movie, but what a great story with such amazing life moments. who will ever forget the boxing match with Dragline or eating 50 hard boiled eggs in and hour. I actually wore a beer bottle opener around my neck for years after watching this film.

The Last Samurai - I really dig Edward Zwick movies, I think that he and Riddley Scott are kings of the Period Epic. I have a huge problem with the ending but I still watch this movie more often than many other films.

Roman Holiday - Yeah I like romantic films too this one with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn is on of my favorites, I mean what average Joe has not wanted to romance a princess. I know I have.

A Life Less Ordinary - I went to see this and it remains one of my all-time favorite romantic Films. Again Joe Schmoe and the displaced princess, but this time with Homicidal Angels, Demented Dentists, Overbearing CEO fathers and Hired Hitmen. And it ends off with Claymation.

The Lord of the Rings - I don't even Consider this a Trilogy. It is so hard for me to watch it all in one sitting but I really like to think of it as one big long almost 12 hour movie. I also have taken to enjoying the behind the scenes documentary as much as the Film itself. Pure inspiration here. Golden.

That is my Top Ten.


Re: Top Ten Inspirational Movies

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:28 pm
by Azzamckazza
James_80 wrote:
The Muppet Movie - Just a classic a great premise of the craziest characters in the world on the road to go to Hollywood to get a contract to be rich and famous. Full of running gags and bears in studabakers.
I think the think I love most about 'The Muppet Movie' is that Kermit's driving force to go to Hollywood isn't to become rich and famous but to make millions of people happy.

I always thought that was kinda cool

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:37 pm
by James_80

I love when he is confronted with his own self doubt in the desert and can't quite agree with himself what exactly Gonzo is, "Kinda like a turkey but not really."

Rock'n'Roll in Presbyterian churches and 4' prunes.

Thanks for bringing up the point about making people happy, it truly is the most important part of the deal.


Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:22 pm
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240
"Animal eat drums!!!!! NAAAAAHHH!!!!!"

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:06 pm
by Azzamckazza
James_80 wrote: I love when he is confronted with his own self doubt in the desert and can't quite agree with himself what exactly Gonzo is, "Kinda like a turkey but not really."
I was so bummed when they explained away gonzo in 'Muppets From Space'. It was always 'A Frog, and a Bear and a ....whatever' Having him as an alien ruined the mystery.

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:08 am
by geckochan
That's very very sad that they had to go and ruin that for you Azzam.

I'm not gonna list my top 10, because that's hard, just 10 that occur to me right now.

-Millenium Actress - for a gorgeously constructed narrative and allowing the viewer to answer questions for themselves

-Russian Ark - for inventive, subtle, quiet storytelling

-After Life - for quiet quirkiness and humanity

-Lilo and Stitch - for watercolour backgrounds and lack of fatal sugar levels

-2046 - for awesome glowing saturated colours - lots of corridor/neon-light greens etc. And for the effective story on the train - I wish that segment was longer

-Nausicaa - for a feeling of openness/spaciousness and for being extremely moving but never manipulative

-The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - because I enjoy the playing with of artifice and representation

-Mind Game - because it's Mind Game

-Big Fish - because it's as wildly inventive as all Burton's stuff but still quite subdued, and plays with archetypes and experience

-She and her cat - a short by the artist behind Voices of a Distant Star, for paring down a story so effectively to it's emotional core that it can be told in so little time and words

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:38 am
by James_80
I was so bummed when they explained away gonzo in 'Muppets From Space'. It was always 'A Frog, and a Bear and a ....whatever' Having him as an alien ruined the mystery.

I have gotten into an argument about this more than once. So many people I talk to just seem to shrug and accept this. I can't. I loved the concept of Gonzo as a "Weirdo" and not being able to be classified. At least somebody from the other side of the planet agrees with me. It feels so good, not to be alone.

I'm not a huge fan of post Jim Henson Muppets.

Here's to some mystery in life, eh.


Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:46 pm
by MacArthurSoup
When it comes to a direct influence, there's only one film that inspires my work, and that's Moscow on the Hudson.
It's a love letter to New York and its incredible cultural diversity, and a story about making your own family in a foreign land. I take several cues from the themes in this one. It's a great, overlooked movie that always, without fail, makes me proud to be an American.

Just for the sake of talking about Kurosawa, Rashomon is my hands down fave. The climax is, IMO, the greatest fight sequence in cinema history. Period. And if you haven't seen it, it will surprise you in the most gut-wrenching way. Oh my gosh, it's so good.

I love lots of movies, but not many are directly factoring into my work, so... I dunno.
Jeunet is delightful. The Cohen Bros. rock. Miyazaki, well of course. Kieslowski just about ties Rashomon. Wes Anderson is great. They all have these bodies of work... it's hard to decide on a favorite.

Wait. Glengarry Glenn Ross teaches so much about Dialogue. That influences me. Ha!