Cinema, the so-called seventh art (coined by Italian film theoretician Ricciotto Canudo), has been largely integrated in popular culture despite being born relatively late compared to its preceding art forms. I don’t claim myself to be a film maniac because the number of films I have watched is honestly really tiny compared to the vast pool of acclaimed masterpieces out there. But as with anybody, I have certain tastes for movies, and here is my favourite movies I have watched so far.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The mythic “James Dean” is frequently mentioned in pop songs, from Lana Del Rey’s sadcore Blue Jeans to Taylor Swift’s funky pop Style. Who is this guy that everyone seems to be so obsessed with? After a little research I came across Rebel Without a Cause, the film famously attached to the rebellious energy and iconic status of James Dean, the American culture icon of teenage disillusionment, the rebel, the epitome of cool. I could surprisingly relate to the movie – an estranged teenager struggling to make friends and craving everyone’s understanding and love, especially from parents with opposite mindsets. Though my situation is not that miserable, I could understand why people idolise Dean – he expressed his raw, utterly honest feelings with no shame, he raged and cried out loud when he needed to, and he had crazy reckless decisions, too, much like the majority of teens in there rebellious period. The movie made me infatuated with Dean and is my go-to when I feel like I don’t want to talk to anyone. To the icon, James Dean!
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
The trilogy that started them all – CGI-based visual effects and all those crazy high-tech technologies specialised for filmmaking. The three movies are indeed eye poppers – vast grasslands, emerald waters and vertiginous mountains of New Zealand as well as the over-satisfying effects are there to serve whoever craves eye candy type of movies. The extremely well-written storyline further helps immortalise the trilogy to an iconic status that has become the magnum opus for modern film industry. Eye-catching, thrilling, emotion-evoking, though-provoking, altogether combined. Valuable lessons are also endowed within the movie – courage, bravery, friendship, love, goodwill, sacrifice. Oh boy, how iconic!
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
I came across this 90s movie when my mom was watching while preparing for lunch some time in my high school summer breaks. This movie has a special place in my heart because it is the movie that ignited my fascination in cinema. The visuals are mesmerising, featuring vividly bright red lanterns as the main ornament and therefrom portraying Chinese, or broadly East Asian, feudal concubinage. The story is filled with poignancy of a young college girl sold to a rich family to be the man’s fourth wife. The acting, especially of the lead female Gong Li, is subtle yet powerful. There is hardly any climax, but viewers are forced to pay full attention to figure out what will happen next in the storyline.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Classic Hollywood is the era that brought forward beauty standards endowed with elegance, grace, and a glimpse of sexual liberation. The legendary Audrey Hepburn is one of the most enduring icons for female beauty, with her big gleaming eyes, gorgeous nose, and extremely harmonising charisma that can calm one’s infuriating soul with a bright smile. While my friends share their plaudits for the frequently celebrated Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday is my favourite Audrey film. Set in the eternal city of Rome, the movie is indeed the eye candy for those who either are in love or idolise romance. My favourite moment is when Audrey’s character, Princess Ann, decides to have her hair cut as a sign of her liberation. The Princess was already gorgeous with long hair, but short hair really did her justice, showcasing her whole beautiful forehead and bright eyes. Side notes: Gregory Peck is also handsome.
The movie that always reminds me of the Hollywood craze during childhood. My parents were infatuated with this movie. My elementary school friends were discussing Titanic all the time. Yes, we were exposed to this film quite late because Vietnam was in its relatively new phase of global trade and communications. But anyways, we really don’t have to discuss how great this movie is, right?
P.s. My writings above are based on personal viewpoints, so there may be parts where readers find incorrect or offensive. I just want to remind that this article was written on good faith, so please relax and enjoy 🙂