Why 33, you ask? Well, it’s my birthday and I’ve already posted about my top 30 books (which even now I’d probably change a little) and some favourite things from 1988. It’s not difficult to list 33 films I love – all I have to do is remember the ones I’ve watched over and over… or just look at my DVD shelf! As with books, I need to have watched a film more than once to think of it as a favourite. Here they are, in no particular order.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The greatest film of all time. Enough said.
The Matrix (1999). Action, philosophy, cool outfits, excellent special effects. The second and third films were not quite as good but I still like them. Looking forward to the mysterious 4th film…
Yellow Submarine (1968). Trippy animation, Beatles songs and a lot of bad jokes. A long-time favourite.
The Secret Garden (1993). My default ‘sick day’ film. Probably another candidate for films that are better than the book.
Chariots of Fire (1981). Classic film, oddly I can’t quite pinpoint what I most like about it, apart from the music.
Never Let Me Go (2010). It’s very sad but so well-done and a wonderful realisation of Ishiguro’s book.
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). I saw it 3 times at the cinema, that’s how taken I was with this 1st instalment.
Disney’s Aladdin (1992). Always a favourite. Perhaps not the most culturally sensitive Disney film but I do love the animation style, the songs and of course Robin Williams’ Genie.
The World’s End (2013). My favourite of the ‘Cornetto trilogy’ and absolutely my kind of humour.
AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001). Haunting film, based on a Brian Aldiss short story that I’ve only recently read.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979). Hilarious, blasphemous and quite brave, I think.
Elizabethtown (2005). Underrated romance and family drama film I am really fond of.
Disney’s Hercules (1997). I’ve loved this one ever since I saw it at the cinema. Not only are there are some great voice actors, wacky animation styles and brilliant songs, it also introduces you to Greek myths.
Oliver! (1968). Unlikely source material perhaps but it’s a long-time favourite musical.
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962). A classic film, its greatness matching the original book.
Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1982). Grim and amusing by turns, it seems more significant every time I watch it.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Different to the original book in some respects, it’s a great film which I’ve been thinking of re-watching since Ratched was released.
Bicentennial Man (1999). Based on an Asimov story, this is a thought-provoking, gentle sci-fi romance.
Mary Poppins (1964). Another of those ‘sick day’ films, I’ve declared this one to be better than the book.
The Brave Little Toaster (1987). A lesser-known but amazing animated film about appliances on an adventure. I have only just discovered it was based on a book by Thomas M Disch.
Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959). Very romantic and stylish with one of the best Disney villains, a long-time favourite.
Alien (1979). The 1st Alien film is the best in the franchise and the effects still look fantastic.
Little Women (1994). I love this adaptation of one of my favourite classics.
The Railway Children (1970). Another of those films which can be considered superior to the book.
Groundhog Day (1993). I could watch this over and over again, and indeed I have.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991). Another of those classic 90s Disneys and an especially dear one to bibliophiles.
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983). Darkly hilarious and has the best Python songs.
Depeche Mode 101 (1989). Pioneering documentary / concert film with brilliant performances.
X-Men (2000). It would be tempting to say that Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is the main reason I enjoy this film but I think it’s generally impressive.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). One of my favourite things from 1988.
Disney’s Fantasia (1940). A long-time favourite – even if it did scare me – which introduced me to classical music. It was cutting-edge for the era, too.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). The style is a bit edgier than the previous HP films. Plus, it has the first appearances in the series of Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon.
Donnie Darko (2001). Strange and compulsive, with a great soundtrack. I also love that Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal play a brother and sister in the film too.
Are any of these your favourites?