Sane's Top 133 Favourite Films

→ in

It's pretty funny that Ozu was probably the biggest drunk of any of the great directors. It feels very ironic considering how restrained his films are, though he's one of very few directors (Hong Sang-Soo comes to mind) to thoroughly incorporate alcohol into his mise-en-scene.
Everytime I watch an Ozu film my wife comments that they are always drinking

Have you seen Win Wenders' documentary on Ozu? Wondering if it's worth trying to find it.

98. The Killing Fields (1984) - Roland Joffe

British War
Set in Cambodia at the time of the rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, this movie looks at war from the perspective of those not actually doing the fighting - in this case mainly journalists. It contains a great performance from Cambodian amateur actor Haing S Ngor who actually lived in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. This movie does an excellent job of depicting what it must be like in countries with an exceedingly unstable political situation and it also really makes you feel like you are there in South East Asia whilst watching it. Interesting side note, I have a friend whose father was a member of the Khmer Rouge - she said he was just a farmer and didn't have any choice. They escaped Cambodia and made it to Thailand where they lived in a refugee camp for three years. That's where she was born and her eldest brother died. Fortunately her father had learnt a little bit of English which allowed him to help translate in the refugee camp so they were allowed to come to Australia. Stories like her's and movies like this always make me think that I should try to avoid whining about my "first world problems"

98. The Killing Fields (1984) - Roland Joffe
amazing movie....horrifying... great soundtrack also..

97. In the Heat of the Sun (1994) - Jiang Wen

Chinese Drama
Jiang has the great honour of being the first director to have more than one movie on this list - I should send him a certificate ... or perhaps a plaque. That's actually quite impressive considering I think he's only directed six times (including as part of New York, I Love You) and I haven't been able to find two of them. This is a great coming of age at the time of the cultural revolution movie. This type of movie is quite common in China, and in Taiwan they have a number of similar films also, and no one else seems to do it quite as well - the mixing of very personal stories with important moments in a country's history. Jiang brings his usual ability to generate both comedy and drama. As I said for his last film, he is a great directorial talent and I hope to see more from him.

96. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) - James Foley

American Drama
I'm really focussed on directors - almost everything I watch is based on who directed it and I think that this is the most important factor that influences the quality of a movie. This is one of the odd occasions where the director is pretty much irrelevant. James Foley is, in general, a pretty bad director but I guess he deserves credit for staying out of the way and not stinking this up as he has done with every other movie he directed. Perhaps I'm being unfair ... Anyway, this is a great movie thanks to David Mamet and his amazing script mixed with a great cast who were able to make the most of every great line. It's set in a real estate sales office and the whole thing has a very cynical tone. One of the best parts is working out who from the cast of Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris or Alec Baldwin put in the best performance. For me the most surprising performance belonged to Alec Baldwin - I thought he'd be a bit out of his depth but he was great in a relatively small role.

95. Drive (2011) - Nicolas Winding Refn

American Action
Winding Refn seems to be a director that people either love or hate and he is definitely a favourite of mine. In some ways he is my idea of the perfect modern director due to him bringing a strong sense of visual style to somewhat mainstream stories. Perhaps Darren Aronofsky & Tetsuya Nakashima are two other directors who do something similar. This is a relatively standard story with Ryan Gosling playing a getaway driver but the highlight is how brilliantly it is filmed. It makes the action exceedingly exciting and heightens the tension and paranoia. Imagine The Fast & The Furious directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

I've been meaning to see The Killing Fields for years, and think I finally will once I'm done watching the 60's.
The Killing Fields is what Platoon would have been like if Terrence Malick had directed it.

I've been meaning to watch Glengarry Glen Ross, it looks like my kind of film. I definitely gotta get to it soon...

Drive is great, and the comparison you make between F&F and Melville is actually pretty fun. But I wouldn't call this film an action though, more drama/thriller-ish.

Drive introduced me to this great song

And overall a fantastic film, one of the best of the current decade.
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it

94. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) - Sidney Lumet

American Crime
My favourite of the 10 Lumet films I've seen - with the exception of a brief period in the 80s when he appeared to lose his mind he has a great resume so this is the best of a number of good films. One of Pacino's best films and one of the highlights for me is the performance of John Cazale - such a great actor and IMO the best short career any actor ever had. Overall an excellent combination of story, script & characters.

On the subject of lists, Empire of the Sun is a film that I rarely see in members' lists. In fact, I can't recall seeing it in any... Immensely underrated film! It will be in my top 250.

93. Django Unchained (2012) - Quentin Tarantino

American Western
Tarantino's second best film and my second favourite Western - although whilst I have seen every Tarantino film I haven't seen that many Westerns (something I'm trying to change). From memory the first time I watched this I turned it off halfway through but upon subsequent viewings I loved it. For me the success of the film is built on a couple of things that highlight Tarantino's real talent - a great script and amazing chemistry between his actors. He Is able to take actors who on paper seem to have little in common and have them work really well together on screen. I should point out that this would be much higher on this list if not for the horrible part with Tarantini playing an Australian. No more acting please Quentin.

Shame you docked it so much for QT's s***ty acting, because pretty much everybody else was top notch. I particularly enjoyed the performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and the underrated Don Johnson, who was hilarious as Big Daddy.

I have to watch Django again. It's sitting on my shelf but I haven't seen it since the theater. Right now it's my sixth favorite Tarantino but I still loved it. It had third act problems for me.