Thursday, May 30, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 110



NEW IN THEATERS




This Week
  • After Earth
  • American Mary* / 59%
  • The East* / 72%
  • Hannah Arendt* / 100%
  • The Kings of Summer* / 80%
  • Now You See Me
  • Shadow Dancer* / 88%
  • The Wall* / 63%


Last Week
  • Before Midnight / 97%
  • Epic / 62%
  • Fast & Furious 6 / 72%
  • The Hangover Part III / 20%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES


  • 6 Month Rule / 22%
  • Aroused / 18%
  • Dark Skies / 34%
  • Father Goose / 75%
  • Generation Um... / 0%
  • The Grass is Greener / 100%
  • Life is Sweet / 100%
  • Lore / 93%
  • The Loving Story / 100%
  • The Numbers Station / 30%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

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POSTER CHILD





There's four posters for Hayao Miyazaki's upcoming film "The Wind Rises." Check out the other three over on The Film Stage. "The Wind Rises" hits Japanese big screens on july 20th. We can likely expect it here earlier next year with an English dub, that tends to be the way it's been going with Studio Ghibli's films. This poster in particular shows a human trace within nature, a staple for the studio in addition to the lush hand-animated locale(s).

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ENLISTED




HitFix lists "10 Bad Movies that Look Great" meaning films that weren't well-regarded except in the eye-candy department. "Prometheus" and "Tron: Legacy" are two fitting placeholders.



Criterion has assembled a list of some of Andrei Tarkovsky's favorite films. Yeah, some of them are his own.

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THE GOOD



Here's The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy's analysis of the awards at the recently concluded Festival de Cannes wherein "Blue is the Warmest Color" took home the coveted Palme d'Or. Check out the full list of winners here.

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THE WEIRD




Here are "Cannes' 5 Strangest Moments," from K-Pop impersonators to jewel thieves, the events of this years Festival de Cannes would actually make for a pretty good movie.



Besides being the most prestigious film festival on the planet, Cannes is also a popular market for hopeful filmmakers to sell their movies. Here's 10 wacky posters of some you've  never heard of and will likely never see, though I dearly want to see "Sharknado" now. (Source: Total Film)



Matt Singer argues that "Fast and Furious" is the most complicated franchise in Hollywood.

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AND THE RANDOM



Check out the top five of the domestic weekend box office above. Scott Mendelson covers the weekend box office over on Forbes. "Fast and Furious 6" set Memorial Weekend records! 


Surely the most talked about film at Cannes this year was Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives," the Danish director's follow-up to "Drive" also starring Ryan Gosling.  Like most interesting festival fodder critics and attendees are split. (Source: Criticwire)



Oh, and here is an interview over on JoBlo with Refn about the response, including that infamous Cannes "boo!"

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OR THE COOL




Check out this sweet character map for "The Great Gatsby," still playing in theaters across the globe.



Here's something for another film still in theaters, "8-Bit Cinema: Iron Man in 60 Seconds."


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MAYBE THE HILARIOUS



If you hit up the theater this weekend to see "After Earth" then you should be on the lookout for Will Smith making noises. As the supercut above can attest, the man is noisy!


You better believe that The Onion would take the fact that "Blue is the Warmest Color," a lesbian drama, won the top prize at Cannes. Here's the result.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: PRELUDE / VERTIGO



"Prelude" by Bernard Herrmann
as seen and heard in
Vertigo (1958)

On Friday we went to the legendary Egyptian theater on Hollywood Blvd. for a screening of Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo." Tonight's Movie Music Moment is the first minutes of that experience. I simply cannot do the opening credits and attached score justice in words (especially how it permeated that historical space), but if you watch the above link in HD, on full screen and with you lights turned off you'll get a taste of its power. To be truthful that's simply the best way to experience the Movie Music Moments, my words are merely a poor man's brief analysis.

Of all the Bernard Herrmann scores (including multiple soundtracks for Mr. Hitchcock) this one may be my favorite. It immediately starts us swirling down a drain, like the blood would in "Psycho" just two years later, but this time aurally so. It's a sound you'd expect to hear whilst reading Lewis Carroll's chapter about Alice falling down that rabbit hole. Nothing comes close in my mind's library except for what Jonny Greenwood did in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" last year. Different sound, alike effect. It's mysterious and terrifying. It transitions at the minute mark to become more of a tragic dwindling - I think that part would fit a James Bond film rather well actually.


The music is set to a visual sequence made by Saul Bass, another collaborator with Hitchcock and important name in film history. The spiraling designs are symbols of the path our soon to be introduced protagonist will be stepping into. All is set in the eyes of a woman, perhaps the most dangerous of snares for susceptible men. All this said, without Herrmann's score the trance would not be complete.


It's come to my attention that opening credits are quite popular for my Movie Music Moments. "Boogie Nights," "Pulp Fiction," and "The Shining" have each received this treatment. Studying opening credits is likely a segment all of its own, but I will be focusing on the audio side of them for now in certain cases of Movie Music Moment. What do you think of the opening of "Vertigo," Herrmann's score in the film, or any other films? Please feel free to open your mind to us in the comments below!

Until next time, keep watching and stay listening.

Monday, May 20, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: LEAKED TEST FOOTAGE FOR STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

With the anticipated release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" over the weekend, and how stellar a motion picture it was, I became more excited than ever to see what J.J. Abrams would do with the even more popular space-set franchise, "Star Wars." Set for a 2015 release we're still a ways off from any plot details, production stills or other publicity material for "Episode VII" BUT last weekend an unknown source has posted what is reportedly "leaked test footage" for that very film!

While fans have speculated and/or feared how Abrams would tackle the beloved franchise we never could have seen this coming...

Disclaimer: What you are about to see cannot be unseen.


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Just give me a moment.

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And you thought what "Kinect Star Wars" did was a travesty to the intellectual property?!

Apparently after seeing an early screening of "The Great Gatsby" J.J. Abrams was inspired with what to do with the mammoth task ahead of him. "George Lucas' films changed cinema forever," Abrams told the Associated Press, "And now I want to change 'Star Wars' forever! 'Episode VII' is going to feature a mostly hip-hop and K-Pop soundtrack. While the [John] Williams score is a treasure among movie soundtracks I want it to belong the original two trilogies. We're working with PSY to produce an original track to play over the opening scroll and it's going to knock fans' socks off!" More like their heads off!

Many have speculated why Abrams would be going this route with the series. It is now a well-known fact that the foreign box office has surpassed domestic earnings on Hollywood blockbusters and thus it has become more important to please those overseas than those at home. K-Pop is the fuel that keeps the Asian heart pumping. American pop and hip-hop is also incredibly popular and influential around the globe (not to mention among the rising generation here in the United States). "You take two of the most popular things on Earth," explained screenwriter Michael Arndt, "'Star Wars' and rap, and you push them together to see what pops out!" Arndt is reportedly helping write the lyrics for some of the songs in addition to plot duty.



The film is not just going to have a completely modern soundtrack, it is going to feature multiple dance numbers as the test footage demonstrates. Filmmaker Julie Taymor and her team of choreographers are also rumored to be aboard for helping out in this department. Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando in "The Empire Strikes Back," recently spoke to journalists about reprising his role, "My character was always meant to get jiggy with it. Once Lucas even pulled me aside one day on set and helped me develop some backstory for Lando. There's going to be a lot of flashbacks in J.J.'s film and we will see how each of the characters learned their moves and, more importantly, how they learned to groove together." Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are all rumored to be returning. Fisher has already spoken out about how personal trainers are helping her get back in shape. We can only assume dance lessons will be part of that process. Dear readers, I want you to just close your eyes and imagine Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, as they are now, taking part in a galactic line dance...

And we thought a plethora of lens flares was something to worry about! Suddenly George Lucas and his addiction to post-post-production CGI infusions doesn't sound so bad! Folks, the future of "Stars Wars" is in far worse shape than we could have possibly known. What are your thoughts are these developments? Will you even bother seeing the film at all? Personally, I sense a great and terrible disturbance in the force.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

MV TO ME: PSY - GENTLEMAN

MV TO ME?

What is this? It's a new weekly feature on The Film Tome wherein I will briefly analyze a music video. This year I've started doing the Movie Music Moment, which I hope to continue doing each Monday until the Internet is shut down. In similar fashion I will attempt to bring a new (though not necessarily new) music video to the observation table each Saturday where I can share a thought or three about it. 

Part of me views music videos as short films (that's the plain and simple answer to anyone wondering what business this has doing here on The Film Tome) and I am therefore drawn to those doing something artful, narrative-based, or in PSY's case, different. I will hopefully avoid discussing music videos where a bunch of young and nasty things shake their various things while dancing on things... And if I do there better be a damn good reason.

Back in the days of AllMoPs, the mothership from whence The Film Tome emerged, I used to do a Music Video of the Week. Essentially this (MV to Me) is the same thing. I didn't like that title because it could be interpreted that I watch a lot of music videos (which I don't) and I plucked the best of them to share with you (which I didn't). Instead, MV to Me simply means it's my impressions on the music video at hand. Because of my previous series I have plenty in the bank to recall and update for for future MV to Me posts.


PSY - Gentlemen

Much like "Gangnam Style" this one came out of nowhere when it appeared on the officialpsy YouTube channel just over a month ago. This is remarkable as "Gangnam Style," over the span of several months, became the single most-played song of 2012. The fact that PSY could unleash another hit single out of the blue was unthought of - he was regarded and dismissed (the world put PSY down as quickly as they picked him up) as a "one hit wonder." Well, it's arguable if he has "done it again."

The song itself has hardly the earworm factor of a "Gangnam Style" and it will likely never receive the coverage - over radio, TV and interweb waves - that it's predecessor achieved, but this is a good thing. It was overplaying that killed "Gangnam Style" like so many other pop hits. The song itself is an melodic electronic loop, the type that's probably best played in a car whilst driving down the freeway. The lyrics are just as redundant and even less worth your time. PSY makes Justin Timberlake seem like Coldplay by comparison. "I'm a mother-father gentleman," makes no sense in any language.

The video itself also lives in the shadow of "Gangnam Style." PSY and crew have devised a new dance that is hardly as entertaining to watch or do yourself, though I remember now that a middle-aged European man suffered a fatal heart attack while doing the "Gangnam Style". The line-dancing (a common staple in K-Pop performances), the sun lounging and the outrageous indoor staging all feel like they're trying to capture the lightning in a bottle that has long-since disappeared. Nothing about this music video is better conceived or carried out than what came before. The conceit here is that PSY is the furtherest thing from a "gentleman" (get it?!) and goes around mistreating public property and women alike. Pranksters can be funny, gangsters can be cool, but what we have here is a man-child acting a complete fool. That rhymed, and it was better than the songwriting on display here.

I had fun when I first watched "Gentleman" five Saturdays ago. I believe I even felt it surpassed the music video of "Gangnam Style." However, as I re-watched it tonight for my analysis I realized that it would be nothing without that first hit, tries to match it, but ends up being one saddening miss.

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 109





Writer/director David Twohy has returned with his third film in the Riddick series, aptly named "Riddick." Vin Diesel reprises his role as the neck-grabbing, gun-blazing, blade-slashing fugitive that can see in the dark. This time around he's on an alien planet and most deal with its fierce indigenous life in addition to the mercenaries with his head on the menu. I've only seen pieces of the previous film though I deeply admire the video game. This one looks to get back to the original film's ("Pitch Black") sensibilities and isn't sacrificing itself to get a PG-13 rating. Come see in the dark on September 6th.



Might "August: Osage County" be the first Oscar-bait film we've seen the trailer for? (Well, just wait for "The Butler" - below) Meryle Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Abigal Breslin play the womenfolk of the Weston family who are brought back together at their Midwest home for a family crisis which turns into a family reunion. Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard and BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! play some of the menfolk. Raise the roof on this domestic-spaced dramedy due out November 8th.



Forest Whitaker is "The Butler," the next film from Lee Daniels who is most famous for his controversial film "Precious." It tears through the years with Cecil Gains, the black man who served as the head butler of the White House for over 30 years and 8 presidents. The name-known cast goes on and on including Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack and Cuba Gooding Jr. Alan Rickman and Robin Williams play Reagan and Eisenhower respectively. There's the familiar period piece glaze all over this world full of a secondary and overly hateful characters. I wish we could escape this model of biopics. Here's hoping for something more human than "Lincoln," though Whitaker may take home his second Oscar just as Daniel Day-Lewis did. "The Buter" is releasing a little early for Awards season fodder on August 16th.



"Venus and Serena" is a documentary about the Williams sisters, two of women's  tennis greatest athletes of all-time. This is a close look at their lives on and off the court and how their family dynamic is integral to where they are today. "Venus and Serena" is currently available on iTunes and playing in select cities.


A final and red-banded trailer for "The Hangover Part III" has appeared on the horizon and just in time for next weekend's release. This one compiles footage from the first two movies to make it seem like a trilogy was the plan all along. If this one ends up being as successful as the last one methinks it will conveniently turn into a quadrilogy. Plenty of crude humor (sex, drugs and violence-related) and even more plot details are on display.



Here's the latest (and "main") trailer for "Pacific Rim," the ultimate big@$$ monster and colossal robot movie from visionary director Guillermo Del Toro. The scale of the destruction and defense is staggering. This is demonstrated in one scene wherein on of the giants has brought a vessel ship to the fight, he holds it like cricket bat! We've come a long ways since "Gojira"... Show your gratitude for canceling the apocalypse on July 12th (and in IMAX 3D if you can).



The third trailer for "The Lone Ranger" showcases even more of the Wild West spectacle. I'm pretty sure we're going to see every dollar of the multi-hundred million dollar tent-pole movie. I have a sinking feeling that it will hardly make back what it cost to make. Westerns, love 'em as much as I do, just are not popular. We see more of Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger himself in this trailer including multiple impossible horse jumps during the action. Guys, that's what I want from this one! Celebrate our country's Independence while watching half of it get blown to bits come July 3rd.



Behold, "V/H/S/2." Caution: This is a red band trailer and lives up to that caliber in multiple ways. The critics are saying it is improved in every way and it certainly appears so - not to mention even more of an extreme anthology. The found footage sub-genre of horror is one of my fondest fascinations as filmmakers are continually experimenting with it. A helmet cam and "doggie cam" are just two of the ways some of these segments are captured. Newly acquired talent (such as Gareth Evans, director of the incredible "The Raid," and the filmmakers behind "The Blair Witch Project") is also bound to excite. I'm most interested to see how the film will be bookended this time around. Something wherein we don't care if all the tape-viewers get offed would be preferred. Come June 6th "V/H/S/2" will be available on demand and played at select theaters on July 12th.

Time to fix the squeaky saloon door O'Riley, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

I strive not to rely on IMDb plot summaries when I discuss films here on The Film Tome but I couldn't say it any better for this one: "An elite crime-fighting unit in the court of the Chinese emperor relies on flying swords to defeat their enemies." Yes, another over-the-top sword flying period piece from the Motherland. What sets "The Guillotines" apart other than the hoop-like disc blades hurling all over the place? Well, that's it. Bring your shield to select theaters on June 14th.


STRANGE STEER


From "The Avengers" to a modern adaption of "Much Ado About Nothing" has got to be one of the oddest back-to-back directing jobs in the history of filmmaking and that is precisely what Joss Whedon has done. The original Shakespearean dialogue is in tact for this comedy of lovers and romance itself. It feels a bit like "It's a Disaster," covered earlier this year in Trailer Round-Up. Apparently shot in 12 days at Whedon's home even while he was working on "The Avengers" this has all the trappings of an experiment that could be a disaster or a fascination. We can find out come June 7th.


LASSO OF THE WEEK



"Berberian Sound Studio," remember that name. I remember this being one of Mark Kermode's (perhaps Britain's most famous film critic) favorite film of last alongside "A Royal Affair." Well, it won't be showing on this side of the pond until around June 14th. The incomparable Toby Jones plays a sound engineer working at an Italian horror studio. Working as a foley artist he's the one responsible for all the disgusting and terrifying sounds you hear in horror. The best part is that this trailer is cut like a horror film itself and apparently it fits in the genre as this slowly becomes a case of "life imitating art." He works mostly alone in the dark (like "Riddick," yeah?) and that is the fitting visual side to a film all about sound. I am so psyched to see this!

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 109



NEW IN THEATERS




This Week
  • 33 Postcards* / 21%
  • Black Rock* / 42%
  • The English Teacher* / 44%
  • Erased* / 22%
  • Frances Ha* / 90%
  • Pieta* / 77%
  • Populaire*
  • Star Trek Into Darkness / 86%


Last Week
  • Aftershock / 69%
  • Assault on Wall Street
  • The Great Gatsby / 42%
  • Java Heat*
  • No One Lives*
  • The Painting* / 100%
  • Peeples / 40%
  • Sightseers* / 87%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES


  • 3:10 to Yuma CC / 95%
  • Back to 1942 / 40%
  • Beware of Mr. Baker / 97%
  • A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III / 16%
  • Jubal
  • Leonie / 45%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes
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ENLISTED



Seeing "Star Trek Into Darkness" this weekend? Need to be brought back up to speed? Rotten Tomatoes has your back with "24 Frames: What You Need to Know for 'Star Trek.'"



Trent has been busy delivering his Top 10 for each year in recent memory but has upped the ante with his "Top 10: 2000's." Which of Trent's Top 10 of last decade have you seen? Any that would make your personal list? I know I would have some overlap. I'm ashamed to admit that there's two on there I've yet to see, but I'm mighty excited to seek them out now.



Check out "Twelve Great Opening Shots" from the cinema's treasure trove that is the Criterion Collection.



In honor of the latest page-to-screen adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" this last weekend KSL discusses "5 Movies So Good You'll Forget They're Based on Books." I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean, but it sounds like a backhanded compliment if you asked me. I have a post-worth of thoughts about books and films based on them that I'll get around to if I use the time to.


Festival de Cannes, the world's most prestigious film festival, kicked off today in Southern France. Movieclips ranked their "Top Ten Most Anticipated Cannes Films."

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AND THE RANDOM




Kevin Smith Tweeted a picture of his first completed draft for "Clerks III." Clearly "Red State" was not his last film... Are you a fan of the first two?



Read "a few impressions" by the James Franco on "The Great Gatsby."

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OR THE COOL





Those skillful editors over at Movieclips have forged together what they are calling the "Star Trek Ultimate Saga Trailer." This is fabulous, even to a new diver like me, I can only imagine what it will do for the hearts/minds of Trekkies...



Check out this informative feature over at the American Film Institute"'The Great Gatsby': Now (and Then) a Major Motion Picture."



Aforementioned editors at Movieclips have also made a mashup for female fashion in films. Behold.



Have you seen these stunning matte paintings for movies?


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MAYBE THE HILARIOUS


You must see this home-made shot-for-shot recreation of the second "Star Trek Into Darkness" trailer.

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TV TOO



Any "24" fans in the house? I completely ripped through the first season back in the day and thought the show had enough substance to go along with its admittedly ambitious gimmick. The show lasted 8 season and FOX has announced it is coming back in 2014 with another season under the name, "24: Live Another Day." The only thing is that's going to be 12 episodes... That kind of changes everything, right? (Source: JoBlo)


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Monday, May 13, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: ELEPHANT LOVE MEDLEY / MOULIN ROUGE!




"Elephant Love Medley" by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman
as seen and heard in
Moulin Rouge! (2001)

In honor of last weekend's release of "The Great Gatsby" I have chosen to highlight my favorite musical number from one of director Baz Luhrmann's earlier works: the "Elephant Love Medley" from "Moulin Rouge!" The whole number is set during a tryst between Christian and the much-desired Satine. Christian has fallen for the courtesan and uses the power of the musical they're both in to convince Satine that she loves him back. The "silly love song" commences with the familiar adage that The Beatles set in motion, "All You Need is Love," before ramping up the tempo and passion with "I Was Made For Lovin' You" by KISS. Upon my first viewing it became one of the best remixed medleys I've heard in all my days. 

Over a dozen love songs are sewn into the number as McGregor and Kidman, doing their own singing, physically flirt their way around the dimensions of the park's elephantine structure. The splendor crescendos from David Bowie's "Heroes" to Dolly Parton's (though let's credit Whitney Houston, shall we?) "I Will Always Love You." The climax (quite literally, as I remember from my musical genre class at film school that songs/dances between the love interests is virtually an insert for intercourse) is complete when the sparks fly and our view soars up to the skyline of a Paris night while the operatic moon takes over the vocals. We're then left with John Leguizamo as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec putting a final phrase on the table in his own melancholic way.

I never tire of watching this scene and even though I know it through and through the rest of the film has faded in my memory over time. I owe it another visit but prefer to do so in theaters. In fact, it's this very sequence that led to my conclusion that Baz Luhrmann would be one of the best visionary filmmakers on the planet to orchestrate a film in 3D. "The Great Gatsby" proved this theory perfectly. I could see the "Elephant Love Medley" truly benifitting from that treatment. I wonder if we'll ever get that conversion job. What do you think of this number and/or film? I'm sure there are lots of other Movie Music Moments to pull from "Moulin Rouge!," easily among the top musicals of the 21st Century. Got one in mind or from another film altogether? Feel free to share it with us in the comments below.

Until next time, keep watching and stay listening.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

MY MOTHER'S TOP 5 FILMS OF ALL-TIME

I was thinking about how best to celebrate Mother's Day on The Film Tome. I'm not quite ready to assemble my Top 10 Mother Movies (or Mothers in Movies rather). One of my favorite lists that I've done is my Top 10 Father-Son Relationships, I suppose I could specifically do Mother-Son Relationships as well (and then the daughter side of things for each after that) - all these possibilities will have to wait for future years. What I decided to do this time was call up my Mom in Utah and ask for her Top 5 Films of All-Time.



My Mother told me she favors films that leave a lasting impression on you, ones you also want to revisit but after time has passed to see it anew. While she enjoys the likes of "The Princess Bride," "Galaxy Quest," and "The Gods Are Crazy," they would ever make her Top 5. She holds edification above mere entertainment. A sentiment such as this makes me all the more proud to be her son. Without further ado, I present My Mother's Top 5 Films of All-Time:



5. Amazing Grace (2006)


My Mother didn't know the history of the man who wrote the beloved hymn, besides a well-told history lesson she loves stories of people who try so hard to do the right thing and have the integrity to stand up to any who oppose. (You'll notice this theme in my Mother's other picks.) Fun Fact: Terrence Malick was a producer on this widely overlooked biography of William Wilberforce. I've seen it a couple times and still marvel at the cast for this powerful lesson in time!




4. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)


My Mother thinks Gregory Peck and Mary Badham (as Atticus and Scout respectively) are nothing short of amazing actors. It's set in the South, a good while before my Mother's time, but the same grounds she would later stomp around. Ultimately, it's the portrayal of a father, who is "just such a good person," striving to teach his children good values that makes this film a treasure in time for my Mother.




3. Life is Beautiful (1997)

My Mother knew nothing about this movie going in - great things can happen under these few-and-far-between circumstances. She respects books and movies (including several also about the holocaust, "Man's Search for Meaning" and "Schindler's List" to name one of each) where people go through a horrible ordeal yet make it through. The father who protected his son through a concentration camp is one such shining example for her. "Dad hated it," she remembered. It's true; it often comes up in my conversations with Father. This film also made the aforementioned father-son relationship list.




2. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)


The simplicity of this film set in small town Americana "back in the day" is one of Mother's favorites. She commented on 
the refreshing fact of no "first-world problems," like we have today, plague the characters. Mother feels it's one she should watch each year as a Christmas ritual and if she misses it feels like she's missed some of the spirit of the season.



1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

"They don't make movies like that anymore!" It also tells the story of the place she grew up. When Mother was younger she would visit mansions like those in the films and walk down streets with names from the book/film. Thus, she felt part of history of that movie. "I feel at home when I watch it even though I didn't live during the period," Mother explained. 
Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh fit their parts so well, she admires the hope and the "keep trying" attitude found at the end of film. What's more? My Mother named her first child, Tara, after the cotton plantation the O'Hara family lives on. Also, Tara's middle-name, Leigh, comes from Vivian Leigh who played Scarlett O'Hara. Talk about hard-core fandom! Looking forward perhaps I should name my future children Totoro and HAL 9000? This film made my list of 10 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen a couple years back, but I quickly rectified that. Nancy and I watched it with Mother and it was as sweeping as I've heard. There's a reason I have a still from it in the header of The Film Tome.

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There you have it, folks. My Mother's Top 5 Films of All-Time! Send all your feedback to mymother@gmail.com! (Not really.) While none of her picks surprised me - anyone this close to me has already revealed their favorite films to me - I must say it's pretty impressive, even from a cinephile's perspective: Her picks all come from different decades of cinema (including as recent as last decade), two are black and white and one is a "foreign" film. "No Herzog?" I teased during our conversation. I have subjected her to a few of my favorite filmmaker's designs, but they're not quite up her alley.

 Just as the auteur theory gives you insight into a filmmaker's psyche, anybody's favorites give you a glimpse inside their head and/or life. My Mother has a rooted nostalgia for the American South and films set in a close communities. War and other horrors of humanity often appear, but are merely the backdrop for strong moral characters. These facets are also part of who my Mother is. Does one's life attract similar art or does art influence one's choices in life? Surely both are possible. We all come from different walks of life and there are stories and experiences that form special bonds with each of us - and some are still waiting to be made. What can we learn about our Mothers by discussing their favorite films with them? Do you know your Mother's favorite film(s)? Feel free to share in the comments below or over on The Film Tome Facebook page.


To all you mothers out there, a very happy Mother's Day to you, especially to the one that I call "Mother."