Very soon this blog is going to celebrate its third anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, I have decided to make some fairly typical but still fun lists about what else, movies.
First off, I have my favourite looking films. It maybe the cinematography, the settings, the effects, even the period that made me choose these films. I hope you like them :-)
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick is one of my favourite visual film makers. His settings, use of colour, camera angles and so on are fantastic and unforgettable, and 2001 is the most remarkable out of all of them. Sci-fi never looked better.
Amelie is a film that immediately grabs one's attention with its vibrant colours, much like the personality of its titular character. The heart of the film lies as much in the story as the way it is presented to us. One of the happiest looking films there is.
I remember sitting down to watch this, sure that I will get bored and depressed out of my mind. Instead, I was left dumbfounded not just by the fantastic story and characters, but how gorgeous this film looked. From Keira Knightley to the amazingly neverending beach scene to James McAvoy's impossible eyes, this film is a visual treat.
Coffee and Cigarettes
I just love the idea of this film. Bunch of people drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes around a table. They have their little stories and quirks and moments, and they drink coffee and smoke. The overhead shots of the various coffee tables is very cool. Also, coffee and cigarettes= sexiest combination ever.
Though this film was the reason of me falling in love with Joy Division, I look back at it now and understand that it had to be in black in white to tell the story of the doomed lead singer of the band, Ian Curtis. And what glorious black and white it is.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
One of the most remarkable things about this incredibly tragic, yet ultimately uplifting film is how beautiful it is. I say remarkable because the film is from the point of view of a man on whom fate has played the ugliest trick imaginable. And yet, his world ends up looking this exquisite. I love it.
The Double Life of Veronique
Like many films in this list, I think Veronique is just magical and its look contributes to that. The lighting, the camera angles, Irene Jacob's allure are all what makes it so magnificent.
The Dreamers owes much of its beauty to its cast and its setting. Michael Pitt, Eva Green and Louis Garrel are all stupendously beautiful people, and their adventures together, in their gorgeous 60s Parisian home, with all the movies that they love- it all adds up to one very pretty film.
I don't think I have ever seen a movie in which flowers have played a more central role than in The Hours. Flowers in flower shops, vases, and on aprons, clothes, jewelry and even wallpaper. And why not? This is one of the most feminine films I have seen. Like the heroines and the men in their lives, the look of the film is delicate and sad and very beautiful.
In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar Kai's tale of two lost souls coming together is one of the most touching films that I have ever seen. I actually cried after watching this because a) it made me sad, and b) I could never make anything like that. And a big part of the second reason was how it looked. Maggie Cheung's dresses and the alleys and the rain and the cigarette smoke- it was all so beautiful that I was at a loss of words.
'"He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion." Uh, no. Make that "He romanticised it all out of proportion. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. "'
Need I say more?
I guess if I had to choose an absolute favourite looking film, this would be it. This is certainly the prettiest film I have ever seen. With the girly aspects, Kirsten Dunst's charm, the resplendent setting of 18th century Versailles, and of course Sofia Coppola's eye for atmosphere, how can it not?
Since this is a new film, I couldn't get the exact images I thought were the most stunning in it. Which is saying a lot, because this is one of the most magical looking films that I have seen. As I said in my review, "Maybe it is because I have always lived in the city and the natural settings, all which were filmed around Rhode Island, are so singularly lovely that I could not help but feel happy and wistful just looking at the film."
Moulin Rouge! is a film that fully celebrates its status of being something fantastical- we see it in the characters, the songs and of, the settings and the visuals. In this, Paris is made to be an even more impossibly enchanting place, with elephant rooms and bohemians and of course, the Moulin Rouge. The song numbers, the crazy antics and Nicole Kidman's beauty is why it is there in this list.
This film, in its story and look, embraces the true nature of a fairytale- something magical and dark. Love the monsters and the atmosphere.
Has black and white ever looked more stunning? From the leads to the setting to the camera angles to the lighting- it is just devastating to look at.
I love films which are both colour and black and white. I think Pleasantville is the best of them though, as this change is an integral part of its plot, without which the story cannot proceed. Here colour stands for being human and alive, with all sorts of feelings and desires, and black and white is what is pleasant and acceptable and the change from one to another is striking.
In spite of the "unreality" of black and white images, I feel that they make this film all the more affecting and authentic. Maybe because at the time this was set, people made films in black and white. Or maybe because that is how the life of the Jews had become in Holocaust camps. I don't really know, but I do feel that this film is breath-taking in its visuals.
Scott Pilgrim VS The World
Because it's so effing awesome! I have never seen a film like this, and I highly doubt I ever will (unless Edgar Wright makes a sequel- PLEASE!). The video-game inspired look, the awe-inspiring battles between the Scott and Ramona's evil exes, just Ramona's hair- it is just so freaking cool and colourful and brilliant.
A Single Man
This story also uses colour to alleviate itself. When the protagonist George wakes up in the morning, deciding to kill himself sometime during the day, the film is bathed in greys and sober colours, like George's mood and ideas. However, everytime during the day when life happens to him, through people and dogs and one unbelievably beautiful Spanish prostitute, the screen and George's life lights up and everything becomes vivid and pregnant with colour. It's incredible to look at.
People go to see modern action films for all the effects and bombings and whatnot. Skyfall stands apart from all of that because of the way Roger Deakins shot it. All of the settings look like art pieces, with the Shanghai scene being the showstopper. Best looking action movie ever.
I was just so entranced by all the colours of this film when I saw it. Has red ever been redder, or blue bluer? This film is just a delight to watch with all its intense colours and dramatic settings.
The Third Man
This film is like a class in use of shadows and lighting. That tunnel scene alone is dazzling.
The Tree of Life
While any Terence Malick film was eligible for this list, I went with The Tree of Life because it captures growing up like how it has never been shown on screen. And what amazes me is that all of us have had these experiences at some level and Malick with cinematographer extraordinaire Emmanuel Lubezki were the first to emulate them so extraordinarily.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Because films about food, and especially chocolate, are by definition delicious.