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Here are some classic films you could be watching while on lockdown.
- The Matrix (1999) – Keanu Reeves takes the red pill and discovers the world he lives in is just a computer construct created by machines. Pure class from the Wachowski brothers, now the Wachowski sisters.
- Blade Runner (1982) – Ridley Scott’s pre CGI sci-fi masterpiece starring Harrison Ford and featuring one of the greatest monologues in cinema history from Rutger Hauer, self written and done in one take as dawn broke and security guards tried to force their way onto the set of the over schedule production. Be sure to see the final director’s cut
- The Abyss (1989) – Has to be the director’s cut again for this claustrophobic undersea adventure from James Cameron starring Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
- Top Hat (1935) – A masterclass in songwriting for any era from Irving Berlin and pure poetry in motion from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
- Pulp Fiction (1994) – Quentin Tarantino’s second turn in the director’s chair with the third part of what was originally one long screenplay which encompassed True Romance and Reservoir Dogs. The non-linear timeline keeps you on your toes and no one writes dialogue like Tarantino. John Travolta’s career was rescued by this film and earned him an Oscar nomination. Also stars Samuel L Jackson, and Bruce Willis with vital cameos from Harvey Keitel and Christopher Walken. (Why not make a day of it, starting with Reservoir Dogs before moving onto Kill Bill 1 and 2).
- Memento (2000) – The ultimate in non linear timelines from Christopher Nolan as Guy Pearce battles to find the secret behind a mental trauma which has left him with a memory that lasts just one day before he wakes completely unaware of anything previous.
- A History of Violence (2005) – David Cronenberg’s most accessible film… just… with Viggo Mortensen as a family man who suddenly becomes a hero when he thwarts a robbery at his coffee shop. But with the publicity comes trouble as gangster Ed Harris turns up, insisting that the pillar of the community is really the murderous brother of a Philadelphia crime boss. Is it just a case of mistaken identity or does this husband and father of two have a hidden past unknown even to his family? (Also check out Cronenberg and Mortensen’s 2007 collaboration Eastern Promises).
- The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974) – Impossible to separate these as they are the two best films ever made and I have nothing else to add.
- The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) – Oscar winning turn for Sir Anthony Hopkins as serial killer Dr Hannibal Lecter who radiates quiet menace while helping FBI rookie Jodie Foster in tracking down another psychopath from his prison cell.
- Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979) – The Pythons’ finest moment is the story of Brian Cohen, a man who just happens to live in the same place at the same time as Jesus Christ and is mistaken for the Messiah. But he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy. (Also, have a Python marathon by watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail too – RUN AWAY!!!)
- Joker (2019) – Joachim Phoenix in Oscar winning form as misfit Arthur Fleck and his slow, disturbing metamorphosis into the psychopathic comic book Joker figure. If you thought Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight would never be matched, take a look at this because Phoenix’s portrayal is so intense it’s impossible to take your eyes off him as he unravels.
- In Bruges (2008) – Comedic and tragic in almost equal measure, killers Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson hide away in Belgium after a hit for their crime boss in the UK goes horribly wrong.