James (zAPhaTe)

My name is James, and I am a graduating student at the University of Washington in Seattle. I'm mainly a film enthusiast but I mess around on the camera now and then with some friends. I would consider myself a genre enthusiast, as much of the films I turn back to watch are genre films. For the past year or so, I've watched a great deal of Japanese cinema, so my list may also reflect that as well. It's much too hard to order the list in order of preference, so I just put it in alphabetical order.

  • AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001) .. Steven Spielberg
    Flawed, but still my favorite Spielberg, by a long shot.

  • Apocalypse Now (1979) .. Francis Ford Coppola
    An effective, glorious mess.

  • Audition (1999) .. Takashi Miike
    This choice may raise some eyebrows, but in my opinion it is one of the most effective horror films of all time.

  • Badlands (1973) .. Terrence Malick
    Great visuals, and gives a very unique feel to a very typical post Bonnie and Clyde plot. I much prefer it to Bonnie and Clyde.

  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935) .. James Whale
    Coming in at just 75 minutes, it's a very short film. It's my favorite of the Old Hollywood classic horror films, and one of the best monster movies ever made.

  • Build My Gallows High (1947) .. Jacques Tourneur
    Another great noir. Mitchum is fantastic, the cinematography is perhaps the best in any noir film, and the dialogue is great.

  • California Split (1974) .. Robert Altman
    I love the Gould/Altman collaborations of the 1970's and this is a unique film in Altman's resume.

  • Casablanca (1942) .. Michael Curtiz
    Obvious choice. One of my favorites.

  • Citizen Kane (1941) .. Orson Welles
    Not much to say. One of the best.

  • The Conversation (1974) .. Francis Ford Coppola
    My favorite Coppola with an affecting and haunting ending.

  • Days of Heaven (1978) .. Terrence Malick
    Great cinematography, feels unlike any other film.

  • Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) .. Stanley Kubrick
    Not much to say here either. My favorite Kubrick.

  • La Dolce Vita (1960) .. Federico Fellini
    Not much to say here either. Just a great film.

  • Double Indemnity (1944) .. Billy Wilder
    One of the films I can always watch and really enjoy. Fun dialogue and plot.

  • Fires on the Plain (1959) .. Kon Ichikawa
  • Kon Ichikawa's film on cannibalism during WWII. I much prefer it over any American WWII film. I love the Burmese Harp as well, but had to choose.

  • Goyokin (1969) .. Hideo Gosha
    One of my three favorite Samurai films. Gosha is a great stylist, and Tatsuya Nakadai is a great immovable object. I would put it up against just about any American Western.

  • High Noon (1952) .. Fred Zinnemann
    Great Western, well-crafted in all respects.

  • The Host (2006) .. Bong Joon-ho
    I really love Joon-Ho Bong. This is another great one by him that fuses genres. I would put this with the Bride of Frankenstein as my favorite two monster films. What a strange combination!

  • The Human Condition III (1961) .. Masaki Kobayashi
    Perhaps I should've included the first two films along with this one. But I won't, because I really believe that this is the best one. One of the greatest, epic war films mainly because it focuses on human struggles over anything else.

  • In a Lonely Place (1950) .. Nicholas Ray
    One of my favorite film-noir melodramas. Ray is a highly underrated director.

  • The King of Comedy (1982) .. Martin Scorsese
    Personally I like this more than Goodfellas and Taxi Driver. Great portrait of celebrity culture.

  • Late Autumn (1960) .. Yasujiro Ozu
    The funniest Ozu. Ozu is one of the most consistent directors, so it's very hard to distinguish from his films.

  • The Long Goodbye (1973) .. Robert Altman
    Altman's take on film noir. Hilarious and Altman mumbling is truly fantastic.

  • The Maltese Falcon (1941) .. John Huston
    Like Double Indemnity, dialogue and plot make this great fun.

  • Manhattan (1979) .. Woody Allen
    Great view of New York, and my favorite Woody Allen.

  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) .. Robert Altman
    Altman's take on the Western drama. Great cinematography, great music, and I love the mumbling.

  • Memories of Murder (2003) .. Bong Joon-ho
    Another eyebrow raiser. For me, this is perhaps the greatest serial killer movie. Great fusion of genres.

  • Nashville (1975) .. Robert Altman
    Another great Altman. One of those films where you can easily watch two or three times in a row.

  • Pale Flower (1964) .. Masahiro Shinoda
    The Japanese take on noir. It's probably most comparable to the Melville films from around the same time.

  • Psycho (1960) .. Alfred Hitchcock
    Duh. One of the best horror films ever.

  • Pulp Fiction (1994) .. Quentin Tarantino
    For people of my generation, this film will never be forgotten.

  • Raging Bull (1980) .. Martin Scorsese
    My favorite Scorsese, a raw physical experience.

  • Red River (1948) .. Howard Hawks
    One of my favorite classic Westerns. Great Hawks, Wayne collaboration.

  • La R├Ęgle du Jeu (1939) .. Jean Renoir
    Great French classic.

  • Le Samourai (1967) .. Jean-Pierre Melville
    French take on film noir. Can't be missed.

  • Sansho Dayu (1954) .. Kenji Mizoguchi
    A Japanese fairytale, with some truly fantastic cinematography and incredibly moving performances.

  • A Scene at the Sea (1991) .. Takeshi Kitano
    One of my two favorite Kitano films, shows the more compassionate side of his work while still remaining a completely original work.

  • Seven Samurai (1954) .. Akira Kurosawa
    Probably my favorite samurai film.

  • Short Cuts (1993) .. Robert Altman
    Another Altman, with a huge cast. I have a certain liking for these films, that put so many stories on top of each other, with plenty of overlap.

  • Shura (1971) .. Toshio Matsumoto
    Fantastic Japanese samurai/horror film. Woefully underseen. Truly haunting with very good B&W cinematography.

  • Silence (1971) .. Masahiro Shinoda
    Masahiro Shinoda's Silence. Despite the terrible English acting, it is a highly complex and interesting film. Supposedly being remade by Scorsese, will be difficult to top.

  • Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Seduction (1964) .. Kazuo Ikehiro
    Another samurai favorite. Ikehiro creates some great abstract, dreamlike images and the Kyoshiro character is like James Bond only much, much, much darker.

  • Street of Shame (1956) .. Kenji Mizoguchi
    Another great Mizoguchi. It really takes you into the prostitutes lives and for me it is one of his best.

  • Sweet Smell of Success (1957) .. Alexander Mackendrick
    A great, super cynical film.

  • To Be or Not to Be (1942) .. Ernst Lubitsch
    Bold, audacious WWII comedy.

  • Tokyo Story (1953) .. Yasujiro Ozu
    The most classic Ozu film. Also, despite many boredom complaints perhaps one of his most melodramatic.

  • Touch of Evil (1958) .. Orson Welles
    I prefer this to Kane. Truly great and bold filmmaking. Reminds you what Welles could do with even a minor budget.

  • Trouble in Paradise (1932) .. Ernst Lubitsch
    One of my favorite comedies. The Lubitsch touch!

  • Vertigo (1958) .. Alfred Hitchcock
    My favorite Hitchcock. His most personal and most haunting.

  • Violent Cop (1989) .. Takeshi Kitano
    Blew me away the first time I saw it. Shows violence so uniquely that I had to watch it again almost immediately.

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