I really enjoy the fact that pretty much everyone in the blogroll is making lists about this year’s favorite books and/or films! Inspired by fellow bloggers Over the Place and Style Rive Gauche, I decided to write about the ten greatest films that I watched for the very first time in 2015.
10. Nosferatu (1922) by F.W. Murnau
Original title: Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
A masterpiece of German Expressionism, this is the first adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Being a silent film, the actors had to be extremely expressive, so much that one may think that they are watching a play. I particularly liked how the pompous music blends with the images. Inevitably, certain scenes are quite funny and by no means is this a thriller by today’s standards, but it remains highly atmospheric without becoming cult.
9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) by Blake Edwards
One of the sweetest romantic comedies of all times and the most memorable performance by Audrey Hepburn. This is a mood-maker despite how unbelievable and untrue it may be. Loosely based on Truman Capote’s (who hated Hepburn as Holly Golightly) novella of the same name.
8. To Have and Have Not (1944) by Howard Hawks
Probably my favorite Humphrey Bogart film (loosely based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway). Situated in Martinique during WWII, an American boat captain (Bogart) meets a seductive woman (Lauren Bacalli) and ends up involved in the French resistance.
Known for one of the most memorable lines in the history of cinema:
“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
7. Scarlet Street (1945) by Fritz Lang
Quite a familiar plot (a charming woman seduces a naive middle-aged man in order to steal from him) but exquisitely directed. What I really enjoyed was the unveiling of the leads’ mentality, the plot twist and the gradual climax until the finale.
Based on Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel La Chienne, it had already been adapted by Renoir in 1931.
6. Double Indemnity (1944) by Billy Wilder
An insurance salesman falls in love with his client’s wife and they decide to organize the perfect murder in order to get the insurance money and live happily ever after. Only to…
An amazing film noir based on James M. Cain’s novel of the same name, which is said to have set the standard for every film noir that followed. The usage of light, the various symbolisms about the condemned human nature and an unexpected plot twist compose a masterpiece.
To be continued…