Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#17 – Blue Velvet
This is the top twenty. These are in order.
Why is it here:
David Lynch’s career is filled with joyous works on screens big and small but this is the one for me. It’s not as bonkers as Wild at Heart, heartbreaking as The Elephant Man, as obtuse as Eraserhead, or as… straight as The Straight Story but it’s the perfect marriage of his eccentricity and the fringe of the thriller genre. Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth is one of the best characters ever to grace a silver screen, malevolent yet captivating at at times darkly funny. The pairing of MacLachlan and Rossellini works aces with him being kilometers out of her league and serving as the perfect empty vessel for Lynch’s ideas and the music and mood is cranked to a million. A must see film that was the conduit for me in my early teens into a much bolder and weirder world of film.
Moments to savor:
Ear. Frank and the gas. Pabst Blue Ribbon. Passion interspersed with odd. Isabella singing. The music. The normalcy. Dean Stockwell at his most feminine.
High, considering how odd it is.
Watching this even now makes me wish David Lynch would make a flat out horror film. Lost Highway didn’t cut it.