5. Let the Right One In
As far as vampire movies go, I am not really a big fan. However; this take on the classic horror premise from Swedish director Tomas Alredson stimulates so much more than the urge for big teeth and long capes that you just can’t resist its stylish character. Focusing on the lives of 2 youngsters in an early 1980’s Stockholm suburb, much emphasis is placed upon the developing relationship between the children. Instilling humanity into the vampire race in a way no other movie has yet managed, Let the Right One In combines the innocence of childhood with some rather shocking acts of brutality to bring this myth vividly into the realms of the real.
4. Amores Perros
Being met with comparisons to Tarantino’s masterpiece Pulp Fiction upon its release, this Spanish offering from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu focuses on the stories of three separate characters, which intertwine eventually by means of a horrific accident. The title Amores Perros translates to ‘Loves A Bitch’, a suitable name for a feature which concentrates on the complications surrounding love and how those in its pursuit are often forced to confront far worse long before finding it.
Downfall is the utterly grim yet transfixing story of Hitlers final weeks at the head of the Third Reich, told in a way by his secretary Traudl Junge. Ultimately dealing with the most recent fallen Empire in human history, Downfall documents the disbelief, denial, false hope and eventual hysteria with which the Reich crumbled in around Hitler. Bruno Ganz gives a career defining performance as the Fuhrer, with the German language certainly acting to give the movie an authentic and impactful edge.
2. City of God
An emotional journey into the realities of Rio De Janeiro and it’s endless favelas, City of God tells the tale of two young friends and their separate quests for acceptance, happiness and success. Set in the 1960’s,70’s and 80’s the movie is both touching and brutal, giving insight into the gang run impoverished ‘City of God’ (the two protagonist’s home area) and the lives of the people who must live there. There is so much sex, violence and drugs that you could almost mistake it for a mob film, were it not for the fact that most of those involved in the debauchery are yet to reach their 20’s. Based upon real events- City of God is a sobering yet completely worthwhile piece of cinema.
1. Old Boy
The South Korean film industry is, in my opinion, completely under-appreciated by many people in the West. If you are yet to dabble, may I humbly suggest that you use Chan-wook Parks psychological mystery thriller action drama all round epic movie ‘Old Boy’ as a starting point. Artfully telling the tale of protagonist ‘Oh Dae-su’ and his unjustified 15 year imprisonment, unexplained release and eventual pursuit of his captor- Old Boy is for those partial to the crime thriller. Suave and sophisticated to look at, the piece challenges the overall psychology that accompanies revenge and wrath, at the same time throwing some astonishing fight sequences into the mixer.