I want you to know I tried very hard to get this to 10. Inspired by @ListPrompts
  1. Blowup/CQ
    Always first, always a tie. BLOWUP was the hardest-won understanding and affection I've ever had for a movie. I hated it the first time I saw it. But there was just something about it. I kept going back to it, first out of spite, then curiousity, and then increasing love. The slow pace pulls me in. CQ on the other hand is a stylish, friendly comfort. It understands and forgives the selfish, creative person.
  2. My Dinner With Andre
    Two guys having dinner can be the epitome of cinema. Or since this is #2, epitome-ish.
  3. Boogie Nights
    Paul Thomas Anderson loves every porny idiot in the San Fernando Valley. I watch this at least twice a year; it's like a family reunion.
  4. Killing of a Chinese Bookie
    A genre outlier from the great independent filmmaker John Cassavetes. Cosmo Vitelli, the sweaty hustler/strip club owner at the center of KILLING, is too busy showing off to understand that he doesn't understand crime, business, choreography, the Asian Mafia, and women in general. Filmed on location on a raw nerve ending.
  5. Rosemary's Baby/Alien
    Two truly scary, expertly directed movies, too great to leave one off the list.
  6. The Conversation
    I want a tattoo of Gene Hackman from this movie.
  7. Zodiac
    Not *just* a serial killer movie; ZODIAC is about Obsession and Acceptance. At the end, Mike Mageau says he's "80% sure" which suspect is the Zodiac; for me that's a stand-in for all faith and knowledge.
  8. After Hours
    Your only chance to see Cheech & Chong in a Scorsese movie. Some of MS's boldest camera work is on display in this black comedy, kind of Adventures in Babysitting for adults.
  9. Pickpocket
    How little can a movie do? Robert Bresson made a career out of movies that do almost nothing, yet knock me flat on my ass. This tale about a pickpocket whose thievery brings him closer to God is the nothingest/ass-est.
  10. Blue Velvet
    There is darkness behind the curtain, beneath the grass, in the bad part of town, deep in our dreams. David Lynch works this metaphor throughout the film. He's right. But what people forget about is the love and hope that's behind the darkness. I hope the Twin Peaks revival brings a new generation to this beautiful movie.
  11. Grey Gardens/Gates of Heaven
    I doubt the term "documentary"; there is too much subjectivity in film to just-the-facts document something. These two films make my list for embracing their point of view and showing the inner lives of their subjects (a mother and daughter forgotten by the American aristocracy and the owners of a pet cemetery, respectively)
  12. Crash (1996)
    No Brendan Fraser here. I mean the *first* CRASH, the one about people who get turned on by getting in auto wrecks. Director David Cronenberg, adapting J.G. Ballard's novel, turns our relationship with cars and traffic into a sleek metaphor for sex, kink, and ultimately, love and connection.
  13. (This list is a revision of one of my first lists: MOVIES SOMETHING SOMETHING (SEE MY LIST "GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME ACCORDING TO ME") I'm sure I'll revise it again soon)