Empitomezzo -> 18 Favourite 18-rated movies. (11/5/2007 11:07:47 AM)
Some of them are 15s now, but they were 18 back then! [:D]
I'm not legally allowed to have actually see any of these, but oh well! [;)][:D]
01. American Beauty
The only 18-rated film to grace my personal top 20, this masterpiece came out in 1999, along with many other of my favourites – Not one Less, The Road Home, The Green Mile and All About my Mother, making the pre-millennial year one of the most memorable in cinema. Alan Ball’s searing script encompassed such life-defining themes such as male empowerment and personal fulfilment, set to a sexy backdrop of a mature Lolita story, and featuring some once-in-a-lifetime performances from the untouchable Annette Bening and Thora Birch. Sadly, I didn’t care for Spacey’s performance at all (I’m really not a fan), but American Beauty is so incredibly deep and satisfying in all other aspects. And it would kick Fight Club’s arse in a fight.
02. The Conformist The favourite of two of my best buddies, Bernardo Bertolucci’s multi-layered story of sex and politics sees a Facist agitator on a mission to kill his mentor, whilst his own wife is being preyed upon by his mentor’s socialist spouse. Who happens to be a former flame. Actually not as confusing as it sounds, and absolutely capital filmmaking, featuring stunning cinematography from Apocalypse Now’s Vittorio Storaro, that evokes the lush atmosphere of 1930s Europe through fantastic usage of camera angles and lighting (see below images.) Acting is top-notch, especially the hypnotic Dominique Sanda, who is by turns sultry, sexy, but oh so dangerous.
03. Woman of the Dunes
Adapted from the ascinating novel by Kobo Abe (whose Kafkian influences led him to write several other good books), Woman of the Dunes is like nothing I have ever seen before. The director completely understands the writer, and together, they have made one of the most original and haunting films of the 60s – appropriately, the tagline readings: “Haunting. Erotic. Unforgettable.” The cinematography is eye-openingly beautiful, and the erotically charged chemistry between the two leads suits the film perfectly. I shan’t say any more at then risk of spoiling it, except that this movie has actually been re-rated 15 so perhaps I am cheating a little, but go see it!
04. The Green Mile
Now everyone knew that Frank Darabont’s second Stephen King-influenced prison movie was always going to suffer from living in the shadow of Shawshank, but this sweet darling of a movie is not without its merits. Michael Clarke Duncan stood out for me, which, similar to the Tim Robbins-in-Mystic Riveresque turn, perfectly captures how someone so Crouchingly tall can fee so small. Duncan’s scenes alongside Hanks are the emotional core to The Green Mile, and it is their bond which adds to the movie’s resonance (and caused me to cry my eyes out.) Thomas Newman’s score was underrated in favour of his snazzy marimba-led work in American Beauty, but it is definitely worthy of a mention. But the true star of the show is Frank Darabont, whose direction is as careful, studied and measured as the classic filmmakers.
05. Belle de Jour
Subtitled a little presumptuously by me as “the sexiest film ever, after Brokeback Mountain”, Catherine Deneuve is the original desperate housewife in Luis Buñuel’s surreal take on repressed desire and the bourgeoisie. The director stays detached from the proceedings, passing no judgement and coolly reserved, whilst we also get lovely colour cinematography and costumes by Yves Saint-Laurent. It’s very nice.
06. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
08. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
10. The Wild Angels
11. Kill Bill
15. The Departed
16. Das Experiment
17. Dead Man’s Shoes
Least Favourite 18-rated movies
01. Blue Velvet
02. Requiem for a Dream
03. A Clockwork Orange
04. Fight Club