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Your Top 10 Most Influential Feature Films (fun/non-gear-related)


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Since the question is about mainstream films, and the emphasis in most people's replies on (fairly) contemporary films, I'd throw in just two:


Irreversible (2002)

Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind (2004)


Irreversible is one crazy film.


Also in no particular order:


01) Blade Runner

02) 2001

03) Christine

04) The Underneath

05) Matchstick Men

06) Manhunter

07) The Fog

08) Magnolia

09) Drive

10) Elephant


Good to see some more Michael Mann representation along with Heat :)

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Thanks, it's getting a little skinny jeans, kiffiyeh and non-prescription black-rimmed glasses up in here.  


Ha!  Have you ever seen "Big Business"?  It's about as unpretentious of a broad simple comedy as you can get, and it's awesome.  That shit ain't highfalutin', it's just damn funny and one of the most popular films of its era.  And, seriously, MWAMC is nutso-crazy innovative.  They pulled off that stuff over 80 years ago.


But I get the point.  So it is: late 20th century to present day.

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These films have been most influential for me for how they have surprised/enlightened me, shown me new ways of storytelling:


The Holy Mountain
Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes / Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Paris, Texas
True Romance
Lost Highway
Blade Runner
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I'm just gonna go with a pick of my highest rated movies on my IMDB list:


  • Blade Runner
  • No Country for Old Men (surprised no one mentioned this, I love this movie)
  • Old Boy (Oldeuboi) - original version of course
  • Infernal Affairs (Mou Gaan dou)
  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • City of God (Cidade de Deus)
  • The Matrix
  • Carandiru
  • Watchmen
  • The Raid (Serbuan maut)
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edit: +1 to folks mentioning Only God Forgives,


I really like the camera work and lighting in Only God Forgives , loads of dolly shots, nothing hand held,  you can watch it with the sound turned off as there is so little dialogue, there is a very good article in American Cinematographer on how Nicholas and Larry Smith did it very economically , lots of praticals ,no built sets, all on location

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In the chronological order I saw them, with explanations:


1. Goofy Adventures Story

The first film I saw in a cinema when I was 5 years old. The initiation.

2. Son Of Godzilla

One of a series of japanese monster movies that became my every goddam sunday afternoons excitements.

3. King Kong (1933). I was so thrilled by the stop motion, that my father bought me a Super 8 camera, and I staged plasticine monster fights with a lot of blood, destroying my big brother's model railroad houses.

4. Live And Let Die (and all 007)

In puberty, I wanted to be like Bond. I wanted to star in a movie and be like a successful man was supposed to be. Dreams were my reality.

5. A Clockwork Orange

Our weekly visit to the local cinema, random choice. I didn't know anything about it in advance, I anticipated some science fiction movie with a time travel story. All of a sudden I saw 'cinema' completely different. 

6. Once Upon A Time In America

The narrative montage, or the montage of the narration, wonderful.

7. Blue Velvet

Absolutely thrilling, I think I saw it ten times in a fortnight.

8. Andrej Rubljev (english spelling not checked)

I felt a real artist invited me to meditate about the nature of life and of art. I knew it was not mainstream, but I saw it repeatedly since.

9. Groundhog Day

Life is what you make it. Every day is the beginning of a new chance to make things better. A comedy, but with a serious message.

10. Vertigo

Revisited after seeing Chris Markers Sans Soleil, with other Hitchcocks, the perfect film insofar as form and content became inseparable. 


Other examples, not quite fitting into this timeline: Running On Empty, Modern Times, Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club. Star Wars would be between Bond and Clockwork, for obvious reasons.

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In the chronological order I saw them, with explanations:,

Had I written my list on another day it may have looked very, very similar to this one (particularly No's 6-10).


I'd have paid good money to see your face change as you watched Clockwork Orange. I've always thought it would be amazing for someone to (secretly?) film cinema audiences as they watched a film. If they were watching a very well-known film and you made its soundtrack audible, and it was edited really well (cutting to closeup's of different audience member's faces etc) I think it could be watchable for the whole length of whatever film they were watching.


There's a whole fascinating sub-genre about repetition/replication that both Groundhog Day and Vertigo belong in. You can go from Vertigo to La Jetee to Groundhog Day quite easily (perhaps via Source Code if you wish). Off the top of my head, other films include: Lost Highway (another Vertigo homage, but with a looping time structure), Blade Runner - at it's heart a film about memory, and how re-visiting your past makes you who you are. Also you could say Vertigo's Madeline/Judy was a replicant of sorts (James Stewart playing the role of Deckard, not knowing who the woman he loves is). I could go on forever so I'll stop.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I won't participate as my most influential films are all 1900-1980 Egyptian/Arabic films no body will relate to! :D

This thread gives me quite a list to watch later though!

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I won't participate as my most influential films are all 1900-1980 Egyptian/Arabic films no body will relate to! :D

This thread gives me quite a list to watch later though!

No! Give us the list!


If that's who you are, that's who you are. I just wanted to keep it fun and interesting rather than willfully obscure and competitive. Yours may be the most interesting list on the thread! Perhaps you could give us a very small summary of each though, or why you like it.


Also, for someone who can speak english as well as you can, I'm afraid I can't believe there won't be at least one western film in your top ten!!!

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Hey guys, I always look at both sides of the coins.  It's fun to look at the "bombs" and decipher the reasoning for this.  


Top 50 List:




Here's the 10 biggest bombs adjusted for inflation.

Biggest box office bombs adjusted for inflation Rank Title Estimated losses
(constant $) Year Ref 1 13th Warrior !The 13th Warrior $700796901940000000096,901,940—7008180981045000000180,981,045 1999 [# 3] 2 Cutthroat Island[a] $7008135951189000000135,951,189 1995 [# 13] 3 Mars Needs Moms $7008135426465000000135,426,465 2011 [# 2] 4 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within $700795494288000000095,494,288—7008135045124000000135,045,124 2001 [# 7] 5 Adventures of Pluto Nash !The Adventures of Pluto Nash $7008125177209000000125,177,209 2002 [# 10] 6 Fall of the Roman Empire !The Fall of the Roman Empire $7008125133450000000125,133,450 1964 [# 51] 7 Sahara $7008119962903000000119,962,903 2005 [# 1] 8 Lone Ranger !The Lone Ranger $700794748943000000094,748,943—7008119748943000000119,748,943 2013 [# 4] 9 Heaven's Gate $7008119724842000000119,724,842 1980 [# 52] 10 R.I.P.D. $700790837890000000090,837,890—7008114837890000000114,837,890 2013 [# 5]
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I love the colors in this film. It also has one of the most insanely brilliant, insanely 80's soundtracks ever made (by Tangerine Dream).


There wasn't any TD in this film.  They provided fantastic scores for a couple of Mann's earlier films, like Thief and The Keep which featured a mix of original material with album material (Tangram, if I remember right, for Thief or perhaps it's Force Majeure, as somewhere between those two are most of their tracks for Thief and Risky Business, and LOGOS Live for a key piece in The Keep, "The Silver Cross", though the opening track, a TD remix of a Brian Eno song, was rarely included and used to be impossible to find).  The soundtrack to Manhunter used to be insanely, insanely hard to get a hold of, especially here in the States where I believe it was only ever originally released on cassette tape, and likely incomplete at that.


Manhunter OST playlist


Michael Rubini scored the very TD sounding track "Graham's Theme".  Kitaro did maybe my favorite piece from the entire film, also very TD sounding with its echoed, prancing ambiance.  Not included on some versions, "Seiun" which is featured in the scene where Graham is dreaming on the plane with the beautiful slow-motion photography working on his boat, his wife walking down the docks and his obsessive stare.  Amazingly beautiful electronica used in Mann's signature style.  


Other very TD sounding tracks were from The Reds and then the haunting vocal pieces by Shriekback, notably "Coelocanth" and "Big Hush", which were used effectively in scenes giving Mr. Dohlerhyde surprising humanity and sympathy.


Through most of the 90s I was obsessed with finding some of the tracks from this film but it was a lot harder back then, with stuff being traded around in newsgroups as multiple uuencoded walls of text.  Sometime in the early '00s a friend got me a bootleg CD made of tracks pulled from a European album and possibly cassette material.  Thankfully the internet caught up and the re-mastered re-release spawned renewed interest I'm sure.


I watched this film so many times, growing up, and later.  I love Dante Spinotti's compositions and very '80s use of color.  I've read it undeservedly maligned as too "Miami Vice" or "music video".  I love the palette though and Mann's singular, long-lens style.


Tangent complete ;)

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There wasn't any TD in this film.  They provided fantastic scores for a couple of Mann's earlier films, like Thief and The Keep

Wow did I make that mistake with the wrong dude! :lol:


Yes I must have been getting it mixed up with The Keep. The soundtrack for that film is so insanely 80's it makes Manhunter sound like its from the future. It is the Manhunter soundtrack that I think insanely brilliant though (and just a little, tastefully 80's).


Yeah I've read critics describe Mann as a glorified music video director but I don't get it - he's the whole package.

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Heh, if I hadn't been so obsessed with them in my 20s I likely wouldn't have noticed.  I think I have some thirty-five or so of their albums which doesn't cover everything that's available for them through just the early seventies to the mid-late 1980s, which I think is their best work.  What's amazing is how they made this music live without computer sequencers and tracks ready to roll.  You go see someone like The Crystal Method and their live performances are mostly a sham, with equipment that's not even plugged in sometimes and a lot of pantomime.  Tangerine Dream, especially the Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Chris Franke lineup, were "space rock" gods.


When they started switching to digital synths I tuned out.  But check out Edgar Forese's solo album "Stuntman" from 1979 if you're into their sound from films.

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