The Apostle (1997) One of the most reverential and human films about the subject of religion, Robert Duvall’s The Apostle has rightfully earned its place on the List of Perfect Movies. This is a film about real people, told by an actor with a keen eye. A film that can be enjoyed equally by the religious as well as the secular.
Deliverence (1972) Whom better to make a film about the American South than British director John Boorman? Well, he was arguably the right choice as the longevity of this simple yet harrowing film attests. Shot under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, with a tiny budget of $2,000,000 and no insurance underwriting, this film, based on James Dickey’s popular first novel has become, in a rather disturbing way, one of the prime films that people connect with the South. Introduced Ned…
The Iron Giant (1999) "SOULS DON'T DIE..." Brad Bird, now best known for his film The Incredibles, created this beautiful, poignant, and emotionally charged animated film in 1999. A film with a lesson, but not the tripe the studios had been dishing out. But slowly, as with so many of the enduring cinema classics, The Iron Giant has begun to find its audience: people who are taking this film to heart and give it the place it deserves in the pantheon of Perfect Movies.
The Natural (1984) Barry Levinson’s film of Bernard Malamud’s novel is Baseball as Mythology. It is also one of the most lyrical, beautiful, and sparse sports films ever made. And even though the ending of the film is RADICALLY different from the novel, we still feel this is a perfect movie--and that’s what we’re here to talk about, yes?? Sadly, twenty-three years after the fact, Mr. Levinson went back and tinkered with his film some more, slightly damaging its perfection, in our…
Shadow Of A Doubt (1943) Arguably Hitchcock’s first “American” film--his first look at the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of an All-American city. And he begins populating his background with some of his wonderful eccentrics, in this case being Hume Cronyn and Henry Travers and their endless discussions about how to perfectly murder each other. And “Our Town”? Thornton Wilder both contributed to the screenplay as well as getting a special acknowledgment for his assistance.
Sunrise (1927) Near the very end of the SIlent Era, just a month before Warner Bros. turned the film world upside down with The Jazz Singer, F. W. Murnau’s lyrical cinematic tone-poem Sunrise was released. It is appropriate that this film ushered out the era of purely visual film language, for they just couldn’t get much better or purer than this. For the uninitiated, we also discuss the world of the Silent Cinema in the first part of this broadcast.
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Lewis Milestone’s ground-breaking sound film epic treats WWI not as an allegory, as many of its predecessors had, but as a painfully human story, showing the hopes and fears of a group of young men being thrust into battle. While in no way an obscure film, it had been cut to ribbons by a variety of editors over the years until it was merely a shell of its former self. It has now been restores by the Library of Congress over a five year period.
The Searchers (1956) The Searchers is a beautiful and brutal film, running the gamut from familial love to the darkest racism. And John Ford, at a time in his career when many are resting on their laurels, pushed into new territory, reinventing the western and giving us one of the most soul-satisfying films ever.