There are certain films that are a comfort to own, a pleasure to watch again and again. Among these titles are works by independent filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Wes Anderson, Lynne Ramsay, Sofia Coppola, Victor Nunez, Richard Linklater, Alison Anders and Terry Zwigoff.
Shot in black and white, with a story that moves at an inscrutably slow pace of seemingly character's own making, Jim Jarmusch's ground breaking Stranger Than Paradise captures the road trip of Willie (John Lurie), his sixteen year old Polish cousin (Eszter Balint) and pal from Eddy. They drive and they smoke, they talk and they don't talk. The soulful music of Screaming Jay Hawkins plays throughout on cousin Eva's tape deck.
I've stopped counting how many times I've watched Wes Anderson's Rushmore. Every time, I find some new, small perfect detail that pleases me. From the perfect soundtrack to the incredible screenplay to the dead-on performances by Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and Olivia Williams, there is nothing not to love about this movie.
Ashley Judd has never been more luminous than in Victor Nunez's Ruby in Paradise,"set in the Florida Gulf Coast. The best movie ever featuring a young woman writing in her journal, going to work, meeting men, walking on the beach. It will fill you with sadness and longing.
4. Ghost World
Thora Birch ruins Steve Buscemi's life in Terry Zwigoff's comic book adaptation, Ghost World but the pain at the heart of this achingly true, often hilarious film lies in her dissolving friendship with Scarlett Johansson.
Samantha Morton gives a mesmerizing performance in the title role. Director Lynne Ramsay was blown away by the punk rock choices of her hero - as was I. At times moody, morose, hilarious, and always dark and unpredictable, Morvern Callar filled me with exhilaration.
Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson as an unlikely couple stranded in a luxurious Tokyo hotel. Coppola recently made Oscar history, becoming the first American woman ever to be nominated for best director. simple story driven by mood, character, and place matter, Lost in Translation is a captivating film.
Roman Coppola's directorial debut is pure candy. Jeremy Davies stars as the young filmmaker living in Paris, who sits in his tiled bathroom and asks the big questions about love and art and self. With a terrifically appealing support cast: Gerard Depardieu, Jason Schwartzman, Angela Lindvall, and Elodie Bouchez.