American psychological horror (1968)
A young couple moves into a flat in an old New York building with a bad reputation. Their elderly neighbours are nice enough but there seems to be something a bit odd about them. Rosemary mysteriously gets pregnant and strange things start to happen. I don’t want to say anything more if you haven’t seen it and you don’t know what it’s about. I’ve always really identified with Rosemary Woodhouse and I feel like I am her when I watch the film or read the book. Mia Farrow does such a fantastic job portraying her. Kudos to John Cassavetes as well who is pretty creepy as the husband. Aesthetically this film is perfection, especially Mia’s wardrobe and infamous pixie haircut. This is one of my all-time favourite films and the book was one of my favourites as a child as well. It still is actually. For me there’s something very comforting about it.
Ssaibogeujiman Gwaenchanha (I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK)
South Korean romantic comedy (2006)
A young woman who thinks she’s a cyborg is institutionalised in a mental hospital after trying to kill herself during a psychosis. In the hospital she meets a young man, played by pop star Rain, who believes he is capable of stealing memories, characteristics and personality traits from people. Of course they fall in love with each other. Chan-wook Park makes brilliant films and this is no exception. He made this film after making his marvellous vengeance trilogy apparently as a break after all that violence. This is a whimsical love story sprinkled with pretty colours and surrealism.The Rocky Horror Picture Show
British musical comedy horror (1975)
Oh yes. Richard O’Brien’s cult musical. A young newly engaged couple gets caught in a thunderstorm when their car breaks down and they end up knocking on the door of one Dr. Frank-N-Further, a sweet transvestite from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. They get offered to stay the night at his strange castle with his quirky party guests. There are so many amazing performances, fantastic songs and of course there’s the man with the voice, Tim Curry. The reason I was never scared of Pennywise in Stephen King’s It is that he’s played by Tim. This is my ultimate feel-good film. It’s pure joy and perfection. I know all the lines and all the lyrics off by heart. It’s definitely the film I’ve seen the most times.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
American psychological thriller (1962)
Baby Jane was a vaudeville child star who was later overshadowed by her sister’s fame. Blanche was crippled by an accident and is confined to her room upstairs in the mansion that the two sisters share. Baby Jane is becoming madder by the second and she does everything she can to torment Blanche. Because, of course, she’s horrifically jealous of her sister’s success. This film is perhaps a strange choice for this list but I love Bette Davis and Joan Crawford so much in this sinister film. I love how they interact with each other. They might have despised each other in real life or they might not have but either way their performances are outstanding. For some reason this is yet another film that I find great comfort in.Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amélie)
French romantic comedy (2001)
Amélie is a young introverted waitress who one day finds a box of memorabilia in her flat. She manages to return it to its rightful owner and she decides to start doing little things for people to make them happy. She’s haunted by a lonely childhood and has forgotten about her own happiness. This film is full of quirky lovable characters. I know, I know. A complete cliché to include this film but there’s no escaping the fact that it very much is a cinematic dream that many of us would like to live in. However, I watch a lot of French cinema and this is not the best one I’ve seen but Audrey Tautou is just so perfect as Amélie that she makes the whole film. Also, this is whimsical storytelling and colourful cinematography at its best.
How about you? What films would you love to live in?