With the uncountable great movies out there, it is always very hard for me to name those few that would qualify as my "favorites". I don't believe in naming only one -after all, it would be, quite simply, impossible. But maybe I could name, say, those five that are on top of my list. And the thing is, I love them all for different reasons.

There is one I do not watch too often but admire for all the emotions it contains, expresses and makes me feel: Last Tango in Paris. Sometimes it makes me smile, other times it makes me sad, and then it makes me think and later, excited - all this in a little more than two hours. Then, after the very last scene, there is that unexplicable silence when I still can't let go of the film's mood, when I don't really think about anything, I don't really feel anything, I just stay there, in front of the screen, absorbing and enjoying the experience. I know I saw a good movie when I want to conserve its ambient (I usually wait until the very end of the closing credits in these occasions).

With The Godfather, an obvious one to make the list, I just can't get over the fact how perfect it is. I must have seen it at least a 100 times (no kidding) and there are still newthings to discover. Then comes The Adventures of Picasso, also a film that I have seen many, many times and that always has a little surprise for me. Girl on the Bridge is one of the most beautiful motion pictures I have ever seen, with an extraordinary story and unforgettable music.

However, there is one movie I probably adore a little bit more than the others: The Man Who Wasn't There. I first saw it many years ago on tv and it was love at first sight. If you read this blog, you might as well know how crazy I am about the Coen brothers.Well, it all started with this one. Aside from representing pure perfection in every aspect and being one of the reasons I love cinema and wish to one day have something to do with it professionally, what makes me have stronger feelings for this one is the leading character, Ed Crane. Brought to life by an impeccable Billy Bob Thornton, this barber is, for me, the unsurpassable, the best, the most important movie personality I have ever had the luck to "know". If I had to choose which fictional character I would like to meet, I would not hesitate to name Mr. Crane. Of course I can't say it's because we would have so much to talk about - none of us is a man/woman of words - but I would enjoy sitting in silence with him more than anything.

Also, The Man Who Wasn't There is, from start to end (and by end, I mean the lastminute of the closing credits), like a symphony. Better said, it's like the combination of a beautiful poem and an amazing painting, with words so perfectly formed and images so astonishing that the result is mesmerizing. Whenever I watch this movie, I feel like I just can't look away. It's like being part of magic, the manifestation of something truly supernatural and sublime.


The therapy and the masterpiece.

I think there is no question about it that R.E.M. is (was) one of the most important performers of the last 30 years. Many of us grew up on their music, loved it and respected it and still get excited when one of their songs are on the radio. Also, they are the ones who gave the world Losing My Religion, a song that not only made them crazy famous at the time but that wrote their name in music history. It might be a cliché to say this is one of my favourite R.E.M. songs ever, but let's face the undeniable: this song, with its brilliant lyrics, eats-itself-under-your-skin sound and amazing video, is perfect.
There are a lot of love songs out there, many of them are about obsession, but none of them describes them the way Losing My Religion does. All that pain, all that longing, all that madness and all those doubts are compiled and densified in this work of art of less than five minutes. No words or explications are needed after listening to Losing My Religion. No need for other love songs that make you feel they're about you. Everything that has to be said is said in this song and all you can do is listen to it, admire it, maybe cry a little, then get yourself together and try to move on. Perfection.


Magic 13th.

Although I am not a science fiction fan, there are some movies of this genre I admire and watch over and over again. One of my favourites is The Thirteenth Floor and I can't understand why it's not a more popular film.

Had it been made with more famous people, it could have become one of the most important Sci-Fis of the turn of the century but for some reason it didn't (I guess the fact that it came out the same year as The Matrix didn't help either).

The Thirteenth Floor has it all: mystery, drama, action and an incredibly interesting story. It raises ethical questions and is extremely entertaining, intriguing and exciting from the first minute to the last.

Filled with beautiful pictures of past, present and future (being the old-fashioned person that I am, I obviously love the 30s scenes the most) and a brilliant idea, it almost makes me pissed at how overlooked this movie is. So the actors are not A-list stars. But do we really need them? The Thirteenth Floor is perfect without them as well. Maybe even better.

It really would have deserved more than what it got - the sad example of how the Hollywood system fails again and again because it only has eyes for money and the stars.


The British Trio.

More and more filmmakers turn to modern British legends when it comes to finding inspiration and so far the results have been more than brilliant. Three movies and three remarkable performances started this new era of - hopefully - quality historic biopics. The leading actors of the first two already won the most important award of their profession and now all eyes are on Ms. Streep as she gets closer and closer to her 17th nomination.

1. The Queen was first in the line. With Helen Mirren's breathtaking acting, this movie managed to show the humane side of a woman so much criticized for not showing her emotions, especially following the death of her ex-daughter-in-law and mother of the future king of Great Britain. However, the film does not try to make you like Queen Elizabeth II more (or less); it tries to be objective, while reminding us all that no situation or person is ever black or white.

2. The King's Speech tells the story of another extremely famous and talked about event of the Royal Family: the abdication of Edward VIII and, most importantly, the battle his brother, now known as King George VI, to overcome his stammer and become the king his country needed: a leader who can speak to his people and can unite and comfort them during the time of war. Once again, Colin Firth is impeccable as the man who had an unwanted date with destiny and became more than he could have ever imagined.

3. The Iron Lady was one of the most anticipated movies of the year and for good reason: Meryl Streep (the only one of the three who is not British) is mesmerizing as Margaret Thatcher (then again, when is she not mesmerizing?) and depicts the life of a great woman who refused to be just another housewife and became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her performance is sometimes shocking, other times witty and always majestic - if she does not win an Academy Award for this one, I will lose all my faith in the Academy.

Although it is obvious that the success and greatness of these works of art lies in the talent and devotion of their writers, directors and protagonists, we should not forget the amazing contribution of the supporting artists either - James Cromwell, Michael Sheen, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce and Jim Broadbent, to name the most important ones.


Elvis and the parents.

I fell in love with Elvis Presley's music back in 1997 when there was an Elvis marathon on the radio commemorating his death. Ever since I've been a fan, even if in this case it "only" means I just love listening to his tender voice and sometimes beautiful, other times energetic but always great songs.
However, being born decades after he rose to fame, I never really understood why parents didn't like him, why they thought his music was so sexual and damaging to their adolescent children. That is, until I heard his version of "My Babe" a few years ago. This song, written by Willie Dixon, first released in 1955 and then recorded by Elvis as a live cover in 1969, is filled with sexual energy, not really because of the simple lyrics but the way he performed it.
The original version, sung by Little Walter is less dynamic, less erotic and the lines themselves are given more importance than in the Elvis cover. Presley took the song and transformed it - Little Walter's was a rather innocent recording while the lyrics in the version Elvis performed are, at one point, hardly comprehensible due to his groans. Add to this his signature moves on the stage and the undeniably omnipresent energy and you can perfectly understand exactly what the aforementioned parents' problem was with one of music's greatest icons. Needless to say, it only makes it all the more interesting and entertaining.


New year, new banner.

~Happy New Year Everyone!~

As you can see, the blog now has a new banner. There is a line in one of my beloved songs that says "times change I change just like them". I started this blog nearly four years ago and many things have changed since then both in my life and here on Gonzo About Style as well.
I feel I have become more mature and my posts are a bit different now as well. However, I did like the old banner but I came to think that it might time to refresh it. The style and some of the artists are still the same but now I included those who were missing from the first one.
Of course after finishing it I realized how many of my sources of inspiration I had left out again - Vladimir Nabokov, William Blake, certain philosophers... But it would be a mission impossible to include each and every one of them.
I hope you like the new banner and that you'll come back time after time to read my posts... I promise there will be more of them than last year!
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