This is part of our on-going segment entitled Smart Creative People Recommending Good Stuff to Watch, in which we crassly scour the internet for great movie lists.
In 2009 Quentin Tarantino took over Sky Movies to host a series of some of his favourite movies. In an introduction he named his favourite 20 movies from 1992 to 2009.
Why those 17 years? Says QT: “What’s special about that number is: these are the films that I admire the most that have come out since I have become a director myself.”
Here are those 20 movies and where to watch them, alongside a transcript of Tarantino’s comments.
“I’ll actually preface this by saying that the first movie on the list is actually my favorite movie that has come out in the last 17 years… That is the Japanese film, Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale. If there is any movie that has been made, since I’ve been making movies, that I wish I had made, it’s that.”
“All the other ones – I can’t really rate them… so I’ve just made it all alphabetical. First, Woody Allen’s Anything Else – that’s the Jason Biggs one.”
“Number three: Takashi Miike’s Audition – a true masterpiece if ever there was one.”
“Number four would be Tsui Hark’s martial arts extravaganza, The Blade, which is a remake of Chang Cheh’s The One-Armed Swordsman.”
“Number five would be Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.”
“Number six would be Rick Linklater’s Dazed and Confused – I think maybe the greatest, maybe along with Rio Bravo, the greatest hangout movie ever made. One of the things about Dazed and Confused that’s just so terrific is that every time you watch it – if you watch it every three years or four years – the characters are like your friends, and you’re hanging out with them again, seeing your old friends.”
“Number seven would be Lars von Trier’s Dogville, which I think is maybe one of the greatest scripts ever written for film. I actually think if he had done it on the stage he would have won a Pulitzer Prize.”
“Eight would be David Fincher’s Fight Club.”
“Number nine would be the F. Gary Gray comedy Friday, starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker.”
“Number 10 would be the absolutely wonderful Korean monster movie, The Host.”
“Number 11 would be Michael Mann’s The Insider.”
“Number 12 would be Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area, also known as JSA”.
“Thirteen would be Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.”
“Number 14 would be The Matrix. Now, there was a time, actually, that I would have considered Matrix, actually, the official number two after Battle Royale. However, I have to say, that time was before Matrix two and three came out and actually ruined the mythology for me… Frankly I just can’t think about it the same way as I did before. It didn’t obliterate it entirely, it still has to be on the top 20.”
“Number 15 is one of the most interesting and complex films on this entire list, it is the Korean serial killer police procedural, Memories of Murder. Directed by the same director who did The Host.”
“Number 16 would be the Jackie Chan film Police Story 3, also known as Super Cop, directed by Stanley Tong. This is a movie that I think actually, probably, contains the greatest stunts – including Buster Keaton – the greatest stunts ever filmed in any movie, ever. And, look no further than Michelle Yeoh jumping a motorcycle onto a speeding train and actually not quite pulling it off in the outtakes.”
“Number 17, hands down my favorite British movie that has come out since I’ve been making movies, is Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead.”
“Number 18 would be Jan de Bont’s Speed. And that’s even discounting the last 20 minutes of the movie which basically, you know, once the bus blows up the movie’s over. It might be easy to take Speed for granted now but if you actually remember when Speed came out, what it was like to sit in the movie theater as that bus was going down the road… there really has been few exhilaration movies quite like it.
“Number 19 would fall to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America.”
“The final film on my, alphabetically, on my top 20 list is M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. Which I actually think not only has Bruce Willis’ best performance on film that he’s ever given – I think he’s absolutely magnificent in the film – it’s also a brilliant retelling of the Superman mythology. In fact, so much so, that to me the film was very obscure when it came out… I think they did themselves a disservice. Because you can actually break down what the film was about by one sentence, that I should think would have proved far more intriguing than their ad campaign, which is: ‘What if Superman was here on earth and didn’t know he was Superman’. Which is what the film is about.”
“Anyway, Unbreakable is, I actually think, one of the masterpieces of our time.”