I just finished watching “Smoke.” It’s a good film, kind of a hard one to explain – just a story about people who hang out in a smokeshop, really, but who they are, what’s happened to them, where they’re going… for a short summary, it’s got Harvey Keitel playing the owner of the shop, and ends with music by Tom Waits. And can pull the latter off without bullshit, which is not as easy as it sounds.

Actually, I signed up for netflix a few weeks ago – after suggestions by quite a few of my friends that I ought to – and since then have been watching quite a few more movies than I normally do. It makes some sense, really; when you come home late from work, it’s too late to call anyone up or to do anything like playing the piano, it can be a good way to spend some time. And it’s been a chance to explore through what’s out there in film, which I’m realizing I haven’t spent nearly enough time doing. There’s a whole literature out there just waiting.

(Some of the highlights from the past few days – Smoke, Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, and Roman Holiday. All well worth the time.)

Anyway, I’m starting to scan through good film for things to watch. Anyone have any suggestions? Films you think everyone ought to see at least once?

Published in: on February 11, 2004 at 00:41  Comments (13)  


  1. Six String Samurai Six String Samurai!

  2. Was introduced to it a while ago by Hans. 🙂 I still play the soundtrack when stuck on tedious coding problems…

  3. If you liked Smoke, check out Blue in the Face
    Also, as I mentioned before, Asoka, Die Salzmänner von Tibet, Jacob’s Ladder, Frida.
    Also, Human Nature, Being John Malkovich, Sjankmajer’s Faust, Orfeu Negro, eXistenZ, Memento, and um. Well, Just randomly ask me for movie suggestions. Whatever’s in the back of my head tends to rotate through every few days. 🙂

  4. Have you seen Baraka? If not, do.
    Also “House of Cards,” the one with Kathleen Turner and Tommy Lee Jones.

  5. A Chef in Love
    Jean de Florette & Mannon of the Spring (they go together)

  6. “So Close” – the movie Charlie’s Angels wanted to be.
    “The Core” – Wonky physics but surprisingly gripping.
    “Bless the Child” – Oddly enough, it’s the secondary characters that interested me the most.
    “The Italian Job” – This was an excellent action flick!

  7. The original version of The Italian Job is better than the remake.
    Anything by Akira Kurosawa, but expecially Yojimbo, Sanjuro and Ran.
    Anything by Luc Besson, but especially Nikita and The Professional.
    Anything by Roman Polanski, but especially The Tenant and The Ninth Gate.

  8. Fanny and Alexander. German flick, as I recall. Profoundly strange movie, and not what you expect from the way it begins. Alas, all I remember of it is the title.
    Hm, my brain database of movies is offline. I’ll get back to you on that.

  9. Unfortunately, we’ve packed up the dvd library, but a couple suggestions (which you’ve probably already seen):
    The Maltese Falcon
    The Big Sleep (a plot so confusing that the author couldn’t even figure out who killed one guy)
    To Have and Have Not (contains one of the most famous lines in all filmdom)
    Captain Blood (with Errol Flynn)
    Robin Hood (ditto)

  10. Wow, I’m going to take some of these down for myself.

  11. Ooo! Great ones yeah Errol Flynn!
    1. Brazil
    2. Delicatessen
    3. The Seventh Seal
    4. Santa Sangre
    5. Any Marx Brothers stuff
    6. The Linguini Incident
    7. The Great Dictator
    8. Buster Keaton stuff
    9. Black Adder

  12. Ah! Can you believe that netflix doesn’t have Captain Blood? Damn… I’ve been wanting to see that.
    And I didn’t realize that a film had been made of The Big Sleep. The book was quite good…

  13. Two recent movies I enjoyed, both about cops but otherwise very different, were Dark Blue and Evenhand.

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