“Cinema is a writing in images with movement and with sounds.”
-Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer
As a life long aficionado of flickering image, I will be offering here some recommendations for people to consider as part of their cinema viewing. Some of the titles suggested here will be geared towards children, others towards adults, and yet even others for the entire family. I will do my best not to offer any spoilers (though, truth be told–a good film cannot be spoiled!), but will include in my recommendations some thoughts on why the particular film has been recommended.
I hope everyone enjoys delving into the wonders of cinema!
Peter Pan (2003; dir. P.J. Hogan)
I readily admit that I am a major fan of J.M. Barrie’s classic stories of Peter Pan, but this particularly movie should appeal to anyone whether they are familiar with the original stories or not. While not a major success commercially upon its release, P.J. Hogan’s adaptation of Peter Pan deserves a look from audiences as it combines spectacular special effects and adventure with heartfelt emotion and a beautiful examination of what it means to be a boy who never grows up.
Parents and children can both enjoy this delightful treat from Neverland. I highly recommend Peter Pan to anyone looking for a joyful and rousing story.
Available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime or iTunes.
On the Waterfront (1954; dir. Elia Kazan)
My inaugural recommendation is the classic 1954 film, On the Waterfront. The winner of eight Oscars and voted one of the ten best films of all-time by the American Film Institute, director Elia Kazan and star Marlon Brando bring to life a vivid portrait of a regular man rising to extraordinary heights as he taps into his own humanity and greatness. As dockworker Terry Malloy, Brando redefined screen acting in a film with excellent cinematography, writing, and terrific music.
I first saw this film when I was in middle school and immediately fell in love with it. My appreciation has only grown with each viewing. I definitely recommend parents introduce their adolescent and teenage children to this film–take away their smartphones for its 108 minute runtime and have them see a world of real people with real dilemmas.
Available to buy or rent on YouTube, Amazon Prime, or iTunes.