The Breakfast Club (USA, 1985):
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy
Produced by: John Hughes
Directed by: John Hughes, Ned Tanen
Running time: 97 minutes
Curiosities: The theme song Don’t you (Forget About Me) written by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, at the beginning was not offered to the Simple Minds but to Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry, however, both of them rejected the work.
(pic taken by it.wikipedia.org)
Five students Claire Standish the Snob, Brian Johnson the Geek, Andrew Clark the Jock, John Bender the Punk, and Allison Reynolds the Kook are going to spend an all-day detention. At their arrival at school, the principal Richard Vernon instructs them not to talk and to stay in their seats until the end of the detention. He assigns them a descriptive essay: “who you think you are”. John ignores the rules and riles up the other students by starting an antagonistic relationship with them. With the passing of time the students talk, argue, and gradually open up, revealing their secrets, touching topics such as suicide, depression, abuses, social alienation, and the relationship with parents. After, the relationship between them changes. Although they suspect that their new relationships will end along with their detention but at the same time they believe that this experience will change the way they look at their peers.
As the detention is near to end, the group requests to Brian to complete the essay for everyone. Vernon reads the essay, in which Brian states that he has already judged who they are using stereotypes and that they think that he is crazy if he thinks that they are going to tell him who they are in reality; so Brian correspondingly states in the letter that “each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?” He signs off the letter with “Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”
Enjoyable, great soundtrack, timeless
Available on: Netflix.
Trailer: click here.
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Taxi Driver (USA, 1976):
Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
Produced by: Michael and Julia Phillipps
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Thriller, drama
Running time: 113 minutes
Curiosities: In order to better live the role, Robert De Niro really got his taxi license, driving through the streets of New York.
(pic taken by it.wikipedia.org)
New York, 1975. Travis Bickle is an ex-marine veteran of Vietnam dismissed in 1973. He suffers from chronic insomnia that forces him to work as a night taxi driver: during the day he spends his life in solitude and complete emargination, while in the night he explores the city driving his taxi to all the neighborhoods of New York. His only amusement is watching pornographic movies in shabby red light cinemas.
Moreover, he is fascinated by Betsy, an employee of the presidential election candidate of New York Senator Charles Palantine. Initially, she is intrigued too but, when during their first appointment Travis takes her to a red light cinema, evidently unable to get out of his sad routine, she leaves with the intention of never seeing him again. Travis is disgusted by the moral reality that surrounds him and his taxi: indeed, when Iris, a 13-year-old prostitute, enters in his taxi in order to escape from her protector, called Sport, Travis will try in all ways to save her sad reality. His alienation will be emphasized even more by the elections of Palantine, whose figure incarnates for Travis the whole hypocrisy of the American society: therefore he decides to kill him. Here there is the turning point. The unpredictability of destiny will bring him to be considered by everyone as a hero, since actually, he kills Sport, saving Iris from the brutality of her prostitution’s life.
Taxi Driver is considered as one of the major work of both Martin Scorsese and contemporary cinematographic scenario. Classified as a Post-Vietnam movie, it tries to explore the psychological consequences of war, where Travis Bickle embodies the emblem of the alienated and troubled human being who has to face post-traumatic effects. Moreover, the turning point of the plot represents also a turning point for Travis’s entire existence: since mass media considers him as a hero, due to the heroic actions in order to save Iris, the misanthrope man we met at the beginning of the movie is transformed into a model citizen.
Iconic and immortal is De Niro’s performance: we can consider Taxi Driver as the movie that consecrated his whole career. Therefore it’s important to mention De Niro’s most known line: You talking to me?!
4 Oscars nominations.
Psychological, hypnotic, disturbing.
Available on: Amazon Prime.
Trailer: click here.
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Guess who’s coming to dinner (USA, 1967):
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton, Beah Richards, Roy E. Glenn.
Produced and directed by: Stanley Kramer.
Written by: William Rose.
Running time: 108 min.
Curiosities: The film is notable for being the ninth and final on-screen pairing of Tracy and Hepburn, with filming ending just 17 days before Tracy’s death. Hepburn never saw the completed film. It was released in December 1967, six months after his death. In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The film’s Oscar-nominated score was composed by Frank De Vol.
Joanna “Joey” Drayton, an American white girl, raised in a wealthy liberal family in San Francisco, falls in love with Dr. Prentice, an esteemed African-American doctor known ten days earlier in Hawaii. The two have decided to get married and go to San Francisco, where Joey intends to introduce his fiancé to his parents before he leaves for New York and then for Switzerland, where he expects a work commitment. Joey would like to follow Prentice immediately, but he first demands the unconditional approval of her parents to their union.
Guess who’s coming to dinner talked about an important theme at a decisive moment, and he did it, strangely, in a classic way. It’s the first big Hollywood movie in which a black man and a white woman kiss, but it’s also a movie that could be considered, at the same time, traditional. The movie is much closer to us than it may seem since it represented Hollywood’s stance to clear mixed pairs, a sign that art, and above all cinema, can play a fundamental role in costume and popular decisions. Guess who’s coming to dinner is, therefore, winning the formula of impossible love that shakes the minds of the protagonists and those around him, with a slight comedy and a delicate emotion. Against racism, against ignorance, for progress and freedom in all its facets.
Actual, sensible, unforgettable.
Trailer: Click Here.
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Psycho (U.S., 1960):
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Path Hitchcock, John McIntire
Produced by: Alfred Hitchcock
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Joseph Stefano
Based on: the novel by Robert Bloch
Genre: Psychological Horror, Thriller
Running time: 109 minutes
Curiosities: The serial killer Ed Gein not only inspired this masterpiece, but also “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2003) and “The silence of the Lambs” (1991).
Psycho is a movie considered as one of the best American production of all time, and inspired three sequels, a spin-off, a tv series, a documentary, and a remake shot-by-shot; and it has been cited in many other productions, for example in the tv show Dylan Dog. The director, Alfred Hitchcock, is one of the first representatives of the thriller genre, and his career reached his peak- in terms of popularity- with this movie, realised with a relatively “poor” budget and destined to make a fortune.
Marion, the beautiful female protagonist, escapes with a bag of money that was supposed to be invested for a house for her and Sam, with whom she had a relationship made of flings at lunchtime. After a long drive, she decides to stop at the “Bates Motel”, where she meets the owner- Norman Bates; the man invites her for dinner with his mother.
Psycho is based on the true-crime story of the serial killer Edward Theodore Gein- guilty of a series of brutal murders in the late fifties- and the novel by Robert Bloch, set in the Phoenix of 1959. Mental illnesses, fear, multiple-personality situations are at the centre of this masterpiece; describing metaphorically the fragmented and distorted reality of contemporary society.
Disturbing, Cult, Based on a true story
Available on: Streaming
Trailer: Click Here