Wednesday, 20 April 2011

"You can't handle the truth!" ~Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan R. Jessep

Guess who takes the crown...why it's the devil himself in human form- the one, the only, the brilliant, the notorious JACK NICHOLSON!
Looking at his filmography I do realise that I haven't seen a lot of his films, but seriously has he ever played a completely good guy? Something about his grimacing face, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, the gruff yet smooth voice, and enough acting talent to fuel an entire film industry, I tell ya'.

A look back... 
Jake Gittes: You're dumber than you think I think you are.

Randall P. McMurphy: I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.

Daryl Van Horne: Men are such cocksuckers aren't they? You don't have to answer that. It's true. They're scared. Their dicks get limp when confronted by a woman of obvious power and what do they do about it? Call them witches, burn them, torture them, until every woman is afraid. Afraid of herself... afraid of men... and all for what?

The Joker: Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Col. Nathan R. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Will Randall: I've never loved anybody this way. Never looked at a woman and thought, if civilization fails, if the world ends, I'll still understand what God meant.

President Dale/Art Land: If the Martians land, the're gonna need a place to stay. Just like everybody else.

Melvin Udall: Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good.

Harry: I have never lied to you, I have always told you some version of the truth.

Frank Costello: I got this rat, this gnawing, cheese eating fuckin' rat and it brings up questions... You know, see, Bill, like you're the new guy. Girlfriend... Why don't you stay in the bar that night I got your numbers. Social Security numbers. Everybody's fuckin' numbers.

And finally...
Jack Torrance: I dreamed that I, that I killed you and Danny. But I didn't just kill you. I cut you up in little pieces. Oh my God. I must be losing my mind.

Fabulous, ain't he? We love you Jack!

This was part 8 (the last one) of Favourite Actors who play Villains and Anti-heroes.
The others:
-Hugo Weaving
-Kevin Spacey
-Alan Rickman
-Michelle Pfeiffer
-Sir Anthony Hopkins
-Gary Oldman
-Ralph Fiennes

Sunday, 17 April 2011

"I see dead people."

Oh he's so good in this. Haley Joel Osment was meant for greater things...and Cole Sear shows that. I love this film, and I love how he acted in it. 


Friday, 15 April 2011

"Love lifts us up where we belong...all you need is Love." ~ 100 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT FILMS

       I Love Films. More than People. More than Life.
      And here are some of the things I love most about these wonderful wonderful creations.

1) "You're a wizard, Harry."

2) The Pixar "I".

3) Super villains.

4) Mia and Vincent dancing.

5) Woody Allen.

6) Films that make me cry out of sheer happiness (Lord of the Rings, The Shawshank Redmption).

7) Films about real people, even if it shows a part of their lives (Control, The Hours).

8) Really well-made trailers.

9) The Notting Hill effect.

10) The magical redheads (From Ron to Rose).

11) "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me."

12) Films that begin and end within a short period of time...say a night or day or 500 days.

13) Bill Fuckin' Murray

14) The colour palette in Wes Anderson films.

15) George Clooney playing George Clooney.

16) The prom scene in Carrie.

17) When the supporting characters truly shine.

18) A good action film.

19) John Hughes.

20) The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.

21) Period films.

22) The Harrison Ford characters.

23) The beauty in Sofia Coppola films.

24) "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

25) A great narrator.

26) Kids movies.

27) Well-planned cons and heists.

28) Tim Robbins.

29) Hector Elizondo in all the Garry Marshall films.

30) Praying for a film to win an Oscar, vowing to never watch the Oscars again as it didn't win, doing the same thing year after year.

31) When you know the ending of a film, but still get surprised by it.

32) Black and white films.

33) "...the greatest people you will ever meet, and the worst. Beware of the Plastics."

34) Films that require the actors/characters to become someone of the other sex (Some Like It Hot, I'm Not There).

35) Movie geeks.

36) Johnny Depp.

37) Robert Downey Jr. playing Robert Downey Jr.

38) The jerky misogynistic men that are always so brilliant in films.

39) Courtroom dramas.

40) When a film surpasses your expectations.

41) Getting obsessed with a music artist after listening to some soundtrack.

42) Director-Actor collaborations (Burton-Depp, Wright-Knightley, Fincher-Pitt).

43) A good Bollywood film, that stays true to the roots or tries something new without becoming perverse.

44) Kate and Leo.

45) "I could die right now, Clem. I'm just... happy. I've never felt that before. I'm just exactly where I want to be."

46) Roald Dahl adaptations.

47) French New Wave.

48) Mourning a character's death for the rest of your life.

49) Ambiguous endings.

50) David Fincher.

51) Singing "All By Myself" with Bridget Jones, and choosing between Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy.

52) Annette Bening in Being Julia, especially in the last two scenes.

53) The chapter names in Tarantino films.

54) The wide shots in Hitchcock films.

55) Finding out the meaning behind "Rosebud".

56) Ralph Fiennes playing the baddie.

57) "It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Van."

58) Anti-heroes FTW!

59) Watching a bad film, just because you like someone in it.

60) People mentioning India in the random-est context (I swear the Andrew-Eduardo dance is such an Indian dance step).

61) Those little discrepancies/items that film makers purposely put (the converse shoes in Marie Antoinette).

62) Making fun of films like Twilight, Never Say Never and those Disney straight-to-video films.

63) Audrey Hepburn.

64) Introducing someone to Fight Club.

65) "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."

66) Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly and Billy Flynn.

67) James Dean.

68) Seeing the originals after watching the remakes.

69) The orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally.

70) Musicals.

71) Romantic quotes from Romcoms ("I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's.")

72) Films based on graphic novels.

73) The ending of The Truman Show.

74) Getting scared by certain films, especially those with kids.

75) John Cusack.

76) Adrien Brody in The Pianist.

77) The Jacks- Dawson, Sparrow, Napier etc.

78) The score of Vicky Christina Barcelona.

79) "Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."

80) The beach scene in Atonement.

81) The Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack moments.

82) Films showing dysfunctional families.

83) Peter Sellers in Lolita.

84) Mike Nichols.

85) The transformation in Black Swan.

86) Gollum.

87) "Welcome to Shawshank."

88) Underrated actors getting recognised (Stanley Tucci, Paul Giamatti, Steve Buscemi).

89) Ewan McGregor.

90) The Beatles films.

91) Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

92) Whenever they play the Jimi Hendrix Experience cover of "All Along the Watchtower" in a film.

93) "You are literally like my musical soul mate."

94) The "Magic Man"/ Josh Hartnett introduction in The Virgin Suicides.

95) The Amir Khan films.

96) Movie Marathons on TCM.

97) Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

98) Talking to the TV screen as if the character can hear us (You are the ghost Bruce Willis, you are!)

99) The opening credits of a James Bond film.

100) "You better lawyer up asshole, because I'm not coming back for 30%, I'm coming back for everything."

Sunday, 10 April 2011

"I have seen your heart, and it is mine." ~Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort

Villains never looked this good. True he hasn't played as many villaineous roles as some of the other people in this list, but Ralph Fiennes has always been my favourite movie villain-actor. Except while making the list, I realised that there is one actor who is still greater (will post that next). Anyways, it still means that gorgeous and diabolical Fiennes is in my top two. Despite his very apparent superior looks, Fiennes has the ability to truly portray purly dak and evil characters, probably making him even scarier. A stellar actor as well, Fiennes truly shines onscreen as both the bad and good, but especially the bad.

A look back...
Francis Dollarhyde: I am the Dragon. And you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. To me, you are a slug in the sun. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly. Before me, you rightly tremble. But, fear is not what you owe me. You owe me awe.

Lord Voldemort: I'm going to kill you, Harry Potter. I'm going to destroy you. After tonight, no one will ever again question my power. After tonight if they speak of you, they'll only speak of how you begged for death. And how I being a merciful Lord... obliged.

Harry: Don't be stupid. This is the shootout.

Hades:  I'm a god! I will live forever!

And finally...
Amon Goeth: I would like so much to reach out to you and touch you in your loneliness. What would it be like, I wonder? What would be wrong with that? I realize that you are not a person in the strictest sense of the word, but, um, maybe you're right about that too. Maybe what's wrong, it's not us, it's this... I mean, when they compare you to vermin, to rodents and to lice. I just, uh, you make a good point. You make a very good point. Is this the face of a rat? Are these the eyes of a rat? "Hath not a Jew eyes?" I feel for you Helen.
No, I don't think so. You Jewish bitch, you nearly talked me into it, didn't you?

       Amon Goeth is a legend... one of the reasons why I prefer The Pianist to Schindler's List is the reason that I felt the villain had more character than the hero (I love you Liam Neeson still). My mum still gets amazed when I tell her that guy is Voldemort.

This is part 7 of Favourite Actors playing Villains and Anti-heroes.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Crazy Stupid Love!!

Ryan "My Earthquake Man" Gosling and Emma "ILOVE" Stone in one film...


Also Steve Carell, Juliane Moore, Marissa Tomei and Kevin Bacon.

PS. I would ask him to take of his shirt too. And give the same retort. Suck it Notebook!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

"Find hungry samurai." ~SEVEN SAMURAI

       I finally saw Seven Samurai yesterday. It was the first proper Japanese film (I don't think Memoirs of a Geisha, Lost in Transalation or The Grudge count) and the first Akira Kurasawa film that I have ever seen. So you can say that I feel a bit..what's the word...cultured(!) right now.

         Set in the sixteenth centure, it tells the tale of a village that has been suffering a lot of problems out of which the most alarming one is that a band of bandits keep robbing the inhabitants of their harvest, and as a result they starve. They decide to hire a band of samurai to help them defend their village against these mauraders. The first one to agree to help these suffering villagers is the war-veteran Kambei. He then recruits five more samurai- his right-hand man Shichirōji, the "interesting" Gorobei, the mediocre but funny Heihachi, the masterful swordsman Kyūzō and the young Katsushirō who wants to be Kambei's apprentice. The group is completed with the wannabe samurai and slightly mental Kikuchiyo. They return to the village and teach the villagers how to defend themselves. Then the attack by the bandits start and the samurai, along with the villagers start fighting, luring and killing them, in which many of them also lose their lives but for the greater good.

         I thought it was a very well-made film and I absolutely understand why it has had such an impact all over the world. I mean it was a three and a half hour long, black and white foreign film, and I watched all of it (not continuosly as the rest of my family wasn't as intersted but I did finish it under six hours). However you would notice that in my "Recently Watched/Rewatched List" I gave it a 9.5 out of 10 rating. This is purely my fault. The thing is that I have seen so many Curry Westerns like Sholay and China Gate, and also other English films that have Seven Samurai elements in it like Ocean's Eleven, Gone in Sixty Seconds, hell even Rango reminded me of Kikuchiyo; that the film did not feel like anything new to me. If not anything that itself would be a compliment to how popular and universal it is, but still it was like a tale I had seen and heard so many times before. A '9' seemed like too less, but a '10' felt like a lot. I haven't seen The Magnificent Seven and I'm scared of Clint Eastwood, otherwise I would have been even more familiar with it.

           I really liked the characters of Kambei and Kyūzō. They were exactly like how I would imagine a quintessential samurai to be like- silent, wise, powerful and deadly. The others were good too, but these two will stick with me for the longest time, for the right reasons. I actually found Kikuchiyo and Katsushirō very annoying, but the scenes in the flowers-covered woods in which he and Shino, the peasant girl he loves, are together were very beautiful and just perfect. Probably those and the last scene, or even the very last shot were my favourites in the film.

           A film this legendary is nothing without its master director Akira Kurasawa, who was also the co-writer and editor. I loved how involved all characters were in the film. It's about an entire village, and everyone seemed to be a part of it. It was very impressive direction, but what really blew me away about this film was its editting. Honestly I would think that in a film this long there should haved been parts that was supposed to be cut out, but I really didn't find such parts. Everything was exactly right and put together perfectly. I especially loved the part in the last scene when they show Shino singing and harvesting and Katsushirō's sad and silent face back and forth. One thing this film definitely did for me is to create a hunger to see more of Kurasawa's works.

Also I thought this quote by the village elder, Gisako was sort of epic-

"What's the use of worrying about your beard when your head's about to be taken?"

If you haven't seen it already, I definitely recommend it.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Happy Day -April 4th!

"I have a lot of affection for Norman Bates and a lot of sympathy. So does the audience, I think. He`s not just a monster. He`s tortured. The real secret of the "Psycho" movies is that they`re  tragedies first and horror movies second."

- Anthony Perkins

"The Joker, so far, is definitely the most fun I`ve had with any character. He`s just out of control -- no empathy, he`s a sociopath, uh, a psychotic, mass-murdering clown. "

-Heath Ledger

"I have an Iron Man head at home and various other bits downstairs but my home isn’t a shrine to Iron Man. But I think it’s cool."

-Robert Downey Jr.


JAANE BHI DO YAARO- Hindi Film Review

         So India won the Cricket World Cup. I'm generally a sports-hater and super-duper Cricket-hater. Honestly the only time I liked cricket was in the epic Lagaan. But still, I am a Sachin Tendulkar fan and it was all for him and I have been feeling very patriotic for the past few days. I was actually watching a Bollywood film during the match, and I never do that on the laptop, ever. Now I had seen the second-half of this film, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro or Just Let it Go, Friends many many times before, but on the 2nd of April, I saw it completely. And I was absolutely mind-blasted.

          The film is a dark satire on the corruption and the unethical attitude of people in modern India- from policemen to contractors to prominent journalists. And caught in the middle of it all are two honest and guileless photographers Vinod and Sudhir, who represent the common man. The first scene of the film shows them waiting for customers to come in order to inaugurate their photo studio- Beauty Photo Studio. Instead a rival photo studio which is opening on the same day sabotages all their arrangements. Then the film skips to three months later when their luck and business is going nowhere. It is then that an assistant editor of the newspaper Khabardaar, which is infamous for its exposés on various unscrupulous activities, hires them for an assignment. They are to take pictures of the secret meeting between the Municipal Commissioner D'Mello and the well-known builder Tarneja where he was going to bribe D'Mello into letting him build additional floors in his buildings and get the contracts to make four new bridges in Mumbai.

         We then meet the apparently highly-principled editor of Khabardaar- Shobha Sen, who now wants to actually go to D'Mello's beach house and record and take pictures of another meeting between him and Tarneja. In this meeting thy see that Tarneja has greatly increased the prices of the approved tenders for the building of the four bridges and bribes D'Mello to let him do so. As Shobha wants a closer picture of the papers of the tender, she and Vinod go in as journalists from American newspapers doing a story on D'Mello. He then kicks out Tarneja and his two minions Ashok and Priya and lets himself made a total fool of by Vinod and Shobha. As these two leave and Tarneja and his gang is still outside, the latter three then see that D'Mello is double-crossing them by taking a bigger bribe from another builder Ahuja and letting him make the bridges. This leads to a secret meeting being arranged between Tarneja and Ahuja in which they want to come to some sort of agreement regarding the bridges, only to find out that D'Mello has taken an even bigger bribe from a third party and letting them build the bridges. All this is recorded by Sudhir and Vinod, who goes there because he is in love with Shobha and knowing this, she is using him to do all her dangerous work.

         Tired by all this snooping around, Vinod and Sudhir decide to enter a photography competition to win the first prize of Rs. 5000 and take many pictures in park. In one of those pictures which has a pet monkey holding a mirror, they see a reflection of Tarneja shooting someone. When they go back to investigate, they find traces of blood and a cuff link but no dead body. Soon Tarneja opens a bridge and dedicates it to D'Mello who has seemingly died due to a deadly disease. There, at the foundation of the bridge, they find the other cuff link. They dig up that spot and find the shot D'Mello in a coffin. They take pictures of this and decide to get them published and the murder investigated. They are very happy at the thought that the good will triumph and the evil punished. Except due to the loud and shaky local trains that pass by that place, the coffin skids away without them noticing and they think that they've lost it. They go to Shobha with the pictures and she decides to use them to blackmail Tarneja. Meanwhile the drunk Ahuja finds the coffin and thinks its a broken car and brings it along with him.Vinod and Sudhir then realise that Shobha is as corrupt as the rest of them and decide to expose the truth themselves.What then follows is one of the best third acts I have ever seen.

        Vinod and Sudhir find the body of D'Mello at Ahuja's house and everyone, including the new Municipal Commissioner Shrivastav, begins chasing them. First they all enter an area with lots of Muslim women in their Burkhas and they all disguise themselves too and that leads to a lot of confusion. And finally they take refuge in a theatre which is playing the famous Sanskrit epic poem Mahabharata. Now if anyone does watch this film and is not familiar with Mahabharata, I would suggest them to read up on it a bit because them the humour of the scene will pass over their heads. Also the romantic tale between  Mughal prince Salim and the courtesan Anarkali as in this scene they have a sudden mash-up between the two. The actors get bumped of the stage as Vinod, Sudhir, Tarneja and gang and Shobha and Ahuja come on the stage instead to kidnap the dead D'Mello dressed up as Draupadi. It's an absolute laughter riot that ensues and the police come to break all of this up. The ending though is amongst the most realistic and as a result saddest and scariest ones I have ever seen and that truly leaves an impression on anyone who views it.

         The film was written by critically acclaimed screenwriter Sudhir Mishra and the director Kundan Shah. It was produced by the National Film Development Corporation of India, which tries to make films that aren't exactly blockbuster material but give a real message to people. I think Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is the first true Bollywood cult hit as the followers believe in it now as much as they believed in it in 1983 when it had released. It is really the story that matters. Through the various hilarious turn of events and comical characters, we get that Indian society has become so horribly corrupt and apathetic that the common man really does not stand a chance unless he too joins the devious crowds. And not just India, I'm pretty sure that other countries too deal with such kind of things. 

         Don't even get me started on the acting! Naseeruddin Shah, who plays Vinod, is one of the best actors anywhere. His Vinod is simple and forthright and gullible and so sweet. Ravi Baswani plays Sudhir and being a comedic actor, he really embraced the slightly mundane features of his character. Om Puri is another fine actor and he plays the hilarious drunk Ahuja. Others like Satish Kaushik who plays Ashok and Satish Shah who plays the DOA D'Mello are famous comedic actors in Indian films and television. Pankaj Kappor, who played the dishonest Tarneja actually went on to star in the hugely popular comedy television series called Office Office which actually exposes the various kinds of corrupt practices in Indian offices. I knew all of this. What surprised me the most were the female characters. Neena Gupta, who plays the slutty Priya is famous for her very conservative Indian-woman roles, and to see her in this avataar was quite something. And I had never even heard of Bhakti Barve who plays the artful Shobha. She was fantastic, so nurturing and venomous at the same time. I think I liked her, Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani and Om Puri the best. 

       It is a commentary on the trusting nature of the common man and while I loved the coffin-and-Ahuja scene and the Mahabharata -meets-Mughal-e-azam scene a great deal, there were a couple of scenes which showed Vinod and Sudhir singing the famous Indian patriotic song "Hum Honge Kaamyaab" which is the literal Hindi translation of "We Shall Overcome" and that always filled me with such pride and also grief for the falsity of the claim in today's world, that they too left an indelible mark on my mind.

    It would be fantastic if more people watch's such an iconic film.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

"I do have a blurred memory of sitting on the stairs and trying over and over again to tie one of my shoelaces, but that is all that comes back to me of school itself." ~ Roald Dahl

         So my school got over a few days ago and to commemorate this occasion, I have to- just have to make a Favourite High School Movies List. And that's because my very cloistered, nerdified, Indian-ish school experience would have been nothing without the expectations of teenage heartthrobs, bitches and everything else that films showed. But as Olive Penderghast said, "No, John Hughes did not direct my life." Still, let bygones be bygones I always say (no, not really). What's important is that it's over and now there's college life to look forward to...maybe I'll invent a social network, maybe I'll marry an Eduardo...we shall see. For now, here's the list (in alphabetical order).

1) 10 Things I Hate About You- I'm just going to put it out there- BEST SHAKESPEARE ADAPTATION EVER!! (Though I have to see the Elizabeth Taylor one still). Julia Stiles plays the uptight female chauvinist Kat whose younger sister Bianca has become the most sought-after girl in their high school. Two of the guys after her are poplar jerk Joey and the adorable newcomer Cameron, played by the oh-so-young-and-cute Joseph Gordon-Levitt. However Bianca cannot go out with either of them as her overprotective, paranoid gynaecologist of a father, played by the always hilarious Larry Miller has put a condition on her dating- she can only date when the non-conformist-extraordinaire Kat dates. Enters the insanely gorgeous bad boy Patrick, played by the blessed Heath Ledger who is paid by Joey and helped by Cameron and his friend Michael to seduce Kat into dating him and going to the prom with him. With many references to Taming of the Shrew, many memorable lines and an unforgettable musical number by  Ledger, 10 Things I Hate About You is easily one of the best high school films ever made.

2) Back to the Future- Stuff that legends are made off. Marty McFly's first adventure into the past and back again, where he has to avert his mother's, um...affection and get her to like his father so that he can happen, all with a little help from the one and only Doc. We love Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd for this!!

3) The Breakfast Club- The battle of the cliques! Venue- Saturday detention. The hugely popular Brat pack classic with the criminal Judd Nelson, the athlete Emilio Estevez, the princess Molly Ringwald, the basket case Ally Sheedy and the brain Anthony Michael Hall and the one detention they spend together to realise that they aren't all that different from each other. "And these children that you spit on/ As they try to change their worlds/ Are immune to your consultations/ They're quite aware of what they're going through."

4) Bring It On- Cheerleaders have substance too...I think. Everyone knows the cheers, everyone knows the bitchiness, and ofcourse everyone knows the one and only Kirsten Dunst as Torrance. In my world the sequels do not exist. Trivia: It is called Cheers! in Japan (or so says Wikipedia).

5) Can't Hardly Wait- This is my list's version of American Graffiti ( I liked it but not all that much). The party on the last day of school when all loose ends are tied. It's sweet and funny and stars everyone from Jennifer Love-Hewitt to Seth Green to Breckin Meyer, the awesome lead singer whose clothes always remind me of Chris Martin's in Viva La Vida.

6) Carrie- The scariest entry in the list, and I think one of the best horror films of all time. The themes in this movie range from bullying to religious fanaticism, and gives us two incredibly unforgettable characters- the virginal and powerful Carrie White played by the beautiful Sissy Spacek and the scariest-mother-of-all Margaret White played by Piper Laurie. Also brownie points for the dance scene, which is according to me one of the best scenes in cinematic history.

7) Charlie Bartlett- This film is so cute and funny. I absolutley love Anton Yelchin as the precocious Charlie who goes to a public school headed by the fabulous Robert Downey (Jesus) Jr., after being kicked out of every private school and then starts counselling his peers. It also stars the lovely Kat Dennings as Charlie's love interest and Jesus' daughter and Hope Davis as Charlie's slightly insane but quite wonderful mother.

8) Clueless- I remember a few years ago how I had an argument with one of my best friends about this film. She had refused to watch it because it looked "too pink" and I tried to explain to her that it's just the appearance and that this is a highly entertaining and enjoyable film that stays with one long after having watched it. Today she agrees (and I repeatedly remind her how I was right). The modern adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma which stars Alicia Silverstone as Cher, the rich and popular girl in school who catches the match-maker bug after making two of her teachers to go out so that she can get better grades. She then tries to set the gullible "un-hip" newcomer Tai, played by the adorable Brittany Murphy with the snob Elton, who in fact has the hots for Cher and then the fashionista Christian, who turns out to be gay. Tai then falls for Cher's ex-step brother Josh, played by the loved-by-all-womankind Paul Rudd, which makes Cher introspect and realise who it is she really wants. It's really quite a magical spin on the classic novel and a film for the ages...or whatever.

9) Dead Poets Society- Some people can change lives and so it was with Robin Williams' character John Keating who inspires a group of young boys in a conservative to "Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." Similarly some films can change lives too and this is one of them. The idea of romanticism and freedom and what school life should've been like (without Neil's death ofcourse...I'm still mourning him), becomes clear in this film. And it gives one of the most wonderful fictional teachers ever...I honestly cannot imagine my life without Keating. I would stand on a chair for him too.

10) Donnie Darko- While this is not so much about the high school experience as such, it is about some of the darker things we see in school life- censorship, overzealous teachers, and the definite definition of right and wrong. Add to that time travel, arson, paedophilia, mental disorders and one very stoned-looking yet scary and sweet Jake Gyllenhaal and obviously the scary bunny, we have a cult hit and a very cool film.

11) Drop Dead Gorgeous- Oh this film is epic!! The whole mock-umentary concept which satirizes a small town's fixation with a Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant. I can't even begin to enumerate the absolutely mundane characters in the film- the picture perfect yet incredibly diabolical society mom Gladys Leeman played by Kirstie Ally, the rich popular high school girl with a thing for guns and winning Rebecca Leeman played by Denise Richards, the alcoholic yet loving mother of Amber- Annette played by Ellen Arkin, the sweet, talented and hardworking Amber played by Kirsten Dunst, the bimbo cheerleader-turned-stripper Leslie played by the then-newcomer Amy Adams along with characters like the ephebophile judge, the mentally deranged son of another judge and so on. This is, according to me, one of the best dark comedies out there along with one of the funniest attempts to understand the violently-pretty minds of women.

12) Easy A- I don't care what people say, I think this was one of the best and funniest films of last year. Emma Stone got a real devoted fan after this film. I love how this film simultaneously elevates and demeans the status of being a slutty or easy girl in high school, along with a hell lot of humour and wit and very quotable lines. Olive Penderghast became one of my favourite heroines after this, and really showed that nice girls can be smart and pretty and still have no life in high school, except that they don't necessarily finish last.

13) Election- Speaking of nice girls, Reese Witherspoon's character in Election, Tracy Flick was definitely not one. This film really got me confused because I found myself rooting for both her and Matthew Broderick's character Jim at different points in the film. As much as I hated Tracy, I did understand some of her motives though not really agree with the actions. Politics is a dangerous field, and school politics has its own twists and turns (or so they say- I for one am, or rather was, an oblivious fool when it came to school politics, and happily so).

14) Fast Times at Ridgemont High- Before Jeff Bridges, it was Jeff Spicoli who was the Dude. If I ever become a stoner, I would like to be just like him. One of the simplest and most blunt portrayal's of what school life is like- full of hormones and peers and very unique teacher. It's very funny and Sean Penn and Cameron Crowe emerge as the stars of the show.

15) Ferris Beuller's Day Off- "Beuller...Beuller...Beuller?" and he's off! This film shows that good kids need to fake out parents and take a day off now and then too. Ferris Beuller is a role model, and Cameron is such an adorable shmuck. From hilarious villains to jealous siblings, to incredible music numbers, this film is a teenage dream. God I love John Hughes.

16) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince- The director David Yates described this film as "Sex, Potions and Rock 'n' Roll". Voldie totally took a back seat in this film as the now sixteen year-olds (and stupid Ginny who's fifteen) truly have their hormones raging throughout. From Harry's new-found crush on Ginny to Won-Won and Lav-Lav and a very very jealous Hermione, the film shows the boy-wizard and his friends forgetting about the Dark Lord and completely entering the world of dating and what-not.

17) Heathers- "Bulimia is so '87" says Heather to Heather while the other Heather watches. Did that make sense? Anyways I think of this film as Mean Girls-meets-Fight Club, due to the fact that I watched both of them before I watched this Winona Ryder and Christian Slater-starrer. If  I had watched Heathers before, I might, just might, have been less impressed with them. The entire concept makes so much sense...especially coming from a country where a lot of suicides or suicide attempts take place because of school. However it's also dangerously witty and the leads are absolutely gorgeous. Never before has a scrunchie been in so much power.

18) Juno- Ebert had named it his number one film of 2007 as it was his "true love". I remember that when I turned 17, my very first remark was "Now I'll never get to be Juno." What is about this pregnant loud-mouthed teenage girl that makes us go bonkers? I'll tell you- it's Diablo Cody's Oscar-winning script, Jason Reitman's Oscar-worthy direction (bite me Coen Brothers), Ellen Page's incredible transformation and acting, and a very adorable Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker. This film is warm and funny and has fantastic music and a very cute love story. It's amongst my true loves also (I possibly cannot have one).

19) Mean Girls- This film was there in my Films that Made Me list. It literally changes people. I became so much smarter after this film. The references to this film are legendary- from Harry Potter to The Social Network to me explaining USA Politics, everything has had Mean Girls in it. I have dreamt of being a part of the plastics; I want to be all of them- the queen bitch, the gossip-monger, the dumb blonde and the ignorant traitor who is friends with the best people you would ever meet. Unfortunately life's nothing like the movies...I would prefer it to be all plastic. And God bless Tina Fey!

20) Never Been Kissed- It's only because I am so glad that school is FINALLY over, that is stopping me to wishing to become Drew Barrymore's character Josie Geller. But then again Michael Vartan is one hot teacher. However of course one wants to do over all the "wrongs" and idiocy that they did while in school- I do wish I cared about being more social, and dropped Commerce...but that's a whole another thing. Josie is a newspaper reporter who gets to go undercover in a high school almost a decade after graduating it and see what the kids "today" do. Much to her misfortune, she realises that they are all much too the same. Then she gets popular and falls for the smoking English teacher Sam Coulson. And she's never properly been kissed... I love the article she writes at the end and well, the ending. Also let me stress once more that Michael Vartan is a beautiful, beautiful man.

21) Pretty in  Pink- How could you do this, Molly Ringwald?? Duckie was perfect. Jon Cryer plays one of the best John Hughes character as love-lorn and a bit mad Duckie Dale, who is in love with the beautiful and sort of a proletariat elitist, if that makes any sense. That is why she is apprehensive about dating the rich (and dumb) Blane. I just realised that John Hughes is probably the only filmmaker in whose films the girl doesn't end up with the cute weirdo...I both applaud and condemn him for it. I mean seriously, how splendid were Duckie, Brian the Brain, Cameron and The Geek? And they never got THE girls. I still really enjoyed Pretty in Pink though.

22) Princess Diaries- "Shut up!" This film brings together the old and new in such a wonderful way- Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in one film, I mean come on! The ugly-duckling-to-beautiful-swan story of today, Garry Marshall made this hilarious and better-than-the-book adaptation of the very popular Meg Cabot book series. This film made me go on a never-ending wish frenzy in which I kept on hoping that I had some secret queen grandmother who could transform me into a princess too. And I really love Heather Matarazzo.

23) Rushmore- It's a Wes Anderson film starring Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Olivia Williams. I really do not need to say more. This is my favourite Wes Anderson film, and not The Royal Tenenbaums which is actually in the fourth place. I understand Max Fischer... and wish that I could be more like him. The whole battle for the very beautiful Ms. Cross' attention between Fischer and Herman Blume is the highlight of the film for me, though it is always hard to pinpoint why exactly one loves a Wes Anderson film. And how I worship the ground Bill Murray walks upon!

24) Say Anything- It's a John Cusack film...ofcourse it's brilliant. His character in Cameron Crowe's Say Anything has been raising expectations and breaking hearts since '89. True Story. Every girl secretly wants a Llyod Dobler to stand under their windows in the rain with a boom box. If they say it isn't so, they are lying. This film is so romantic and sweet that it kills me. And Ione Skye is the most perfect match for the very very very perfect, too-perfect-to-make-sense John Cusack.

25) She's The Man- Another great Shakespeare adaptation. I was a huge fan of Amanda Bynes as a kid, and I really think she makes a very cute boy. This is also the only film in which I find Channing Tatum remotely likeable. It's a very laughable tale in which Viola wants to become a big football (and not soccer) player and is not given a chance to do so in her own school Cornwall, and thus decides to join the rival school Illyria disguised as her brother Sebastian and make their football team. Her roommate is the very hot but girl-shy Duke who has a crush on the prettiest girl in school Olivia. Olivia in turn likes Viola dressed as Sebastian, and Viola likes Duke. There are also the exes- Monique and Justin. Slightly complicated but highly entertaining.

26) Slap Her She's French- Its tagline is "Bonjour Y'all". Funny. Jane McGregor stars as the popular, bitchy and very Texan Starla who decides to host a French foreign exchange student Genevieve, played by Piper Parabo. Little does she know that her world is going to turn upside-down. It is quite a funny film which pokes fun at everything from small-town ideals to beauty pageants to French tests. I especially love how everyone says "Ouie" as "Why".

27) Superbad- "My name is McLovin"- I dream of meeting someone named McLovin. Superbad is one crazy-ass funny film. Some of my female friends are appalled by my undying love for this extremely male-oriented film, but meh...who cares? Beneath all the cursing and wanting-to-get-laid and booze etcetera, there is a deeper story. Seth and Evan are leaving school and possibly their very long friendship behind, and all they want is one night of insanity and partying. This film marked the debut of a few of my favourite young actors- Emma Stone, Michael Cera and Christopher "McLovin" Mintz-Plasse.

 28) The Virgin Suicides- I still can't decide whether this was a dark film or not. It is certainly a very resplendent looking one, due to the genius of Sofia Coppola. It satirizes the upper middle-class ideals. The Lisbon sisters, the most prominent one being Lux played by the enticing Kirsten Dunst, had all committed suicide, and this has baffled the many boys in their neighbourhood for years. They all look back at it, trying to find an explanation, but as always get mesmerised in the beauty and mystery of the sisters. From the various episodes in their lives- my personal favourite being that of the short-lived but very passionate affair between Lux and school hottie Trip Fontaine, played by the once brilliant Josh Hartnett- they recreate the memories of the sisters in their head, but fail as usual, and fall in love with them all over again. One of the best directorial debuts, Sofia Coppola creates absolute magic with this film. Add to that the music- both the atmospheric Air score and the enchanting Heart songs, this one like the Lisbon sisters is hard to forget.

      Since I am talking about stuff that influenced my high-school experience, I must talk about Gilmore Girls. I would not have grown up this way if it hadn't been for Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, and the town of Stars Hollow and Emily and Richard and Rory's Yale, and the many men in the lives of the Gilmore girls. I have always said so, and maintain the belief that this was one of the best television series ever. From the lovely feel of small-town America to genius humour and so many cultural references that your head starts spinning, these series are absolute classic. I relate a whole deal with both of the Gilmore girls- Lorelai because I can't stand my parents either and can be overly dramatic and imaginative, and Rory because I am a nerd too. Of all the people in this list of mine, the person I want to be the most is Rory. I have envied Rory Gilmore since sixth grade- she's pretty, prodigiously smart, reads ever book, watches every film, listens to everything, and gets the best guys. And who was the best of the best? Jess Mariano- I'll never ever ever ever get over Jess. The world of the Gilmore girls is where I want to exist- no one's a philistine there- heck I don't think they've even heard of the word. I love everyone in the show- the Gilmores, Patty, Lane, Babette, Sookie, Jackson, Luke, Christopher, Kirk, Mrs. Kim, Michel, Logan, Paris, Taylor...everyone! Except Dean- he was a pea brained hick. And I love Amy-Sherman Palladino, the creator, best of all!!

Hope you had fun...I sure did. This is for all my friends who made high school possible!