1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Tag: My top three movies of all time! December 6, 2010

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 10:14 am
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I was tagged my Destination Infinity to do this tag on 3 top movies of all time. To say I am selective about watching movies is to say nothing. I hardly see a couple of films in one year. There was a time in my life several years back when I was watching many, but then I realized there were very very few works that could make me stun. And from any piece of art I am expecting this effect – it must fascinate me! Too idealistic, I know…

In my childhood I watched many good Russian films, but I don’t remember any one being particular fascinating. Thus I can only relate to the ones I have watched outside of Russian culture.

Here is my top 3:

1. LIFE IS BEATUIFUL by Roberto Benigni.

What fascinated me most was the Attitude towards the worst condition one can imagine:

In a concentration camp, Guido hides his son from the Nazi guards, sneaks him food, and tries to humor him. In an attempt to keep up Giosué’s spirits, Guido convinces him that the camp is just a game, in which the first person to get 1,000 points wins a tank. He tells him that if he cries, complains that he wants his mother, or says that he is hungry, he will lose points, while quiet boys who hide from the camp guards earn 1,000 points.

This changed the complete life perception, I remember how deeply I was moved  by the greateness of human Spirit in this attempt.

2. RANG DE BASANTI (English translation: Paint It Saffron), India

That’s my another favorite: I love the transformaiton idea! That’s what fascinates me most of all in life, as well as in every piece of art – the human ability to get transformed, to evolve, to grow… The movie is very powerful, and  – unlike in Matrix that used to be my favorite – I love the collevtive (team) spirit, not a single hero fighting the evil.

3. JODHA AKBAR, another Indian production of 2008

The breathtaking aesthetic beauty is a rare case in the western film. I have never seen any western production that would blow my mind by the spectacular colour combinations or marvelous aesthetic scenes – that remains the strength of the Eastern mindset and perspective.

One more special thing about the film is that the love between Jodhaa and Akbar develops AFTER they got married (which is not unusual for an Indian, but might be rather strange for a western mindset). Romantic love after marriage is the unique situation, it gives love the possibility to unfold slowly but steadily, and not vanish like a cheap parfume – I am lucky enough to know it from my own marriage experience! Apart from the love message, the figure of Akbar could be a good role model for many rulers. The king not only had a secular vision, but also a will to know what the common man wanted, he was kind hearted and noble. And I love the way he forgives! In a very thoughtful scene, Akbar openly wonders how to make India one…and he realizes that would be possible by embracing all faiths. A message that still rings true and still needs to be worked on -an that is, all over the world!

Please share your top 3 with us here!

LOVE, axinia


28 Responses to “Tag: My top three movies of all time!”

  1. I thought I will get some Russian/ Dutch movie names!! 🙂 I have not seen the Life is beautiful! Wonder how I missed such a subject, but will remember to pick it up soon. I have seen the other two – somehow, RDB doesn’t connect with me! Even the songs, which many feel were good! I liked Jodha Akbar, for sure… Thanks for doing this tag, and as an after thought, you can also give us some Russian movies – I would love to see at least one!! 🙂 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    • axinia Says:

      dear DI, for Russian movies we have another experet here – my Indian friend swaps I guees knows better about it than me…may be he would like to comment on his Russian favs? 🙂

      Genearlly I don’t think Russian movies can be that interesting for any non-Russian: they ae very “insider oriented” and without knowing the culture and history it may not be interesting enouth to watch them. Besides, they are “slower” and really much different from Indian or American ones. That’s probably the reason why Russian movies are not popular in the world.

      • swaps Says:

        @DI, @ Axinia – True Axinia….Russian movies demand some knowledge of Russia (enough to tire a foreigner). But like me if one has a general idea then a movie like Russian Ark is a must see. (In fact, I am sure the last scene can leave Jodha Akbar to empty halls 😛 ).

        And, Axinia I still remember “The Barber of Russia”…a story of passion 🙂

    • axinia Says:

      at least one: watch “The Babier of Siberia” – the whole Russian soul is there, and it is made quite understandable for a foreginer. enjoy 🙂

    • radha Says:

      /you MUST watch Life is beautiful, it s so touching so gentle and so sweet!

  2. […] @ Axinia has done this tag in English and Hindi!! . The movies listed are – Life is beautiful, Rang De Basanti, Jodha Akbar. […]

  3. […] reading here: Tag: My top three movies of all time! « 1000petals… VN:R_U [1.9.6_1107]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.6_1107]Rating: 0 (from 0 […]

  4. Triveni Says:

    My list would be:
    Matrix Trilogy – The idea of illusion and reality and how u r guided through to find your ultimate purpose. I somehow cant help relating oracle to Shri Mataji in the movie and Neo to every individual seeking truth.

    Tare Zameen Par – This is a fantastic Hindi Movie, that talks about how a child who goes into depression is encouraged and pulled out of depression and finally shines like a brilliant star. Its a must watch movie because it carried lot of values and actually changed the mind-set of many indian parents who without realising the true potential of the child pressurize their child a lot to do good in academics, sports and everything possible to only make their parents looks good.

    Aitraz: This is not some block buster movie or anything and does not carry values or anything like that. But what fascinates me in this movie is the way the wife of the hero stands by the hero even when the whole world goes against him. She instead of suspecting (and possibly leaving) her husband who falsely is accused of harrasing his female boss, instead stands with him and fights the whole world to prove his innocence. I especially love the scene in which she argues the case and proves her husband inncoent. Just empahsizes the true role of a wife in a relationship.

  5. nimirel Says:

    (La vita è bella a perfect pick! Roberto Benigni amazing !!!)

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) & It’s a Wonderful Life (RKO, 1946: ( both James Stewart classics)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍) (Ang Lee)
    The Pianist

    turkish: My Father & My son
    indian: Dor डोर
    german: Nirgendwo in Afrika

    sorry, more than 3!

  6. Nishant Says:

    Tough task – something like having to decide which nationality to marry the girl from. Anyhow,

    (1) ANAND – The Hindi film is about a cancer patient named Anand who, despite his incurable sickness, believes in living his life to the full, spreading happiness everywhere around himself, to all and sundry, changing the lives of many.
    Contrasting Anand is Bhaskar, a sober doctor, upset with life and the dark reality of his nation. Bhaskar’s tête-a-tête with Anand makes him notice the colours behind all the despair and complexity in one’s life.

    Even after 35 years of watching, the character of Anand remains my ideal.

    (2) LOVE STORY – Oliver, a Harvard student meets and falls in love with Jennifer Cavelleri, a working-class, quick-witted Radcliffe College student. Upon graduation, the two decide to marry against the wishes of Oliver’s father, who thereupon severs ties with his son. Without his father’s financial support, the couple struggles to pay Oliver’s way through Harvard Law School with Jenny working as a private school teacher. With Oliver’s modest income, the young pair try to have a child but fail. After medical examination Oliver finds that Jenny is ill and will soon die. she appears to have leukemia. As instructed by the doctor, Oliver attempts to live a “normal life” without telling Jenny of her condition. Jenny nevertheless discovers her ailment after confronting her doctor about her recent illness. With their days together numbered, Jenny begins costly cancer therapy, and Oliver soon becomes unable to afford the multiplying hospital expenses… “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

    LOVE UNLESS PERMANENT, IS NOT LOVE (Could be anything else, but not love).

    (3) CHITRALEKHA – A debate over love, life and sin – depicted mainly through the characters of a beautiful courtesan dancer in the Maurya dynasty, a rajput soldier leading a luxurious life, and a hermit too proud of his austerities…

    They don’t make movies like this anymore.

  7. swaps Says:

    Nice post Axinia….you are lucky you are not near, else I would pester you to watch movies every week 🙂

    I like animated movies best (lion king, Bolt, Madagaskar…such).

    My favs:

    1) Pyaasa
    2) I am curious – yellow (actually it is a class apart)
    3) Yamsha Vruksha (Family Tree) – it feels like my home.


  8. swaps Says:

    Axinia, I am surprised you haven’t mentioned “Roman Holiday”..!!

  9. Terry Says:

    Many years ago I was a student of film, but life pushed me in a spiritual direction, and for a long time I found nearly all films unsatisfying and superficial as you said above. But eventually I began to appreciate that there are many films in which the directors, writers, or actors have created moments of transcendent beauty and truth–even if the films as a whole are less than perfect. The one who comes closest to perfection for me is Akira Kurosawa. His point of view is more humanistic than spiritual, but one creates the other for the audience. There are scenes in films like Seven Samurai, Red Beard, The Hidden Fortress, and many others that take your breath away visually and emotionally.

  10. I can not watch a film with Benigni longer then 5 minutes.Too much agitated expecting sirup in the face ,to me.
    I prefer by far Antonioni s films.Specialy “La Notte”.
    I love the films produced by Merchant and Ivory,like “A Room with a View” or the most films of Peter Greenaway.
    Amongst many other, maybe also the film “Jalsaghar/The music Room” from Satyajit Ray.

  11. “Intimacy” from Patrice Chereau is a rare pearl about the human condition.
    My appreciation of his film “La reine Margot” might be very subjective as it reflects aspects of the French history echoing a family past.

  12. To the first.I guess, It might appear first quiet rough to some, but it is one of the most honest films about human needs behind the needs, I ever saw…and I saw many.
    “La Reine Margot” is, if I remember well, in the program of ARTE this month , if you receive it .

  13. Leela Says:

    “7 Samurais” by Kurosava probably was the film that impressed me the most. Masterpiece! A bit hopeless end though…
    After watching 7 samurais I could not watch any film for weeks

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