I recently read that the Doomsday Clock is at 2 minutes to midnight. We are that much closer to destruction, thanks to Trump! Isn’t it hard to find time without being pressured by knowing that the world could end at any second? I have so many films to watch! It’s not just about finding time; it’s about finding the right amount of time. Say I want to watch Gone With The Wind (on the to-watch list!). I’d have to put a sixth of a day’s worth of time aside to watch it! There’s only two minutes to midnight, for goodness sake! I can’t be watching Gone With The Wind! The lack of time makes deciding which film to watch very difficult. So it got me to thinking…what about those films that clock in under an hour and a half? After some serious thought, I decided upon ten films to watch if you’re struggling to decide on a film but have less than an hour and a half to spare (and are also concerned about the Doomsday Clock).
10. Ghost in the Shell
If you happened to watch the remake with Scarlett Johansson and didn’t watch the original, then you owes it to yourself to watch Ghost in the Shell. Even if you have no knowledge of Ghost in the Shell, you owe it to yourself to watch the original film. It has a heart, and underlying philosophical themes, and influenced Hollywood blockbusters for decades (until they managed to remake it!).
Want the found footage and superhero genres combined under an hour and a half? Well watch Chronicle, a film about three teenagers who find an ancient power source…and are turned into super-powered teenagers! However, power corrupts, and their dark sides are drawn out! It’s something a little different from the usual superhero CGI-fest, focusing more on characters than effects.
Want to improve your knowledge of foreign film, but have less than an hour and a half to spare? Watch Rashomon, an Akira Kurosawa classic that’s influence countless films since its release. It’s a tale of rape and murder that involves four different accounts of the crime. Yes, it’s about difference of perspective and subjectivity. Can we believe our own accounts of events? Watch this film and find out!
This is a stone cold classic, a spoof comedy that stands head and shoulders above most other spoof comedies. It’s surreal, its slapstick and it has a great gag per minute rate. I laughed myself silly watching this one. Some comedies drag on and on, but this one cuts straight to the jokes.
6. Stand By Me
Want a coming of age drama and a Stephen King adaptation in less than an hour and a half? If you want that weirdly specific combination, than Stand By Me is the film for you! It’s anchored by four of the beat child performances in cinema history. Follow them as they search for a dead body…but are harangued by older bullies (led by Kiefer Sutherland!). It will tug at your heart strings and (if you were born in the 50s…) your nostalgia strings!
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Have less than half an hour to spare and want to watch a great horror film? Perhaps the greatest horror film of all time? Look no further than (the original) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It may not be splattered with blood and gore like modern horrors, but there’s a sense of unease and disgust that pervades the film. Oh, and of course you’d be watching a classic film as well!
4. The Lion King
I had to put a Disney film on here, didn’t I? It would be disrespecting the Disney Gods if I didn’t! I mean they pretty much own everything. This list could be full of animated films. As they tend to cater to children, their running times are suitable for a child’s attention span. But I thought I’d limit it to one animated film: and that has to be my favourite Disney film! Yes, the tale of Simba has always fascinated me, ever since I saw it as a lad. It has everything you want from a Disney film: Shakespearian overtones, a love story, the death of a parent, and two lions fighting each other!
For a short introduction to surrealist films, you could watch Chien Andalou…or you could watch David Lynch’s directorial debut. It’s about a man experiencing parenthood…but it’s not a normal baby, and he’s not a normal man! It’s weird, it’s kooky and it’s haunting. For something completely different to watch with only an hour and a half to spare, you can’t go wrong with Eraserhead.
Do you like maths and conspiracy theories? Do you also like black and white, low budget films? Well, get onto Darren Aronofsky’s directorial debut, Pi. It’s about a guy who thinks he can crack the stock market…but ends up involved in deeper mysteries about the universe! His obsession also sends him crazy and gives him hallucinations. It’s complex, utterly tense and rather haunting.
I just had to include a Cronenberg film here. It would be a crime not to include one! This is one of Cronenberg’s most challenging and graphic films…and if you’ve seen some Cronenberg films, and then you’ll know that’s saying something. How do violent images on the TV affect the mortal mind? Well, let Videodrome tell you…by showing up ever more graphic and violent images! I think it’s Cronenberg’s most Cronenbergian film. If you want to be shocked, then looked no further than Videodrome.
Beauty and the Beast (the original Disney animation!)
Evil Dead/Evil Dead II
Run Lola Run
Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?