2. The King of Comedy Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Paul Zimmerman
If you think about it, this is the flipside of Videodrome. Sort of.
3. Tender Mercies Directed by Bruce Beresford
Written by Horton Foote
Robert Duvall plays a down-on-his-luck country singer. If you don't think that sounds great, you might be reading the wrong blog.
4. Zelig Written and Directed by Woody Allen
In the annals of great mockumentaries, this is second only to Spinal Tap.
5. El Norte Directed by Gregory Nava
Written by Anna Thomas
"They sure sound like Mexicans to me."
6. John Cage Written and Directed by Peter Greenaway
Explores Cage's music and ideas not just through exposition but by example: it's an extremely Cagean documentary itself, without ever becoming as inaccessible as Cage's own work.
7. Carmen Written and Directed by Carlos Saura
Two films inspired by Bizet's Carmen came out around the same time. One is a straight adaptation of the opera; the other is a surreal, almost Dickian tale about some flamenco dancers who lose track of the boundary between fantasy and reality. No points for guessing which one this is.
8. The Meaning of Life Directed by Terry Jones with Terry Gilliam
Written by Jones, Gilliam, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin
Holds nothing sacred, save sperm.
9. A Christmas Story Directed by Bob Clark
Written by Clark, Leigh Brown, and Jean Shepherd, from the novel by Shepherd
I like the shopping-mall Santa scene best.
10. Trading Places Directed by John Landis
Written by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod
Yes, there's a couple of holes in the plot, including what must be the shortest trading day in the history of capitalism. It's still a fun comedy that holds up 20 years later -- and it's one of the few decent movies out there that stars Dan Aykroyd.