Five Favorite Films

Karyn Kusama's Five Favorite Films

by | April 11, 2016 | Comments

(Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)

 

Karyn Kusama has been at the helm of several projects that warrant numerous viewings — whether it’s the stunning visuals of Aeon Flux or the alternate history of Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, things often aren’t as they seem. Such is the case in her new film The Invitation, in theaters now. When I talked to her about her Five Favorite Films, her choices were reminiscent of the kind of work worth pondering that she’s dazzled audiences with over the years.:

Together (2000) 90%

A film of perfectly realized proportions about broken marriages and failed utopian ideals. Slyly understated and very funny, this portrait of a Swedish commune in the mid 1970s is filled with vivid, affectionately-drawn characters, incredibly sympathetic children, and, in the end, a profoundly moving final scene.  When I have lost hope in humanity (which sadly occurs more frequently than I would like) I re-watch this stirringly beautiful film and feel my faith in the world restored.

The Elephant Man (1980) 92%

Though perhaps an outlier in Lynch’s seminal body of work, this film reveals the depth of his humanity and the care with which he attends to all matters of the tragic, the pitiable, and the grotesque. Lynch demands that we align ourselves with the deformed John Merrick, and in bringing the audience so close to the agony of being this man, we approach the same exquisite, unexpected grace that Merrick experiences. Misunderstood and reviled, ridiculed and feared — this is the terrible humanity that Lynch dares to reveal in all of us. We should be grateful for a statement of such compassion and hope.

The Hustler (1961) 96%

I first saw this film in my early 20s, while on a month-long nannying job in Pittsburgh. Having my nights free, I watched movies to while away the time. This movie descended upon me like an intoxicating cloud of nostalgia and bittersweet regret. Paul Newman‘s soul-crushing beauty, Piper Laurie‘s frank intelligence, George C. Scott‘s lizard-like alertness — this was the powerhouse cast of my dreams. While ostensibly a showdown between two very different pool players — Jackie Gleason‘s seasoned veteran, Newman’s distracted con-man — it’s ultimately a searing portrait of ambition run amok and the failure of the American Dream to deliver on its many promises.

The Parallax View (1974) 89%

Here’s a movie with a political conspiracy plot that’s all too real.  Warren Beatty stars in this elliptical thriller, playing a reporter who insinuates himself into a murderously effective multi-national corporation.  Startling, eccentric, and a scary-close approximation of the world we actually live in today, this film continues to stoke the twin fires of paranoia and mistrust.

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) 88%

This is a movie to watch when you crave good old-fashioned Hollywood glamour. A young Mel Gibson practically sets the screen on fire with his flinty charisma, as a journalist in way over his head in 1960s Indonesia. With a revolutionary turn by the actress Linda Hunt as a male photographer, and Sigourney Weaver as a British correspondent toying with Gibson’s affections, this is a lustrously intelligent entertainment.


The Invitation  is now open in wide release.

  • Lord Slothrop

    Interesting list. And I just watched The Invitation the other night and loved it. Highly recommended.

  • Jack Nick Olsen

    Nice hyphenated adverb.

Tag Cloud

Pride Month toy story A&E CBS Film Festival suspense stand-up comedy stop motion Captain marvel game show jamie lee curtis tv talk Spectrum Originals screenings NBA Creative Arts Emmys USA Pop cooking critics Toys Universal Pictures Disney Paramount Premiere Dates rt labs critics edition Mary Poppins Returns Music films Logo Walt Disney Pictures Food Network Fall TV psycho hispanic San Diego Comic-Con award winner Kids & Family werewolf YouTube Red VICE art house MTV Disney+ Disney Plus king arthur documentary all-time Christmas stoner AMC Plus festivals Sci-Fi Thanksgiving Teen elevated horror transformers Alien halloween Calendar Grammys Comedy Disney Channel Image Comics Binge Guide Neflix GIFs Cosplay The Purge SDCC king kong 99% ABC Family news ESPN TV parents sequels Emmys aapi ratings WarnerMedia BET Awards Bravo Chernobyl cancelled television legend revenge CMT doctor who richard e. Grant Amazon Prime Video thriller Star Wars scorecard what to watch dreamworks venice nfl adventure Pop TV movies Netflix critic resources classics Marathons Polls and Games miniseries nbcuniversal worst E3 Exclusive Video YouTube saw Women's History Month twilight Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Interview FX on Hulu blockbusters directors Disney Plus Animation obituary theme song serial killer finale razzies Star Trek Sundance USA Network spanish TV movies TCM social media free movies Winners streaming movies romantic comedy 2016 72 Emmy Awards technology halloween tv Netflix Christmas movies Marvel Endgame dramedy Set visit ID Shudder vs. APB Academy Awards Sony Pictures sopranos Crackle 45 Legendary Tokyo Olympics Television Critics Association Cannes Paramount Plus historical drama prank Brie Larson reviews best The Academy Valentine's Day Sundance TV spinoff 24 frames true crime Marvel Studios Discovery Channel PlayStation IMDb TV 2015 LGBT Ghostbusters deadpool Horror Amazon OneApp DirecTV Mystery series Wes Anderson olympics Opinion know your critic dexter child's play Black Mirror french christmas movies video on demand teaser Infographic talk show hidden camera toronto biopic aliens kaiju adenture video Reality Lifetime Christmas movies scary movies First Look Musicals Comics on TV remakes ghosts canceled DC streaming service rom-coms docuseries GLAAD renewed TV shows Ellie Kemper ITV animated adaptation boxoffice Mindy Kaling Tumblr Awards popular indie Watching Series international war monster movies Warner Bros. name the review wonder woman TNT Turner Classic Movies 2020 TCA Awards franchise MSNBC facebook batman 2017 Photos kong singing competition Classic Film new york cars zero dark thirty Paramount Network Funimation 1990s Trivia PBS spy thriller SXSW kids Quiz Best and Worst travel vampires Mudbound IFC independent movie gangster anthology Columbia Pictures DGA scene in color Superheroe dogs worst movies New York Comic Con hist Lifetime latino zombies Film Fox News FXX Apple TV Plus posters Hear Us Out Rom-Com a nightmare on elm street Red Carpet Freeform reboot children's TV FOX comic book movies satire BBC One natural history book adaptation Video Games Nat Geo Hallmark See It Skip It WGN Avengers justice league Oscars TLC rt labs dceu Trophy Talk science fiction The Walt Disney Company 21st Century Fox RT21 Sundance Now Ovation American Society of Cinematographers Adult Swim sitcom screen actors guild Mary poppins robots docudrama Showtime DC Comics criterion mutant golden globes heist movie cats comics political drama E! rotten movies we love telelvision target Character Guide godzilla japanese YouTube Premium strong female leads unscripted Rock festival 007 Nickelodeon sequel Stephen King Amazon Prime Shondaland mob Drama emmy awards IFC Films 2021 Tarantino breaking bad laika The Walking Dead period drama RT History book jurassic park archives The Witch Year in Review 90s romance Arrowverse Esquire anime Travel Channel golden globe awards LGBTQ MCU asian-american Countdown biography Marvel Television comic sports Summer cancelled medical drama Fox Searchlight Rocketman 20th Century Fox Syfy fast and furious Britbox Comedy Central Trailer Lionsgate cartoon blaxploitation south america Elton John nature boxing based on movie Holidays marvel cinematic universe Apple TV+ canceled TV shows television versus Epix Peacock CW Seed Country politics HBO Go Action scary Comic Book Awards Tour Biopics Dark Horse Comics space Extras zombie President die hard slasher Fantasy debate genre cinemax Instagram Live Amazon Studios Pixar Schedule chucky marvel comics PaleyFest spider-verse HBO Max TV One Apple Holiday Podcast Hulu Broadway YA witnail BBC America disaster Box Office police drama VH1 Turner TruTV Masterpiece Election Disney streaming service cancelled TV shows TV Land lord of the rings Television Academy crossover Mary Tyler Moore black ViacomCBS sag awards psychological thriller new zealand BAFTA National Geographic Spike hollywood Winter TV TBS FX harry potter Baby Yoda Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BBC mcc Pacific Islander History The Arrangement slashers crime thriller joker blockbuster discovery fresh Reality Competition rotten El Rey Comic-Con@Home 2021 Crunchyroll dark mission: impossible Universal spain The CW foreign OWN game of thrones universal monsters Western 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards CBS All Access Superheroes TV renewals Musical casting Starz spider-man Sneak Peek Family superhero Certified Fresh japan dragons Super Bowl live action Black History Month cults GoT Cartoon Network Spring TV superman TCA 2017 diversity ABC BET Pet Sematary james bond Nominations A24 VOD concert Anna Paquin Rocky Vudu Song of Ice and Fire australia live event X-Men indiana jones NYCC football spanish language streaming 71st Emmy Awards 93rd Oscars crime comiccon mockumentary Lucasfilm Hallmark Christmas movies TCA Winter 2020 Tomatazos binge TCA Acorn TV Pirates First Reviews cops quibi comic book movie NBC Heroines HBO supernatural Tubi high school 2019 Martial Arts DC Universe SundanceTV green book 4/20 italian black comedy TIFF ABC Signature new star wars movies women rt archives Writers Guild of America documentaries comic books crime drama composers pirates of the caribbean young adult AMC feel good basketball Emmy Nominations trailers royal family dc comedies CNN cancelled TV series action-comedy 73rd Emmy Awards hispanic heritage month 2018