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 (2001) 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) 91%

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) 98%

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) 90%

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 (1983) 87%

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

Rocketman Cosplay History Oscars Fall TV romantic comedy Shudder Masterpiece Character Guide Paramount Network kids Women's History Month Bravo Elton John Comedy Central aliens Vudu vampires USA Network tv talk Video Games police drama reboot RT History Dark Horse Comics CMT Superheroes Arrowverse President Emmy Nominations A24 south america VH1 Reality BBC DGA blaxploitation PBS cops TCA Winter 2020 Election Endgame cults Comedy Turner talk show Sci-Fi WarnerMedia war Star Trek YouTube Red MSNBC mutant directors sequel Nickelodeon Netflix Christmas movies Ovation indie romance cancelled MCU Anna Paquin dramedy zombie Disney+ Disney Plus disaster Nominations Universal crime drama El Rey FXX sag awards Box Office jamie lee curtis NYCC adventure Sneak Peek Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt robots binge ratings independent cartoon cancelled TV series psycho Marvel Studios discovery Chilling Adventures of Sabrina LGBTQ quibi travel stand-up comedy Reality Competition foreign Interview TV composers Stephen King spinoff See It Skip It based on movie Chernobyl SundanceTV TV renewals Music renewed TV shows thriller Hallmark Christmas movies cars Logo Red Carpet 20th Century Fox TBS Rom-Com comics FX mockumentary hispanic Family canceled TV shows DC Comics Television Academy Tubi harry potter Shondaland what to watch Superheroe APB Ellie Kemper Mary poppins TNT Paramount Nat Geo series award winner 2019 Lifetime Mary Tyler Moore RT21 Fox News TCA Cannes E3 Super Bowl festivals comic cooking toy story witnail Marathons First Look Baby Yoda zero dark thirty green book game show screen actors guild Brie Larson Columbia Pictures Heroines batman Disney Channel adaptation 71st Emmy Awards The Purge Ghostbusters AMC Comics on TV Starz Walt Disney Pictures sports IFC Films DirecTV BET richard e. Grant ghosts Star Wars Polls and Games documentary Tumblr Captain marvel Winter TV Disney Plus SDCC Amazon Prime Video Binge Guide San Diego Comic-Con Black Mirror joker Musical spider-man movies historical drama PaleyFest Mindy Kaling Drama 2016 elevated horror Spring TV ABC Countdown serial killer Creative Arts Emmys Best and Worst crime rotten movies we love OWN E! Tarantino Premiere Dates Adult Swim Summer Calendar SXSW YA Trailer Acorn TV Epix Spectrum Originals anthology TCM halloween GLAAD Disney streaming service Country Avengers Musicals Animation Fantasy Grammys nature Tomatazos Spike christmas movies dc Esquire A&E Pride Month teaser ESPN latino Britbox ABC Family Mudbound Extras anime Pixar YouTube sitcom doctor who social media golden globes Sundance Now HBO Showtime transformers Winners YouTube Premium MTV National Geographic The Arrangement DC Universe Holiday dceu zombies 2020 Pop Kids & Family The Witch crossover Crunchyroll Cartoon Network strong female leads Peacock CBS unscripted WGN OneApp The Walking Dead Holidays Freeform 2015 TLC hist Western VICE Year in Review TIFF Turner Classic Movies BBC America Mystery facebook slashers theme song NBC technology CNN Hallmark finale science fiction Certified Fresh The CW Song of Ice and Fire miniseries spy thriller singing competition TCA 2017 Horror casting 2018 Marvel 007 Writers Guild of America revenge Marvel Television Teen 24 frames Crackle video name the review docudrama boxoffice Lucasfilm Syfy diversity Classic Film American Society of Cinematographers New York Comic Con true crime Discovery Channel werewolf Rocky LGBT blockbuster Pet Sematary Biopics IFC Hulu Netflix Lifetime Christmas movies cats supernatural Food Network Action Opinion Valentine's Day Rock Sundance political drama Schedule USA Set visit Pirates Watching Series 2017 DC streaming service GIFs X-Men Trivia dragons period drama Apple TV+ Awards psychological thriller Academy Awards Amazon Lionsgate Disney streaming Infographic Apple Sundance TV justice league HBO Max TruTV Emmys Warner Bros. Apple TV Plus Podcast Photos versus Thanksgiving television children's TV comiccon natural history 45 21st Century Fox Comic Book crime thriller Christmas animated Quiz Trophy Talk Toys Martial Arts book ITV medical drama cinemax spain GoT Film Festival CW Seed canceled Awards Tour screenings space Sony Pictures Film spanish language cancelled television Mary Poppins Returns Amazon Prime FOX breaking bad cancelled TV shows politics CBS All Access free movies biography TV Land game of thrones First Reviews