IML 543 class Film List

by marientina | created - 27 Jul 2015 | updated - 07 Aug 2015 | Public

The list includes films generated from the prompt: "what are your favorite movies about secret pleasures, love, people, places, habits? (crowdsourced suggestions)?"

Also, the list includes films about managing legacy and resilience in the face of major life challenges, such as loss and illness.

Created for this USC School of Cinematic Arts class: http://cmbhc.usc.edu/index.php/updates/2015/04/21/new-graduate-class-fall-2015/

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1. Defending Your Life (1991)

PG | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

In an afterlife way station resembling a block of hotels, the lives of the recently-deceased are examined in a court-like setting.

Director: Albert Brooks | Stars: Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, Michael Durrell

Votes: 15,279 | Gross: $16.37M

2. Yes (I) (2004)

R | 100 min | Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

In this film, told almost entirely in iambic pentameter, She is a scientist in a loveless marriage to Anthony, a devious politician. He is a Lebanese doctor in self-imposed exile, working ... See full summary »

Director: Sally Potter | Stars: Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill, Shirley Henderson

Votes: 2,894 | Gross: $0.40M

3. Crash (1996)

NC-17 | 100 min | Drama

47 Metascore

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger

Votes: 47,127 | Gross: $2.04M

4. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

An ambitious Pakistani Briton and his white boyfriend strive for success and hope when they open a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Richard Graham

Votes: 12,632 | Gross: $2.45M

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Music, Romance

65 Metascore

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

Votes: 169,913 | Gross: $63.95M

A classic about hiding true love from your parents, as well as hiding true talent and interest ;)

6. 3-Iron (2004)

R | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents' lives for a few days.

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Stars: Seung-Yun Lee, Hee Jae, Hyuk-ho Kwon, Jeong-ho Choi

Votes: 44,255 | Gross: $0.24M

7. Far from Heaven (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama

84 Metascore

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson

Votes: 40,869 | Gross: $15.85M

8. Notes on a Scandal (2006)

R | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.

Director: Richard Eyre | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson, Tom Georgeson

Votes: 70,264 | Gross: $17.51M

9. Alien Nation (1988)

R | 91 min | Action, Sci-Fi

45 Metascore

In 1988, Earth makes the first contact with an alien civilization. In 1991, these aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after three years of quarantine.

Director: Graham Baker | Stars: James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp, Kevyn Major Howard

Votes: 12,991 | Gross: $25.22M

10. Top Gun (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama

50 Metascore

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer

Votes: 256,376 | Gross: $179.80M

11. Malèna (2000)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

Amidst the war climate, a teenage boy discovering himself becomes love-stricken by Malèna, a sensual woman living in a small, narrow-minded Italian town.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana

Votes: 78,133 | Gross: $3.43M

12. Conspirators of Pleasure (1996)

85 min | Comedy, Drama

Six people unknowingly form a cycle of masturbation as they each cause others to privately indulge in their fetishes.

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Petr Meissel, Gabriela Wilhelmová, Barbora Hrzánová, Anna Wetlinská

Votes: 2,837

13. The Reader (2008)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Jeanette Hain

Votes: 214,707 | Gross: $34.19M

14. Last Tango in Paris (1972)

NC-17 | 129 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Giovanna Galletti

Votes: 43,990 | Gross: $36.14M

15. Amarcord (1973)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia

Votes: 34,850

16. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 102,349 | Gross: $2.73M

17. 2046 (2004)

R | 129 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

Several women enter a science fiction author's life over the course of a few years, after the author has lost the woman he considers his one true love.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong, Li Gong

Votes: 46,324 | Gross: $0.26M

18. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Sihung Lung, Kuei-Mei Yang, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-Lien Wu

Votes: 16,236 | Gross: $7.29M

The family dinner table as as the ultimate setting for 'coming out' on all things and matters to be shared.

19. Io sono l'amore (2009)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

Emma left Russia to live with her husband in Italy. Now a member of a powerful industrial family, she is the respected mother of three, but feels unfulfilled. One day, Antonio, a talented chef and her son's friend, makes her senses kindle.

Director: Luca Guadagnino | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher

Votes: 18,037 | Gross: $5.01M

An entire family hiding its true self and pleasures from each other.

20. Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 166,291 | Gross: $71.51M

Secret recipes, foods, and lovers.

21. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

69 Metascore

Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 638,729 | Gross: $33.23M

22. Italiensk for begyndere (2000)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Anders W. Berthelsen, Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Anette Støvelbæk, Peter Gantzler

Votes: 12,174 | Gross: $4.45M

23. Being John Malkovich (1999)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

90 Metascore

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Votes: 284,881 | Gross: $22.86M

The discovery of a secret space that leads to the first-person experience of life through another person's point of view.

24. Talk to Her (2002)

R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

86 Metascore

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling

Votes: 95,868 | Gross: $9.28M

25. Pride (I) (2014)

R | 119 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.

Director: Matthew Warchus | Stars: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine

Votes: 45,655

26. The Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000)

PG-13 | 112 min | Drama

72 Metascore

With the brilliant Vietnamese summer as a setting Vertical Ray of the Sun is beautiful from beginning to end. The plot centres around three sisters, two of whom are happily married (or so ... See full summary »

Director: Anh Hung Tran | Stars: Nu Yên-Khê Tran, Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Khanh Le, Quang Hai Ngo

Votes: 3,353 | Gross: $0.46M

Multiple pleasures enjoyed in this movie, such as morning rituals and food preparation. Multiple secrets hidden by many of the characters: secret lovers, pregnancies, and desires. This is also a personal favorite in terms of secret pleasure. I can watch this movie over and over and over again, especially because of its aesthetics and pace.

27. Tig (2015)

95 min | Documentary

The personal Biography of Tig Notaro, a Stand-up comedian who was diagnosed with cancer.

Directors: Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York | Stars: Stephanie Allynne, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Jennifer Bliss

Votes: 2,117

A fantastic doc about life-changing decisions all at once (when it rains in pours) and a great lesson in how humour, sharing, and realism can help us power through horrible things.

28. Thank You for Playing (2015)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

61 Metascore

When Ryan and Amy Green learned that their baby son Joel's rare cancer was terminal, Ryan, an indie game developer, found solace in the only creative outlet he knew: a video game, the critically acclaimed "That Dragon, Cancer."

Directors: David Osit, Malika Zouhali-Worrall | Stars: Amy Green, Ryan Green, Josh Larson

Votes: 114

Documenting loss while it is happening in a unique way.

29. All That Jazz (1979)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking

Votes: 23,428 | Gross: $37.82M

30. Synecdoche, New York (2008)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener

Votes: 69,921 | Gross: $3.08M

31. Be Kind Rewind (2008)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy

52 Metascore

Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jack Black, Yasiin Bey, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow

Votes: 85,245 | Gross: $11.17M

32. A Single Man (2009)

R | 99 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Director: Tom Ford | Stars: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult

Votes: 98,071 | Gross: $9.17M

33. Listen to Me Marlon (2015)

Unrated | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend's story.

Director: Stevan Riley | Stars: Marlon Brando, Stella Adler, Bernardo Bertolucci, Michael Borne

Votes: 6,151 | Gross: $0.43M

34. You See Me (2015)

72 min | Documentary, Family, History

Filmmaker Linda Brown's father embodied 1960s masculinity. But when a devastating stroke leaves him vulnerable and dependent, Linda decides to confront the silence surrounding his troubled ... See full summary »

Director: Linda Brown | Stars: Linda Brown, Stanley Brown, Susan Brown, Nancy Lambert

Votes: 64



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