Pssst… The top 25 films that blew my mind

From Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal”

Continuing on from the previous blog, I thought I’d take a look at the films that literally blew my mind. This should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of films I want to make, until you realise that my ultimate goal is to make a children’s anime series…

A few interesting things to note. Keanu Reeves makes two appearances. Hugo Weaving makes three appearances. Stephan Elliott makes four appearances. Jim Henson makes four appearances. And Ang Lee and David Lynch both make two appearances. Two of the films title’s are street names. Most of these films, I watched as a child. All of the films I’ve watched before the age of 25. And more films than I excepted turned out to be Fantasy Films.

25. Apocalypse Now

During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

24. Labyrinth

15-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth in 13 hours.

23. The Dark Crystal

On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.

22. Spirited Away

In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures.

21. Fantasia

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music. Most famously, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, and Mickey Mouse’s only feature film appearance.

20. Wall E

In the distant future, a small waste collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

19. Eye of the Beholder

A nameless private eye shadows the same woman (who happens to be a serial killer of men) all over the U.S. for 10 + years, without her ever knowing and he strangely enough occasionally acts as her guardian angel.

18. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliette

Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue. The first time I saw this literally blew my mind, the combination of the visuals and the emotions. Watching it as an adult, it feels as empty as day-old junk food.

17. Trois Couleurs Trilogy

First of a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society concerns how the wife of a composer deals with the death of her husband and child.

Second of a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society shows a Polish immigrant who wants to get even with his ex-wife.

Final entry in a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society concerns a model who discovers her neighbour is keen on invading people’s privacy.

16. Bladerunner

Deckard, a blade runner, has to track down and terminate 4 replicants who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to earth seeking their maker.

15. My Own Private Idaho

Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way. Based on a play by William Shakespeare.

14. The Great Muppet Caper

Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzie are reporters who travel to Britain to interview a rich victim of jewel thieves and help her along with her secretary, Miss Piggy. LOVE THIS FILM!

13. The Muppet Movie

Kermit and his new found friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog-legs merchant is after Kermit.

12. Mulholland Dr.

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesic, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

11. Sunset Blvd.

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

9. Inland Empire

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.

8. Lust, Caution

An espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai, in which a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

7. 2046

He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention… recapture their lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure if it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back- except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.

6. Fly me Home

A father and daughter decide to attempt to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air.

5. Birth

Would you recognise the birth of artificial intelligence? At the dawn of a new era one human being faces a decision which could change our understanding of humanity forever. The award-winning short by Paul Leeming.

4. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Two drag queens and a transsexual get a cabaret gig in the middle of the desert.

3. Frauds

Story of the ways in which insurance investigator Roland Copping (Phil Collins!!!!) interferes in and manipulates the lives of others with outrageous games and gimmicks. Eventually he becomes involved in an escalating vendetta with a couple who make an unusual insurance claim.

2. Welcome to Woop Woop

A con artist escapes a deal gone wrong in New York and winds up in the Aussie outback in a strange town whose inhabitants are an oddball collection of misfits. This film is my Rocky Horror Picture Show.

1. The Matrix

What is the Matrix? The most mind-blowing film I have ever seen. When I first saw it, I was with my first boyfriend. I loved it, he hated it. We broke up not long after that.

0. The Films of Stanley Kubrick

No introduction necessary.

Notable films that didn’t make the top 25: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Interview with a Vampire, Pinocico, Watership Down, Dot and the Kangaroo.


7 thoughts on “Pssst… The top 25 films that blew my mind

Add yours

  1. I’ve seen 8 of these 25 movies. And I only really enjoyed two of them. I think we have a different taste in film…
    Dark Knight vs. Prometheus 😛
    I definitely see some reoccurring themes here. Lot’s of fantasy & drama. Not many recent films either.
    Great job embedding links though. Makes it much easier to follow along.

    So, when are you packing up and moving to Hollywood??

    1. Which ones? Am interested in your views 🙂

      I was not expecting there to be so much fantasy as there was. There are a number of comedies, but maybe they don’t stand out to you. Priscilla, Welcome to Woop Woop, Frauds, The Muppet Movie, and The Great Muppet Caper are all comedies.

      Most of these films I saw before the age of 25, and almost all of the ones on the list are ones I watched when I was a kid. I think it’s difficult to get your “mind blown” as an adult.

  2. This is a great list, including the honorable mentions. So what do you think, do they just not make films like they used to? Or how much of not being blown away by a new film is due to the fact that the older we get, the more we can say, “So and so already did this! I’ve seen this before!”

    1. I think it’s a little of both. Avatar took my breath away as a staggering achievement in 3D, but the story left me a little cold, thanks to having already seen Pocahontas years before. Some people say the same thing about “The Matrix”, which basically ripped off any number of Japanese manga. It’s a bit like Lady Gaga, for those of us who grew up with Grace Jones, Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Bjork, Yoko Ono, Queen, and Elton John… she’s nothing we haven’t seen before. But for this generation of kids, Lady Gaga is the bee’s knees, because they haven’t been exposed to those other artists.

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