The Most Epic Video You’ll Ever See If You Love Movies!

Holy shit. Speechless. Dizzy. Giddy. Goosebumps. These were some of the things circling through my head after watching this most epic of mashup videos. Inspired by Steven Jay Schneider’s incredible book series, 1,001 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE (BEFORE YOU DIE) , this video contains an additional 215 extra titles to illustrate the the sheer, visual and aural brilliance of the most powerful medium of human civilization.

Edited by Johnathan Keogh, it took him over a year to create this video and damn, he did a fine job. It is literally a rollercoaster, mind fuck, movie explosion and the best 10 minutes you’ll see in quite awhile. If I was living in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, captured and brainwashed by having my eyes pried open, then I can imagine watching this video.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#32) Doody in the Pool

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Harold Ramis passed away at the age of 69 and considering how integral his movies were to my youth, it wouldn’t feel right to let this moment pass without a small acknowledgement of his legacy.

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He wrote, directed and/or starred in some of the greatest comedic creations of the past three+ decades including Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Stripes, Groundhog Day and Analyze This, among many others.

It’s hard to pick one favorite moment from his many wonderful films, but the following scene from Caddyshack (Ramis’ directorial debut) is as brilliant a comedic sequence as any I’ve seen: A ritzy country club swimming pool, a discarded Baby Ruth bar, the theme from Jaws and the perfect tag at the end from Bill Murray who’s never been funnier and you have pure comedic gold.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#31) Bruce Lee’s Mirror Maze

The late, great Bruce Lee would have turned 73 today if he were still alive. Regular readers of our blog know that YOMYOMF would not exist without his influence so I pay tribute to him today.

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My favorite Bruce Lee moment comes in 1973’s classic Enter the Dragon. It’s the climactic fight between Lee and baddie Han and it takes place in a mirror maze. Bonus points if you can spot the phrase that launched YOMYOMF:

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#30) ‘Call Me Kuchu’

My fellow Offender Anderson Le, who is the head programmers for the Hawaii International Film Festival, invited me to serve on the feature documentary jury during last year’s fest. I’m grateful he asked me for a number of reasons (including the fact the fest takes place in beautiful Oahu), but especially because it gave me the chance to watch some great documentaries I might otherwise not have been exposed to. And one of them was Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s moving Call Me Kuchu.

The film, which is currently in theaters in New York and Los Angeles, documents Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill and the activists who fought against it including David Kato, the first openly gay man in that country. Kato was murdered in January 2011 during production on the film.

While we’re still debating issues like same-sex marriage in the U.S., it’s even more disheartening to see what life is like in Uganda for the LGBT community (referred to as the kuchus) where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by sentences that include serving 15 years in prison and, for women, the practice of “curative rape” i.e. being raped to turn you straight.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#29) The Best Worst Bond

With some of the best reviews of the whole James Bond series (not to mention it’s massive commercial success), Skyfall has brought the British super-spy back in a big way. But no matter how good his latest adventure may be, nothing will take the place of the Bond movie that holds the most special place in my heart…1985’s A View to a Kill.

Now, why oh why would I have such fond feelings for what many consider to be the worst Bond movie ever (well, if you discount Die Another Day)? Here’s what critic Pauline Kael had to say about the film in her New Yorker review: “The James Bond series has had its bummers, but nothing before in the class of A View to a Kill. You go to a Bond picture expecting some style or, at least, some flash, some lift; you don’t expect the dumb police-car crashes you get here. You do see some ingenious daredevil feats, but they’re crowded together and, the way they’re set up, they don’t give you the irresponsible, giddy tingle you’re hoping for.”

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#28) Tony Scott’s Sicilian Connection

Like a lot of people who love movies, I was shocked to hear of director Tony Scott’s suicide on Sunday. This was a filmmaker who not only helped “invent” the modern action film with movies like Top Gun, but who was still relevant all these years later–his last film 2010’s Unstoppable (starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine) was a box office hit and thoroughly entertaining to boot.

My favorite Scott movie is True Romance and my favorite moment in that film is the Sicilian scene. Christopher Walken’s Sicilian mobster confronts Dennis Hopper—to learn the whereabouts of Hopper’s son played By Christian Slater. Hopper knows there’s no way Walken is going to let him live so he decides to get in one last jab by way of writer Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant monologue explaining the heritage of the Sicilian people in…well, let’s say un-P.C. terms.

As great as Scott was with an action sequence, I think this scene represents him at his best. The way he retains the scene’s simplicity—never losing the focus on the actors and the words—yet still bringing his own style and sensibility is a joy to behold. This is what the movies are all about:

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#27) Who Killed Vincent Chin?

If I had to pick one film that I thought all Asian Americans should be required to see, it would be Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena’s powerful 1987 documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin?

The Oscar-nominated doc tells the story of the Chinese American Chin’s 1982 murder at the hands of two white men, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, who blamed the Japanese for the loss of their auto industry jobs and took their frustrations out on Chin after an altercation at a strip club. Ebens and Nitz were eventually cleared of all charges against them leading to outrage in the Asian American community.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#26) Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ and the Space-Time Bending Kiss

Today is National Alfred Hitchcock Day so on the day when we celebrate the work of one of America’s greatest film directors, I thought it only fitting that I pay tribute to my favorite moment from my favorite Hitchcock film. Yeah, the shower scene from Psycho is awesome, as are moments like Cary Grant’s escape from the attacking crop-dusting plane in North by Northwest or the long tracking shot into the key in Ingrid Bergman’s hand in Notorious, but nothing beats Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak’s kiss in the hotel room from 1958′s Vertigo.

In the film, due to his crippling fear of heights, Stewart’s Scottie Ferguson is unable to save the love of his life Madeline (Novak) when she falls to her death from a bell tower. But later, Scottie meets Judy (also played by Novak) who bears a striking resemblance to the deceased Madeline. So Scottie does the only thing one can do in a Hitchcock film—he gives Judy an extreme makeover until she looks exactly like his dead love; culminating in the scene you are about to see below.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#25) Bruce Lee Goes to Hell & Meets Popeye, Dracula, Clint Eastwood, James Bond, the Exorcist & More!

The good folks at io9 recently wrote about a film that has to rank up there as one of the all-time classics that I had completely forgotten about…the 1977 Hong Kong martial arts-comedy The Dragon Lives Again (a.k.a. Deadly Hands of Kung Fu).

One of the many Bruce Lee-inspired exploitation (or “Bruceploitation”) flicks released after the Asian American icon’s death, this is not only arguably the best of that genre, but one of the most bizarrely brilliant cinematic creations ever. Just read the Wikipedia synopsis:

After his untimely death, Bruce Lee (Bruce Leung Siu-lung) wakes up to find himself in the “Underworld”. He meets the King of the Underworld and questions his power. The King demonstrates his displeasure by shaking a pole that can cause an earthquake through the Underworld, which gives Bruce pause.

Bruce goes to a restaurant, where he meets Kwai Chang Caine from the TV show Kung Fu and cartoon sailor Popeye. He also meets Dracula, James Bond, Zatoichi, and Clint Eastwood, with whom he does not become friends. These pop culture characters, along with The Godfather, The Exorcist, and Emmanuelle, are planning a coup to take over the Underworld. Among their schemes, the characters send Emmanuelle to have energetic sex with the womanizing King in the hopes that he will have a heart attack.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#24) The Most Kickass Asian American Woman to Ever Grace the Silver Screen

“A one woman revolution of ass kicking…” I can’t remember who said that, but it’s the best description of Tura Satana I’ve ever heard. Satana would have turned 73 today had she not passed away earlier this year on February 4 from heart failure.

Some of you may be asking, “Who is Tura Satana?” Which essentially means you have been denied the pleasure of watching her amazing performance in one of the essential classics of cinema. A film hailed as a masterpiece by everyone from director Quentin Tarantino to critic Roger Ebert. A film Hairspray director John Waters proclaimed “The greatest film ever made. And the greatest film that ever will be made.” A film that features the best kickass lead performance by an Asian American woman ever committed to celluloid. Period. End of discussion.

Yes, I’m talking about Russ Meyer’s 1965 Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Starring the one and only Tura Satana.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#23) Sidney Lumet on ‘Making Movies’

Woke up this morning to the news that one of my all-time favorite film directors, Sidney Lumet, passed away. In his 50+ year career, he helmed some of our greatest cinematic works including Serpico, 12 Angry Men, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, Murder on the Orient Express, The Verdict, Running on Empty, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and Fail-Safe (my favorite).

I really don’t think I can add much about Lumet’s life and career that hasn’t already been said, but in addition to being a filmmaking giant, he also wrote what I consider to be the best book about directing–1995’s Making Movies. If you want to be a filmmaker and can only read one book on the subject, this is it. Lumet takes you on a practical, hands-on journey through every aspect of the filmmaking process using his own work to illustrate his points—it’s an invaluable resource. So thought it might be fitting on this occasion to share some excerpts from his book below.

ON PREPARATION VS. SPONTANEITY:
  It is in the preparation. Do mountains of preparation kill spontaneity? Absolutely not. I’ve found that it’s just the opposite. When you know what you’re doing, you feel much freer to improvise.

On my second picture, Stage Struck, a scene between Henry Fonda and Christopher Plummer took place in Central Park. I had shot most of the scene by lunchtime…During lunch, snow started to fall. When we came back the park was already covered in white. The snow was so beautiful, I wanted to redo the whole scene. Franz Planner, the cameraman, said it was impossible because we’d be out of light by four o’clock. I quickly restaged the scene, giving Plummer a new entrance so that I could see the snow-covered park; then I placed them on a bench, shot a master and two close-ups…Because the actors were prepared, because the crew knew what it was doing, we just swung with the weather and got a better scene.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#22) Elizabeth Taylor Whips Marlon Brando Into Submission

It was considered a critical and commercial failure upon its release in 1967, but I love the film Reflections in a Golden Eye. Directed by the legendary John Huston and set on a military base in the 1940s, Marlon Brando stars as an Army Major trying to come to terms with his repressed homosexuality and Elizabeth Taylor is his unhappy, adulterous wife.

When I heard of Taylor’s passing yesterday, what immediately came to mind was a moment in that film that lasts only a few seconds long, but for me, perfectly embodies the qualities that made Taylor the movie star that she was.

In this scene, Brando and Taylor are at a cocktail party. It’s already been established that Taylor’s character’s great love is her horse and earlier in the movie, we witnessed Brando angrily beat that horse with a riding crop after the animal threw him and dragged him. Taylor finds out and she is pissed. So this is what she does: