It has been ages since I last wrote an entry for the Vault, but the time has come! The films in this selection are a little all over the place, but that’s okay. Some of these films you may have seen before, and others maybe not, but each are worth a look at. So, now, on with the Vault!
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
This is a film which practically every student of film has to study at some point or another, and with good reason. This film is from Germany and came at a unique time in film history. This film exhibits German Expressionism. In fact, this film is like a crash course in expressionism. Every scene is created with this movement in mind. In short, German Expressionism was a movement where artists wanted to show what was going on within the minds of a character by representing it outside of the character. What you get are surreal landscapes and architecture, and it works. This is also an early horror film, and one of the first films to utilize a twist of some sort (though I won’t spoil it!). If you love film or art or horror than this is a film for you. (Side-note: make sure to get your hands on a good quality copy so you can experience it in the fullest.)
- Deliverance (1972)
A couple of months ago I finally got around to reading the novel by James Dickey called Deliverance. I had seen the movie that was based on the novel, but never actually read the novel. If you like to read, then I recommend giving that book a read. But this is a film blog, so let’s talk about the movie! A lot of people are familiar with this 1972 film and are probably familiar with the infamous “squeal like a pig” scene as well. This is a film that is worth a watch. The cinematography is great, and the story really brings home the man vs. nature story-line in a whole new light. This film is more than just that one infamous sequence, but it does form a major plot point, but the journey extends far beyond what happens in that scene.
- Life of an American Fireman (1903)
An early film directed by Edwin S. Porter (of The Great Train Robbery fame), is an innovative little film. It is one of the earliest American narrative films, and tells a simple story of the rescue of a mother and child from a burning building. It gives some insight into firefighters and the equipment they used at the turn of the last century. If you are a lover of film and of history, then this is a definite must watch.
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
There is a good chance you have already seen this film based off the Stephen King novella, but in the event that you haven’t you really should. Consistently ranked as one of the best films of all-time, it is a film which pulls you in completely to the world it has created. The music (by Thomas Newman), and the cinematography (by Roger Deakins), are both top-notch and add to the charm of this film. This is also a great film to do a film analysis with, but that is for another post!