Weekender Bahrain, Sunday, September 15 2019

As Far As I’m Concerned, My All-Time Favorite Films A list by Ahmed Zayani

admin 18-Aug-2019

As Far As I’m Concerned, My All-Time Favorite Films   A list by Ahmed Zayani

For some reason, I had a hard time coming up with an idea for this week’s piece. As there was no film of significance released this past week, I figured another list was in order. But what list would it be? A Ramadan-themes list could work, but then what would be a current season-friendly list? I also toyed with the idea of reviewing my own film Dead Sands, but who would really want to read that? It was then that I was reminded that this piece would come out the week of my birthday. Surely, a more personal piece was in order. People have asked for my personal list of movies I like the best, and I have always postponed it. Well, now is as perfect a time as any. Honorable mentions that haven’t been included are La LA Land, Aliens, Ghostbusters, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, The Wolfman, 12 Angry Men, Young Frankenstein, American Pie, all eight Harry Potter movies, and Planet of the Apes.

Back to the Future

This is hands down, my favorite film of all time. I must’ve seen this masterpiece over a hundred times, and I’m still enthralled with every viewing as if it was my first. Both sequels are solid entries as well, but the first one stands above any other project put to celluloid. I absolutely love this film.

Casablanca

Even though Back to the Future is my favorite film of all time, I do consider Casablanca to be the best film ever made. This is as close to perfect as my film will ever get. Everything in this film works; from the narrative to the incredible performances across the board, to the cinematography. This is a film that stayed with me for days after I first watched it, and for good reason. It is so iconic that the average joe can probably quote half a dozen lines without having to watch a single frame.

The Exorcist

As far as I’m concerned, William Friedkin’s horror masterpiece is the scariest film ever made. To me, The Exorcist is still as haunting today as it was the first time I saw it, on my thirteenth birthday. This is a film that takes its time to build to its crescendo, so I urge anyone interested to give it the attention it so deserves.

The Evil Dead

The sequel might get more love from the fanboys, but to me, nothing beats the original. I first saw Sam Raimi’s gorefest during my freshman year in college and it scared me more than any film of its ilk had done to that point. Yes, the effects might be dated, but the film is still as effective today as it was all those years ago.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

John Candy is my favorite actor of all time. The guy exudes a genuine charm that’s been missing in Hollywood today, and no film highlights that more than this John Hughes classic. Pairing him with the affable Steve Martin (another favorite of mine), was a stroke of pure genius.

Psycho

Every single slasher film that has come out since the 1960s owes everything to Psycho. A risk for Alfred Hitchcock at the time, the film has paid back in dividends since then and is considered to be the Master of Suspense’s magnum opus.

Clerks 2

While the first is a modern-day classic, I always felt that the Clerks 2 outdid its predecessor in every possible way. The film is shameless, hilarious, and filled to the brim with heart. This is Kevin Smith at his finest hour.

Aladdin

This list would not be complete without at least one Disney entry. While the House of Mouse has dozens of worthy entries, it is this 1992 classic that is my go-to favorite.

Jurassic Park

If anyone had any doubt about Steven Spielberg’s status amongst the all-time Hollywood elite, a screening of this film will certainly sway them in the auteur’s favor. This film celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year and still looks better than most major studio releases of today.

The Sound of Music

I generally don’t like musicals, and I try putting off watching this film for the longest time. When I did, however, I was enamored. The set, the music, the performances, they all came together to bring one of the best cinematic experiences ever.

Coming to America

Arguably the greatest comedy of all time, this is Eddie Murphy at his absolute best, and is a reminder of what we’ve been missing from the man as of late.

The Room

The quintessential out of the box entry that puts my whole list into a quandary. Screenings of this movie are the most fun experiences I’ve had in a cinema, and I’m not ashamed of it.

 For more cinematic intel, follow @theahmedzayani on Instagram.