Jul 12, 2010

Tilda Swinton's five favorite films

Tilda Swinton is everybody's favorite eccentric actress. The academy award winner of the 'Michael Clayton' and 'Julia' fame has given brilliant performances in both mainstream and arthouse Cinema over the years. Yesterday, however, I found a new reason to love her even more, if that was ever possible. Rotten Tomatoes, the review aggregator website, has a feature called "Five Favourites" posted every now and then. In each edition, a filmmaker or an actor gives a list of their five most favorite films of all time. Yesterday's edition features Tilda Swinton and her five favorites film "of today" which she insists only apply to that particular day. As expected from an actress with her personality, the choices are wildly different and surprising.

Of the five films she names, I have only seen four before (Her top choice, I know where I'm going has totally passed me by.) Bruno, her choice at number 5, was my least favorite film of 2009 (yes, ranked even lower than Transformers 2, at the 69th spot among the 69 films I watched.)

Let the Right One In and Au Hasard Balthazar are two very solid movies that I enjoy very much. On the third spot however, she chooses Bag of Rice, the 1996 Iranian film directed by Mohammad Ali Talebi.
I have not seen this film in quite a few years, but her mention of it brings up bittersweet feelings in me. On the one hand, it reminds me of the great joy of watching it as a kid. The movie IS truly an enjoyable piece of film-making and as she puts it, it's a great film about being a child and being an old lady. On the other hand, it is a reminder of what a great decade the 90s was for Iranian Cinema; not only because the number of films of great quality that were produced was much higher than now, but because the exposure and international attention that Iranian Cinema received then has never been equalled after.

Unfortunately, Bag of Rice is currently not on the DVD list on Netflix or Zip, but if you can get a hold of it, I strongly recommend the film. Here's the clip of Swinton on Rotten Tomatoes: