30 Since ’84, 7-12

7. Akiraakira_kaori_stade_face_transformation_tetsuo

Yeah, it’s not a picture of the main character.  It’s Kaori. I was probably way too young to be watching this when I saw it and that might be why parts of it are burned into my memory.  Kaori is probably the only “damsel in distress” that I ever related to.  Maybe I was just impressionable at the time but I found (find) her struggle compelling.  Her “distress” wasn’t handled in the usual male voyeuristic way and she isn’t much more than a skinny kid.  It’s not that she isn’t glamorous or sexy or strong but that she lacks the capacity.  She is a legitimately vulnerable and damaged character.  I wasn’t disgusted with her weakness, I wanted her to be saved.  I wanted to save her.

8. The Silence of the Lambsshot-sizes-in-the-silence-of-the-lambs-8

This one is kind of an obvious choice.  It’s simply a well crafted film.  But what I love best is Clarice.  She is such a strong and compelling female lead character.  And, in all honesty, that almost never happens.  Most strong female characters turn out really flat.  They are slightly bitchy if they have any personality at all.  But not Clarice, she is smart and strong but also very human.  She shows fear, regret, sadness, and determination.  She cries but doesn’t need a a manly shoulder on which to do it.

9. Life is Beautifullife-is-beautiful_happy

This film.  It makes me exhausted.  Every moment is so emotional. Amazing, heartbreaking and comedic, story about love and family.  Also, the dad character is a hero.  There just isn’t enough good fathering in cinema.

10. What Dreams May Come5543240

Another beautiful love story.  This movie is visually stunning, emotional, and one of the few that actually teaches something.

11. A Tale of Two Sisters3645733_orig

Classic fairy tale style complete with dream-like imagery and violence.  I went out and bought this after seeing it once.  I’ve never seen the American remake mostly because I was a little offended that they made one at all.

12. Thumbelinatumblr_lhf7oo4Cjr1qfdmkq 

I have watched this one too many times.  I make my kid watch it with me.  And I’m pretty sure that in most parent-child relationships it’s the child that is supposed to be forcing the adult to watch cartoons.  Early signs of becoming an actor: I always questioned why she didn’t go with Mrs. Toad.  Yeah, fat ugly green husband BUT she’d be a star and get a small guitar.


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