Monthly Archives: September 2011

Best of Farrah Fawcett


Farrah Fawcett, who passed away in 2009, will always be remembered as a cultural icon.  Her public persona took on a life of its own and her popular brand came to represent the trends of the 1970s.  Luminous and effervescent, she was the golden girl whose smile charmed the world.  Her breakout role as Jill Monroe in the 1970s television hit Charlie’s Angels brought her into the homes and hearts of millions. In the decade of the feminist movement, Charlie’s Angels was the first detective series to feature three female leads. Around the same time, Farrah’s poster in a red bathing suit was also a huge hit and became the #1 selling poster of all time. Her trademark hairstyle was copied by thousands of woman and girls, as her image graced the cover of a multitude of magazines. She epitomized the strong yet feminine career woman of the 1970s—sexy, fun and athletic. The picture of health and beauty, Farrah Fawcett is in my top ten list of iconic television actresses whose brand represented the ‘Me Generation’ gestalt of the 1970s.

In the 1980s, she re-invented herself on the stage, screen and television as a serious actress and won acclaim for daring roles. In 2006, she was diagnosed with cancer. As her health deteriorated, she took her struggle public in the hopes of inspiring others who were also battling the disease. Her friend Alana Stewart documented Farrah’s courageous battle in 2009’s Farrah’s Story. With grace and dignity, Farrah left this world, but her body of work and her image as one of Charlie’s original Angels will continue to endure for future generations.

In order, here are her best performances:

  1. The Burning Bed (TV movie) 1984
  2. Small Sacrifices (TV movie) 1989
  3. Margaret Bourke-White (TV movie) 1989
  4. Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story (TV movie) 1986
  5. Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (TV movie) 1987
  6. Extremities 1986
  7. The Apostle 1997
  8. Between Two Women (TV movie) 1986
  9. Murder in Texas (TV movie) 1981
  10. Charlie’s Angels (TV series) 1976-1980 (29 Episodes)

Guilty Pleasures:

  1. Logan’s Run 1976
  2. Myra Breckinridge 1970
  3. Somebody Killed Her Husband 1978
  4. Saturn 3 1980
  5. Sunburn 1979
  6. The Cannonball Run 1981
  7. Murder on Flight 502 (TV movie) 1975
Favourite Farrah quotes:
  • Throughout the journey of my life, I have maintained a strong faith in the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity.
  • I became famous almost before I had a craft, I didn’t study drama at school. I was an art major. Suddenly, when I was doing Charlie’s Angels, I was getting all this fan mail, and I didn’t really know why.
  • I feel like Alice in Wonderland, really… Everything is surreal.
  • Cancer is my own private war. The strain, the nausea, the fever take turns challenging my strength, my mind and my spirit…
  • But I must never forget how blessed I have been. God has given me gifts and happiness, beyond any of my simple desires. My deepest desire now is to simply live … So with hope and determination, I hold on and go on.

Best Faye Dunaway Movies


Faye Dunaway is my favourite movie actress of the 1970’s. In the tradition of Hollywood stars like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Dunaway gave commanding performances on the screen in some memorable roles. Through some bad choices in the 1980’s, her movie career lost its momentum. Now she mostly makes guest appearances on television. Dunaway received her Academy Award for Best Actress in 1977.

In order, here are my favourite Faye Dunaway movies:

  1. Chinatown (1974)
  2. Network (1976)
  3. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  4. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
  5. Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  6. The Towering Inferno (1974)
  7. The Three Musketeers (1973)
  8. The Four Musketeers (1974)
  9. Little Big Man (1970)
  10. Barfly (1987)
  11. Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
  12. Mommie Dearest (1981) 
Favourite Faye Dunaway quotes:
  • It’s true, I did a lot of great movies, and I’m happy. It was what it was, and now I think all of that has fed into where I am now, and I think it has taught me a lot. 
  • Since Star Wars, that film’s success led to bigger budgets, more hardware, that the great movies like the ones I did, which were studio movies, are now independent movies. They range from half a million to several million, and a lot of those have very interesting roles.

Best Dustin Hoffman Movies


Dustin Hoffman is my favourite actor of the 1970’s. In many of his earlier roles, he seemed to be cast as the outsider at odds with society. Nominated for many awards over the years, he has now matured into one the screen’s great character actors. Hoffman has won the Best Actor Oscar twice and has been nominated seven times.

In order, here are my favourite Dustin Hoffman Movies:

  1. The Graduate (1967) 
  2. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  3. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
  4. Rain Man (1988)
  5. Tootsie (1982)
  6. Marathon Man (1976)
  7. All the President’s Men (1976)
  8. Lenny (1974)
  9. Papillon (1973)
  10. Straw Dogs (1971)
  11. Wag the Dog (1997)
  12. Finding Neverland (2004)
  13. Sleepers (1996) 
  14. Hero (1992)
  15. Little Big Man (1970)
  16. Moonlight Mile (2002)
  17. Last Chance Harvey (2008)
  18. Runaway Jury (2003)
  19. Hook (1991)
  20. Dick Tracy (1990)
Favourite Dustin Hoffman Quotes:
  • So when I told my parents I wanted to go into acting because I was flunking out of my first year of junior college, they were relieved that I had picked something other than joining the army. But I can’t imagine how they had high hopes for me.
  • There’s a rebirth that goes on with us continuously as human beings. I don’t understand, personally, how you can be bored. I can understand how you can be depressed, but I just don’t understand boredom.

Best of Alfred Hitchcock


Alfred Hitchcock is my favourite film director of all-time, as he is the master of suspense. What I particularly enjoy about Hitchcock films is how he takes ordinary people and places them in extraordinary circumstances where they face increasing jeopardy from an outside force. This allows the audience to identify with the main characters. Here, Hitchcock takes the audience on a ride, continually raising the stakes as the film moves towards its climax. Although he never won an Oscar for Best Director, he has received numerous awards and nominations during his career.

In order, here are my favourite Hitchcock movies:

  1. Rear Window (1954)
  2. Vertigo (1958)
  3. Rebecca (1940)
  4. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  5. Psycho (1960)
  6. North by Northwest (1959)
  7. Suspicion (1941)
  8. Dial M for Murder (1954)
  9. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  10. Spellbound (1945)
  11. Rope (1948)
  12. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  13. Notorious (1946)
  14. To Catch a Thief (1955)
  15. Lifeboat (1944)
  16. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
  17. The Birds (1963)
  18. The 39 Steps (1935)
  19. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
  20. The Trouble with Harry (1955)
  21. The Wrong Man (1956)
  22. I Confess (1953)
  23. Stage Fright (1950)
  24. Sabotage (1936)
  25. Marnie (1964)
  26. Frenzy (1972)
  27. Topaz (1969)
  28. Family Plot (1976)

I have always loved how Hitchcock described the art of creating suspense in a film:

“Imagine a restaurant where there’s is a ticking bomb under the table, and we in the audience know it’s going to go off in fifteen minutes.  Now imagine one of the characters knows it as well, but can’t reveal it.  With this, the suspense ratchets to another level. Not only are we aware of the impending explosion, we share in the character’s anxiety to get away and the excruciating effort of acting totally unconcerned even as the bomb ticks down.  The emotional connection we have to a character for whom this situation is a matter of life or death makes the suspense we feel that much greater.”

Best Scary Movies of All-Time


Ever since I was a small child, I loved scary movies. I remember sneaking into the house and watching Siesta Cinema’s afternoon showing of War of the Worlds and then imaging that the light posts in our neighbourhood were alien spacecraft sent to destroy the earth.  I have not out grown my love of being scared by a great horror movie. 

Here are my favourite Scary Movies of  all-time:

  1. Alien  (1979)
  2. The Exorcist (1973)
  3. Psycho  (1960)
  4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 
  5. King Kong (1933)
  6. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  7. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  8. Bride of Frankenstein  (1935)
  9. Carrie (1976)
  10. The Haunting  (1963)
  11. The Others  (2001)
  12. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  13. Seven (1995)
  14. The Omen (1976)
  15. Don’t Look Now (1973) 
  16. The Shining (1980) 
  17. The Wicker Man (1973) 
  18. Jaws  (1975)
  19. 28 Days Later (2002)
  20. Frankenstein (1931)
  21. Poltergeist (1982) 
  22. The Vanishing (1988)
  23. The Birds  (1963)
  24. The Innocents (1961)
  25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  26. Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte  (1964)
  27. Halloween (1978)
  28. Cat People  (1942)
  29. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  30. Scream  (1996)
  31. Les Diaboliques (1955)
  32. Audition (1999)
  33. Dracula (1931)
  34. Wolfen (1981)
  35. The Bad Seed (1956) 
  36. Let the Right One In (2008) 
  37. The Thing from Another World (1951) 
  38. The Ring (2002) 
  39. The War of the Worlds (1953)
  40. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  41. Nosferatu (1922)
  42. Repulsion (1965)
  43. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
  44. M (1931)
  45. The Lost Boys  (1987)
  46. Misery (1990) 
  47. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  48. Wait Until Dark (1967)
  49. Ginger Snaps (2000)
  50. The Descent (2005)
  51. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
  52. Fright Night (1985)
  53. Near Dark (1987)
  54. The Wolf Man (1941) 
  55. Session 9 (2001)
  56. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  57. An American Werewolf In London (1981)
  58. Videodrome (1983)
  59. I’m Not Scared (2003)
  60. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  61. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  62. The Grudge (2004) / Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
  63. Frailty (2001)
  64. The Hunger (1983) 
  65. The Dead Zone (1983)
  66. Cat People (1982) 
  67. Dressed to Kill (1980)
  68. The Mummy (1932)
  69. The Fly (1986)
  70. Village of the Damned (1960)
  71. Below (2002)
  72. Altered States (1980)
  73. The Collector (1965)
  74. The Amityville Horror (1979)
  75. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
  76. The Changeling (1980)
  77. The Uninvited (1944)
  78. The Evil Dead (1981)
  79. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
  80. The Dead Zone (1983)
  81. The Return (2006)
  82. The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
  83. The Eye (2002)
  84. The Messengers (2007)
  85. Peeping Tom (1960)
  86. Hellraiser (1987)
  87. Pitch Black (2000)
  88. Carnival of Souls (1962)
  89. The Mummy (1932)
  90. Sisters (1973) 
  91. Burnt Offerings (1976)
  92. The Stepford Wives (1975) 
  93. Black Christmas (1974) 
  94. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  95. The Cell (2000)
  96. The Company of Wolves (1984)
  97. Blood and Chocolate (2007)
  98. House of Wax (1953)
  99. The Mist (2007)
  100. Saw (2004)
  101. The Thing (1982)
  102. Freaks (1932)
  103. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
  104. Stir of Echoes (1999)
  105. The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
  106. Underworld (2003)
  107. 30 Days of Night (2007)
  108. Dead Calm (1989)
  109. Silver Bullet (1985)
  110. Them! (1954)
  111. Magic (1978)
  112. The Other (1972)
  113. Insidious (2010)
  114. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  115. The Gift (2000)
  116. The Skeleton Key (2005)
  117. Secret Window (2004) 
  118. Mimic (1997)
  119. The Howling (1981)
  120. Identity (2003)
  121. 1408 (2007)
  122. What Lies Beneath (2000)
  123. Dark Water (2005)/Honogurai mizu no soko kara (2002)
  124. Gothika (2003)
  125. The Crazies (2010)
  126. Stigmata (1999)
  127. The Relic (1997)
  128. Suspiria (1977)
  129. Needful Things (1993)
  130. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
  131. Case 39 (2009)
  132. The Exorcist III (1990) 
  133. Paranormal Activity (2007)
  134. The Seventh Sign (1988)
  135. Hostel (2005)
  136. The Strangers (2008)
  137. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
  138. Scream 2 (1997)
  139. Eyes of Laura Mars  (1978)
  140. Dog Soldiers (2002)
  141. FeardotCom (2002) 
  142. Race with the Devil (1975)
  143. Child’s Play (1988)
  144. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
  145. Boogeyman (2005)
  146. They (2002)
  147. The Brood (1979)
  148. New Nightmare (1994)
  149. An American Haunting (2005)
  150. Demon Seed (1977)
  151. Urban Legend (1998)
  152. Candyman (1992)
  153. Scream 3 (2000)
  154. Wolf Creek (2005)
  155. Joy Ride (2001)
  156. Infection (2004)
  157. The Fog (1980)
  158. Darkness Falls (2003)
  159. Vanishing on 7th Street (2010)
  160. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
  161. Ravenous (1999)
  162. Cabin Fever (2002)
  163. Hollow Man (2000)
  164. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
  165. The Hills Have Eyes (1977) 
  166. Devil (2010)
  167. Isle of the Dead (1945)
  168. The Ghost Ship (1943)
  169. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  170. Friday the 13th (1980)
  171. Dementia 13 (1963)
  172. Ghost Ship (2002)
  173. The Funhouse (1981)
  174. Bless the Child (2000)
  175. Lost Souls (2000)

Best On Television 2010-11


Here are my Favourite Television Shows of the 2010-11 Season:

  1. Dexter
  2. True Blood 
  3. Glee
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. Mad Men
  6. The Big Bang Theory
  7. Modern Family
  8. Justified
  9. Fringe
  10. Parks and Recreation
Guilty Pleasures:
  1. Desperate Housewives (past its prime)
  2. Brothers and Sisters (recently cancelled)
  3. The Office (past its prime)

The Best Of Canadian Cinema


Here is my list of Favorite Canadian Films of All-Time:

  1. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
  2. Jésus de Montréal (1989)
  3. Dead Ringers (1988)
  4. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)
  5. Lilies  (1996)
  6. Le Confessionnal (1994)
  7. Felicia’s Journey (1999)
  8. The Hanging Garden  (1997)
  9. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
  10. Le déclin de l’empire américain  (1986)
  11. Away from Her  (2006)
  12. Eastern Promises  (2007)
  13. Le Polygraphe  (1996)
  14. Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)
  15. Black Robe  (1991)
  16. Les Bons Débarras  (1980)
  17. Les Amours Imaginaires  (2010)
  18. Lies My Father Told Me (1975)
  19. The Company of Strangers (1990)
  20. Exotica  (1994)
  21. Videodrome  (1983)
  22. Ticket to Heaven (1981)
  23. The Wars  (1983)
  24. My American Cousin (1985)
  25. Bye Bye Blues (1989)
  26. Kissed (1996)
  27. Ginger Snaps (2000)
  28. Why Shoot the Teacher?  (1977)
  29. Naked Lunch  (1991)
  30. Black Christmas  (1974)
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