THREE MUST SEE FILMS FOR ALL (ASPIRING) FILMMAKERS…WITH FILM DIRECTOR AJ RESH
There are numerous films spanning generations of filmmakers that are must sees for all aspiring filmmakers and filmmakers. Clearly this is not that list. Our intention here is to inspire the reader to view these films, if they haven’t, that have made an indelible mark in history.
We decided to highlight these films with the help of film director AJ Resh. AJ Resh is a director, producer and writer. He is known for his suspense/drama feature film, Utøpless, of which he directed, co-wrote and executive produced. He is also known for the films Torn, Hunt and Bridges.
Perhaps what’s most impressive about AJ and you’ll never find it listed in his IMDB credits, is his incredible love and passion for films and filmmaking.
NUMBER 3: ROCKY
In Rocky, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.
The film stars and was written by Sylvester Stallone. It’s said that he wrote the screenplay for Rocky in three and a half days, shortly after watching the championship match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner that took place on March 24th, 1975.
The film was released nationally on December 3rd, 1976. With a total budget of roughly 5 million US dollars it grossed over $225 million at box offices.
It’s a movie that has inspired generations and became a film series. There’s seven Rocky films completed with the 8th already in production.
“Gonna Fly Now” is the theme song of Rocky and is by far the most recognizable arrangement from the movie’s score. It’s popular not only among movie fans, but among athletes as they find it inspirational.
AJ ON ROCKY
Not only is it a classic but as a filmmaker we should all be inspired by how it was made. But what I really love about the film is that it’s an underdog story where the underdog loses in the end yet how he lost was so magnificent that most people misremember it and think he actually won. I have watched this film a hundred times and it never gets old for me.
NUMBER 2: PLATOON
In platoon a young soldier in Vietnam, Chris Taylor, faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.
Platoon was written and directed by Oliver Stone. Stone wrote the screenplay based upon his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam. It became the first Hollywood film to be written and directed by a veteran of the Vietnam War.
It was filmed on the island of Luzon in the Philippines starting in February 1986 and was released in the US on December 19th, 1986. With a budget of roughly $6 million dollars it made over $138 million dollars at the box office.
AJ ON PLATOON
I think this film, just like Oliver Stone himself, is so highly underrated. He is the Kubrick of our time. I know their careers interlay, but still nobody gives Stone the credit or worship they do Kubrick. Platoon juggled so many characters and yet you cared for all of them, whether that care was fueled by love or hate. But even so, Platoon isn’t so much a character piece as it is a location story. Vietnam is the true main character and while Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill, and others did a good job, no film tackled the subject matter of that war more realistically and brutally than Platoon. And the film’s score will bring tears to your ears.
NUMBER 1: THE GODFATHER
It’s probably the most absolutely must see, The Godfather. It’s an American crime film released in 1972 directed by Francis Ford Coppola based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel of the same name.
It’s a film that’ll have you rooting for the crime boss, in spite of him being a crime boss. However, to be fair, let’s call the crime boss, Vito Corleone, an “aging patriarch” of an organized crime family.
The GodFather has won so many awards that it’s too extensive of a list to name them all. But its most recognizable accolades were won at the Oscars on January 28th, 1973: Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Score, and Best Picture.
AJ ON THE GODFATHER
I’ve watched The Godfather literally over a hundred times. But what still keeps it at the top for me is not only the smoothness of the cinematography and the awesome acting, but how they lit their scenes, amazing.
Vito’s office scene in the beginning at his daughter Connie’s wedding alone is absolutely stunning. Also, the way they separated light hit every character is a 101 on how to light a scene beautifully.
The Godfather ultimately became a film series that includes the original The Godfather, The Godfather II and The Godfather III. It’s available on DVD or Blu-ray.
It’s the story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob. It covers his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate. The movie is directed by a director who needs no introduction, unless he’s standing next to Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese. May we add that the film was produced by Irwin Winkler, the same producer for Rocky.
AJ ON GOODFELLAS
Number two was going to be Goodfellas but I was afraid my Italian bias would show, so I had to give it to Platoon.
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