Five Favorite Films

Karyn Kusama's Five Favorite Films

by | April 11, 2016 | Comments

(Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)


Karyn Kusama has been at the helm of several projects that warrant numerous viewings — whether it’s the stunning visuals of Aeon Flux or the alternate history of Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, things often aren’t as they seem. Such is the case in her new film The Invitation, in theaters now. When I talked to her about her Five Favorite Films, her choices were reminiscent of the kind of work worth pondering that she’s dazzled audiences with over the years.:

Together (2001) 90%

A film of perfectly realized proportions about broken marriages and failed utopian ideals. Slyly understated and very funny, this portrait of a Swedish commune in the mid 1970s is filled with vivid, affectionately-drawn characters, incredibly sympathetic children, and, in the end, a profoundly moving final scene.  When I have lost hope in humanity (which sadly occurs more frequently than I would like) I re-watch this stirringly beautiful film and feel my faith in the world restored.

The Elephant Man (1980) 92%

Though perhaps an outlier in Lynch’s seminal body of work, this film reveals the depth of his humanity and the care with which he attends to all matters of the tragic, the pitiable, and the grotesque. Lynch demands that we align ourselves with the deformed John Merrick, and in bringing the audience so close to the agony of being this man, we approach the same exquisite, unexpected grace that Merrick experiences. Misunderstood and reviled, ridiculed and feared — this is the terrible humanity that Lynch dares to reveal in all of us. We should be grateful for a statement of such compassion and hope.

The Hustler (1961) 98%

I first saw this film in my early 20s, while on a month-long nannying job in Pittsburgh. Having my nights free, I watched movies to while away the time. This movie descended upon me like an intoxicating cloud of nostalgia and bittersweet regret. Paul Newman‘s soul-crushing beauty, Piper Laurie‘s frank intelligence, George C. Scott‘s lizard-like alertness — this was the powerhouse cast of my dreams. While ostensibly a showdown between two very different pool players — Jackie Gleason‘s seasoned veteran, Newman’s distracted con-man — it’s ultimately a searing portrait of ambition run amok and the failure of the American Dream to deliver on its many promises.

The Parallax View (1974) 90%

Here’s a movie with a political conspiracy plot that’s all too real.  Warren Beatty stars in this elliptical thriller, playing a reporter who insinuates himself into a murderously effective multi-national corporation.  Startling, eccentric, and a scary-close approximation of the world we actually live in today, this film continues to stoke the twin fires of paranoia and mistrust.

The Year of Living Dangerously (1983) 88%

This is a movie to watch when you crave good old-fashioned Hollywood glamour. A young Mel Gibson practically sets the screen on fire with his flinty charisma, as a journalist in way over his head in 1960s Indonesia. With a revolutionary turn by the actress Linda Hunt as a male photographer, and Sigourney Weaver as a British correspondent toying with Gibson’s affections, this is a lustrously intelligent entertainment.

The Invitation  is now open in wide release.

Tag Cloud

Disney Channel twilight blaxploitation doctor who Pop DirecTV natural history jamie lee curtis Star Trek TV Land romance discovery Holiday boxing Funimation cooking The Witch YouTube Red comics BBC One Awards Adult Swim cats black adventure Universal screenings LGBTQ crime Watching Series OWN Endgame canceled Mary Tyler Moore universal monsters E! mission: impossible Year in Review true crime toy story war what to watch Disney Plus Elton John Mary Poppins Returns Dark Horse Comics TCA directors name the review TLC Fox News 45 slashers Fox Searchlight SDCC Valentine's Day dogs talk show 2017 video spain green book GoT CBS All Access Trophy Talk Acorn TV Emmy Nominations Amazon Studios Winners Syfy Mary poppins Marathons rotten adaptation comedies Emmys Fantasy CNN police drama stoner boxoffice Ellie Kemper TruTV Sci-Fi Song of Ice and Fire 4/20 harry potter dramedy films scary movies Esquire Vudu 007 Cannes Mudbound worst movies San Diego Comic-Con Extras supernatural free movies finale concert Superheroe game show space Quiz Marvel Television Chernobyl quibi The Academy HBO Go obituary golden globes streaming ESPN CBS A24 Baby Yoda comiccon Marvel Studios Oscars children's TV comic books Action PBS Heroines nfl aliens Television Critics Association Super Bowl rotten movies we love crossover Biopics See It Skip It comic dc docudrama joker Crunchyroll CMT fast and furious Photos Shudder zombies Trivia Walt Disney Pictures Animation Interview Black Mirror scorecard spinoff halloween NYCC italian singing competition The Arrangement Writers Guild of America Drama casting FXX Hallmark TCM Lifetime Christmas movies TBS franchise FX independent nature Ghostbusters hist kids History Film Festival binge zombie political drama TCA Winter 2020 Ovation sequels Reality Competition ID Britbox science fiction japanese australia cancelled television Family Calendar Musical psychological thriller PlayStation Paramount Network BBC james bond Holidays TV best movie crime thriller Toys Crackle diversity series Logo Sundance Pixar ABC Family Apple medical drama Nickelodeon Film Sundance TV CW Seed revenge robots Kids & Family DC Comics VOD Hulu Spring TV Western Comics on TV asian-american news Countdown satire football Spectrum Originals President 99% Bravo Awards Tour 2015 Comedy Central thriller cinemax TCA 2017 TCA Awards Alien award winner The CW movies Opinion New York Comic Con X-Men breaking bad First Look Christmas fresh foreign Box Office YA 20th Century Fox ratings National Geographic Apple TV Plus vampires superhero DGA Sundance Now Food Network based on movie blockbuster Peacock dceu 24 frames ghosts Fall TV NBC composers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DC Universe Rocky SundanceTV canceled TV shows Netflix reviews television Schedule festivals Disney OneApp BET Awards Epix Marvel PaleyFest MTV critics Tumblr YouTube Premium Shondaland VH1 crime drama Pirates worst indiana jones Amazon Prime IFC Films Country WarnerMedia FOX Disney+ Disney Plus die hard Thanksgiving Showtime Comedy dark strong female leads festival unscripted indie Lucasfilm USA Network batman latino Amazon Prime Video cars 2018 2019 Trailer werewolf ITV theme song book sitcom Lionsgate Mindy Kaling Video Games Spike stand-up comedy Rock Paramount historical drama AMC Tomatazos Pet Sematary mockumentary American Society of Cinematographers Musicals Pride Month transformers Travel Channel zero dark thirty APB BAFTA tv talk IFC spanish Black History Month Columbia Pictures versus Set visit MSNBC teaser Superheroes technology The Walking Dead Rom-Com Teen spy thriller a nightmare on elm street facebook 72 Emmy Awards Apple TV+ SXSW Rocketman TV renewals RT21 Amazon HBO Max Tubi Mystery Anna Paquin Women's History Month Television Academy Comic Book Grammys VICE period drama mutant Avengers dragons animated criterion richard e. Grant spanish language rt archives sports Star Wars Infographic Sneak Peek USA Sony Pictures Stephen King Summer Horror BBC America screen actors guild witnail social media RT History miniseries GLAAD Discovery Channel HBO Academy Awards The Purge stop motion cancelled TV series travel toronto YouTube Masterpiece video on demand 2020 nbcuniversal classics Captain marvel emmy awards all-time Chilling Adventures of Sabrina documentary venice cops Binge Guide Nat Geo Disney streaming service Turner Classic Movies TNT Winter TV Starz Podcast hispanic WGN cartoon Tarantino Arrowverse Hear Us Out Cosplay sag awards Music Warner Bros. El Rey cancelled Best and Worst Turner A&E archives reboot Certified Fresh Red Carpet Reality Cartoon Network spider-man game of thrones documentaries romantic comedy Lifetime anime french serial killer Brie Larson Hallmark Christmas movies chucky cancelled TV shows BET parents disaster Creative Arts Emmys 2016 TIFF Netflix Christmas movies Premiere Dates psycho Character Guide 71st Emmy Awards ABC Polls and Games First Reviews renewed TV shows GIFs Election halloween tv DC streaming service deadpool Pop TV Martial Arts politics 21st Century Fox laika elevated horror E3 Freeform MCU child's play sequel anthology hollywood biography christmas movies remakes cults south america justice league Classic Film FX on Hulu Nominations LGBT