Friday, July 30, 2010

Top Ten Sea Movies

It is full on beach season around here.  If you are looking for inspiration or are landlocked then here is my list of the best movies to watch.  There may be some surprises on this list.  I've left out a few popular ones that you may think should be on here.  If you want to state your case leave them in the comments for everyone to peruse.  But my list goes something like this:

10.  The Abyss 
This one is dated, 1989 no less but I have a few older ones on this list as well.  But it is so interesting and claustrophobic in a cool sort of way.    Aquatic aliens, again complex relationships between the characters...
(This list exhibits a pattern of emotional drama and I wonder if the filmmakers knew of the connections between water and emotions?)
And I must say that the ending is one of my favorite parts.

9.   White Squall
I love Jeff Bridges.  This film is a coming of age story with beautiful scenery and the harsh conditions of the sea life on a sailing vessel.  I like that it is set in a time that is perceived as being more innocent in American culture (the 60's) and it challenges the teenage boys to become men and discover the meaning of teamwork and friendship.

8.  The Blue Lagoon 
The innocence of this story is fascinating to me.  Two children who are stranded on an island paradise and are forced to grow up and learn to survive on their own.  This movie must be what comes to mind for many people when they think of being stranded on an island in the sea.  This one is from 1980 but has that timeless quality I think.

7.  Riding Giants 
This is a documentary film following Laird Hamilton and other famous surfers as they chase big waves all over the world.  Stunning cinematography, and terrifying realities that these men seek out.  Surfing is amazing to watch but scares me at the same time.

6.  The Big Blue
This is a love story and a story of a man who dives in the sea and is more dolphin than is mystical and lovely to watch.  

5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 
Wes Anderson does his quirky magic here.   My favorite character is Angelica Houston's Eleanor and her gorgeous semi-precious stone jewelry.  This movie is funny, and wonderfully filmed with great style.

4. The Piano
I love Jane Campion movies and this one is probably her most famous.  The sea is a character in this film as it surrounds New Zealand where the main characters are sent to and it is pivotal in the climax of the film.  There are some breathtaking scenes where Anna Paquin plays at the beach as well.  This is not a light film, the subject matter is serious and deep.  So only venture here if you are in a more introspective mood.

3.  Swiss Family Robinson 
My oldest selection hailing from 1960 this one is a favorite from my childhood.  I loved watching this as a kid and seeing the amazing tree house that the family built after being shipwrecked.  It is a family friendly film and a nostalgic trip.

2.  Message in a Bottle
This one is sentimental and romantic.  I wouldn't say I'm a fan of the typical Hollywood romance movies but this one pulls at my heartstrings.  It seems that they filmed it with that soft, hazy light that invokes sentimentality.  The story twists and challenges the characters into maturity and acceptance.  It has a small town feel and a simple message.  I'm also a fan of Robin Wright and Kevin Costner in this film.  They have a chemistry that I believe.

1.  Swept from The Sea
This is obscure and I don't know why because I love this film.  Rachel Weisz plays a free spirit in a town of oppressiveness.  She collects treasures from the sea and keeps them in her secret cave.  She is wild, lives to the fullest and loves intensely.  The story is tragic, romantic and mystical.  The end of the 18th century village life is depicted here with realism and the scenery is stunning.

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