Thursday 5 June 2008

ITLADian Film Glossary

At the request of a few members recently, here is my Top 20 ITLADian films with a brief review. Please feel free to add more to this list in the comments section where i have placed a few more. I've rated these on a balance of relevance to Anthony's work as well as just general appeal. I'm sure i have forgotten or missed out thousands, that is what this post is for, for you to add for reference purposes.

1. The Matrix(Trilogy)

I think we'd all agree the best one was the first, but an impressive trilogy none the less. There are quite a few films i would like to place above this one but in terms of ITLADian reference, this film is probably unparalleled to any other. It covers virtually every single element of Anthony's theory in one way or another. Will you take the Blue Pill or the Red Pill, or, just read Tony's book, it's safer.....just. If you haven't seen it by now, you're probably don't exist!

2. 12 monkeys

Memory and time travel can affect the mind's grip on reality.

"As Cole dies in Railly's arms, she makes eye contact with a small boy - the young James Cole witnessing his own death; the scene that will replay in his dreams for years to come."

This time loop which climaxes at the end of the film is one of the best executed endings to a film which ponders the nature of time, space, deja vu, precognition, multiple world theory and all things ITLADian. The scene in the movie theatre towards the end gets me every time. James Cole marvels, "The movie never changes. It can't. But every time you see it, it's different, because you're always a different person." It's been said that Cole grasps the futility of trying to relive a moment locked away in time, unlike Jimmy Stewart in "Vertigo", the movie they are watching. Quite honestly I'd like to see this film at the number one spot because it is that good!

3. What the bleep do they know?

Stating very similar theories to Anthony Peake, many have criticised this film for taking science a bit too far, but, as we all know that's how great things are achieved and discovered. Boundaries need to be broken and minds need to be expanded, the concepts here are very familiar and nicely explained. A MUST SEE!!

A trailer compilation

4. Groundhog day

A central film to Anthony's work. A great comedy that delivers many ITLADian themes in an enjoyable film experience. Bill Murray must learn to evolve as a human being in order to free himself from repeating the same day over and over. The film progresses as this becomes more of a pleasure than a burden for Murray.

5. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

One of the most beautiful films ever made. A masterpiece, i can't emphasise enough how great this film is and how brilliantly it delves into the world of memory, dreams, multiple world theory, destiny and the power of love. There's something Eerie about a film that can tap into memories and dreams that you barely realised were there. I recommend checking my full review if you're a fan of the film.

Full review here

6. Vanilla Sky

Another film that i know is very high on Anthony's pick list, Vanilla Sky offers a sometimes worrying, sometimes beautiful possibility of where we are headed in the future. We are gods, we create our own universe, the power and nature of the mind means this can end as both a daydream and unfortunately a nightmare as well.
Anthony's review

7. Waking Life

Dreams, dreams and more dreams but so much more. The collective conscience is a spooky thing. In your dreams, everybody is you, this brilliantly illustrates how in real life this is an extension of our dreams and the beautiful way in which we are accessing information without any knowledge of doing so. The score to this film is outstanding providing as much atmosphere as the visual does, sometimes you catch yourself checking to see if you actually are awake!

Helpful review and dialogue analysis here

8. Jacobs Ladder

A favourite of Anthony's, this chilling film will unnerve you as it plays with chronology of time and taps into something very dark and disturbed. Anthony's post

9. The Jacket

Similar in many ways to Jacobs Ladder this film also enjoys playing with time. I actually preferred this for two reasons. One; it didn't unnerve me down to the very depths of my soul. Two; Kiera Knightley. A very nicely made film that flows like a creepy novel.

Sort of review here!

10. K-PAX

Such a fantastic film. Kevin Spacey is a treat to watch as Prot, the visit er from the planet K-Pax. He has savant like knowledge of the stars and also in healing people as he attends one by one to the ward similar to "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" That, or he is merely a catatonic patient come to life for a brief period of hilarity!
Anthony's review here

11. Minority report

Loosely based on the short story from Anthony's favourite Phillip K. Dick, this chilling tale of the policed state and the foreknowledge provided by "precogs" is much like Vanilla Sky, in that it's a worrying indication of where we could be headed. The film has a unique visual style using almost black and white colours very much providing a feeling of film noir. Watch out for the thought police, they're on to you. Great film.

12. Contact

This film is driven by the obsession of Dr. Eleanor Arroway or "Ellie" to make "contact." When the unthinkable starts to happen the film really begins with the opposing reactions of the human race. Science vs Religion. A very powerful, moving and enjoyable film.

13. Donnie Darko

Our main character intervenes to prevent tragedy once again in an exploration of time travel and the human condition. This has become a cult favourite, over the years and there has recently been mention of a sequel, I'm pretty sure this is unnecessary and unlikely to be anywhere near as good. Every time i watch this film i walk away with a very different impression and opinion, it's ambiguous in a beautiful way, a lot of relevance.

14. Paycheck

Based on the short story by Philip K Dick, Paycheck is quite an impressive film once again supported by the presence of Paul Giamatti. Once again exploring memory, instinct, deja vu and precognition, Paycheck is a very nice little film with a lot to offer the ITLADian voyeur.
Anthony's post here

15. The Golden Compass

One of the best films by far to illustrate the existence of the "Daemon." I had read Tony's book a few months before watching this and was constantly making comparisons to his work. I'd like to say it offers much more than an insight into communication with the Daemon but I'm a jaded sarcastic man that had no time for children's movies! .... OK, i actually enjoyed it quite a bit!
Anthony's review

16. 12:01

Sharing a very similar plot to groundhog day but with more of a drama/sci-fi edge to it. It's actually quite an impressive film, which, by the way, is not devoid of comedy itself either. A very good watch with a lot to offer, it does have a few more mentions of sub atomic particles than in Groundhog day though!
My review here

17. The Science of Sleep

Directed by Michel Gondry, the same genius that brought us "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind", this film beautifully explores the world of dreaming. Stephane doesn't like his world, so often retreats to his bed where he has mastered the art of controlling his dreams. Visually beautiful as well as intriguing, fans of E.S.O.T.S.M (number 4) will not be disappointed as it taps in to the in between state quite successfully as well.

18. Deja Vu

Again, a lot of helpful insight into one particular area but it's more of a mainstream blockbuster than a cult favourite which tend to have more to offer. A great film though. Definitely worth a watch.

19. A Scanner Darkly

Phillip K Dick, hey hasn't he popped up before a few times? Phllip K Dick crossed with Richard Linklater equals genius. It explores the darker side of drugs and reality, similar visual style to Waking life (also by Linklater).

20. The Fountain
A beautifully shot film spanning over thousands of years, this film explores mortality, love and the forces that drive our world and the people in it. The film is fairly wide open to interpretation and requires probably several views.
Review here


Anonymous said...

Thanks hurlyburly, this is really helpful.

My bank manager will probably not be quite so happy, of course. But at least I've already got 8 out of 20 on DVD so it could be worse.

The big question now is how do I learn to manage time so that I can fit all the reading, DVD watching, interacting on this blog and advanced thinking in alongside day to day living? Not to mention the lucid dreaming (no rest even when I'm asleep). Help!!

Robin said...

Oh dear Woodsprite! How ever will we manage our days?

Even though I've seen 16 of the 20 I'll be watching all again in the light of ITLAD.

We did watch "What the Bleep" a few nights ago so I can cross that one off. And I've got "Groundhog Day" and "Donnie Darko" burnt into my memory from watching them so often. The others deserve another go 'round. I'm off to Blockbuster ya'll!

johar said...


That's great thanks have seen half and several others already purchased and lined up to view.

Great List.

Woodsprite and Robin - Right there with you on the time management!! Wot fun!

SM Kovalinsky said...

OH, Hurly burly; I am so glad that you were finally able to post this. Beautiful, I will take time to read it all when I am able, but this was really nice of you to post. Thank you, and I will leave further remarks at a later time. smk

Karl Le Marcs said...

Hurlyburly: Good work Martin old boy!

Well done indeed for bringing together many of the previous posts relating to film references (mostly your own *smile*) into one handy post. FABO idea!

I would attempt an ITLADic Literature Glossary but good heavens sideways, that would be massive!!

Whilst I am not much of a film watcher myself, may I personally add these 10 to the collective list:
(with Wikipedia links)

A Matter Of Life And Death

It’s A Wonderful Life

The Truman Show

Citizen Kane

The Sixth Sense

Wind Chill

Back To The Future (Trilogy)

The One


Beavis And Butt-Head Do America

(okay, maybe not the last one but it did make me laugh – huh huh! yeah yeah!)

I suspect there are many more and I really must get around to watching some of those from your list!

Don’t even get me started on Theatre and Art references!!

*reaches for popcorn bucket and my almost legendary Nacho Hat*

SM Kovalinsky said...

Hurly Boy: I have been reading them all, and would not have realized there were so many. This is a great service, in fact, to ITLAD. You write as always passionately and with clarity and lucidity which keeps from any hyperbole ( my own fault with writing): Very fine film critic, as your powers of analysis and critiquing seem to flow naturally from you. I have always said you have this calling, but maybe you are in fact excersizing it best right here. A+ Prof. Kovalinsky

Hurlyburly said...

Thanks guys, sorry it took so long, been very lazy lately with a lot going on which is probably why my life's a mess right now!

Bravo Karl but untill you've watched HurlyBurly.... tut tut!

Also checkout

Sliding Doors
American Beauty
The Butterfly effect
Blade Runner *Slaps forhead!*
Total Recal
Karl thanks for your additions, i'm kicking myself for forgetting about half of them, especially Truman Show!

Rosh said...

Now im sure! Hurly, u WERE my friend in our last life.......yesterday, i mentioned, hurly burly on the earlier post...and as i was writing the comment i was wondering about hurly and thinking that it would be great if he writes about some movies( IM TRULY AMAZED AT THIS POST)....ive not watched any of these movies , (getting good english movie dvds is always a problem here...people usually get it from abroad....)anyway now im sure that we r all connected....SOMEHOW....

SM Kovalinsky said...

Roshni: I really have to commend you for your candor. When Jesamyn and I first came on this blog, we were immediately struck by the utter familiarity, and unarguably perfect, transcendent, and supremely lovable natures of Tony and Karl and Hurly. Instead of just acknowledging this, as you so sincerely do, we spent months simmering in envy and resentment of them. It was dreadful. So again, I commend you. You are on the right track, and indeed a child of light which your name indicates. And in like fashion I commend Hurly boy for his fine post.

Anthony Peake said...

HB: I'm gobsmacked!!!
Absolutley fantastic posting and one that must have taken you ages to set up. I fully agree with your listing. One movie I would add is "The Butterfly Effect" which applies the implications of Many-Worls to a fascinating story line. Another is "Momento" which is very Dickian in its angle on memory and one of the few movies I know that you have to watch again the second it finishes (or starts - in joke, you will get it if you see the movie).

Great posting. Thanks a million!

1minutefilmreview said...

Nice reviews and selection of films. We liked most of them too.

Hurlyburly said...

See this is the real reason i wrote this post, to have people remind me of the moveis i had forgot! Totaly, nakedly self-serving!


I had mentioned

The butterfly effect

above, not in the top 20 though. It was deciding on the order that was killing me! I'm fairly decisive on the top 10 but the next 10 changed about 1000 times!¬

Please feel free to add more films here people.

johar said...

Horton Hears a Who

johar said...

Susan Marie, I just wanted to thank you for your honesty regarding your initial feelings when first joining the blog. Would it surprise you to know that I had similar feeling with regard to you and Jesamyn.I saw how cohesive you both were with the others and what an intimate group you were and immediately though I wouldn't be able to contribute or 'fit in'. However, you have made me most welcome and your comments have been lovely, inspiring and sincere. Thank you again for helping me realise that my feelings of initial alienation were not unusual. I am so happy to be your friend along with Jesamyn and the rest of the motley crew!

SM Kovalinsky said...

Johar! How lovely! And I am always convinced that I alone harbor such feelings, whether from my own insecurities or just my envious nature which presupposes its own alienation. Of course I am honored to know you, and to read you as well. And you are most welcome to approach me any time. You fit in wonderfully. Thank you. It casts an interesting light on subjectivity, as Hurly in like manner illuminates his fine list of films.

Rosh said...

dear sm, thanks for your comments...frankly, ive always felt as if im among friends....and that one day we will all meet (i feel it very strongly!).....and ive said this atleast twice before...!

johar said...


You have a lovely, open nature, at once innocent and wise, the daemon/eidolon dyad perhaps?

Rosh said...

Thank u Johar, for your compliments!...i dont know why u have chosen your name to be johar( maybe, u have some story like woodsprite)..but JOHAR is an arabic name meaning `JEWEL`..and im sure r one...

Rosh said...

johar im sure u r one!

Andrew Giancarlo said...

I am the son of one of your fellow bloggers. I am 20 and a student of US history and political theory. I also love film. I have read all of your posts on this blog and I think you are the most excellent film critic. I have also read Mr. Peake's book and all of the posts of K. Llemarcs. I wanted to thank you personally for this post and to tell you how much I admire your expertise. If I can reach your level by 27 that will be success for me. I know you are from London and I think your writing on actors like Sean Penn and on American film is superb.I think it's awesome that you know how to link all these films with the ferryman theory. My mother says you are a sociologist like Anthony Peake and she thinks you write from the sociology of cinema view point. Do you think you will ever write a book? Here in the US in Provincetown on Cape Cod we have a yearly International Film Festival and I was wondering if you knew about it? I have gone with my mother and father before my Dad died in 2006. I have never had the guts to post remarks for Anthony Peake or Karl Lemarcs or you but since you posted all these films now I knew I had to thank you.
Andrew Giancarlo Kovalinsky (Susan Marie's son).

Hurlyburly said...

The mothman prophicies

How did i forget this? I'm going to want to change that 20 by the end of the week!!

1 minute review - Thank you very much, i'm very grateful for your comments, my actual general top 10 (or 20) would be fairly different! Was very hard deciding on order and relevance.

I encourage people to add more if they can please! Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

Hurlyburly said...

Andrew - Thank you for such a kind post. Life's bizzarre and it's always very strange to see the effect you can have on people's lives without any knowledge of who they are! I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting to your mother recently over this last year or so, i can tell she, along with your father have done a terrific job raising you and i know you'll find your place in this world with no problems with such stable guidance at hand. I lost my father when i was 6. Not quite as bad for me as it's never felt like i was missing anything and is probably the reason i'm quite well versed in many areas (i have no discpline or focus to stick to one thing!)....*laughs* i really am Hurly-Burly

hurly burly
n : a disorderly outburst or tumult; "they were amazed by the
furious disturbance they had caused" [syn: disturbance,
disruption, commotion, turmoil, stir, flutter,

Despite having quite a good education and being well travlled and well connected with such intellictual greats as the people on this blogspot, my life is very much a mess and i lack serious amounts of direction and focus. I hope one day to find it and know people like yourself and your mother are the people that keep my in check! I may be back to New Jersey in August for Kevin Smith's 38th birthday bash (I post on his message board and there is a nice community there - most of the time!). If i do make it back out there soon i will do my best to look you guys up. Speak soon young man and welcome to the board.

P.S. I wrote my dissertation on masculinity in gangster movies, i only have copies and need to get it scanned onto a computer, if not i'll try and send it to you soon.

All the best


SM Kovalinsky said...


My son Andrew has had to dash into NYCity to attend a lecture but I wanted to inform you that he was thrilled and aghast to read your commentary addressed to him this morning. That you wrote extensively and personally to him honored him deeply. He would love to read your dissertation, and to meet you. He is a super-sensitive intellectual type and was much traumatized by the loss of his father at age 18, as they worked together and had become ever closer as he matured. My husband was a beautiful and highly unusual man, and the two of them moved through the world like 2 brothers. His very healthy hero-worship of you and KLLM & Tony has been a saving grace; he is one of the "silent readers" of this blog. He views you as an "avant-garde" Londoner and has read all of your posts with intense interest. Certainly whatever direction or focus you think is lacking in your young life is richly compensated by the intensity and depth of your character. You have made his day, his life, with your unusual and personal comments to him, and I thank you warmly for your good and kind nature. SMK

Hurlyburly said...

My spelling and typo ratio though really is quite terrible!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Nensonse !


Jesamyn said...

What a Fantastic selection of Itladian movies!! Like a few people on here, I am already faced with the prospect of a small Mountain Range of books I want to read before I recur, and to watch all these movies would take up many years but it is wonderful to have such a great frame of reference, and I thank you for the effort Hurly.
Johar and Roshni,of coures you are among friends and like you, I hope and believe that one day we will all meet.
Andrew.. WELCOME WELCOME TO OUR HAPPY CIRCLE!!! So marvellous to have your input and I certainly hope we will hear a lot more from you... your Mother has indeed contributed much to the blog in many ways.Take a seat and join us!!

Hurlyburly said...

I'm So, so dissapointed that i forgot to add:

Run Lola Run!

This film should probably be somewhere in the top 10. It's a fantastic film that explores multiple world possibilities as well as the beauty and horror of random chance and probability. The begining is extremely atmospheric and eerie.

Add this to your ever growing list people, it's one of the better ones.

Karl Le Marcs said...

This new film, that Aloha Gary was kind enough to direct me towards as he knows my interest in these things *waves at Gary*, looks like it could be added to the list (wikipedia link below)

The Chemical Wedding

Hurlyburly said...

Thanks Karl will check that out.

Dave Gorman's Googlewhack adventure

Although it's not a film, it's a one man show and the best one you will ever witness, Anthony i strongly urge you in particular to check this out, i guarantee you won't be dissapointed!

Shiva said...

.......The Thirteenth Floor...
This is a really really interesting movie! The ending is superb too.
I dont want to write a synopsis becuase it will spoil the end of the movie but I highly recommend it!

Hurlyburly said...

Thanks Shiva, never heard of this so will check it out.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Run Lola Run, a German film, very ITLADian