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Critics and filmmakers reveal their favorite movies

from slate.com:

JULY 3, 2006

What movie have you seen the most? That's the question Slate asked a collection of filmmakers and critics, knowing that what's addictive is different than what's deemed th
e best. The answers vary from Ghostbusters to Dr. Zhivago, from Citizen Kane to Election.

Adam McKay, director, Anchorman
My movie would be Election: I think I've seen this movie 40 times. It's a perfect movie. Seamless, hilarious, social, political, and yet local and specific. It's intimidating it's so good. I think because it's funny and about a high school, people tend to treat it lightly, but I think it's a heavy hitter masterpiece.

Liev Schreiber, director, Everything Is Illuminated
Citizen Kane. I've seen it two or three times because of my mother—I watched it as a kid. Then I probably watched it five or six times while I was getting ready to do a story about Orson Welles for HBO called RKO-281. So, I've probably
watched it somewhere between eight or nine times total. As I watched, I started looking at the film for different things. I was looking for the performances, looking for [cinematographer] Gregg Toland's work, looking with regard to [screenwriter] Herman Mankiewicz's work. Other times I was listening to the score. There's a lot in it.

Laura Ziskin, producer, Spider-Man
I am not much for re-watching movies I have already seen. But whenever All the President's Men is on TV, if I happen past it, I always stop and end up watching the whole thing and marveling at what a great movie it is. When the movie came out, I, like everyone else, knew the story and the outcome. Nonetheless, it played with such suspense and tension. I have probably seen it at least 10 times, and I am always on the edge of my seat.

Peter Farrelly, director, There's Something About Mary
I've seen Something Wild about 10 times. It's not my all-time favorite movie, but it's right up there. Something about the story and the people and the look of it comforts me. It's a place I know, and it's real, and it hasn't been captured in many movies. I love the music. It's the movie that inspired us to use Jeff Daniels in Dumb & Dumber. He's hysterical here, and Ray Liotta couldn't be cooler and more ominous—he just popped—and I think it's the most interesting thing Melanie Griffith has done, as well. It was written by E. Max Frye and directed by Jonathan Demme, and Demme's just hipper than shit. It's the road stuff that I love the most, but Demme and Tak Fujimoto (the director of photography) managed to make even New York City seem bright and welcoming.

Tony Hendra, actor, This Is Spinal Tap
Dr. Strangelove. It's also one of the greatest satires of all time and pure satire, at that—never once dropping its mask of concerned sympathy for the military mind, however stark, raving mad it may be. Sterling Hayden's Jack D. Ripper—fall-down funny with his "precious bodily fluids"; George C. Scott's randy blowhard patriot Buck Turgidson, a hilarious preview of his "Patton" a couple of years later; Peter Sellers immortalized by the megalomaniacal Strangelove, but just as funny as the meek and waffly RAF officer Captain Mandrake upon whose ineffectual bravado the entire future of the human race depends. It may be set in the Cold War, but Dr. Strangelove reminds us, 40 years on, that for the military mind there's always a War Against Something that must be won at any cost.


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