By Jay Hunter – Recently Jump Scare started lending a hand to Purple Revolver. Who in an effort to help Liverpool local’s see more classic movies created Grindhouse at The Merchant. An event that aims to show the coolest films, at one of the cities coolest bars – for free. As John Appleseed once said:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels. The troublemakers. The problem child. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you cannot do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that has never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
With that being said, here’s the 13 coolest movies of all time.
Trainspotting is the quintessential Britpop movie. Based on Irvine Welsh’s acclaimed algid book. The movie starred the raw, changing; Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and Johnny Lee Miller. Bottling the insanity of 90s British culture and releasing it as a 135 minute-irreverent zeitgeist flick (with a killer soundtrack). No British film has come close before or since.
The Wild One
In the pantheon of cool, there’s only one Marlon Brando. The man that arguably changed Hollywood, Brando oozed je ne sais quoi in The Wild One. The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club traversed America draped in leather on their choppers, causing chaos and trouble wherever they went. “What are you rebelling against, Johnny?” “What’a’ya got?”
“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” Barked Brad Pitt in Fight Club. A war call to the disenchanted Generation X, encapsulated by a gorgeous visual style from Se7en director, David Fincher. Fight Club may be one of the 90s most iconoclastic pieces, but who didn’t try and achieve those Brad Pitt abs?
Martin Scorsese’s third picture – Mean Streets – is often credited with being his breakout picture. Billing Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. Scorsese announces his intent to claim the ‘Great American Director’ throne with a fable of omertà, remorse and redemption (an ongoing theme for the director, even to this day).
A Clockwork Orange
Kubrick’s dystopian fairytale melds drama, horror and science-fiction into one as he adapts Anthony Burgess’s novel for the big screen. Despite it’s notorious controversy, Malcolm McDowell’s portrayal of violent gang-leader, Alex would go on to become one of the most iconic performances in cinematic history. You’ll never think of milk – or Singin’ in the Rain – the same way again.
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster” so begins Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus. Showcasing the greatest tracking shot in cinema, a legendary soundtrack and brilliant outlaw performances from De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci. The trifecta would go on to embody what is meant to be a goodfella with quick wits and sharp suits to boot.
Featuring two bikers embracing the counterculture of 1960’s America. Easy Rider was a road trip of psychedelic proportions. Starring Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson in an all star cast, it’s message of leaving society in your motorbikes wake still speaks to the youth of today.
Featuring the King of Cool himself, Steve McQueen. Bullitt is an all guts, no glory movie following a San Francisco cop who becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed a witness in his protection. McQueen will always be remembered for The Great Escape, but it’s his ice cool performance as Frank Bullitt (and an incredible car chase scene) that earned him his moniker.
In fairness, we could’ve included Tarantino’s entire filmography on this list. It could be argued that QT has never topped his debut effort. The connoisseur of cinema and violence introduced us to a cast cooler than a freezer in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs and melded them with sizzling dialogue, raising the bar for independent cinema forever in the process.
Ryan Gosling’s performance in Drive will be incubated by time. Fitting in comfortably alongside James Dean, Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood, Gosling also manages to bring an updated sense of relevance – with very little words – to the role of ‘The Driver’. Beautifully shot in neon hues, Drive boasts elements from noir and grindhouse, led by an anti-hero shrouded in mystique.
Tarantino’s sophomore directorial effort proved to doubters that his talent wasn’t a flash in the pan as the director rose the ranks in Hollywood as a genuine force with a sense of swagger. Pulp Fiction is a criterion of cool featuring an all star cast; Uma Thurman, Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, Ving Rhames, Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel. The confidence of Pulp Fiction even managed to resurrect John Travolta.
Rebel Without a Cause
When asked to describe cool movie stars, most people will frequent the mythical James Dean. Tragically there’s nothing quite like an early death to ensure your immortality in Hollywood. Dean’s iconic performance as the disaffected Jim Stark awoke society into paying more attention to the rebellious youth of the day. Dean passed away just a month before the movie’s release, conserving the twenty-four year old in cool forever.
What movies do you think are the coolest of all time? Be sure to tweet us – here with what movies you’d like to see Purple Revolver put on at The Merchant next!