Although I graduated two years ago, I like to keep up with what’s going on at my second Alma mater, Red River College. I follow some current students on Twitter and have picked up on a couple of their projects, which so happen to be blogs. One such blog / IPP (read: crecomm thesis) that i’ve been particularly enamored with as of late is 200 Movies 1 Woman by Jennifer Hanson. An ambitious and enterprising young lady, she’s dedicated herself to watch and blog about 200 movies in one year and present the completed project as her final big project in Creative Communications.

Side note: my IPP was to put on a show for charity where my band performed with an orchestra. An ambitious plan, said my advisors, which was quickly pared down to a string quartet. You can see video from the show after the jump:

Anyhoo, as a fellow appreciator of film (yeah, I took film studies, I can say that about myself with only the slightest hint of pretension), I thought it prudent to help Jennifer out in her quest, so I sent her the following email with my list of recommended watching. Turns out she’s already seen Fight Club and Office Space, but I do sincerely hope she gets to some of the other choices on my list before her 200 movies are up. And I thought it would be good to share my list with you, dear readers, and see what you think of it. Note that the list is in no particular order, just in order of how I thought of them whilst composing.

Movie List
10:51 AM (22 hours ago) Doug McArthur to jen

Like you, I’ve been a film appreciator for years. I enhanced my experience when I was in university by taking some film studies classes. They really opened my world of film going up, allowing me to understand how directors choose narrative structure, how they employ characterization through set design, costumes and even the angle of the camera. So with all those things in mind, I suggest you have a look at a book called How Movies Work, a text that became invaluable in my quest to understand, well, how movies work. I have a copy if you want to borrow it.

And without further ado, here’s my list of movie recommendations. I have decided not to give any commentary on why I chose these movies, I think it’s best that they speak for themselves. Suffice it to say, they’re all fantastic films, for myriad reasons.

1. Dark City (1998)
2. Fight Club (1999)
3. The Usual Suspects (1995)
4. Rashomon (1950)
5. The Untouchables (1987)
6. The Hustler (1961)
7. The Sting (1973)
8. Office Space (1999)
9. Dirty Harry (1972)
10. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
11. On The Waterfront (1954)

If you’re like me, production value plays a role in my enjoyment of a film. So those early ones may be a little harder to get into, but hang on, the acting and storytelling involved will blow you away.