The 10 Best 35mm films are nothing short of vast and expansive. No matter which genre is preferred, each film brings its own stylistic elements to the plate. In this digital era, 35mm film has become expensive and time consuming. However, the organic qualities of 35mm film is nothing short of breathtaking. Here are ten of the best 35mm films that will do that exactly:
- "The Wizard of Oz" – Made in 1939, this film was eons ahead of its time. Director Victor Fleming's adaptation of the popular novel was (and still is to this day) wildly popular. "The Wizard of Oz" was one of the first films to use Technicolor, making the land of Oz more magical than the average 1939 moviegoer could have imagined.
- "American Beauty" – Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall made this film subtle eye candy for each viewer. His talents with light and color would have fallen short had this film been made in the digital format. From a rainy door step to a sterile office, "American Beauty" displays what it takes in order to credit 35mm film properly.
- "Psycho" – This Alfred Hitchcock classic is an excellent example of noir-esque 35mm filmmaking. The shadows in this film are what tells the story. Each cast of a shadow was deliberately planned to mismanage the viewers subconscious. Oftentimes, 35mm is used to better display color and light. However, "Psycho" uses 35mm for shadow play.
- "Forrest Gump" – This film was only just made in 1994, but it has made it ranks to one of the top films ever made, not just for its commonly used quotes, but also for its historical aspects. "Forrest Gump" ranges a significant life span of a "below average" person. Historical news, movies, and television were all made using film. To make "Forrest Gump" in a digital format would have proved disloyal to its subject matter.
- "Metropolis" – Oftentimes, artistic mind set and technical "know-how" can clash and create something that would only be considered entertaining. "Metropolis" does not fall into that description. Director Fitz Lang and his crew of three cinematographers worked seamlessly together to create one of the first artistic, well-spoken, and technically beautiful 35mm films ever made.
- "There Will Be Blood" – This film could not have been made in any other format other than 35mm. This film feels black and white, but was shot in color. This is due to the fact that, the rich black oil plays such a heavy role in the characters' lives. Add to that the dead sepia tones that belong to the desert of California and 35mm film will create a landscape of oil country and dirty deeds.
- "81/2" – Complexity never looked more stunning than watching "81/2". A film with a story line layers upon layers deep should only be given the respect of 35mm film. Because of the extremely complex subject matter, color would have merely distracted the viewer from the story.
- "Children of Men" – In 2006, Director Alfronso Cuaron approached a grungy future where women couldn't have children anymore and life is nothing short of bleak. Cuaron's "one shot scenes" become a key element in the story telling of this film. 35mm had the ability to create dramatic depth of field and the natural, gritty color needed for this film to be a success.
- "Schindler's List" – Steven Spielberg's epic drama could not have been approached in any other format besides 35mm. The level of artistic detail that was required for this film could only be handled by the organic qualities of 35mm. Because of this film's horrific subject matter, director of photography, Janusz Kaminski, toned down the graphic violence with poignant black and white.
- "American History X" – This film needed to be made in 35mm format because of its paralleled story line. In present tense, this film is in color. When referring to the past, the film is in black and white. This helps the viewer to better relate to the film's protagonist, thus pulling them into the film more-so than usual. Because of the viewer's high involvement in the story, it is crucial that the 35mm film maintain that illusion.
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