Happy birthday, America. On your 241st birthday, your leader has proven to be that mean girl from your 8th grade class, you're on the verge of becoming Little Russia, and, in general, your entire population has gone batshit crazy. BUT, I'm not trying to get political here! Instead let's talk about the top 5 films you should watch that represents the best of America and American filmmaking.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Jaws is the epitome of the summer blockbuster. In fact, it was the first. Jaws has an enormous impact on audiences when it first came out in 1975- we've all heard the stories of how overly crowded beaches turned desolate over the course of the film's opening weekend. The film reached unprecedented levels of success, both critically and commercially, and quickly became an iconic image of American cinema. Jaws will always be a staple of American culture and it will always be a must watch during a nice trip to the beach (to remind you that beach culture is weird af).
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Forrest Gump is one of America's greatest films because it embraces the idea that what makes us different also makes us special. Forrest Gump shows our nation from the perspective of someone with a different mindset. It's a beautifully crafted story of an American hero showing how great Americans can be when we put our differences aside and come together as one. Forrest Gump is an excellent film that shows the real people of America, and is extremely timely for our country's birthday this year.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Directed by George Lucas
Star Wars was made as George Lucas's passionate project. It was projected to only make a couple hundred thousand dollars at the box office if they were lucky. Little did anyone know, the movie would form a life of its own and go on to be the biggest franchise of all time and forming a loyal fan base that would follow the series for over four decades. It's a true Hollywood story... Started from the bottom, now we at the top. Ignoring the three prequel films (because, yikes), Star Wars represents the best of American filmmaking: originality, creativity, and Harrison Ford.
Back to the Future
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Back to the Future is the perfect combination of a coming-of-age story and a sci-fy fantasy. But more importantly, it's a bloody brilliant film. Back to the Future was one of my all-time favorite films growing up. To me, Back to the Future captures the American spirit in a perfectly crafted All-American film. But most importantly, it's fun, original, and clever. It captures the best of American storytelling.
Directed by Francise Ford Coppola
The Godfather is the greatest movie ever made (which is a fact... I read it in my film history textbook). When The Godfather first came out in 1972, it completely changed the face of cinema and American cinema for the better. At the time, it was so revolutionary, but now it's seen as an absolute masterpiece. It's everything a film should be, and more. The Godfather is a film cinephiles devour, but it's also a film that the average movie-goer can enjoy. Francis Ford Coppola will go down in history as one of the greatest American filmmaker of all time.