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Alternative Culture Magazine

Cougar's Favorite Videos--

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The Best Videos of the Century

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Newer entries appear first in the sections below.

Lifestyle/Crime | Social History | The Arts | Classics | Out There

Thumbnail Reviews of the Cougar's Favorite Videos:

Love and Relationship

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The Ice Storm
A fine study of layered sexuality and its repressions in 70's suburbia. Hard to keep all the characters straight--husbands and wives, adolescent brothers and sisters and puppy-lovers...but this ambiguity has meaning.

The Marrying Man
Alec Baldwin as a playboy who marries the same night club singer four times...always driven by his "hot" attraction for her to act on those feelings, despite engagement to another woman (twice), the fact that she's a gangster's girl (twice), and the failure each time (the first three, anyway).

Sliding Doors
British comedy with a great twist: a split plot following parallel fates from a single variable at a point in time: whether she makes it through that closing subway door or not. Sometimes things are going to end up the same no matter what you do: yes, even in relationships.

Stealing Beauty
Classy Bertolucci film about a beautiful girl's coming of age, among the company of an inbred cast of eccentric expatriates living in a villa in the Italian countryside.

Something Wild
Quirky escapade by woman looking for kicks and a suburban executive type who's taken for a ride. Trouble comes in the form of the woman's hubby fresh from the joint. One of those weird and wonderful combinations of comic tension, like Pulp Fiction.

A classic treatment of different peoples' lives, which touch each other only peripherally yet are closely woven in core themes centering around forgiveness and reconciliation. Quirky and brilliant. Excellent casting, dialogue and situational emotion. See this film!

...A true and sensitive story of C.S. Lewis, portrayed richly by Anthony Hopkins. Lewis wrote and taught and lectured about love and life and pain, but until he met an American divorcee he wasn't able to experience firsthand the fullness of these universals. When he finally does so he connects not only with her son, but with his own buried childhood, the source of magic in his books.

Like Water for Chocolate
...Well-constructed plot based on the novel of a woman made loveless by her oppressive family tradition: but love, and the fantastic power of desire, will not be kept down.

City of Angels
...An angel tries out the human experiment in order to experience love. Pain comes along for the ride.

A Dangerous Woman
...Disturbing character not quite ready for the world--or for love--but her ending is upbeat, a beginning

...A quirky, award-winning documentary-style film about a calendar-photographer, the woman he brings to Armenia to translate for him, the loss of her and the repetitive courtship of others.

The Horse Whisperer (DVD)
...A great, captivating movie with four strong plots interwoven, each centered on a main character: a horse, a girl, a woman, a cowboy. Most stories are built on one or two: this one weaves all four beautifully. The only drawback is the retrospective predictability of its outcome; but the strength in the plot is that we donít believe in that outcome until it happens.

Paris, Texas
...Offbeat story working off the tension of a silent desert wanderer, to rediscover his past, and to bring resolution through the reunion of his son and his wife. Cannes award winner; great photography.

Scent of a Woman
...starring Al Pacino as a classic jerk we are forced to love in the end

The Joy Luck Club
...a classic of family patterns, with heartbreaking Chinese cultural scenes throughout

Shirley Valentine
...An English housewife takes off for Greece to find a new life: and succeeds. This is a down-to-earth, English-witty, non-Hollywood tour of midlife crisis and redemption.

The Matchmaker
...A light-hearted version of life in the down-and-dirty British outlands. This movie I believe was supposed to be funny, but wasnít. Lacking that, there was nothing left to recommend it.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar
...Another seventies tragedy, with the obligatory murder at the end merely punctuating a sad and relentless tale of a young woman drifting through life in San Francisco. This movie is made with style, however, its whole essence imbued with this scent of despair, this inescapable oppression, this noise and glitter and abuse. In this case, the movie far outdoes the book in carrying out the portrayal of a doomed life.

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