We can’t see future. But by observing the trends of past, we can certainly make our best guesses for the future. That’s one of the ways people try to predict the stock market. And that’s how we going to predict which recent movies will be considered classics in future. So, now the question is what qualities in a film make it a classic. Well, first of all it needs to be well made — that’s obvious. Though, the most important feature of classic films is that they are universal in their theme but personal in their treatment. For example films like ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Pulp Fiction’ are actually personal films with strong imprints of their respective directors, but deal with a theme that’s very universal in its appeal: crime.
Sometimes, films that evoke nostalgia also turn out to be evergreen classics. Most of the Andrei Tarkovsky or David Lynch films fall into this category. And finally, at times the films that are forward-looking or futuristic also appeal to all generations. The most obvious example of this is ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. So, with the above three things in mind — universal theme but personal treatment, nostalgia-evoking, futuristic — I will try to list down 10 recent movies that will be considered classics in future. Note: For the purposes of this article, I have considered any film that has released during or after 2010 as recent.
10. Somewhere (2010)
The story of father-daughter bonding is quite apparently auto-biographical to Sofia’s own childhood when she used to accompany her father, the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, to different hotels and film sets. ‘Somewhere’ is one of the films that doesn’t astonish you instantly, but slowly grows upon you as you start thinking about it. Basically, it stays with you, especially after 2nd viewing. It is obviously a very personal film but the themes that it deals with — of solitude and loneliness — are very universal in nature. Especially, as the world is getting more and more digital, people are getting more and more lonely. That’s why I think ‘Somewhere’ years down the line will be regarded as a classic.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is such a thrilling piece of work not because of its action scenes, but due to the ideas that it tries to propagate. Chief among them — apart from the brilliantly conceived apocalyptic world itself — is that in an apocalypse like scenario, or even otherwise, would women as nurturers, survivors and protectors be able to take much better care of the world than men? With time, women’s role and influence in society will keep growing, and so will this film’s relevance and respect. Read more ..
8. Interstellar (2014)
A controversial choice .. I know. But there’s no denying that ‘Interstellar’ is not only futuristic but also very personal — at the end of the day it is a story of father trying to get back to his daughter. ‘Interstellar’ is visually breathtaking and technologically awe-inspiring. It is also dense with ideas like blackholes, warmholes, theory of relativity, 5th dimension and warping of space and time, which might be a little far-fetched ideas for this generation but several years from now when all these terms will actually mean something to common people, I expect ‘Interstellar’ to make a come back. Read more..
7. Her (2013)
The idea of falling in love with an Artificial Intelligence may sound outright silly, but the way we are getting overly dependent on technology, that idea does not seem slightest bit inconceivable from realms of possibilities in near future. The true worth of ‘Her’ will be realized when the idea that it is based upon gets ultimately realized. Whenever that happens in future, I am sure people are going to look back at ‘Her’ and at Spike Jonze in disbelieved awe on foreseeing the future with such disarming precision. Read more ..
6. Drive (2011)
‘Drive’ is quite simply one of the most stylish film to have released this decade. Be it the retro music, the unorthodox cinematography, the languid pace of dialogues ‘Drive’ has style and chutzpah written all over it. That one “kissing inside elevator” scene alone is enough to convince me how unconventionally brilliant ‘Drive’ is. And I’m sure, future generations will keep coming to this film just to get a feel of what being “cool” and “stylish” filmmaking meant back in the day.
5. Manchester by the Sea (2016)
There are films that you love. Then, there are films that you never forget. ‘Manchester by the Sea’ is certainly one of those rare films that stay with you all your life. Apart from fluid storytelling what is so striking about the film is how it manages to make you laugh and cry at the same time — often in the same scenes. Director Kenneth Logan has taken everyday moments of a tragedy-striken family and created a singular piece of art that is richly nuanced and humane and humorous. Technology will change, but human emotions won’t. And that’s why this film will always remain an evergreen classic. Read more..
4. La La Land (2016)
Our most recently released entry also has something common with most of the films on this list: very personal in its treatment but universal in its theme. A mesmerizing and emotional tale of aspirations in a world where success is both the best friend and the worst enemy, ‘La La Land’ is the epitome of what a musical should look and feel like. It IS easily the best musical of the 21st Century and I won’t be surprised if in near future people start classifying it as one of the best of all time. Read more..
3. Upstream Color (2013)
Lyrical, mystifying and at the same time deeply philosophical, ‘Upstream Color’ is as much a meditative and contemplative piece of art as it is a technical wizardry. It’s a rare cinematic commodity that inspires individuals to push the boundaries of imagination and creativity. In terms of ambition, it outdoes the best of sci-fi films made in past or in present. If ever the art of cinema required a reason or a proof to corroborate that its purpose of existence is much more than mere entertainment, then you don’t have to look any further than this film. Read more ..
2. Boyhood (2014)
‘Boyhood’, more than just a film, is an observance. An observance of a 6 years old boy growing up to become an 18 years old adult. An observance of what a mother has to go through to raise children. An observance of what a father means to his children and vice-versa. An observance of a family and their struggles, their joys, their sorrows.’Boyhood’, in a way that very few films do, transcends the boundaries of cinema and becomes a tiny part of your own existence and experience. Again, a very personal film that will continue evoking nostalgia of future generations. They are also going to look back at this film in awe with what Linklater achieved: shot a single film for 12 years. Read more ..
1. The Tree of Life (2010)
‘The Tree of Life’ is a cinematic poem of extraordinary scope and ambition. It doesn’t just ask its audience to observe, but also, reflect and feel. At its simplest, ‘The Tree of Life’ is a story of the journey of finding oneself. At its most complex, it is a meditation on human life and our place in the grand scheme of things. ‘The Tree of Life’ is a very personal film, but its existential themes are far-reaching beyond the boundaries of nationality, religion or sect — because it is ultimately about what it means to be human. I will go ahead and say that ‘The Tree of Life’ could very well turn out to be the ‘Citizen Kane’ of the 21st Century. Read more ..
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