The Graduate

Mike Nichols

This 1960s American comedy-drama received several Oscar nominations at the time of its release. The movie is the riveting tale of 20-year-old Benjamin Braddock, who is back home in Southern California after graduation. He meets the striking Mrs. Robinson, a friend of his parents, with whom he begins a nightly affair in a hotel while his parents set him up with Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. Watch it for Dustin Hoffman battling with his emotions and uncertainty about the future as he gets increasingly trapped in an affair with the older woman while he falls in love with her daughter, all shot in a haze of idly beautiful 60s imagery.

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick

Malcolm McDowell plays Alex, an ‘ultra violent’ rapist, Beethoven loving, gang leader in future Britain. In an unfortunate turn of events, his ‘droogs’ turn against him and he lands up in jail. The film eventually goes on to talk about the adverse effects of behavioural therapy and conditioning. But for those of you who are not into that kind of stuff, don’t worry. A Clockwork Orange is one of director Stanley Kubrick’s best works. The darkly entertaining, twisted plot will leave you questioning mankind and it’s morality for days afterward.

Bonnie and Clyde

Arthur Penn

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty play Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who meet by chance when he tries to steal her mother’s car. She joins him on thefts then on, and together they form a gang as they travel further out West and in due course begin to rob banks. Bonnie and Clyde are later joined by Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche. The film relies on many animated action scenes with car chases and shooting sessions. Its light romantic mood mixed with a thrilling, effortless plot line makes for a perfect watch.

Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2

Quentin Tarantino

Using his signature non-linear narrative, Tarantino manages to send chills down your spine with a visually loud, extravagant storyline. ‘The Bride’ Uma Thurman is seeking revenge for the bloodbath that ensues on her wedding day. The two-part film was released a few months apart and had a rapt audience from the word ‘go’. Action packed and blood soaked, Kill Bill is most noted for its stylish and varied method of story telling, taking the story from ‘Wild West’ fight sequences, to martial arts infused, Asian action scenes.

A Single Man

Tom Ford

Starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, A Single Man, based on a novel of the same name is the first film by fashion designer Tom Ford. Set in the 1960s, the story revolves around an English middle-aged gay college professor, George Falconer (Colin Firth) who lives in scenic South California in the house he shared with his recently deceased long-time partner, Jim. His best friend Charley (Julianne Moore) confused by her own feelings for George, tries to help him come to terms with his loss. Amidst suicidal thoughts and encounters of the romantic kind with one of his students, George’s story is told through picturesque shots, featuring his perfectionist quirks and minimalist, Mad Men-esque surroundings.

The ones that almost made it:

Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino

Heathers: Michael Lehmann

Silence of the Lambs: Jonathan Demme

The Godfather: Francis Ford Coppola

The Shining: Stanley Kubrick

Citizen Kane: Orson Welles

2001: A Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick

American Beauty: Sam Mendes

Little Miss Sunshine: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

The Breakfast Club: John Hughes

Natural Born Killers: Oliver Stone

The Birds: Alfred Hitchcock

Shreshta Jaisingh is a student of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore. She counts Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen among her favourite film-makers.