By Danylo Loutchko

I’ve had a lot of movies on my “To Watch” list for a long time, and over winter break I drove with my family to the mountains in Montana and just watched movies the whole time, like some kind of hipster film hermit.

Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):


5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, dir. J.J. Abrams)

   Like many people, I’ve loved Star Wars for a long time and was definitely nervous as to whether this film would deliver. It definitely did and was everything I wanted it to be. Go see it if you’re one of the three people who haven’t yet.


4. 8 1/2 (1963, dir. Federico Fellini)

  After Italian director Federico Fellini’s runaway success with “La Dolce Vita” (1960), the film world wondered what he would do next. Instead of trying to top himself, Fellini created this very personal film, which tells the story of a film director struggling to make a new film after a previous huge success. It’s a great movie about the sometimes paralyzing qualities of creativity (among other things).


3. Fanny and Alexander (1982, dir. Ingmar Bergman)

  This film by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman is epically human. It’s about the joys and sorrows, magic and hardships of an upper class Swedish theater family through the eyes of the family’s two young children. Magic and ghosts abound. And if you really want the full experience, don’t watch the 3-hour theatrical version like a wimp, watch the 5-hour director’s cut.


2. Seven Samurai (1954, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

   Akira Kurosawa is the acknowledged master of the samurai movie. In this one, his most famous, he tells the story of seven samurai (surprise!) that volunteer their services to protect a small town from bandits. And if you like Kurosawa, also see “Yojimbo” (1961) and “Sanjuro” (1962)


1. Persona (1966, dir. Ingmar Bergman)

  Ingmar Bergman makes his second appearance on this list with this abstract and mind-bending film about two women whose personalities merge while they are at an ocean retreat. One of these women, an actress, has fallen psychologically ill and refuses to speak. The other woman, her nurse, tries to get her to open up. It gets weird from there. I’m still not exactly sure what happened in the film or what it means, but it was amazing.