Charley Reed’s Handshake Five

Last week Anthony shared his Handshake Five (five movies that define you, as introduced on Pure Cinema Podcast). Some people, including our friend Charley Reed, liked this concept so much, they created their own lists. In anticipation of Charley’s appearance on the podcast next week, here is his Handshake Five.

1. Akira (1988)


The film that broke Japanese anime into the mainstream in the 1980s and proved that animation could be just as graphic and heady as live action, it is also the film that made me see past the childish anime I was seeing on TV at the time and opened up my eyes into a whole new world of serious animation – not to mention it stoked a passion for cyberpunk films ever since. I’ve owned this film on VHS, DVD and Bluray; I’ve written not one but two papers on it; and the first and only tattoo I have is of Kaneda in his red biker outfit. Need I say more?

2. Clue (1985)


A true cult classic and gem of a comedy that is emblematic of its time. There are few modern comedy films this side of Christopher Guest that feature such a strong ensemble cast and enjoys itself so much. Instantly quotable, quick-witted, and smart this is my favorite comedy of all time.

3. American Psycho (2000)


If there two things that I truly love – other than my family and fiancé – it is dark humor and the 1980s. No matter how many times I see this film I am enthralled by the ironic delivery, Christian Bale’s manic and yet dreamlike delivery, and at the end of the day realizing that deep down, in some way, we are all Patrick Bateman. Plus, I’ve never had a more disturbing experience than reading the original novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

4. Blade Runner (1982)


Where Akira stoked my interest in cyberpunk, Blade Runner blew the doors wide open when I first saw it a decade ago. A mix of sci-fi and film noir, an exercise in artistry and vision fighting against commercialization and a true underdog story of a film that, through the test of time, has proven to be an iconic piece of cinema history that, for all the things they got wrong, got a lot right about what it means to be human.

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)


Midnight movies made up such a large part of my formative years in high school and college and there is no bigger, no better, no bolder midnight film than the original Rocky Horror Picture Show. This film is one of the things that me and my fiancé have bonded over, it will play a big part in our wedding, and one can never have enough Tim Curry.

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