Five Favorite Films with John Malkovich

The star of Disgrace recommends five movies for fim buffs.

John Malkovich

Actor, producer, and director John Malkovich has had a long career spanning several decades, beginning on stage in high school. Malkovich, who went on to be a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, has also earned praise for several of his film roles, including supporting turns in 1984's Places in the Heart and 1993's In the Line of Fire.

This week, Malkovich stars in a new independent film, Disgrace, which opens in limited release on Friday. Based on a critically-acclaimed novel by J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace is the story of a professor in post-Apartheid South Africa who becomes embroiled in controversy when he enters into an affair with a mixed-race student of his. When we asked John for his Five Favorite Films, he responded by saying, "I can't really say that I have five favorite films; somehow my mind just doesn't work that way." As an alternative, we present to you John Malkovich's list of five recommendations he would make to any cinephile:



The Battle of Algiers (1966, 99% Tomatometer)
The Battle of Algiers

Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, it's a taut and very telling film about the French/Algerian war of independence, concentrating on the battle of the Kasbah in the capital city of Algiers. A brilliant, prescient, and very humane film with very few "professional" actors. In black and white.




Abraham's Valley (1993, 83% Tomatometer)
Abraham's Valley

Directed by the Portugese master Manoel de Oliveira. Mr. de Oliveira made his first film, a silent one in 1929, and is probably shooting something [now]. A very idiosyncratic and unique filmmaker with a very singular sense of storytelling and pace. This is his adaptation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary. It has probably my favorite last line in cinema - along with "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." - which is, "No one is so good as I, in pretending life is beautiful."




Night Train to Munich (1940, 83% Tomatometer)
Night Train to Munich

In black and white, made in 1940 by Sir Carol Reed, who of course also did The Third Man, Odd Man Out, Oliver!, etc. Night Train to Munich is a witty and quite gripping thriller. Intricate and romantic with very amusing performances.




The Conformist (1970, 100% Tomatometer)
The Conformist

I had the great honor of being at a screening of the restored print in Los Angeles some years ago. I think this is Bertolucci's masterpiece, though one could argue he made several of them. Ravishingly beautiful visuals, terrific performances, and among the most liquid and complex camerawork ever. A study of fascism, based on the book by Alberto Moravia.




Elite Squad (2008, 53% Tomatometer)
Elite Squad

By Jose Padilha. A film about the elite police unit charged with combating crimes in the favelas. Very original, tight, often grimly comic and very informative.



Check out Disgrace, opening in limited release this Friday, September 18th.
For more Five Favorite Films, check our archive.

Comments

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

. . . BRING BACK JEN YAMATO!



Everyone who wants a little more understanding of our current "war on terror" needs to watch BATTLE OF ALGIERS. So many similiarities, and a great great film, should make most people's top 100 films of all time list.

That said,

I just saw MUTANT CHRONICLES last night. Malcovich was pissed, or drunk, or drunk-pissed, I don't know what, but he was somehow the worst actor in a group of actors giving their worst performances of all time. Was it intentional? I hope so. But, MUTANT CHRONICLES was UWE BOLL bad.

So, what I'm saying is, Mr. Malcovich, you've now used up all your good will by being such a good sport in the film Being John Malcovich,

time for you to do something worth watching again. . .

Sep 15 - 05:02 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

No way, man! Mutant Chronicles was pretty bad, but not Uwe Boll bad. If there were two film makers with equal amounts of(non)talent, the universe would collapse into itself, and Time would have to start over to erase what it had done! Thomas Jane was pretty dope, too.

As for the man of the hour, Mr. Malkovich, I can't recognize a single movie he picked today. That doesn't mean I won't try them out, though. The guy is a great actor (except in movies with mutants) and I have faith in his picks.

Sep 15 - 09:40 PM

Macondo

Joe Larramendia

I too do not recoganize a single movie he picked...but battle for Algiers has caught my interest...

Sep 15 - 11:41 PM

Mehone T.

Mehone Tebedge

dang tom... that's a little harsh isn't it? i mean i'm not the biggest fan of malkovich either, but i can see what people see in him at least...

Sep 15 - 05:07 PM

Some guy you dont know

Bruce Campbell

Sure is Jonzey on RT recently. Keep it up.

Sep 15 - 05:23 PM

Isak Borg

Derek Duquette

Man I have to finaly get around to seeing The Conformist.

Sep 15 - 05:30 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

Mehone,

I probably over-stated. Malkovich is a GREAT actor at times. But, you really need to see MUTANT CHRONICLES to understand just how horrible he was. He definately deserved a Raspberry for it. There's no doubt in my mind this is probably his worst performance EVER. I'm including Elementary School where he played a happy tree, or a spider, or a talking pig or whatever. . . it's THAT BAD.

It is as though he has consumed via IV and orally all the VALIUM in the world, and yet still talks like this in one word every 2-3 seconds same idiotic tone even when discussing nonsense to being surrounded by killer mutants about to kill him every word with a #$#$ ? at the end?


Sep 15 - 05:32 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

RT just formatted my last paragraph. I had spaces between words and everything to try to let you know how he was talking. .. oh well, enough.

Sep 15 - 05:34 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

John Malchovich, considering his roles with Gary Sinese (True West; Of Mice and Man) in Steppenwolf Theater, John Malchovich's intellegence Quotient is quite different than mine;

esoteric to be sure.

I don't think John Malchovich would be interested in seeing TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD and naming it as one of his favorite movies.

Watching La noche del terror ciego (1971) would probabily be just as dull an experience for John Malchovich as me watching Abraham's Valley

but John Malchovich's bio says he "diggs" Dr. Dre and co-owns a disco in Portugal.

So John Malchovich can love films that I would call "elitist" and esoteric and pandantic and can still love disco and Dr. Dre.

Sep 15 - 05:41 PM

Griffin D.

Griffin Davis

Ha. That is an awesome point about Dr. Dre. What a multi-layered power house of a strange man :)

Sep 15 - 07:46 PM

Griffin D.

Griffin Davis

Ha. That is an awesome point about Dr. Dre. What a multi-layered power house of a strange man :)

Sep 15 - 07:48 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

I LOVE the STeppenwolf Theater. Best theater in the whole damn country. Just went there a month ago, to see the dissapointing crapfest "UP."

But, normally good. One of the reasons I wished I live in Chicago.

It's not that I am hating on Malcovich, it's just that I'm so incredibly dissapointed in him. Kinda like when I saw DeNiro in "ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE."

Sep 15 - 05:58 PM

jimb14red

Michael Sullivan

He really was not that bad in it. The movie was bad but he was th eleast of its problems.

Sep 15 - 06:57 PM

jimb14red

Michael Sullivan

He really was not that bad in it. The movie was bad but he was th eleast of its problems.

Sep 15 - 06:57 PM

Griffin D.

Griffin Davis

Ha. That is an awesome point about Dr. Dre. What a multi-layered power house of a strange man :)

Sep 15 - 07:46 PM

Griffin D.

Griffin Davis

Ha. That is an awesome point about Dr. Dre. What a multi-layered power house of a strange man :)

Sep 15 - 07:48 PM

JohnnyJonJon

Jonathan Groen

Great list. The Conformist is definitely in my queue.

Sep 15 - 07:50 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Some might call this list "Snoody"...like me.

Sep 15 - 07:52 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

ledawg,

Nah, if you can, check out Battle of Algiers. It shows the muslim fanatics doing things like bombing cafes where innocent French hang out, and then, the French retaliation including torture similiar to waterboarding, etc. It's a good film to see that this war has been going on longer than we think!

But, ELITE SQUAD is over-rated, but, goes by fast. It's ok.

No need to see NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH if you haven't seen THIRD MAN yet. Third man is in my top 10 films list of ALL TIME! Currently it's my second favorite. . .

Sep 15 - 08:33 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Okay, I'll see Battle of Algiers. "The Third Man" is great, I won't deny that.

Sep 15 - 08:36 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Okay, I'll see Battle of Algiers. "The Third Man" is great, I won't deny that.

Sep 15 - 08:36 PM

thedownstar

ryan brown

I always enjoy his work, he seems to make his characters more boisterous than the script calls for (Changeling), or more buffoonish than is needed (The Libertine, Burn After Reading). I wouldn't call him an actors actor, but the man knows his strengths.

Sep 15 - 08:46 PM

evanznotdead

Evan Hawkins

Elite Squad is excellent; the final 30 minutes are so emotionally gripping.

Sep 15 - 09:21 PM

evanznotdead

Evan Hawkins

Elite Squad is excellent; the final 30 minutes are so emotionally gripping.

Sep 15 - 09:22 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Yes, The Battle of Algiers is eerily similar to what we're dealing with in the world today, and a fine film at that.

I don't want to get too political here, but I'm sort of shocked that Malkovich chose The Battle of Algiers. Malkovich was involved in some controversy a few years ago in which he claimed he wanted to kill Scottish MP George Galloway who condemned Israel's killing of Palestinian citizens. Surely someone who understands the point of The Battle of Algiers would have better sense than to make a comment like that.

Just seems a little strange...not trying to introduce politics here...move along...

Sep 15 - 09:33 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

No way, man! Mutant Chronicles was pretty bad, but not Uwe Boll bad. If there were two film makers with equal amounts of(non)talent, the universe would collapse into itself, and Time would have to start over to erase what it had done! Thomas Jane was pretty dope, too.

As for the man of the hour, Mr. Malkovich, I can't recognize a single movie he picked today. That doesn't mean I won't try them out, though. The guy is a great actor (except in movies with mutants) and I have faith in his picks.

Sep 15 - 09:40 PM

Macondo

Joe Larramendia

I too do not recoganize a single movie he picked...but battle for Algiers has caught my interest...

Sep 15 - 11:41 PM

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