I have, in the past, given you lists of my favourite feelgood, scary and teen movies, and once upon a time I promised I'd follow them up with a load of more cerebral recommendations.
"Cerebral", by the way, is totally a film reference for me. I'm sure other people use that word in day to day speech (film lecturers, mostly), but when I do you have to imagine I'm impersonating Woody Allen. In his Annie Hall days.
That's my first suggestion, by the way. That and Manhattan.
So which other only-one-copy-in-the-video-shop films do I recommend? These ones:
Last Night (the Canadian one from 1998, not the Keira Knightley thing)
Last Night is my favourite film. I'm always scared to show it to people in case they don't like it. The premise is this: the world's ending at midnight and interlinked people are finding different ways to deal with it. I always, always cry.
The first time I watched this, I just thought it was odd but beautifully shot. The more times I watch it, though, the more I understand the stories of love, crime and secrecy. Track a copy down.
An odd film about some averagely unpleasant people and a woman who is trying very hard to be really good but not always getting it right.
This is my favourite of all the Studio Ghibli films, in part because somebody told me the little girl reminded them of me. I don't think it's an obvious comparison to anyone who doesn't know me well, but I sobbed all the way through this story of a small child trying very hard to fend for herself when are parents are turned into pigs.
Stranger Than Fiction
A man with a very boring life begins to hear a woman's voice narrating his every move. Could he really be a character in somebody else's novel? And if so, is there no way to get back control of his life? And would he want it back the tedious way it was?
Being John Malkovich
A puppeteer discovers a portal into John Malkovich's head, and starts to rent out time inside the actor. Things go awry when his crush figures out how to control the man's movements...
The Station Agent
A disenchanted man inherits an old railway station and moves there looking for some peace and quiet. What he finds are two people desperately in need of a friend. So beautiful.
A man wakes up in an unfamiliar room with very confused memories of his past. When a strange scientist contacts him, he begins to realise that the twilight world in which he lives is not what it seems.
Every film fan should watch this movie - I still haven't shown it to Steve and, now that I've realised that, I'm going to put it right. It's the beautiful story of a small boy who befriends the projectionist of his local cinema. And it's stunning.
Dan in Real Life
Steve Carell plays a widowed agony uncle whose daughters have lost all patience with him. A big family get together brings emotions out in the open when he falls for his brother's new girlfriend.
In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Steve and I discovered this film quite by accident. It's a touching tale of a depressed man and a woman determined to find somebody to kiss at New Year. But not in an offensive girls-are-obsessed-with-falling-in-love kind of way. If you grew up on Clerks, this one's worth a watch.
If you've ever felt trapped by a bureaucratic nine to five existence, share in one man's bizarre retrotastic dream of escape.
A bumbling scam artist meets a bold, mesmering woman who he hopes might turn his life around.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
A intrepid adventurer gets embroiled in a story of Egyptian mummies, pterodactyls and reanimation in 1911 Paris. That old familiar tale.
When an ageing lothario receives a letter telling him he has a son, he sets out on a journey to try to find the mother and child.
Lars and the Real Girl
A young man forms a delusional relationship with a blow up doll. And it makes a beautiful film. Don't be put off by the weird synopsis - if you have a shred of interest in other people's behaviour, this one is utterly engrossing.
Away We Go
A heavily pregnant woman and her partner travel around America trying to find a place to settle down and start a home.
A teenage boy in grim 1980s Britain tries anxiously to lose his virginity, whilst worrying that his mum is getting a bit too close to that sleazeball across the street.
I love, love, love this film about a man trying to figure out love following the death of his father, a man who discovered a new lease of life after being widowed and coming out as gay.
Which films would you recommend to me?