Y Tu Mamá También
One of the very first films I've ever seen not in English, it takes place in Mexico. Two friends Julio and Tenoch (played by real life pals Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna) embark on a road trip with Luisa (Maribel Verdú) heading to a beach they have fabricated in their minds in order to impress the older woman. the film deals with the sexual journey the group experience together in a beautiful, often funny and unashamed way. When I watched this film I was in my last years of an all boys high school. Watching the two average teenage boys extolling their sexual prowess but also seeing them as immature and flawed showed me how perfectly this film deals with this period in the lives of many young men. Coupled with snapshots of Mexican culture along their travels Y tu Mama Tambien is a fantastic piece of film making that shows us simply that life is a journey and along the way the things we experience make us who we are. (More after the break)
Grave of the Fireflies
A 1989 classic of Japanese animation this film negates the line between adult and child animation but not in the way that some Pixar and Dreamworks films have in recent years. Indeed this film is more likely to have you reaching for the tissues than holding you sides. It is the story of Seita and Setsuko two children forced to fend for themselves in the harshness of the Japanese of the Japanese countryside during World War 2. I could tell you more but the story is told in such a touching and brilliant way that should you wish t take this journey with the characters you will want every moment to feel fresh. Sure its an animation but its also one of the most powerfully emotional experiences ever committed to film.