Here's my current list. I'm NOT linking any of these to websites 'cause, well, a) I'm lazy tonight, and b) the statute of spoiler limitations is WAY up on most of these, so lots of web pages feel comfy tossing tidbits out that I'd rather you discover for yourself. I have faith in you to figure out how to use Google/Wiki/IMDB all by your lonesome if you must.
Tampopo -- A Japanese film about food culture containing several threaded subplots. The main one is about a woman who decides that she wants to open a ramen restaurant, but to be successful must learn the craft from a wise wandering
Perfect Blue -- An animated Japanese film about retaining your identity in the commercial music/acting industry, the weird role of pop idols in culture, and dangerous fan obsession. If you ever hear me singing in Japanese, you can blame this movie. Disturbing and Lynchian.
Requiem for a Dream -- A visually stunning and highly overdramatic film about desires and addictions. I think the script is silly, but everyone in it acts their asses off, and the Kronos Quartet's musical score sets the mood perfectly. Strung-out and depressing.
You Shoot, I Shoot -- A Hong Kong parody of action flicks about the unlikely team-up of a filmmaker and a hitman. Cartoony and possibly the most enjoyable if you've seen a good blend of American, Chinese, and Japanese pop cinema.
The Last Dragon -- A blacksploitation/Bruce Lee mashup containing all the 80s you can handle, sho'nuff. Silly and more silly.
Videodrome -- A Cronenberg flick about the worst case scenario of mass media influencing society. And about how James Woods is the best ever. Think The Ring
Jacob's Ladder -- This is my Horror 101 pick. It visually influenced a lot of my favorite modern horror media, and while it's a little kitschy, it has some fabulously creepy moments. And Tim Robbins when he's all young and extra-gangly. Hitchcockian and retro-70s-tacular.
Arsenic & Old Lace -- A macabre screwball comedy adapted by Frank Capra from a stage play during WWII. Full of all my favorite things, including Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Vaseline on the lens, snap-quick dialogue, triple-takes, and 40s pop political jokes that you maybe need to be from Manhattan and the 1920s to fully appreciate. Hammy and romping.
What are some of your favorite movies to subject your friends to? Link me to your blog if you decide you wanna discuss this on your own turf.