Red has always been my favorite color – and red was a theme in many of Ingmar Bergman’s movies. Perhaps the color red is what connects me to his inner world. The color of the inside. The color of our hearts, the world underneath our skin and the color of our wildest desire – the desire to connect, to bleed into each other’s existence.

My top 50 favorite movies

In this post I’ve combined two of my biggest passions – movies and list-making (both excellent distractions when you are fighting anxiety).

The airport scene from Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995) where the the child version of Cole witness himself being killed as an adult man.

There’s no secret that I am quite obsessed with watching movies and TV-series and I could list more than 100 favorites right off the bat, but I thought it would be enough with the top 50 of my favorite movies in this list:


Before Sunrise 

  1. 12 Monkeys
  2. The Game
  3. Rope
  4. Autumn Sonata
  5. All About Eve
  6. Melancholia
  7. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  8. Mulholland Drive
  9. Brief Encounter
  10. Fanny and Alexander
  11. Another Woman
  12. The Ring (US version)
  13. The Breakfast Club
  14. Midnight in Paris
  15. The Birds
  16. The Commitments
  17. Little Women
  18. Singin’ in the Rain
  19. Nymphomaniac
  20. Vertigo
  21. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  22. Manhattan Murder Mystery
  23. Julie & Julia
  24. Eyes Wide Shut
  25. The Piano Teacher
  26. All the President’s Men
  27. Edward Scissorhands
  28. The Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy
  29. Vicky Christina Barcelona
  30. Cry Baby
  31. Amadeus
  32. Mermaids
  33. The Money Pit
  34. Boogie Nights
  35. Festen (The Celebration)
  36. Roman Holiday
  37. The Lovely Bones
  38. The Nanny Diaries
  39. Notting Hill
  40. The Social Network
  41. Vanilla Sky
  42. Lust och Fägring Stor (All Things Fair)
  43. Goodfellas
  44. Flicka och Hyacinter (Girl with Hyacinths)
  45. Dead Man
  46. Adventures in Babysitting
  47. Beetlejuice
  48. Closer
  49. Waterloo Bridge
  50. Deliverance

My morning with Amadeus


Tom Hulce as Mozart in the 1984 movie Amadeus by Milos Forman

I’m spending this morning in bed, watching one of my favorite movies – Amadeus (1984), trying to escape the heat wave as much as I can. Lately I’ve noticed that most of my favorite movies are about creative people or about the creative process. Amadeus is so much about the flow of Mozart’s creativity and mojo. The Commitments (1991) is a tale of the commitment to a creative project and its various phases of passion, hard work, focus, ambition and the battle between the primitive and natural drive of the soul to have a voice and the pride of the ego to be even louder. Little Women (1994) is about a young woman’s love for writing and her insecurities about how to use her creativity since she’s a woman in a society and time which aren’t really interested in what a young woman has to say.


My favorite actress Winona Ryder as the talented writer Jo March in Little Women (1994)

One of my favorite TV series, Canadian produced Anne of Green Gables (1986) is dealing with a similar theme; a young and creative female writer with too much imagination and passion for her own good in a time where there’s no room for such a female personality type (only as the “crazy, hot tempered spinster” lady type). Even Inception (2010) is mostly about the creative process of planning, thinking and mentally constructing the “realistic” dream worlds like layers upon layers of dreams within dreams. There’s so much focus on the richness of the imagination and the power of creation.


Leonardo DiCaprio and the complexities of the super advanced worlds of Inception (2010), created by human minds using intelligence, logic, creativity, imagination and philosophy in a powerful way


The Game (1997) – killing the ego to let the id breathe using creativity to manipulate the process

One of my all time favorite moviesThe Game (1997) directed by David Fincher, might look like an ordinary psychological thriller at a first glance, but if we take a closer look, we can see that the theme goes deeper. It’s a journey through the stagnation and awakening of a mind. It’s about acknowledging the creativity of life itself – a reminder that we are the creator of our own lives, we are not the result (or victims) of what life is creating for us. We have to use our creativity, imagination and consciousness in every little decision, or we’ll be suffocated by life’s endless ruts, cycles and culs-de-sac.

If we surrender to a stagnated life we end up just as stagnated in our hearts and minds – and it’s only through our creativity and the primitive and natural instincts that we can break free and feel reborn (by killing the ego to let the id breathe), in order for us to appriciate who we really are and what we have. I love how Fincher is using the texture of sound design to illustrate the process – in the echoes of the metallic noises in the kitchen scene where the main character is spending his birthday alone in a cold and heartless house, decorated appropriate to his wealth and status but is without personality or warmth, to the loud and intrusive music of Jefferson Airplane in the scene where his home has been invaded and vandalized, as something threatening but I imagine that he used to listen to that kind of music as a young man before he became all ‘cold and dead’ inside, so it’s also liberating and nostalgic – a reminder of a time where he was enjoying his life instead of feeling like he owns it and being owned by it at the same time. When we have become ‘comfortably numb’ and lost touch with our true nature and the only creativity we use in our lives comes in a pretty box or with a price tag, then we feel threatened by that natural and powerful creativity – because it destroys the illusion of the comfort and makes us FEEL and become un-numbed. It is easier to look away than to embrace it. Because our natural creativity requires raising uncomfortable questions, making hard decisions, letting go of things we are used to, being the leader of our own lives instead of being part of the massive herd of ‘sheeple’.


Nazi ‘sheeple’ without their own creative juices flowing, following the creative visions of a leader with really bad ideas about most things – an extreme example of the danger of being ‘comfortably numb’ and uncreative 

Creativity is so much more than the act of creating a piece of art, music, a dance or writing a story. It is the very foundation of life itself. It is in everything. As long as we are brave enough to withstand the comfort of going with the mainstream flow of ready made lifestyles and pre-made ideas and visions which are for sale and can be consumed through our TV screens, at the mall or in the magazines on our coffee tables.


They Live (1988)

How my love for movies has influenced my art

Instagram photo from 2013

Instagram photo from 2013

I love film. I love TV-series. Perhaps even more than I love art – or maybe art is such a natural part of me that I can’t measure the passion in a fair way. But I would say that movies is my biggest passion in life. I usually watch at least 2 movies every day and binge watch TV series as well. I never watch regular TV. My favorite movie directors – Bergman, Lynch, Hitchcock, Allen, Gilliam, Von Trier, Burton, Fincher, Nichols, Cukor and Polanski have all inspired my work in some way or another.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE by David Lynch [2001]


“The Crash” by Mia Makila, 2012 [digital]

THE PIANO by Jane Campion [1993]


“That Little Girl In ‘The Piano’ Movie Just Wet Herself In Between Takes In 1993” by Mia Makila, 2008 [acrylics on cardboard]

Narnia [2005]


“Lucy Pevensie” by Mia Makila, 2012 [digital] inspired by the main character from the 2005 fantasy movie “Narnia”

WILD AT HEART by David Lynch [1990]


Wild at Heart

“Wild at Heart” by Mia Makila, 2012 [digital]

FANNY AND ALEXANDER by Ingmar Bergman [1982]

THE BIRDS by Alfred Hitchcock [1963]

Old black and white movies

And my favorite movies of all time? Well, it has to be “12 Monkeys” by Terry Gilliam, “Fanny and Alexander” by Ingmar Bergman,”The Game” by David Fincher, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” by Mike Nichols and “Melancholia” by Lars Von Trier.