Your Favorite Movies - Mark Stolaroff

What are Your Favorite Films?

For the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival we encourage you to Find Your New Favorite Movie! As we approach the festival we’ve started a new series on our site where we ask some Phoenix Film Festival filmmaker alumni about some of their favorite movies.

Sheri Lindon of The Hollywood Reporter says of The House That Jack Built, “Using Bronx locations and a strong cast of Caribbean-Latino actors, director Henry Barrial constructs a convincing portrait of a neighborhood and its Nuyorican culture, staying true to the scale and sensibility that filmmaker Joseph B. Vasquez envisioned for the movie.”

MS at PFFThe film’s producer, Mark Stolaroff, represented at PFF 2014, accepting three awards: Best Picture; Best Director – Henry Barrial; and Best Screenplay – Joseph Vasquez (sadly, Vasquez died in 1995, never to see his last screenplay produced).

This week, Mark shares a few of his favorite films to add to your list!

What is your …

  • Favorite Comedy

Monty Python And The Holy Grail.  I saw this film when it came out in the theater. I was 10, and was already a fan of the Pythons from late night TV.  I just thought this was the funniest film I'd ever seen, starting right off with the credits.  Honorable Mention:  Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House


  • Favorite Drama

This is tough, but probably The Godfather.  Just such a perfect film. I was reading a book recently on visual language and then saw the film again, and it was like seeing it anew.  There is so much going on with just the camera.  Gordon Willis was a genius. And Coppola was utterly inspired. Honorable Mention: Godfather Part 2, Chinatown


  • Favorite Documentary

This is really hard because there are so many great ones, but I'm going with a film that many people aren't familiar with, despite it winning the Oscar for Best Documentary. Murder On A Sunday Morning. Brutal, enlightening, moving film.  And still so relevant.  Maybe more so today.


  • Favorite film you saw on the circuit

Obvious Child.  Saw this at Sundance and fell in love with it and Jenny Slate.  A great movie for Jews!


  • Favorite film that you think most people have never seen, but should?

Oh, Man, that's a hard one. I see a lot of films!  There's a great little film by a really talented filmmaker named Sean Baker called Starlet. It won some awards and got some attention, but not what it deserved.


  • Do you have a favorite film poster?one_hundred_twenty_seven_hours

Maybe the poster for 127 Hours.  In the film, the guy climbs between rock walls in the desert and then gets stuck. He only has so many hours to get free before he dies.  The poster shows a guy climbing between two rock walls, but when you look closer, you see that the rock walls form the shape of an hourglass, and the boulder in between is like a grain of sand.  I mean, how clever is that!


Following PFF, Mark tells us that The House That Jack Built played a number of festivals, and won eight more awards.  “We're showing it to distributors and we hope to have a deal soon.”

– Laurie Smith