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Music to read this list by:

Pete Townshend, Who Came First

(or here if above link doesn't work)

Recommended viewing  

A few disclaimers about this list:  It was compiled mostly in the 1980s, and though we have added some new flicks since then, it is by no means complete or up to date.  And there are many fantastic and brilliant movies missing from the list, because we compiled it as an aide to immunic mastery, not as a guide to great cinema.   However, using this list the way it is intended can not only broaden your comprehension of Harmonic operation but also vastly improve your ability to enjoy and appreciate all film.  

The subheadings are not meant to be exclusive, and there are probably better categories for some of the movies, as  the present categories are somewhat dated (from older technology).  We invite you to add your own contributions by e-mailing Keely.  Make sure you include the category you think the film belongs in, or suggest a new category.

With love from your compilers,

Keely and Bayard wpeB.jpg (5059 bytes)


Most important movies for immunic masters 

  • 47 Ronin - Kenji Mizoguchi
  • And the Band Played On - Roger Spottiswoode
  • Assassination - Masahiro Shinoda
  • Badlands - Terence Malick
  • Conformist, The - Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Day of the Jackal - Fred Zinnemann
  • Double Suicide - Masahiro Shinoda
  • Ikuru - Akira Kurosawa
  • Lawrence of Arabia - David Lean
  • Longitude - Charles Sturridge. About John Harrison, the man who discovered how to measure longitude, which was considered the key scientific problem of the 17th century.   He spent a lifetime operating under immense obstacles - and demonstrates many of the qualities that create a successful immuner.
  • Miller's Crossing - Joel Coen
  • Samurai Trilogy - Hiroshi Inagaki
  • Time Within Memory - Toichiro Narushima (cameraman of Double Suicide). This hasn't been made into a video and wasn't released in the U.S., but it's still one of the most important movies. It is the most emotion-producing movie I have ever seen. - Bayard
  • The 2-Step Startup at
  • Wild Bunch, the - Sam Peckinpah
  • Yojimbo - Akira Kurosawa

All the films of the following directors:

  • Bergman, Ingmar
  • Bertolucci, Bernardo
  • Capra, Frank
  • Carne, Marcel
  • Clement, Rene
  • Cukor, George
  • Fellini, Federico
  • Frankenheimer, John
  • Kubrick, Stanley
  • Kurosawa, Akira
  • Losey, Joseph
  • Lumet, Sidney
  • Mann, Michael
  • Mizoguchi, Kenji
  • Ozu, Yasujiro
  • Peckinpah, Sam
  • Ray, Satyajit
  • Scorsese, Martin
  • Shinoda, Masahiro
  • Sturges, Preston


  • Clean and Sober - Glen Gordon Caron
  • High Art - Lisa Cholodenko.  There's a scene between Ally Sheedy and Patricia Clarkson near the end of the movie that perfectly illustrates one's choice to succumb.
  • Jungle Fever  - Spike Lee. Samuel L. Jackson's eyes when he's in the crack house.
  • Nil by Mouth - Gary Oldman
  • Owning Mahowny - Richard Kwietniowski. (starring Philip Seymour Hoffman)
  • Sid and Nancy - Alex Cox
  • Sideways - Alexander Payne.  Terrific movie about enabling.
  • The Sweet Hereafter - Atom Egoyan. (You can extrapolate, from the lawyer's anecdote about taking his daughter to the hospital when she was an infant, how painful it can be to do what is truly needed with an addict you love.)
  • Walk the Line - James Mangold

Ass on the line  

  • Army of Shadows - Jean-Pierre Melville
  • My Secret Garden - Agneiszka Holland
  • Norma Rae - Martin Ritt
  • The Right Stuff - Philip Kaufman


  • Unhook the Stars - Nick Cassavetes.  Few things are more satisfying than seeing a compulsive caretaker start to break free.  When that person is played by Gena Rowlands -- need I say more?


  • The Accidental Tourist - Lawrence Kasdan
  • Fail-Safe - Sidney Lumet
  • Flight of the Eagle. Based on true story of doomed Swedish attempt to reach North Pole via balloon in 1897. About what it's like to go into a battle without victory beforehand. In this case the explorers made other things more important than choosing their time and terrain.
  • The Insider - directed by Michael Mann, about the heroism of Jeffrey Wigand, who exposed the tobacco industry as intentional purveyors of nicotine addiction. The movie shows him making one difficult choice after another in the face of extraordinary pressure to do the opposite.
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman - Hector Babenco
  • Partisans of Vilna (1986 documentary). Includes a recounting of Abba Kovner's legendary 1941 underground meeting in Lithuania when he tried, in vain, to convince the ghetto residents that if they didn't fight, they would be exterminated.
  • Schindler's List - Stephen Spielberg. The kind of actions Oskar Schindler did in the world are immunics. They cure you. Schindler was in negative beingness -- you can tell by all the girlfriends he had; he couldn't bond -- and this was probably the lifetime when he cured it. So let Spielberg give you a nice immunics lesson with this movie.
  • The Vanishing - George Sluizer
  • The Verdict - Sidney Lumet


  • The Aristocrats - Paul Provenza.  Get the DVD and listen to the filmmakers' commentary for a true education on comedy, skill, and crossing the line (all hail Gilbert Gottfried). 
  • Bizarre, Bizarre - Marcel Carne. The quintessential French comedy. The most amazingly funny movie I've ever seen. I peed in my pants 50 times during this movie.   It requires a suspension of disbelief to be inside the mores of the period it talks about, but the suspension comes very easily given the level of the acting.  There is a moment when the main character, a portly French novelist who is very attached to his wine, has to get somewhere in a hurry.  He goes racing out of his room where he was virtually laying in a drunken stupor and forgets that he was on the 2nd floor and now faces a very steep set of steps to go down. He teeters on the edge for a moment. . . . Louis Jouvet, who played the role, was a master at using his body to create comedy.   He was as good as Buster Keaton and you'd never know it because he's this little fat guy.  He teeters on the steps for a breathtaking and awe-inspiring moment, at the same time showing on his face such a look of indecision, you don't know whether he's going to fall down the stairs, turn around and go back to his room, or try to walk down. It's a look of terror and hopelessness. Everything in on his face. . . . He  suddenly runs down the stairs at a clip that would put a Puerto Rican street gang running down the subway steps to shame. - Bayard
  • Sanjuro - Akira Kurosawa. The priceless final moment: "Maybe now we'll have some peace and quiet around here." 


  • Duellists, The - Ridley Scott
  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - David Lean. About a person who has something to sacrifice and does so.
  • Gandhi - Richard Attenborough
  • Gunga Din - George Stevens
  • Hable con Ella (Talk to Her) - Pedro Almodóvar
  • Henry V - Kenneth Branagh
  • Ikuru - Akira Kurosawa
  • The Killing Fields - Roland Joffe
  • La Femme Nikita - Luc Besson. This movie is about being on staff with a non-staff spouse. It's about Keely's relationship with Jerry.
  • Nomigi Pass - Satsuo Yamamoto
  • Umasa - don't know the director - Tatsuya Nakadai played Umasa
  • Platoon - Oliver Stone (the movie about friction during war).
  • Running on Empty - Sidney Lumet
  • Star Wars - George Lucas - especially the scene where he waits and waits to make the perfect shot and destroy the Death Star.
  • The Constant Gardener - Fernando Meirelles
  • Vincent & Theo - Robert Altman
  • Year of the Dragon - Michael Cimino


  • Separate Lies - Julian Fellowes, who says in his brilliant commentary, "To a control freak, allowing the other person not to feel guilty is the equivalent of anyone else giving up a kidney."


  • Howard's End - James Ivory. Like other Merchant-Ivory productions, about the parasitism of the British ruling class. In the end Helen, the seeming visionary played by Helena Bonham-Carter, uses the guy she was in love with and ends up as parasitic as everybody else.
  • The Nasty Girl - Michael Verhoeven


  • Topsy Turvy - Mike Leigh.  One of Keely's top three movies.  A great movie about relationships, too.


  • American Splendor - (about cartoonist Harvey Pekar) Shari Springer Berman/Robert Pulcini
  • Lorenzo's Oil - George Miller
  • The Painted Veil - John Curran


  • All Quiet on the Western Front - Lewis Milestone
  • Assassination of Trotsky - Joseph Losey
  • Ikiru - Kurosawa
  • Seconds - John Frankenheimer
  • The Seventh Seal - Ingmar Bergman


Almost any movie can be utilized to study dimensions - test which dimension a given character is on, for example.  These are especially good:

  • Capote - Bennett Miller
  • House of Games - David Mamet
  • Howard's End - James Ivory
  • Star 80 - Paul Schrader


  • Comfort of Strangers, The - Paul Schrader
  • Glengarry Glen Ross, Homicide, House of Games - David Mamet
  • Internal Affairs - Mike Figgis
  • JFK - Oliver Stone. The quintessential enrollment film.
  • One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - Milos Forman
  • They Live - John Carpenter


  • Iceman - Fred Schepisi. Also about reality (as are all films about God)
  • Kundun - Martin Scorsese
  • Longford - Tom Hooper
  • Passion of the Christ - Mel Gibson. About what we've done in the face of God's gift

Group effort 

  • Any Given Sunday - Oliver Stone
  • Iron-Jawed Angels (HBO)
  • Lady in the Water - M. Night Shyamalan
  • Little Miss Sunshine - Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Farris.  Steve Carell said that even though most people call this a movie about a dysfunctional family, he thinks that even though they may be dysfunctional as individuals, when they come together as a family they function like a fine Swiss watch

Immune dysfunction

  • My Architect - Nathaniel Kahn
  • Broadcast News - James L. Brooks.  The Holly Hunter character is a good example of someone operating from impairments.
  • Safe - Todd Haynes. About someone who has no immunity.
  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Steven Soderbergh


  • Field of Dreams - Phil Alden Robinson

Japanese sword flicks

  • Sanjuro - Akira Kurosawa
  • Seven Samurai, The - Akira Kurosawa
  • Sword of Doom - Kihachi Okamoto. The quintessential Japanese sword flick - also about evil.


  • Antonia's Line - Marleen Gorris 
  • Boycott - Clark Johnson.  About Martin Luther King
  • Full Metal Jacket - Stanley Kubrick
  • Gettysburg - Ronald F. Maxwell. Especially the scenes showing Chamberlain and Lee
  • Gandhi - Richard Attenborough
  • Good Night, and Good Luck - George Clooney
  • Hoffa - Danny De Vito
  • Reservoir Dogs - Quentin Tarantino
  • The Queen - Stephen Frears


  • Brokeback Mountain - Ang Lee
  • Dead Man Walking - Tim Robbins
  • King Kong - Peter Jackson (2005)
  • Miller's Crossing - Joel Coen
  • Million Dollar Baby - Clint Eastwood
  • The Professional - Luc Besson


  • Deer Hunter - Michael Cimino ("Put an empty chamber in the gun!")
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Midnight Express - Alan Parker (written by Oliver Stone)

Military virtue (or lack of)

  • Breaker Morant - Bruce Beresford.  Also about reality -- another Rashômon
  • Bridge on the River Kwai - David Lean
  • The Departed - Martin Scorsese.  About loyalty and other things.  The original version, Infernal Affairs, is listed in a different category -- transformation.
  • Gandhi - Richard Attenborough
  • Gettysburg - Ronald F. Maxwell
  • Grand Illusion - Jean Renoir
  • Henry V - Laurence Olivier or Kenneth Branagh
  • Lawrence of Arabia - David Lean
  • Patton - Franklin Schaffner
  • Saving Private Ryan - Steven Spielberg.  This movie must be seen in its original widescreen format. It contains many lessons applicable to immunics, including what we might encounter if we use immunics to fight for humanity instead of for our own narrow interests.
  • Sergeant Rutledge - John Ford (suggested by the Geator with the Heater)
  • The Duellists - Ridley Scott (one of Keely's favorite movies)
  • The Emperor and the Assassin - Chen Kaige

Power / getting results

  • Aviator, The - Martin Scorsese
  • Goodfellas - Martin Scorsese
  • La Reine Margot (Queen Margot) - Patrice Chéreau
  • Triumph of the Will - Leni Riefenstahl

Negative/questionable beingness/evil

  • Amadeus - Milos Forman
  • Bound By Honor (aka Blood In, Blood Out) - Taylor Hackford. One of the most important American films ever made and a very difficult film to watch. It's a three-hour-long film about Chicano gangs in prison. It's also a quintessential film about evil.
  • Damned, The - Luchino Visconti
  • Dangerous Liaisons - Stephen Frears
  • Grizzly Man - Werner Herzog
  • Karei-naru ichizoku (The Family) - Satsuo Yamamoto. About a banking family - a quintessential film on evil.
  • Longford - Tom Hooper, starring Jim Broadbent.  Notable for the way Longford interacts with evil and tries to keep his connection to God at the same time.
  • Needful Things - about disinformation & driving wedges. You can also observe examples of dimensions up to 27th, including 11th, 16th, 25th.
  • Pan's Labyrinth - Guillermo del Toro
  • The Player - Robert Altman. A quintessential film about evil.
  • The Shining - Stanley Kubrick
  • Sugar Town - Allison Anders/Kurt Voss. This is a fun movie about hippies and glam rockers 20 years later, with almost every character in some form of questionable beingness at one time or another - but I've put it on this list especially for Rosanna Arquette's delightful way of interacting with people in negative beingness, especially her stepson  
  • Sweeney Todd - Tim Burton.  "Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while . . ."
  • Sword of Doom - Kihachi Okamoto
  • Unforgiven - Clint Eastwood


  • 8 1/2 - Federico Fellini
  • Apocalypse Now - Francis Ford Coppola
  • Barton Fink - Joel Coen
  • La Dolce Vita - Federico Fellini
  • Manchurian Candidate, The - John Frankenheimer
  • Nine Lives - Rodrigo Garcia
  • Passion of Jeanne d'Arc (silent) - Carl Dreyer. Some consider Maria Falconetti's performance the greatest ever on film. Done almost entirely in close-ups, without makeup, with the script mostly taken from the actual trial transcripts.
  • Providence - Alain Resnais
  • Runaway Train - Andrei Konchalovsky
  • Solaris - Steve Soderbergh
  • The Game - David Fincher
  • The Illusionist - Neil Burger

Safety / observing the presence or absence of the Harmonic safety web 

  • Jerry Maguire - Cameron Crowe
  • Lawrence of Arabia - David Lean.  OPEC was formed a little more than 50 years after Lawrence attempted to create it, so you could say that while he did not succeed, he had an effect.
  • Lost Horizon (the 1937 version) - Frank Capra
  • Philadelphia - Jonathan Demme
  • Resurrection (1980)- Daniel Petrie
  • Silence of the Lambs - Jonathan Demme
  • The Unforgiven - Clint Eastwood


  • all Kenji Mizoguchi films. All of them are magnificent.
  • Citizen X - Chris Gerolmo (also about disinformation)
  • Clockers - Spike Lee - in fact, all the films of Spike Lee, who is one of the great humanists of our time
  • Do the Right Thing - Spike Lee 
  • Grand Illusion - Jean Renoir
  • Iceman - Fred Schepisi
  • La Dolce Vita - Federico Fellini
  • Les Misérables - the 1995 French version directed by Claude Lelouch is amazing. -KS
  • Q & A - Sidney Lumet
  • Rules of the Game - Jean Renoir
  • The Sweet Hereafter - Atom Egoyan
  • Taxi Driver - Martin Scorsese


  • Citizen X - Chris Gerolmo 
  • Civil War, The - Ken Burns (PBS series - 9 tapes)
  • Gettysburg - Ronald F. Maxwell
  • Guns of Navarone, The - J. Lee Thompson
  • Lawrence of Arabia - David Lean
  • Marathon Man - John Schlesinger
  • Miller's Crossing - Joel Coen
  • Sanjuro - Kurosawa
  • Year of the Dragon - Michael Cimino


  • Bang the Drum Slowly - John Hancock. Contains good demonstrations of empowerment (and the opposite).
  • King Rat - Bryan Forbes
  • Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence - Nagisa Oshima
  • Silence of the Lambs - Jonathan Demme. Typical student-teacher events and illusions are illustrated.
  • Stand and Deliver - Ramon Menendez
  • The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - Tommy Lee Jones
  • Tout Les Matins du Monde - Alain Corneau


  • French Connection, The - John Frankenheimer
  • Godfather, The (Parts I & II) - Francis Ford Coppola. Parts I & II must be viewed together - treat these as one movie. You can also get The Godfather Saga, Coppola's chronological edit of both parts.
  • The Wind (1928, silent) - Victor Sjöström


  • ? a film with Jean-Louis Trintignant about a serial killer shooting people with a rifle with a telescopic sight. Trintignant is the detective who catches him. (Possibly An Assassin Passes, 1982?)
  • Birgit Haas Must Be Killed - Laurent Heyneman
  • Bluebeard - Claude Chabrol. One of the most visually perfect films ever made. Chabrol is the Alfred Hitchcock of France. He draws heavily on Hitchcock for his metaphor but is also way beyond Hitchcock. The artistic milieu in which he swims is more modern and more sophisticated.
  • Sleeping Car Murders, The - Constantin Costa-Gavras. The quintessential French thriller.
  • This Man Must Die - Claude Chabrol
  • Wedding in Blood - Claude Chabrol


  • All Stanley Kubrick films. Kubrick's films recreate time. They all examine some kind of time point or period. The theme of The Shining is the invasion of the future by the past. Barry Lyndon actually recreates an ancient time. The future is recreated in 2001. Dr. Strangelove is about a particular point in time which is both the present and not the present - it's about the point in time that's the inception of the third World War. It examines a moment in history. . The horror of The Shining is that the characters are trapped in a specific space-time warp. Look at the way Kubrick photographs space in the shining - he uses space as the horror. The space in The Shining is open and closed at the same time.
  • All Yasahiro Ozu films. His films are about the passing of time.
  • Y Tu Mamá También - Alfonso Cuarón.  Also a great comedy.


  • Conversation, The - Francis Ford Coppola
  • Enchanted April - Mike Newell
  • Infernal Affairs (Chinese title: Moo Gan Dou) - Wai Keung Lau/Siu Fai Mak.  This is the film Martin Scorsese's The Departed was based on.
  • I've Heard the Mermaids Singing - Patricia Rozema
  • One-Eyed Jacks - Marlon Brando. Brando took over directing for Stanley Kubrick halfway through the film.
  • Rise to Power of Louis XIV, The - Roberto Rossellini
  • Seconds - John Frankenheimer (in the transformation category, but really a movie about death)
  • The Painted Veil - John Curran
  • True Believer - Joseph Ruben

Virtual reality

  • Grizzly Man (documentary) - Werner Herzog
  • Memento - Christopher Nolan
  • Open Water - Chris Kentis.  How long does it take the characters to face the situation they're in? 
  • The Dead Zone - David Cronenberg.  You watch Christopher Walken trying to crack through people's virtual realities
  • Partisans of Vilna (1986). Especially the passage about Abba Kovner's legendary 1941 underground meeting and manifesto. He was trying to convey to the people of his ghetto that all Jews were marked for death. It's like trying to tell someone you can cure cancer
  • The Safety of Objects - great for observing different people in their various virtual realities
  • Singles - Cameron Crowe.  Bridget Fonda's character starts out in complete denial when it comes to her relationship with Matt Dillon's character -- she's in her own virtual reality. It's wonderful to observe how she gradually unswitches herself and becomes someone with genuine emotional immunity (not the hardness that some people substitute for  immunity).  


  • 8 Femmes - Francois Ozon
  • I've Heard the Mermaids Singing - Patricia Rozema
  • Raise the Red Lantern - Zhang Yi-mou & Yang Feng Liang
  • Rider on the Rain - Rene Clement
  • Secretary - Steven Shainberg.  Maggie Gyllenhaal embodies a woman who unswitches herself over the course of the movie. Also a wicked comedy and love story.
  • The Story of Qiu Ju - Zhang Yi-mou & Yang Feng Liang
  • The Women - George Cukor
  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother) - Pedro Almodóvar

Dear Colleague, Please e-mail us your recommendations, including category, for films to add to this list.

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Revised 01/11/09