Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Choosing Just One

Nique wants to know what my favorite film is. What should I tell him? I love watching movies; I can escape for a few hours in the middle of my day and just feel something else. Make new friends, make new enemies, appreciate the art, become embittered at the loss of 2 hours and 8 bucks. Unlike a book, there is no real commitment of time or energy. Just have a seat and look forward--dazed and confused for a few hours. If it's a good movie, you feel something, you have a physical and emotional reaction-- not a mental one. A good movie doesn't allow me to think until after the ride is over, until after I have had time to process the content. A good movie puts me in the moment.

I have been thinking and searching (because I don't have my video/dvd library with me in Paris, I can't just look through it and weigh each film's merits, but here is a list of films I absolutely couldn't survive without. They come from all different genres, all different eras and movements, and I know I have left several out (but that's why we have a comments section! Let me know what you think of my random list and tell me what you think should've made it.).


Big Lebowski, the (1998): Dude! This has one of the all-time greatest casts in filmdom.

Bottle Rocket (1994): I really believe Dignan to be the most endearing film character of all time. In high school, my 3 best friends would join me for Bottle Rockets nights. I miss them.

Clue (1985): If you have not seen this film, you are not allowed back to my sight until you have.

Fargo (1996): BRILLIANT! I have since perfected my mid-western accent. Oh yea, you betcha!

Goonies, the (1985): I grew up vacationing next to where they filmed it, but more than that, I still love this movie! Note: Sean Austin is in three of my all time favorites (four if you count Encino Man, but let's not).

Groundhog's Day (1993): most people I know hate this film. I love it, and the more I see it, the more I love it.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975): "I fart in your general direction" I know most people prefer The Life of Brian-- I am embarrassed to admit I've never seen it.

Pink Panther, the (1963): It's the first one and the best one. But sign me up for anything with Peter Sellers.

Princess Bride, the (1987): "Stop that rhyming and I mean it! -Anybody want a peanut?"

Resovoir Dogs (1992): IMDB lists this as a crime drama/thriller, but I'm a pretty sick fuck and I laughed the whole time. Steven Wright on KBILLY, Michael Madsen dancing and singing to 'Stuck in the Middle With You' and lopping a cop's ear off? How could anyone not? This is also one of my favorite Harvey Keitel roles of all time, and by far, my favorite Taratino movie.

Secretary (2002): James Spader, how I love thee, let me count the ways! This is about as far as I'll venture into the romantic comedy genre-- and it's one of the better ever made. Low budget, smart, sexy, funny.

Spaceballs (1987): And they say the 80's was a bad decade for film! So, Prince Valium, Joan Rivers and a Mog walk into a bar...

Waiting For Guffman (1996): I love Christoper Guest. I love Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, and, of course This is Spinal Tap, and I am considering them all one entry ( and dispute me on this one if you will) but of the four Best In Show is my favorite.

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Dune (1984): This was the first VHS my family ever owned.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988): This is my all-time favorite movie about alien clowns who terrorize a small town by putting people into cotton candy pods then drink their blood with silly straws.

Lord of the Rings, the trilogy (2001-2003): duh!

The Matrix (1999): sorry, the other two sucked and there is no place for them on my list.

Omega Man (1971): "Soilent Green is People!" Okay, wrong movie, it's just that that is much better than any of the quotes from this film. But I do love it, Heston is so cool and he does 'Jungle Fever' much better than Wesley Snipes.

Poltergeist 1 & 2 (1982, 1986): "Go into the Light, Carol Anne." The third one was awful. I still flinch when I watch these films.

Red Sonia (1985): I wanted to be her! I grew up watching this movie again and again, and as I grew taller, I knew that someday, my destiny was to star in a hip buddy-cop movie with Eddie Murphy and, later, marry Flavor Flav.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): Tim Curry-- my first major crush! Okay, it's still going pretty strong.

Scream the Trilogy (1996-2000): All three are brilliant, all three are worth watching several times.

Total Recall (1990): I remember being 10 years old and going to see this film in the theatre. Forget the Terminators, this is the best Schwarzenagger film of all time.

Zombie Flicks (they get their own category-- I love them too much!)

28 Days Later (2002): The zombies were fast, violent, and the make-up was awesome.

Dawn of the Dead (2004): Maybe it's because I saw Romero's for the first time when I was younger and couldn't fully grasp his genius (and I do believe the man is a genius), but I prefer the remake.

Reanimator (1985): good ole fashioned gore fest.

Shawn of the Dead (2004): A smart, funny homage to Romero. Look for filmmakers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's zombie cameos in Romero's new flick: Land of the Dead.

Drama/ Musicals

7 Brides for 7 Brothers I just love the oversimplified take on love and 'courtin'' And the songs are amazing.

The BBC's Pride and Predjudice (1995): It's seven hours and I think I've seen it twenty times. I loved, loved the novel and Colin Firth is the most perfect Darcy in the whole world.

Easter Parade, the (1948): Favorite Fred Astaire movie-- yes, I like it even better than Swing Time.

In The Name Of The Father (1993): I sob when the father dies and the prisoners drop their burning papers out the window. Sob. And, again, anything with Daniel Day Lewis is for me.

Rudy (1993): one of the greatest sports movies of all time.

Singing In The Rain (1952): I had a big crush on Donald O'Connor. I was a weird little kid.

Sound of Music (1965): The sentimental favorite.

Tombstone (1993): Val Kilmer should've gotten an oscar out of this.


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): possibly my all-time favorite movie. Ever.

Elf (2003): fairly recent, but an instant classic.

A Christmas Story (1983): "Fragilé- that must be Italian."

Foreign Language

Anatomie (2000): there are parts of this film that make me wonder what the director was thinking and other parts that leave me awestruck.

Commitments, the (1991): "Don't sing with your accents: It's ride, Sally, ride-- not roid, Sally, roid." This is in English, but was too charming and smart for me to consider it as anything else. Waking Ned Devine also falls into this category.

Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000): I (heart) kung fu, and this film is just too phenomenal. Also, Chow Yun Fat is so pretty-- cannot. resist. hot. chinese man. He is more of a gangster in a hot suit in most of his other films, but silk frocks and swords work for him too.

Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, le (2001): I am listening to the soundtrack right now. How do you not fall in love with Jeunet's films?

Lola rennt (1998): Even my mother (who's tastes tend to be very conservative and vanilla) loved this movie.

Monsoon Wedding (2001): Mira Nair's use of color and photography are phenomenal, acting is strong and the end product left me wanting more.

Nikita (1990): Luc Besson should have murdered John Badham for Point of No Return.

Quatre cents coups, Les (1959): I am including the entire collection as one entry. The life of Antoine Doniel changed the way I watched movies. Truffaut's oeuvre is quite remarkable, but these remain my favorite.

And now that I have taken the trouble to write all of that out, I realize there are about 100 more that I should add. I feel torn and slightly disloyal. This is too hard. You'll notice that most of these films are fairly recent-- within the last two decades. I like classic, older films, but rarely do they fall into my 'favorites' list.

(see full animation with sound)

So, comments section is officially open for feedback and criticism.


Blogger Nique Zool said...

Wow - quite a post.

Well, you got me with you on most of them. I'm not a zombie kind of guy, but I can sort of see the attraction to something groggy and oozey.
Great selection on the foreign films (especially 400 blows - what an ending). Clue is a personal love of mine. I literally can't think of anything better from my early years (it had double endings?!?). Big Lebowski - great cast, indeed. Lets just pretend Intolerable Cruelty never happened. I think I would have put Rushmore in with the comedies - but like all films its about the mood you go in with. Never seen Bottle Rocket - very desperate now.

Oh, check my latest post in answer to your q on my blog.

take care,

12:39 PM  
Blogger Nique Zool said...

Oh, another thing.

On the Omega Man - read the very short novlette it was based on. Its by Richard Matheson, I think its called The Last Man on Earth. See which one you think is better.


12:43 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

Thanks for the tip-- I will do that, perhaps in French.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I liked a lot of your choices. I recently found Poltergiest on DVD and bought it! LOVE that one. :)

8:18 PM  

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