11.6.06

Movie Magic

I cringe every time someone or some fill-in-the-blank profile asks me, off-hand, what my favorite movies are--as if it were a simple question. Movie favorites are like choosing a short-term weltansicht ('worldview'-- Ger. The general attitude toward life and reality an individual or character demonstrates.), a complete thematic impression and dynamic of the world. Would you rather live in a world according to the rules and in the style of Star Wars for an hour and a half, or Amélie, or Tomb Raider? It's not just a temporary entertainment choice, favorite movies represent our preference for how reality tastes when we can choose its flavor, a mode of perception preference. The best movies successfully permit this out-of-body transition, no matter what extraordinary, wonderful or terrible experiences they bring.

Ebert published a post on the top 102 films (he thinks) you must see before you're film literate (via kottke).
I'm no Siskel & Ebert, taking the cheap-thrill action Blockbuster right along with those black-turtleneck film noirs, but apparently I care. Take this as a random list to have on hand for the gray days you don't want to rent something lame from Blockbuster.

Anyway, never giving a straight answer to the favorite movie question, it makes it easy for me to forget what exactly it is I like. So, making this list is as much a memory jog for myself as for anyone else. Not necessarily must-sees, but what I'd recommend (subject to random memory burps):

Spies/Lightsabers/Masks/Mafia
Star Wars (II-VI), Bourne Identity - Bourne Supremacy, The Usual Suspects, Lord of the Rings (I-III), James Bond 007 (select), V for Vendetta, The Godfather (I-III), Kill Bill (I-II), Scarface, To Catch a Thief, The Rock, Indiana Jones (I-III), The Pink Panther, Zorro (I), Air Force One, The Great Escape, Catch Me If You Can, Bonnie and Clyde,

Romantic/Uplifting
Amélie, Garden State, La Vita à Bella (Life is Beautiful), The Shawshank Redemption, Swingers, Goodwill Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle, It's a Wonderful Life, Moonstruck, Rainman, Coyote Ugly, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Albert Schweitzer, Apollo 13, The Basketball Diaries,

Ridiculous
Napoleon Dynamite, Office Space, Dr. Strangelove, American Pie (I), Spaceballs, Team America, Thank You for Smoking, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, History of the World Part One, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Four Rooms, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Waiting for Guffman, Go, Robinhood Men in Tights, Trainspotting,

Childhood/Childish
Home Alone, The Sandlot, Stand by Me, Sprited Away, Back to the Future (I & III), An American Tail, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, X-Men (I & 2), The King and I (original), Singing in the Rain, Legends of the Fall, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Labyrinth, Never Ending Stories, Adventures in Babysitting, Forrest Gump, Reality Bites, The Goonies, Harry Potter (I-V), Varsity Blues (laugh it up), Cyrano De Bergerac (original), Big,

Just Different
Mirror Mask, Fight Club, Seven, 12 Monkeys, Silence of the Lambs, A Clockwork Orange, May, Dark City, Being John Malkovic, Pulp Fiction, The Graduate, North by Northwest, Donny Darko, American Psycho, Hannibal, Ghost World, Pi,
Harold and Maude, Memento, The Butterfly Effect, Ghost in the Shell, American Beauty,

Artsy/Suspense
Run Lola Run, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Bicycle Thief, Raise the Red Lantern, 8 1/2, Schindler's List, Amadeus, Waking Life, The Fountainhead, The Constant Gardener, The Pianist, Maltese Falcon, Vertigo, La Dolce Vita, The Birds, Psycho, Doctor Zhivago, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Buena Vista Social Club, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Red Violin, The Last Temptation of Christ, Dead Man Walking, Cider House Rules,

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.
- Jean-Paul Sartre


2 Comments:

supernova17 said...

Hey, just wanted to thank you for adding me to your friends list on digg. This is supernova17 btw. Nice favorite movies list, The Usual Suspects and V for Vendetta are definitely in my top 20.

Later.

playfulmind said...

SN17 - thanks for the digg add too --- hopefully diggers can contact one another more directly in the future -- but thanks for visitng my page

(SN17 is my favorite supernova :o)