Monday, June 21, 2010

Dirty Dozen Blogfest

First off, HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE and WELCOME TO NAKED SEASON!


Okay, on to the blog...

Alex Cavanaugh is hosting a Dirty Dozen Blogfest where we are all giving our favorite twelve all time movies. And, I'm sure quite unintentionally, I've learned something.

The books I've loved tend to be dark, torturous things... the TV series I've liked best have been a bit twisted (X-files, Twin Peaks, Lost) but the movies I love, are largely FUNNY. Now why would that be? My analysis has concluded that it's because while I love a dark or twisted movie, it is only good for 2 or 3 watches because the dark or twisted thing being unknown is part of the appeal and it is not all that interesting anymore. FUNNY movies become sort of a part of you—you remember lines that you quote to other people to test who is ALSO in the club of being a fan for that movie... (or maybe this is just the nuts I hang out with). Books and TV shows, I don't tend to consume over and over and over, with the notable exception of Harry Potter, which has both humor and several layers of story... and like the movies I love, I have portions memorized and have bonded with others over it.

So without further ado...

12) The Brothers Grimm. Compared to the rest of my list, this is an odd inclusion because it is relatively newer and so far as I know, just was not that big of a deal, but I adore it—the fairy tale gone wrong—the con men getting sucked into having to REALLY do what they claimed they could do but never had... I adore Heath Ledger as Jacob the 'believer'. It just mixes a lot of things I really love in a story, and I think because of the fantastical piece, I can watch it over and over.

11) The Thing. I think the brilliance here is you take the closed room murder idea and give it a Lovecraftian 'evil alien that's been hiding in the ground' twist. It isn't terribly different plotwise from Alien, but I think the monster that can take on the appearance of anyone it touches adds fabulously to the tension.

10) My Cousin, Vinny. Marissa Tomei MAKES this movie. “Oh. You blend.” *snort* She is divine! I like the premise and the set up, and I like the interaction of Joe Pesci and what's his name that used to be Herman Munster as lawyer and judge respectably, but this is her movie.

9) The Birds. I love Alfred Hitchcock. I am a much bigger fan of psychological fear and tension than horror—I don't want to see the blood and gore, but Hitchcock has such skill with giving us the heebie jeebies with only a minimum of actual gore, and this is my favorite of his. (My daughter is even a fan).

8) Animal House. This silly tale is a classic, but it happens to be a classic that was filmed at the University of Oregon. My freshman year, my dorm mates and I used to enact scenes from it on our way to and from parties and this movie that would probably be too typically American for me worked its way into my heart.

7) Grease. This gets placement because I think everyone needs a musical that sort of is an important life place-holder. Grease came out when I was in 7th grade-right at the age girls start really paying attention to pop culture. Some of the girls in my neighborhood and I used to try to start the soundtrack exactly at the same time so we could get it outside in surround sound (before surround sound was a term) but we never succeeded.  I think it was a nice ease out of 'pretending', too--we could sing and act like we were just singing, but in your head you could hang onto youth just a little longer.

6) Lord of the Rings. This is me giving in to larger than life movies. It's a great tale—honestly one of few stories that I think was done better on screen than as originally written (because while Tolkein wrote a great tale, he was also a wordy prude). I admit Viggo Mortenson played no small role in selling this to me... hummina hummina! (wouldn't kick Eomer, Faramir, Boromir or Legolas out of bed either...) Yes... a fine collection of eye-candy. I am putting the trilogy here, though if I have to choose a favorite, it is the second.

5) It's a Wonderful Life. I love this tale of doubt and redemption. It is actually how I like my literature—a moment of crisis, a dark meandering, and discovery that the answer was in you all the time—what better story is there than that? We watch it as a family every Christmas—one of few traditions we've managed to create.

4) My highest ranked non-comedy. Gone with the Wind. The first time I saw any portion of this my mom was watching our new colored TV. I was about seven and we'd only had a black & white before that (even though families with more money had had them for a good ten or fifteen years by then). I walked into the living room and my mom was crying—I looked to the TV and there was Scarlet in that red dress Rhett was making her wear. I didn't understand but was completely absorbed. All through my childhood every time I would stumble across it, I was then sucked in to the end, though I think I was eleven the first time I saw it in a theater, start to finish.

3) Young Frankenstein. (Frahn-ken-steen) I love Gene Wilder and the rest of this fabulous cast—the zaniness of Madeline Kahn, the sublime Peter Boyle—overlaying the ridiculous on this dark tale—the innuendo. FABULOUS.

2) Princess Bride. I ordered this with a video club thing when my daughter was about three and had NO IDEA what a treasure it was. I think it is the most quotable movie of all time.  Very fun story, but the WORDS!  (I love words--especially put together really really well).

1) Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail/ Life of Brian. I am putting these together, though they could easily consume both first and second place, but the reasons I love them are so incredibly overlapping, and the Monty Python sub-culture relates to both. I love inane silliness committed with a British accent. I watched Holy Grail with my kids a couple weeks ago and kept saying, “Oh, this is my favorite part... no wait, THIS is my favorite part! Oh, no—I love this part. Oh my god, this is my favorite part. I start giggling the minute the credits about the moose start rolling and giggle all the way to the end. Life of Brian, similarly—actually Life of Brian has a BETTER ending.

*whistles* (listen here)
“Always look on the bright side of life.”




So there we have it... my Dirty Dozen favorite movies...


In Other News

I have guests for the next two days, but starting tomorrow we have our streak of Burrow Birthdays. Jason is the 22nd, I am the 23rd, and Natasha/Rayna is the 24th... all right in a row, starting the moment Gemini roles into Cancer. I've had a long theory about this being a spot where the sensitive, emotional Cancer feels compelled to do the Gemini COMMUNICATING about it. I've thought a great deal about this placement ever since meeting Natasha and realizing there was a person on the opposite side of the world who looked at the world in a more similar way to me than any person I've ever met elsewhere. Then again, we were both born on Thursday, on top of almost the same day. Anyway... since I will have guests tomorrow and on my ACTUAL birthday, Thursday (the day it should happen, after all) I will be throwing a little birthday party... Speaking of parties... Don't forget if you want to win a critique, to go back and leave a comment on the Tartiversary comments!

35 comments:

arlee bird said...

Interesting choices on everyone's lists so far--not much overlapping. You've picked some really good ones here. My mother was certain that It's a Wonderful Life would be on my list, but it wasnt'. But it's a good one.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Old Kitty said...

Awww great choices of movies here!! Monty Python are the best though - I love em and they always make me look on the bright side of life. He's not the son of god, he's a very naughty boy!

Happy Birthday you Cancerians born on the cusp!!! Your Gemini side ought to see y'all open the lines of communication with a touch of watery sensitivity that cancerians are re-knowned the world over (says a biased fellow watery waif!).

Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Princess Bride makes my next list! And LOTR seems to be everyone's favorite. Mel Brooks is a good choice - I went with Blazing Saddles.

Mason Canyon said...

Love your selection of movies. The Thing (both versions) is a great movie and I'd say The Birds and Young Frankenstein are both classics.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Watery Tart said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! It's so interesting to contrast people's lists--there are generational pieces, and personality pieces...

OldKitty-LOVE finding another Python fan! I have some people I like that don't like it, but I've never found anybody who loves it that I DON'T like...

Alex--Mel Brooks was my VERY favorite director as a kid--also a fan of History of the World Part One.

Tessa Conte said...

hehe great list! Python are the best! And happy b-day in advance!

Sugar said...

Omg I could watch My cousin Vinny over and over..what great movies!!

Jan Morrison said...

Tartlette - I like lots of these movies. I have one neat thing to tell you - many years ago one of my closest pals and I went on a trip to England and Scotland. We visited the castle in Scotland that is used for EVERY castle in M.P's Holy Grail. And no one was there but we two gals and the guide who was exactly like Sean Connery. Could life get any sweeter! I may post you a photo from out the gate (not of the castle but still...)

Watery Tart said...

Jan--when I was in Scotland two years ago we tried SO HARD to work that castle into our trip, but we had to be in Glasgow because of my conference for a certain amount of time and then get to Wales the next day, so there just wasn't the time in the middle to go that way. I'm definitely jealous! (we did do a French Taunting from the Cardiff Castle though)

Thanks everyone!

Southpaw said...

I just rewatched Monty Python. It's so great. So is Brothers Grimm and - well every movie you've listed.

Amy said...

We have 3 favorite movies in common! Nice. :)

Happy -almost- birthday!

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Monty Python! Fabulous, all of it. We have a lot of the same movies in common. Princess Bride another great movie it should be on every list in my opinion ;) Happy Birthday (early) and I'll say it again on the actual day.

B. Miller said...

Wonderful list, Hart! We do have a couple of overlapping ones... I ALMOST put Gone With the Wind on my list, but it lost out because I realized I haven't seen it in years and years and wasn't sure if I was just all sentimental about it because it's so Southern. ;)

Love this list!!

Lola Sharp said...

I love your list..it has a bit of everything in it! (Lola love her MP movies, and also agree that Viggo is yummy).

More importantly---HAPPY (early) BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

RaShelle said...

Funny girl. I get the club thing. Nothing better than cracking up with friends AND strangers over a funny movie! Monty Python, it was something we HAD to watch in college. What's so funny about that is my 12 year old has already watched and found it to be hilarious. Go figure. LOL

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A fine list, I loved watching The Birds many years ago, a most informative post.

Yvonne.

Falen said...

The Thing and The Birds - YES for both of those!
LOVE THEM!

Also i'm sad that i forgot Holy Grail. i should be ashamed

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Happy to see LOTR and Monty Python on your list! My regular Friday post, "And now for something completely different..." always opens with a Python quote.

Helen Ginger said...

Happy Birthday! I like going to the movies, but don't go all that often...and yet, I've seen most of the ones you mentioned. Yay!

Helena said...

My own fave rave is Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Secondhand Lions also high on my list. It's kinda scary that I seem to have the cinematic tastes of a young boy.

Cold As Heaven said...

Happened to read your post, and thought I could write down my 12. In fact we had, let me see ... zero movies in common >:)

Cold As Heaven

Michelle Gregory said...

how could i have forgotten Princess Bride? slipped my mind, i suppose. i can only keep so much in there without other things spilling out. like my work in progress. that should probably stay. Princess Bride had to go. thanks for stopping by b. chaos.

Michelle Gregory said...

love your "about me" btw.

Carol Fleisher said...

Great list. I can't believe I forgot to put "The Birds" on my list! Good job. :)

Watery Tart said...

Look at all these comments! I love it! Blog fests are fabulous for that, aren't they?

There were indeed tons of movies I noted today that I ALSO love, and should confess that we OWN the Harry Potter, Raiders, Star Wars, and Terminator collections (proving my love). I think my top 6 are unshakable, but the rest probably could have been swizzled around on a different day with a bunch of other movies I really enjoy.

Thanks so much everyone for stopping by!

Ann said...

Great list of films. The month of June is pretty busy in my family too.

Watery Tart said...

In my FAMILY most of the cousins are June birthdays--4 of 7, which considering there are 12 months, is pretty substantial! It is the month of planned babies though--if you think about when you want to have a baby--it is so you are never uncomfortably pregnant when it's super hot, never off balance when it's slippery, and can take your maternity leave when it's nice outside. Smart women have their babies in May and June!

LTM said...

LOL! naked season... yuk yuk yuk. I'm all for it considering it was prob. 85 degrees at 7 a.m. today here. Happy b'day to you! Mine's 6/24.
And there you go. (I've had that thought about the signs, too...)
Down w/movie list, although couldn't do LOTR. I'm sorry. I know. But I have a problem w/creatures. Princess Bride, check; Any Monty Python.. I have a hard time narrowing down movies, though. I love, love, love movies and tend to watch anything. Well, anything w/o creatures. ;p

Isaac Becker said...

You should know that I actually have a cousin Vinny. He's on my dad's side of the family. Guess what he does for a living...

You should also know that your second favorite movie is showing at the top of the park tomorrow at 10! It's one of my favorites too, and although it might not be that high on my list, it's the only movie on this list that I have performed as part of a speech competition in high school. We did the scene with Buttercup and Wesley that ends with him rolling down the hill as he yells, "As You Wish!" Ah, memories...

P.S. My cousin Vinny is a lawyer. Seriously. I don't know how he picked that profession.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Whoo-hoo Monti! You know I half expected you to have that! :o) I know what you mean abot things 'fitting'. It's so true! Nice picks!

Watery Tart said...

*giggles at Leigh's creature phobia* Not an Orc fan, then? Even with Viggo shoving a sword through them? Or that Urban boy (can't keep my Urbans straight) burning a pile of 'em?) VERY interesting that you are the 24th! You need to find Rayna--she shares your day (Coffee Rings Everywhere)

Isaac--MAN! I would love to go up for that--half debating not working tomorrow, as it's my BIRTHDAY, and then it would even be feasible... I will have to think about that, now... *giggles* cousin Vinny the lawyer... I have a cousin Andy the lawyer but it just doesn't sound the same, does it?

Thanks Jessica!

LTM said...

No. And JRM (hubby) is a HUGE LOTR fan. He's also always watching ST:TNG in the a.m. Walked in yesterday to some lizard thing on the giant TV.
LTM--Gah! Honey. Seriously. Gross.

OK, and Rayna is like my Indian doppleganger... no. that's the wrong word. Except for the photog part, we're like the same person. :D (only it looks like she's no longer blogging--?)

must work now~ TTFN!

Watery Tart said...

She still blogs... daily in fact. She is part of my writer's group and we refer to each other as Thursday twins (both born on the 4th Thursday in June) and have pretty much everything in common also, though I ALSO do not do the photography thing, which means you and I are also basically twins!

Ha! So how's that?!

Gregg said...

I liked My Cousin Vinny. Good list.

LTM said...

I musta gone to the wrong place--I'll check it out... (Hey! My b'days on the 4th Thursday this year! but I don't recall the day I was born. :o|)