Monday, June 21, 2010
Dirty Dozen Blogfest
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...
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.
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.
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.
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!