Monday, April 03, 2006

This Is Not A Meme

It seems I've been tagged all the way from Thailand by the lovely Tim from Cultural Snow. Gosh, how far the internet's tentricles reach, eh?

The game with this one is to think of the Ten Best Films ever, then scrap that list, and list your Ten Favourite Films instead. For which, phew, quite frankly. I'm no film buff, so I'd have no chance of creating a list of Best Films Ever. But favourites, now, that I can do.

My film appreciation criteria are more or less the same as my music appreciation criteria: it's mainly to do with the words. Spiky, witty dialogue, that's what I like*. So here, in no particular order, are my Ten Favourite Films, with bonus facetious commentary:

1. Withnail and I: Yes, yes, I know, say what you like, but there's never been a more perfectly quotable film, ever. Every line a classic. *And* it's British. Hurrah!

2. Amélie: A friend and I were discussing at the weekend why it is that France produces brilliant films but execrable pop music. We came to the conclusion that it's because the French are just too spookily comfortable with their own emotions. They may be, but we Brits aren't, and that's why I can never quite establish why this film makes me cry so much. Also, it's so pretty to look at that I've got a poster of it in my bedroom. It's a bit like sharing a two-man dormitory with Audrey Tautou, and she never turns the light off, which is quite annoying.

3. Ed Wood: Zombies! Aliens! Bela Lugosi! A giant inanimate octopus! A cross-dressing Johnny Depp in an angora sweater! The best dialogue of any film that isn't Withnail & I! What more do you need?

4. Ghostbusters: My unseemly love of geeks was almost entirely formed by Dr Egon Spengler. "I collect spores, moulds, and fungus." Ooh, baby.

5. Lost In Translation: Because any film that has the Jesus and Mary Chain on the soundtrack gets my vote.

6. Memento: I could claim to admire it for its sheer cleverness and technical innovation and all that, but really it's probably something a bit more straightforward to do with Guy Pearce. Moving on...

7. A Knight's Tale. We don't really have to talk about why I like this one, do we? Oh, alright then. More attractive men per square inch of celluloid than any other film, ever. Paul Bettany as a periodically naked Geoffrey Chaucer? ("Chaucer's the name, writing's the game" etc.) Has to be a winner.

8. A Beautiful Mind. Maths geeks and secret codes - only two of my favourite things ever! I wanted this all to be true soooo much that I can only watch it up to halfway. Russell Crowe hideously miscast. Paul Bettany sadly remains fully clothed throughout. Never mind.

9. Sleepy Hollow: Excellent comedy turn from the boy Depp, doing his best Withnail impression. He's so clearly a comic actor that I don't know why anyone ever bothers asking him to do serious stuff.

10. Swingers: It's cool, it's funny, it's got some cracking dialogue, and Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are just great.

God, that was awful. Anyone else want a go?


* Although now I've made the list, it seems that I like attractive men almost as much as I like spiky, witty dialogue. Tsk, whatever would Seven of Nine say?


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35 comments:

Tim Footman said...

Do I detect a Bill Murray thing going on here?

Excellent choice. And I do like the idea of sharing a dormitory with Audrey Tautou. Crikey.

Good grief, I'm just listening to Start The Week on R4 (hooray for broadband) and David Baddiel has felt the need to tell the world that he's Jewish. Does the Pope shit in the woods, etc etc?

Interpreter Pavlov said...

Why, oh why haven't I heard of (except Ghostbusters years ago)or seen ANY of these films? What do I have to DO to keep UP? Is it too LATE? Oh, the TURMOIL I'm in.

patroclus said...

Hmm, two showings apiece for Bill Murray, Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany. I didn't really count myself as a big Bill Murray fan, but come to think of it he is great, isn't he?

David Baddiel Jewish? Never! Graham Norton'll be telling us he's gay next.

Dave again said...

'I can only watch it up to halfway... Paul Bettany sadly remains fully clothed throughout.'

How do you know?

patroclus said...

Well obviously I watched it all the way through once, Dave, otherwise how would I know when to stop watching on subsequent viewings?

Dave again said...

That's OK then.

I share my bedroom with film posters featuring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Sigourney Weaver.

Tim Footman said...

3 for Bill Murray, sweetie. He was in Ed Wood as well, as Bunny.

patroclus said...

So he is. Bill Murray wins!

GreatSheElephant said...

Dave, you have posters in your bedroom?

Amelie made me cry too. With rage. I detested that film. I found her sickeningly annoying and not in the slightest bit deserving of a happy ending (unlike me, for example) and the bit about the obsessive and violent stalker guy wasn't funny or charming at all. The only bit I liked was the garden gnome. Why did it make you cry?

patroclus said...

I don't know why it makes me cry.

There was an obsessive, violent stalker? I don't remember that. But then I never remember much about any film. I'm not very good with pictures.

GreatSheElephant said...

Dominique Pinon (also from Delicatessan) who sat in the cafe all day being threatening and obsessive with a tape recorder. He frightened me.

Dave again said...

GSE: yes. Why? Is only Patroclus allowed them? I thought all divorced people were allowed to decorate their bedrooms as they saw fit.

Smat said...

I haven't had any posters on my bedroom wall since 1988. Not sure what that says about me (boring and grown-up probably!)
And P, surely sharing a dormitory with me has spoiled you for anyone else, even Audrey? If not, then I might just have to be offended.

patroclus said...

That could be read several ways, Smat. But rest assured you were a much better dorm-mate than Audrey.

That's "dorm" in the British sense of "communal, Spartan bedroom in a public school", for any US readers.

That's "public school" in the British sense of "private school that costs a lot of money to attend, unless, like Smat and me, you had a scholarship", for any US readers.

That's "scholarship" in the sense of...oh, I can't be bothered any more.

Smat said...

oops, yes, just re-read my comment, see what you mean. But it might give you an air of a Mysterious Past, no? No-one need know that all we used to do in the old days was giggle.

Dave again said...

I should add these are proper posters, framed and hung, not blu-tacked to the wall. Also my bedroom is the only part of my house not open to the public, so it's the only place I can safely put some artistic objects.

Betty said...

I've got to be the fly in the ointment here, because I hated Amelie. It's too much of a feelgood film for my tastes and I got so fed up of Audrey Tatou's cute rolling eyes and cute overbite that I wanted to go outside and kill somebody immediately afterwards.

Oh, AND I like a lot of French pop music.

Taking that into account along with my remarks about Green Wing, I may have to leave the country fairly soon.

patroclus said...

I'm more than willing to be proved wrong about French pop music, Betty. Do you want to leave me a suggested playlist before you emigrate?

patroclus said...

Mind you, I'd forgotten about Air, and Daft Punk, and MC Solaar.

GreatSheElephant said...

my suggestion is to avoid modern. I like cheesy stuff like Pierre Bachelet and Richard Cocciante.

Come to think of it Dave, I have an advertising poster on my wall.

patroclus said...

Sébastien Tellier...

Oh, alright. They're never going to make anything spiky and emotionally twisted, though, are they?

Are they?

Betty said...

Erm ... apart from Air, Sebastien Tellier, Daft Punk and MC Solaar there's Cerrone, or Space (nothing to do with the Liverpool band), or Cassius, or Etienne de Crecy, or Bob Sinclar, or Superfunk. I know that it's all disco music and it's all a bit old hat, but so am I.

Anyway, that Serge Gainsbourg was fairly spiky and emotionally twisted, wasn't he?

patroclus said...

I'm not familiar with the work of Serge Gainsbourg. But you're right, the rest of it is disco music. Just look at Tellier's website. "I want you to listen to this album alone and by candlelight," he says. Rubbish. You'll be listening to it in some painfully fashionable bar, or some Nathan-infested chill-out room (if that's what the kids are still calling them), or most likely at someone's Islington dinner party. Sébastien Tellier Is Playing At Geoff Dyer's House.

I do quite like that "La Ritournelle", though.

Spinsterella said...

A Knight's Tale?

It's my Flatmate's favourite film ever - though I would have thought that it was far too low-brow for your tastes P. You're right about the fit-men-count, though. My favourite was the evil dark-curly-haired guy.

I have 2 maps blu-tacked to my bedroom wall.

Leighton Cooke said...

Leon the Professional. Still my all time favourite. Also like "Dead Man" with Johnny Depp. This tentacle only got as far as Amsterdam. Must be stoned. Pastafari!

patroclus said...

Hello Leighton. I've yet to see Dead Man, but apparently it's great. Do feel free to pick up the whole "meme" if you feel so inclined. Same goes for everyone else. And I was delighted to discover that Chaucer's Bitch has tagged me with that 20 Songs post, so you've got that to - *ahem* - "look forward" to later this week. Well, I'm looking forward to it, anyway.

Wyndham said...

I like A Knight's Tale if only for the tiny little wooden London Eye on the skyline for London, which was cute.

surly girl said...

no dirty dancing? no sound of music? no big?

what, madam, where you thinking?

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Ooh, I'm impressed, I've actually seen most of these (not 7, 8 or 10) and pretty much agree with you. Although my list is quite different. And far too short. Only 10 movies? I keep thinking of ones I've left out...

smoo2 said...

Glad to see someone else appreciates the'talents' of Paul Bettany. I watch that film quite often.
Another fraise-blonde of course ;)

wv:qakov - a russian duck

patroclus said...

Scroob: I highly recommend Swingers; it's great. A Knight's Tale is particularly notable for James Unpronounceablename, who turns up at the end in an unbuttoned white shirt and fur-trimmed coat, much to my approbation.

Smoo: Yes, I find Paul Bettany to be particularly talented from the rear. (Not like *that*, you filthy people!)

Dave again said...

Would that be James Purefoy, who plays Sir Thomas Colville/Edward, the Black Prince?

frangelita said...

I love your list. And Paul Bettany. Did I mention that I quite like Paul Bettany?

DavetheF said...

Yeah, Withnail and I is the one I've watched most. Bruce Robinson seems pretty uptight about it, can't see what the fuss is about. He wrote The Killing Fields, you know. Memento is first class, seen that a few times, tempted to try the reverse version but that might spoil its magic forever. Lost in Translation, a film that you absorb like a good aromatherapy massage. Ghostbusters, check, Amelie, seeing that merry mug was enough to put me off, Beautiful Mind, OK once, then the secret is out. Gladiator, that's Russell's greatest hit. I have an inordinate jones for Alien and Alien 2, Blade Runner and The Abyss (not sure why I like that, except it's SF). And great car chase movies, topped by Bullitt and Ronin (John Frankenheimer's last hurrah).
Er, that's enough movies.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

arg! you didn't like russel crowe in a beautiful mind!?!? i thoght he gave one of the best performances i've ever seen on the screen. i believe my exact words were "performances like that justify the existance of film as a medium."

re seven of nine. known in my household as 'one of two and two of two.' geeks love boobs. i love geeks.