Desert Island films.


Salon sets the challenge as follows:

It is assumed that you’ll have an indestructible DVD player with a solar-recharging power source… You can list 10 feature films, one short and a single, self-contained season of a TV series.

The short is easy. I’d take One Week without a second thought. As is my choice for a first feature length, which unequivocally goes to GoodFellas. It’s strange though that, apart from this, nothing jumped to my mind as a must-take. I think GoodFellas is the only film for me that borders on reaching that absurdly high status of being a film I could not live without. By which I mean, the thought of not seeing it ever again genuinely threatens to bring a tear to my eye.

Anyway, after a little more thought, the other nine I would take are as follows (I’m forfeiting the TV boxset, but if you insist, it would be Fawlty Towers). Naturally, I have tried to give thought to what I like the idea of eternally rewatching, rather than merely selecting great films.

The first I consider too great a piece of filmmaking to not include it, and I’d simultaneously get my Day-Lewis fix. Similar thinking is behind The Godfather, though there’s a good chance I would regret not picking a Brando performance in a Kazan film instead. Rear Window‘s not my favourite Hitchcock (North by Northwest is), but I’ve found it the most endurable. Manhattan would give me the finest dose of Woody and allow me to remember New York while I’m at it. Fight Club, I have only seen once – and I’m yet to review it for fear of doing it a grave injustice – but I already know it’s Fincher’s masterpiece.
The next three were picked with laughter in mind, which is, after all, arguably the purest expression and explanation of our love affair with the movies. As with the Hitchcock pick, Volver is a better Almodóvar for me, but Women on the Verge has a greater anarchy and energy about it; I won’t apologise for championing Up In The Air, the best film by a mile of 2009; and I only saw His Girl Friday this week, so this pick may be a foolish one, but I can’t see it fading in my judgement anytime soon.
Finally, I wanted at least one source to swoon over, so a bit of Bertolucci through The Dreamers wouldn’t go amiss. Kazan aside, I guess the big absence for me would be having nothing by Wong Kar-wai. The vibrancy of The Dreamers would have to suffice as compensation.

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