Monday, December 6, 2010

twenty films

Tonight, I was asked to pick twenty favorite films.

Absent any detailed explanation, there are many ways to go about this exercise. And while this may not be what the author of the inquiry had in mind, this was my approach: I chose to be very honest with myself and pick twenty films I know I would actually want to watch again and again. I decided to do this in a very spontaneous manner by walking into the media room and selecting twenty DVDs I would physically take with me if I had to go away for an indeterminate length of time.

This is quite different than preparing a more academic report that talks about the twenty most important films, or the twenty best films of all time, or twenty films carefully selected to present examples from major genres. I simply looked at my very own film collection and thought about what I liked to watch again and again, as opposed to creating a list that would cast me as a gifted and insightful expert, or present a well-rounded array.

It's entirely possible that tomorrow morning I might suddenly remember a favorite film, and then scan the list for one to swap out. But I have to believe there's something honest about looking through films I've actually bothered to purchase, and knowing I could watch them all repeatedly.

And so, answering only to my own escapist desires and idiosyncratic whims, and not seeking the approval of a thesis advisor in Film Studies, in no particular order:

To Catch a Thief or North by Northwest
Big Fish
A Christmas Story
The Polar Express
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The Fall
Princess Mononoke
The Illusionist
One recent Harry Potter movie (undecided)
Lady in White
Clownhouse (my first film; I designed the costumes and makeup)
Chronicles of Narnia, first film
Coco before Chanel
The Matrix
Blade Runner
* * *
To thine own self be true. I'll put some runners-up in a separate blog entry.


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