Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Desert Island DVDs

The volleyball named Wilson by Tom Hanks in 'Castaway'

Recently critc Matt Zoller Seitz asked fellow critics to pick the ten films they'd want to take with them if they were stuck on a desert island. The rules were to pick ten films, one season of television and one short. I posted mine on Jim Emerson's blog, Scanners. I want to post it here as well just for fun.

Films (In no particular order, except for number one)

1. Casablanca- When asked what my favourite film is I pick this one. Roger Ebert said of Carol Reed's The Third Man that it captures the romance of going to the movies for him. I feel that way about this film. Romantic, funny, heroic and ultimately a little tragic, Casablanca has never failed to entertain or move me.

2. Casino Royale (2006)- My favourite Bond film. It may not be a perfect movie but in it's own way it's a perfect Bond film in that it combines fantastical action sequences with a grounded humanity, never escalating in to camp. The romance between Bond and Vesper Lynd is heartbreaking and establishes why Bond is such an emotionally cold bastard sometimes.

3. The Haunting (1963)- A really fun and spooky haunted house film. The fact that you never see a ghost makes it all the more terrifying and surprisingly satisfying.

4. The Apartment (1960)- Billy Wilder's romantic comedy blends humour and tenderness with cynicism and interesting social commentary very well. I think I like this more than Wilder's film before this, Some Like It Hot.

5. Out of the Past- It really encapsulates the film noir genre/style. While romance may not be what one automatically thinks of when they think "film noir" but the doomed romances at the heart of this film are integral to the psychology of the film noir anti-hero.

6. Shutter Island- This may sound blasphemous but this may be my favourite Scorsese film.

7. Hamlet (1996)- I'd need my Shakespeare fix and Kenneth Branagh's epic is my favourite Shakespearean adaptation on film.

8. Rear Window- Hitchcock is my favourite director and it's insanely difficult to pick only one. I think I would go with this one.  It takes something which sounds uncinematic and makes it in to pure cinema.       

9.  The Godfather- Mafia life played at almost Shakespearean heights.

10. The Pink Panther Strikes Back- My favourite of the series

Television: Season Five of The Simpsons
Short: Someone on Emerson's blog picked Geri's Game, which played before Pixar's A Bug's Life. It's the short where the old man plays chess with himself. I think I'd have to pick this one as well.

This is a fun but very difficult game. There are so many more more films I could have swapped with the ones on this list. It would take me too long to list all of them. I encourage everyone to try this exercise. It gives you a sense of the films you really can't live without...and you realize there's a lot!

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