Me Me Meme

amerps06I’m new to the blogging game, so this is my first experience of a meme, which is, as I understand it, is kind of “pass-it-on” deal where lots of bloggers perform a simple task and then ask a bunch of others to follow suit. Not sure what the end product is apart from a community of people racking the same part of their brains at the same time, but let’s go with it and see what happens.

The task is to produce an alphabetical list of favourite films, one for each letter of the alphabet, and then pass the meme on to some others. Bob Rehak over at the wonderful Graphic Engine has very kindly infected me and invited me to spread the infection, so here goes. Bob reckons that blogging is like sex, since “when you link to someone, you link to everyone he or she has linked to.” The crucial difference, Bob, is that I can blog during a quiet lunch hour in my office while eating a sandwich.

Some tricky choices here. The Ws didn’t allow space for Werckmeister Harmonies or Jia Zhang-ke’s The World (two of my favourites of the 21st century), as I wanted to acknowledge two films that were important in my own youthful cinephilic development. You’ll notice that I’ve cheated. The column on the left represents the “respectable” list, and the right hand column includes the fun movies that I’ve enjoyed over the years, so there are some top notch double-bills here. That said, my taste rarely ascends to the highbrow, so there isn’t a lot of disparity here. Generally speaking, while the lefties are tasteful, unquestionable works of art, the righties are connected to a particularly fond or vivid memory. This is not a canon. Who needs another canon?

  • L’Avventura / An American Werewolf in London
  • The Bill Douglas Trilogy / The Big Sleep
  • Cafe Lumière / Come Drink With Me
  • Days of Heaven / Drunken Master II
  • Elephant / Evil Dead II
  • Fallen Angels (WKW) / Frankenstein + Bride of Frankenstein (if I may…)
  • Goodbye Dragon Inn / Gun Crazy
  • Happy Together / Highlander
  • I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang / The Invisible Man
  • Jour de Fete / Jaws
  • Kwaidan / King Kong
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp / The Lady Vanishes
  • Le Mépris / Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • News from Home
  • Onibaba / Once Upon a Time in the West
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc / Playtime
  • Querelle / Q The Winged Serpent
  • Rope / Rushmore
  • Satantango / Starship Troopers
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey / Totoro
  • Unforgiven / Unbreakable
  • Vertigo / Le Voyage dans la Lune
  • Weekend / The Wages of Fear
  • (I haven’t seen enough films beginning with X t o make a proper choice. If pressed, I might have to resort to X-Men 2, Xtro or X-The Unknown. And nobody wants that to happen…)
  • Yojimbo / Young and Innocent
  • A Zed and Two Noughts / Zelig

It only took a couple of months for me to break my pledge never to fill up a blog with lists. I am so weak…

zoo6l

Now, the following are cordially invited to have a go at the same task: AP at the Movies, Bobby Peru, Christopher Banks and Kirsten.

19 thoughts on “Me Me Meme

  1. Notting Hill, Nightmare Before Christmas, Nil By Mouth, No Country For Old Men. In no particular order.

  2. Off the top of my head: Night of the Hunter, La Notte, Night & the City, North by Northwest, Nostalghia, etc.

    Can I do one?

  3. Marvelous list, Dan. Esp brilliant for your binary solution to the best of / favorite dilemma, not to mention the inclusion of Larry Cohen’s Q (a runner-up for that slot on my own list).

  4. Of course you can do your own list, Matthew, and please post it here. I tagged a few other blogs to pass on the “meme” or whatever you call it, but anyone is welcome to contribute to the listing frenzy.

    I was just about to write Night of the Hunter. And North by Northwest might qualify, as it was one of the first Hitchcock’s I ever saw. Now I can’t have either, else it will look like I’m copying. Night of the Demon springs to mind, and I’m sure that in my teenage years I saw far too many films beginning with “Ninja…” In fact, my first ever brush with the Shaw Brothers came when I rented some crappy American Ninja thing, and someone had (subversively, I like to think) taped over the second half with most of “White Lotus Cult”. I didn’t realise what it was until years later, though.

    @Ilikepies: I like all those movies, but I have a blind-spot for Richard Curtis (to put it politely), so I would prefer to have a pie instead of watching Notting Hill again. I got attacked in the street by three guys after watching Nil by Mouth, which must go down in history as one of the grimmest ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. Still, the beating was more fun than the movie…

  5. Thanks, Bob, not least for mistaking my cheating for “brilliance”.

    Q The Winged Serpent was the first film that came into my head, even though it’s years since I’ve seen it. After that, i couldn’t clear space in my brain for any other Qs….

  6. Ok, this is quite difficult actually! In order to save time, I cheated a little…

    Angel Face / Akasen chitai
    – Begone Dull Care / Bigger than Life / Blow Job
    – Comment je me suis disputé… (ma vie sexuelle)
    – Il Deserto rosso
    – Elephant
    (Clarke)
    The Fountainhead
    – Gertrud
    – House of Bamboo
    – The Innocents / Irma Vep / L’Intrus
    – Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
    – Killer of Sheep
    – Le Lit de la vierge
    – Motion Picture Painting No. 1 / Millennium Mambo / Los Muertos
    – Night of the Hunter
    – Offret
    – Point Blank
    – Le Quai des brumes
    – The Red Shoes / Repast / Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies
    – Shanghai Express / Sátántangó
    – Toni / Three Crowns of the Sailor
    – Unknown Pleasures
    – Les Vampires / Van Gogh
    (Pialat)
    Wavelength
    – Um, JudeX (Franju)?
    Yi Yi
    – Zorns Lemma

    On an entirely unrelated note, I caught up with The Banishment last night: enjoyable, stylish, perhaps more ‘art cinema’ than ‘slow’ (ASL 19.7). Weirdly, it felt like a minimalist version of Yates’ Revolutionary Road, and I particularly enjoyed the bonus game of spot-the-Tarkovsky-homage…

  7. Your list is far too tasteful, and no doubt masks a latent Michael Bay fetish. Even throwing in House of Bamboo isn’t fooling anyone. Nice cheat on Judex. I nearly put that down as my J, but had to confess that Jaws was more of a formative influence (first film I was physically barred from watching by my parents – there’s nothing like watching the first half of a film and then having to finish it off in your own head to get the imagination working).

    I saw The Banishment on DVD and it bored me blind. Maybe I’ll take another run at it when I get chance, cos I really liked The Return. Zvyagintsev is one of the directors on “I Love New York” or whatever they’re calling the follow-up to Paris Je t’Aime. It has an even more batshit and uneven credit list than the Paris one. The problem being with both films that there are already plenty of romantic films about New York and Paris! Anyone want to direct a piece for my forthcoming portmanteau movie, “Fishguard, I Love You”?

  8. I knew you’d say that! Let’s try and keep it down about the Michael Bay fetish though…

    The Banishment was certainly derivative and a bit crap, but I thought it was perfectly acceptable as overly-familiar ‘art cinema’ of this type goes. Don’t give me flashbacks to Paris je t’aime – Assayas & Van Sant’s segments aside, it was a complete waste of time. That mime bit!

    Okehampton, mon amour?

  9. Pingback: The Magpie’s A to Z of Films (part 1) « Cinéma Lūdicrus

  10. Hi, came here via Chris’s blog. Iam going to do this meme on my blog soon. Thanks for introducing this tag, as it saves us the dilemma of choosing best ones. Nice list you have.

  11. Deep breath……

    Alphaville / An American In Paris
    Breathless / Basket Case
    Cache / Convoy
    Downfall / DIG!
    The Edukators / Easy Rider
    Fitzcarraldo / The Fearless Vampire Killers
    Grizzly Man / Ghostbusters
    The Holy Mountain / High Fidelity
    IF…. / Inner Space
    Le Jour Se Leve / Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back
    The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie / Kill Baby Kill
    L’Aventura / The Ladykillers
    The Man Who Loved Women / Marnie
    Nosferatu / Nowhere To Run (Oh dear!)
    Oldboy / Oklahoma!
    Pepe Le Moko / Paranoid Park
    Querelle / Quai Des Orfevres
    Riffi / Rocky
    Shadow Of A Doubt / Suspiria
    Three Colours: Blue / The Truman Show
    Umberto D / Unbreakable
    The Virgin Spring / Vampire Hunter D
    Withnail And I / White Men Can’t Jump
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Yojimbo / You And Me And Everyone We Know
    Zabriskie Point / Zardoz

    It’s not nearly as easy as it looks…..

  12. Thanks Lallo – I’ll look forward to your list. I like the way people are twisting the rules on the meme now. I did a double list myself because I couldn’t decide in a lot of cases, so I was being a bit of a cheat, but it seems to work well for some people.

    Stuart – Great list! There are some cool double-bills there, especially under ‘B’. I’m glad to have seen Unbreakable included on so many of these lists. Remember when M Night Shyamalan promised to redefine the scope, scale and intelligence of popular cinema? Yikes, what went wrong?…..

  13. I’d pay good money to see my ‘B’ double feature on the big screen! Your ‘O’ double would leave you in a strange place and I’d love to see Matthew’s ‘T’ at the cinema.

    M Night Shyamalan: The king of the big reveal….. I’ve yet to see anything post THE VILLAGE but by all accounts I’m not missing much!

  14. I liked the idea of ‘Signs’, an alien invasion movie from the perspective from which most of us would end up experiencing it: crouched in a basement poring over CNN coverage for glimpses of the unfolding horror outside. But then the obligatory twist came and spoiled it all with a ridiculous religious message. The Village had a twist that I could see coming a mile off, but never thought he’d be daft enough to go with. The Happening doesn’t even bother with a twist at the end: they just explain what’s going on mid-way through, but it’s so stupid that nobody believes it. The “twist” is that they were right all along. Crikey.

  15. Lallo has now written the second part of his list: http://lallopallo.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/the-a-to-z-films-meme-part-2/#more-801

    Unlike most of us, who’ve just thrown out a list of titles and left you to accept that we think they’re important to us, Lallo has taken the trouble to explain each and every one of his choices. Good work, Lallo. Everyone else has permission to tear themselves away from Spectacular Attractions and check out his site. Be back by nightfall…

  16. Pingback: film meme « kel-in.

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