Monday, September 29, 2003

Desert Island movies

Hi-De-Ho Rene,

Don't know if you've been following the thread over at 2blowhards, but they started a discussion about the movies one would have to see in order to qualify as a "film buff." The various suggestions remind me of when the AFI provided party chit-chat fodder a few years back with its "100 Greatest" list -- they include a combination of truly great films, icons of genres, and best efforts of admired directors.

I want to combine that with an idea of Terry Teachout's at About Last Night. (Teachout is the Wall Street Journal's drama critic.) He calls it "In the Bag," a game that asks you to admit what you really like. His rules:

You can put any five works of art into your bag before departing for a desert island, but you have to decide right this second. No dithering: the body snatchers are banging on your front door. No posturing: you have to say the first five things that pop into your head, no matter how embarrassing they may sound. What do you stuff in the bag?

His lists contain works from various art forms, from films and theatre to books, sculptures, paintings, and pop music -- whatever comes to mind first. But here, I want to ask you and our fine readers the FIRST FIVE FILMS that jump into your mind as candidates, and thus into your bag.

My list -- and this is the "first five," not necessarily the best five: North by Northwest, The Searchers, Jaws, Brazil, and My Fair Lady. A list featuring touches of suspense, angst, humor, drama, romance, joy, and vivid memories from my youth.

(On second thought, I don't think I'd really want Jaws on a desert island: Maybe something light-hearted like This is Spinal Tap, or the Princess Bride. But that's cheating.)

How about you? Remember: First five only!



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