Friday, April 30, 2010

A Writer's Favourite Films

Greetings Friends,

Since this is a post about films, and this is my blog, my "narcissism" is once again taking over.

I'd like to opine about the sordid Sandra Bullock/Jesse James cheating scenario. It is completely appropriate since Ms. Bullock won her first Best Actress Oscar for the film, The Blind Side, scant days before her world collapsed with the news that her husband pulled a Tiger Woods and was keeping a harem on the side. What is it with these men? Uh...narcissism? That's become my favourite word lately. More on that next week.

What's really struck me about Bullock's situation is how her publicist (I'm assuming) has managed to spin crap into 24 karat gold. The entire world, at least the world that reads, was sympathetic to her plight from Day 1 of this scandal. Now, with the announcement of her adoption of a little boy from New Orleans, and the subsequent magazine cover of her gazing adoringly at her adopted son, plus the revelation that she filed for divorce, she seems to have landed squarely on her feet; at least in the eyes of the tabloid-reading public. I'm sure she's had a few weepy-buried-under-the-covers moments throughout this ordeal, but good for her for emerging even more golden than her Oscar statuette. It was looking pretty tarnished for a while, but I think it's safe to say the shine has been restored. Mr. Monster Garage is now the one with the substantial pile of crap in his lap. Can we all finally move on?

Movies have always been just as important to me as books. Even though I am a fan of such classic American writers like Wharton, James, Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, I am not as big a fan of classic American movies. Sure, I count Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and The Ten Commandments among my all-time faves, but most of what I really adore is from the late 60s onward. I'll start my list with The Graduate and go from there.

Why is it that I don't like such classics as Casablanca and the countless other black-and-white masterpieces from the Golden Age of Hollywood? Well, I do love the old Marx Brothers films, and snippets of the cheesy Abbott & Costello movies, but that's about it. Sue me; confiscate my degrees; tar and feather me and hang me from the highest point of the Hollywood sign. This is who I am.

For better or worse, here is a partial list of my all-time favourites, in a somewhat chronological order. If you want to take umbrage with my chronology, feel free to look up the pertinent factoids on The Internet Movie Database.

Love Story
The Way We Were
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
Easy Rider 
The Towering Inferno
The Poseidon Adventure
Blazing Saddles
Young Frankenstein
The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part III
Saturday Night Fever
A Star is Born (the version starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson)
Slapshot (How can you consider yourself a hockey fan if you do not love this movie?)
Animal House
Meatballs (I went to summer camp in Haliburton ON, where this was filmed)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Pretty in Pink
St. Elmo's Fire
Broadcast News
Bull Durham
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Hello? Jessica Rabbit!)
Field Of Dreams
Defending Your Life
The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorcese is a huge fan of Edith Wharton, and did her story proud)
Pretty Woman
A League of Their Own
The Net (waves to my friend S.B.)
Independence Day
Mystery Alaska (another one hockey fans are required to love)

You know what? I just realized I haven't even contemplated films of the new millennium and really don't know which are my favourites yet. Besides, I'm just not narcissistic enough to let this list go on any longer. Stephen King, in his book, On Writing, was kind enough to share with his readers a required reading list that went on for three pages. When I make my first million as a writer, maybe I'll have the requisite cojones to put all my favourites: movies, books, television shows, etc., down on paper to share with all my adoring fans. For now, I'll end it here.

Have a great weekend.




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