The Ten Movies I Would Salvage if a Movie-Eating Monster Took Over the World
by George Watches Things
Today’s post’s title is very self-explanatory. To repeat myself, these are the ten films that I would save above all others. I hope I can revisit this topic now and again, not to see how the films hold up with repeated viewings, but to see how I have changed as a person. Did it just get deep in here, or is it just me?
A Christmas Story
Looking over my list, I see no overtly religious films; A Christmas Story is probably as close as you’re going to get. But I don’t really think of it as a Christmas movie, even though it has the word Christmas in the title. It’s not like my favorite scenes come before (or after) what’s supposed to be Christmas day. It’s not that I’m not religious (even though I’m really not). A Christmas Story is just a family movie (and I don’t mean that in this sense, but rather something more like this). I’ll always remember sitting on the couch, watching this with my family… no matter what the weather is like outside or if there’s a tree in the corner of the room.
I wrote about this one a few days after I saw it for the first time. The film had worked its magic. If we’re not counting Jefferson, I’d say this is probably the most well-made film ever. The information you can gleam from the way the camera is positioned or the way we transition from one lasting image to the next… that’s why people call this movie the greatest of all-time. Every time I see this movie (it’s been 1.2 times now), I put down my texting device and just stare in awe. That‘s the sort of movie I’d want to have forever (or at least until the next movie-eating monster invasion).
This is the funniest movie produced before 1959 (we’ll get to that in a bit, I’m sure). But it’s also one of the most tragic. You know me, I wouldn’t dare ruin a great film, so let’s just leave it at: that final shot will, no doubt, floor me every single time I see it. I knew I’d be including a Charles Chaplin film (how could I not?), but I never thought that it would be the saddest picture on the list.
Well… this is an interesting one, isn’t it? You’ve probably never heard of Dogtooth, and that’s too bad. I wrote a review of it once, but I won’t link to it; it’s useless because I’m so vague in it. (I did once say that watching it was similar to “being murdered by an Austro-Chinese transgender prostitute while you’re shopping at Wal-Mart,” though.) You know what? Why don’t you go watch it right now? Here’s the link to it on Netflix Instant. Don’t go reading any reviews before, and don’t worry. We’ll wait.
Oh. Back already? See what I mean?
A Hard Day’s Night
I saw this movie twice in 24 hours, and it was as fresh the second time as it was the first. A Hard Day’s Night is sheer expression. It’s one that can be watched at any time, while in any mood. Plus, it looks like it was so much fun to produce. You’d be best served watching the film for yourself, then reading my review… still one of the best reviews I’ve ever written. It really helps when the movie you’re writing about is great. Side note: my Twitter icon is from this movie.
Man on Wire
I first saw this when I still held a working Top 50 list, and it debuted at #6. It was, for me, the best film of the double-naughts (we’ll have a Top 25 list on all the decades later, by the way). I said that A Hard Day’s Night is sheer expression, and that’s true for this one as well. I’m a bit surprised that only one documentary made my list, but I’m glad I got to put in a film that deserves it based on individual merit and not just being the best documentary I’ve ever seen/I ever expect to see.
Oh, what can I say about Pulp Fiction that has not already been said? It’s the most foul-mouthed and violent on my list, but also one of the higher-ranking all-time ones. True, I’ve only seen it once, but is that not enough for a spot? Especially for a film of this quality. Pulp Fiction probably isn’t for the squeamish, but that doesn’t matter. See it anyway.
Some Like it Hot
This April, I will be putting on a little virtual film festival; I will choose 3-5 films that are available on the Internet, watch them, review them, and hope you follow along. Why do I bring this up at this point in time? Because I already know what one of those films will be: Some Like it Hot. It is the funniest movie ever made, for my money the best movie ever made, and by far my favorite movie ever. Is there a film for you that does what Some Like it Hot does to me?
That Darn Cat!
Previously, I had Never Let Me Go as my final inclusion, but I couldn’t resist putting this one in the ole time capsule. Call me a softy, but I have fond memories of watching this one with the family. Sure, I’ve never cried so hard at a movie as I did at NLMG, but if the world has been taken over by a movie-eating monster, would you rather laugh or cry?
This was my first choice when I came up with the topic. And not just because at least one animated film would need to be preserved. Wall-e is a story of reconstruction; we see characters try to rekindle connections that have been lost for centuries. Not only are they returning to a planet they know little about, but they’re making friends face-to-face for the first time in their lives. Should we need an instructional video on how to repopulate the Earth, we’d have to look elsewhere (really… I don’t understand how the people aboard the Axium make babies). But if we should ever need to learn how to make friends, we have our answer. It’s Wall-e.
I hope you like my picks and comment with your own. A quick question, by the way: do you prefer my posts with pictures or without pictures?