Recently in the New Amsterdam Cafe, Vancouver, someone asked me what my favourite movie was. I spurted ‘Apocalypse now’ not giving much thought to it. He told me one can determine a lot about a person by their favourite movie. He said it can give one an amazing insight into one’s world view, attitudes and interests. He told me his favourite movie was ‘Edward Scissorhands’, which I told him I’d never watched.
I gave it a bit of thought recently, what movies have really influenced me, really had me thinking into the wee hours. I decided to make a little list.
Best Travel Movie
World Safari – Alby Mangels
I saw this as a teenager at a school screening. I thought, ‘what a legend’, traveling the world, a mongrel dog and a women in every port! Looking back on it now, it was pretty amateur and contrived. But Alby really was the original, and the way he marketed this film, when everyone told him it was no good, is a truly great story of perseverance and self belief.
Best Australian Movie
Wake in Fright
Every decade, as Australia becomes more and more multicultural, we move further and further from our wild west convict past. But there are still parts of Australia, like the Outback, where you still get a sense of that rough edged Australian character. If you ever spent a night drinking with Aussies, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about! I’m fifth generation farming stock and I grew up in a country town. I can relate to wake in fright and appreciate the egalitarian, no bullshit attitude of Australian country folk. And I also know the bad side, anyone different being cut down like a tall poppy.
Werner Herzog is a fascinating character in himself and his film Grizzly Man follows protagonist Timothy Treadwell as he tries to protect the Grizzly Bears in Alaska. Timothy ends up on the menu and what I love about this film is how we see passion become obsession. Werner’s technique of letting the camera role after initial questioning garners the most truthful responses from those discussing the death. Fascinating viewing.
And special mention to ‘The future is unwritten’ by Julien Temple. I never really got into The Clash but find the growth of Joe Strummer as a person and an artist in this doco fascinating.
This is a toss up between ‘House of Cards and ‘True detective’ In the end the gong goes to True Detective because I really think it captured a sense of place in its portrayal of the Louisiana Bayou. Matthew McConaughey was amazing as the philosophical hardball detective. I had to share scenes from both House of Cards and True Detective as both are well worth a weekend indoors.
True Detective Scene about Religion
This 2 x 13 part series by National Geographic is absolutely amazing. I remember watching it one night and thinking how similar monkeys and humans are in regard to group dynamics and hierarchy. Just amazing how they put this together!
Dark Side of the Rainbow
The pairing of the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon with the visual portion of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. A synchronistic masterpiece supposedly merely a coincidence.
Best watched on the big screen very loud!
Recently went to the trouble of watching all of this British series. Very funny script about two flatmates that pretty much stuff up everything they try.
There will be blood
Do you ever wonder that maybe we are not meant to be so competitive with each other, that we maybe should throw down all the pretence that some are better than others because of skin color or religion or how big their wallet’s are. This masterpiece is a morality tale showing the futility in chasing money and that in the end, we all end up the same, priest, rabbi, oil baron….worm dust. For some reason it made me think of Rupert Murdoch. Hauntingly powerful.
So what does this say about me? I like ground breaking mavericks, understand rednecks, obsessive passion, believe in synchronicity, think we are like monkeys, like the English sense of humour, like exploring the reality behind the status quo and hate pretence! Sounds about right!
What are your favourite movies and what does it say about you?