My favourite movies

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.

TV Series

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


Monkey Thieves

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!


Peep Show

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.

Best Movie

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?

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10 thoughts on “My favourite movies

  1. What about Friday 13TH 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11….. lol.

  2. Love There Will Be Blood … “I drink your milkshake … I drink it up!!!”

  3. Quentin Tarantino agrees with us!

  4. Horror doesn’t do it for me, or most comedy. Fascinating strong characters do it for me.

  5. Watched ‘Grizzly Man’ this morning and couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole day.Strange thing is,that I wasn’t that much shocked when I heard about the tragic death of the protagonist at the beginning of the movie,but only as the story went on and I got to know more about the character.This structure of the documentary is very interessting.Eventhough I felt I wanted to discuss the film later on,there weren’t really any questions left.Every question that popped out during the film was answered shortly after (I even got to know things I rather wouldn’t have liked to know in detail…) Great work of W.Herzog,very touching,thank you for making me discover that one Mark Shea.

  6. I based my list on films that made me think, had me up through the night. I think a good film lodges itself in our subconscious and won’t let go. The first film I showed my stepson from a past relationship was ‘Easy Rider’. For weeks he just couldn’t understand why the two bikies were killed by the rednecks in the ending. It annoyed him, the injustice….that is a good film!

  7. The Yabba,the most friendly place on earth!I didn’t know the movie and I don’t know Australia,but I got the feeling that there are similar places in many countries.I would know for instance where to go in my country to find The Yabba.I found this article,an Itv with director Ted Kotcheff:
    “Men fight because they were desperate for human contact.”
    “Chips Rafferty had 25 pints of beer a day”
    About the real-life hunting scenes,I wonder,is that how professional licensed hunters killed kangaroos?
    Eventhough they were integrated in the movie,they still seemed quite cruel to me.
    I probably would have never come across this movie if it wasn’t by your recommendation,thank you.

  8. It’s kind of my topic,so I keep on posting if you don’t mind…
    To meet your demands and, as this is a travel video blog, I tried to make a list of movies I like where travelling plays a role.(sometimes more,sometimes less..I secretly sneeked in one or two who don’t belong here,but I like them so much)

    Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
    On the Road (Walter Salles)
    Thelma&Louise (Ridley Scott)
    Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch)
    Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders)
    The Piano (Jane Campion)
    The Straight Story (David Lynch)
    La Strada (Federico Fellini)
    Cheyenne-This must be the Place (Paolo Sorrentino)
    The Way (Emilio Estevez)
    The Milkyway (Luis Bunuel)
    Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
    Little Miss Sunshine (J.Dayton,V.Faris)
    The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles)
    Trust (Hal Hartley)
    Homo Faber (Volker Schloendorff)
    Buffalo 66 (Vincent Gallo)

    What does this say about me,I ignore.But Mark I would add to your resume,that you’re a man.I havn’t seen everything yet,but it looks as if there are no love storys on your list.

  9. Some great movies there, ok some rom-coms – The Before Sunrise trilogy and Woody Allen’s Vicki Cristina Barcelona and To Rome with Love. I like my rom-com’s with a dose of caustic comedy 🙂

  10. Fascinating article, particularly when you consider this

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