Friday, May 4, 2012

These 5 movie lists are why you should take this book home

"Why read this book? Because we've all had that queasy feeling in our stomachs as we peruse the massed ranks of movies in video stores, movies-on-demand, or online rentals, and begin to panic slightly as the realisation dawns that we can't quite remember the name of that film somebody recommended last week, don't want to fall back again on an old standby (you can't spend every leisure hour watching Cary Grant reruns), but don't really know, as your eye runs through the titles, which film you want to rent or buy. With this book you need never suffer again."
- Paul Simpson in Movie lists

Title: Movie lists: 397 ways to pick a DVD
Author: Paul Simpson
Publisher: Profile
Year: 2008
Summary: These lists, arranged by genre, director, or actor, answer that most difficult of questions: what DVD should you rent for the night? Fabulously quirky and enjoyable, this book is both a celebration of movies and a handy, entertaining guide to films guaranteed to deliver. Oddly enough, most movie guides are not full of recommendations. But Movie Lists is-and you don’t have to watch them all before you die! Paul Simpson is the author of the best-selling The Rough Guide to Cult Movies. He is a man you should go to any lengths to have on your side in a trivia quiz.

I don't understand why I can't spend every leisure hour watching Cary Grant reruns. This does not compute *puzzled look* Seriously, though, I adore books that put their money where their mouth is and declare why I should want to read their book. Last week on the Auckland Libraries blog I recommended some film guides that seemed like they would offer up suggestions for movies I might find interesting. You know the type of stuff: quirky, off-kilter, maybe unusual or even a teensy bit cheesy. One of the books on that list is sitting on my desk at home and I flip through it and SQUEE over it and clap my hands (fully aware that I resemble a sealion when I do so) and immediately start comparing DVD titles against our catalogue. Sure, we don't have everything, that just isn't possible, and there's no way I could watch everything that caught my fancy, anyway, but I'm darn sure going to give it a go. And here are 5 movie lists that are good reasons to take this book home. (Or 5 reasons I took this book home?).

If you had to write your idea of a perfect movie list, what would you call it?
(I would call mine "You know those types of film lists that are over populated with deep and meaningful dialogue that will forever inspire you and change your life? Yeah...this list is not that!") #truestory

Blonde bombshells
Featuring films with Jayne Mansfield (The girl can't help it and The solid gold cadillac), Reese Witherspoon (Legally blonde), Marilyn Monroe (Gentlemen prefer blondes), Judy Holliday (The girl who can't help it and The solid gold cadillac) and Alicia Silverstone (Clueless).

Mel Brooks
This is where you tell me plaintively, "But I don't LIKE Mel Brooks!" And then that's where I tell you in a quasi-sympathetic tone, "You don't like Mel Brooks? I'm sorry. I don't see this *gestures back and forth between the two of us* working. We can't see each other anymore. It's not you...well, yeah, it's you. Mel is a genius. A GENIUS I TELL YOU. What are you thinking?" *storms off* Includes The producers, Blazing saddles (one of his funniest, and with some great quotes), The twelve chairs, and High anxiety.

Film noir
I suck at giving you any sort of definition for film noir so please don't expect a great one *suspiciously eyes you* think dark and shadowy cinematography, and a femme fatale who is all slinky promise and a smile and will lead the hero (or anti-hero) to nowhere good. List includes Gilda with Hayworth and Ford, Altman's Thieves like us, and Preminger's Laura

Gene Kelly
I adore Gene Kelly's musicals. They were sweet and hilarious and, for most of them that I saw, ended with a happy-ever-after. And you know I'm all about the happy-ever-after. (Not coincidentally, this book also has a Fred and Ginger list and OH the hard time I had choosing Kelly over them but, well, I did, and am unrepentant about it). Simpson's list includes my alltime favourite Gene Kelly film Singin' in the rain with the very funny Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor (incidentally, I do a fabulous impression of Lina Lamont's heavily nasal line, "I can't stand him" that will have you in stitches), An American in Paris, and Anchors aweigh to name a few from this list.

Sergio Leone
I cut my eye teeth on Sergio Leone's movies. Or so my dad tells me :) I remember watching them over and over with my dad, and moving from those on to Terence Hill and Bud Spencer's movies. Good memories. List includes Once upon a time in the West starring Fonda, Cardinale and Bronson, The good, the bad and the ugly, A fistful of dollars with, well, who else but Eastwood and, of course, For a few dollars more, De Niro and Wood in Once upon a time in America, and let's not forget A fistful of dynamite (which is also known as Duck you sucker).


breve711 said...

I watch my favourite movies/tv shows over and over again(i can pretty much quote the princess bride, but i still watch it a few times a year). It wasn't until i realised you could get movies from the library that i started watching "new" movies.

kowhai reader said...

The first time I watching Blazing Saddles I thought it was just too stupid for words.... BUT before you shoot me, it is now one of my fav comedy movies. Strangely I had the same reaction to The Blues Brothers which is now right up there in my top 5 as well.

tosca said...

@breave711 As an unabashed book re-reader, it really should come as no surprise to find that I am also an unabashed marathon tv series re-watcher. My perennial favourite is always Supernatural. (Of course). Although, like you say, it still doesn't stop me from raiding our collections to see what else I might find interesting. There's so much goodness!

@kowhai reader - Blazing Saddles! The first time I saw it I was a kid. And thought it was one of the weirdest things ever. It's one of my dad's favourites so it got a lot of play time and, somewhere around the third re-watch, I realised I liked it :) Probably because of its silliness :)

breve711 said...

hey tosca :) buffy is my go to tv series for re-watching. i've seen season 2 so many times it's embarrassing.