Although I recognise much of the sterotypical male behaviour in Nick Hornby's High Fidelity
, one thing I've never been that prone to myself is the making of lists, especially the process of ranking various artistic items. That's not to say that I don't have favourites, but my category of 'favourite' is a lot more general - I don't have a specific favourite film, book, album, colour etc just a broad selection of things I like slightly more than others (it's why I always secretly dread being asked to fill out one of those What's your favourite X, Y and Z?
questionnaires). What's my favourite at any particular time depends more on mood rather than any particular personal platonic ideal of favouriteness.
Which, as some of you may have worked out, is my introduction to the films I've chosen as my top ten for the Normblog favourite films poll
. These are the ten I've chosen now - ask me in six months and you may get a list that's entirely identical or entirely different, depending on how I'm feeling when you ask me, rather than any objective considerations. It's why I'm glad that it's a favourite
, rather than best
, film poll so I don't really have to justify my choices to anyone but myself. After all, if I want to list a selection of Police Academy
and Friday The 13th
sequels as my favourite films, you may be able to question my taste, but if I proclaim them to be my favourites, you can't argue with that.
However, I'm sure you'll be glad to know that none of those films make it into my Top Ten. Here they are, arranged in almost alphabetical order (I've ignored The
in titles, or it just gets confusing):
The Blues Brothers
(John Landis, 1980) - It's a film that shouldn't work - a thin plot based around Saturday Night Live
characters with numerous guest stars and cameos has proven to be a recipe for many a bomb since, but something just elevates this into a great film. It's not a film I rewatch to find anything new, but just to know it'll make me smile and want to dance around...while cheering the demise of the Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis.
(Tim Robbins, 1992) - It seems almost deliberately obscure to out this in, but it is a great film. Robbins delivers a great performance as both director and star, and the story is a mystery that we never really see solved - Who is Bob Roberts and what really happened? However, part of the reason it's in here is because Alan Rickman does his usual trick of stealing an entire film with one line: 'Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pray'
The Day The Earth Caught Fire
(Val Guest, 1961) - I wrote about this film
last summer and my comments from then still stand. I think it's a forgotten British classic, and deserves a wider audience. After all, how many other films give you the chance to see Leo 'Rumpole' McKern saying 'We've got about four months before there's a delightful smell in the universe of charcoaled mankind'?
(Robert Altman, 1970) - It's a pretty scattergun film, more of a collection of scenes than a plot (which probably made it perfect to turn into a TV series) but unlike most scattergun films, it hits the mark with almost every scene.
Monty Python and The Holy Grail
(Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975) - I had to include one Python film in my personal ten (part of me wanted to include all three) and this just wins out over the other two mainly because of the Black Knight scene.
The Shawshank Redemption
(Frank Darabont, 1994) - In a close decision, this just squeezed in past Blade Runner
, so you can see that as Stephen King triumphing over Philip K Dick, heart triumphing over artificialtiy or Morgan Freeman beating Rutger Hauer. Whatever you want, I just like this film.
This Is Spinal Tap
(Rob Reiner, 1984) - I should have made this a top eleven and stuck this on the end because it, of course, goes all the way up to eleven. But I suspect someone else has already thought of that idea.
28 Days Later
(Danny Boyle, 2002) - I was debating whether or not to include this in my ten as a lot of polls like this are, in my opinion, compromised by people voting for more recent stuff which time then reveals to be not as good as they thought it was. But sod it - it's a great horror film where you don't know who's going to get out alive, or just what might happen next. It's clearly borrowed a lot from Day Of The Triffids
but that's no bad thing - if you're going to steal, do it from the classics (and unlike the film adaptation of Triffids
it doesn't star Howard Keel, or feature a silly sub-plot in a lighthouse)
The Usual Suspects
(Bryan Singer, 1995) - One of the first two films I wrote on my top ten list. If you've never seen this film then stop reading now, go out and get a copy now and watch it. If you've seen it, you know why it's here, but if you don't, I'm really not sure
you should be allowed near a cinema again
you were watching it closely enough.
Withnail and I
(Bruce Robinson, 1987) - The other one of the two I wrote down first it's another film that divides the world into people who think it's one of the greatest films ever made and
those who don't. Like Suspects
, it's one of those moments in film-making where everything - director, script, actors - comes together at the perfect moment to create something that's just fantastic to watch.
: Now, if someone could tell me how to send these to Norm without getting my email bounced back to me, I'd be most obliged.
OK, sorted. Think it was a problem at my end.