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Thread: Another question

  1. #1
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    Another question

    Ok. You're about to be left stranded on a desert isle; you get to choose one movie to watch in perpetuity. Despite my love of silly comedy (Monty Python's Holy Grail, Blazing Saddles, etc) I would choose Casa Blanca.

  2. #2
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    We have many of those here. No electric!
    Anyway, I haven't watched a regular movie for years. I was in Saudi before here and they have no movies.
    Would have to pick one of the recent ones I have watched though, "Meet The Robinsons" My son's favorite.

  3. #3
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    Tough one Robert. Am I alone on this island?

    I'm looking in my memory of movies I've seen and bought, and I get through only a couple viewings before they begin to tarnish. I hate watching movie trailers because they tell the story and often include spoilers. From most trailers I can tell you the story they actually shot or a better story than they produced, so it's a real let down. I relish the very few surprises available to me in any movie owing to formula movie making.

    So I can imagine seeing one over and over again would have to have something beyond mystery like 'cool'. Ergo Casablanca being your choice. It just plain works on so many levels, and fills out the plot with icons of classic characters and noble cause -- something done so well that it holds it's charge.

    Oddly some farce comedies come to mind as holding their own because the characterizations were so perfect. I loved Rush Hour that way, believe it or not, and Galaxy Quest, and Ghostbusters, and Men In Black, Young Frankenstein and others where the characters were just fun to hang out with.

    I think the best of the movies about artists were The Agony and the Ecstasy, Lust for Life, and Amadeus.

    Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy was at one point the Star Wars original trilogy, the Raiders of the Lost Arc, and Bladerunner, and of course Lord of the Rings trilogy. Selected Harry Potter too for a few viewings anyway.

    Best TV mini series for me was Shogun.

    Best and most amazing knowledge series -- so so many spiritual (mass viewership kind). . . Power of Myth was awesome. Genesis, as well. Magical Egypt. . . the many many ones that woke me up because they knew what they were presenting and they made their case convincingly enough to impact my view of life for real. And there are lots of others that deal with the myriad kinds of physics or medicine or society and ethics or art history, or interviews that go well beyond the sound byte.

    But they all get tiring after a hundred viewings or so. I used to paint with theatrical movies on in the background to keep me awake. And may have worn some of them out.

    In short, film is much harder to narrow down to one compared with a rock band favorite, owing to how my life has been impacted by film and TV so much.

    Casablanca was great. No doubt about it.

    So were many movies from that vintage -- Most of the Frank Capra theatrical release movies I could be content with. If I had one of those, I would always feel connected to humanity, even on that island. He's probably my all time favorite director. Many have tried to step into his shoes, but few even get close. Some do thankfully, though each has their own voice.

    It's a heck of a lot harder to do than anyone might think because watching it makes you feel like it's your own. When I watch his films I'm living there for the length of the film. It's effortless to watch, right?

    Hard to pull off. He got genuine compassion, joy, sentimentality, and to keep you on the edge of your seat wanting the good guy to win in the context of all that stuff without undershooting it or overdoing it and sounding preachy. He just knew the balance. Amazing artistry I could always live with.
    Last edited by D Akey; 08-10-2009 at 06:37 PM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  4. #4
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    Tom Hanks in Castaway....and would someone please mail me a volleyball.

    You know, if I was stranded on a desert island, it does seem apt....
    Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. ~Mother Teresa


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  5. #5
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    Groundhog Day! Ouch...That would be painful!
    "The significance is hiding in the insignificant. Appreciate everything."
    Eckhart Tolle

  6. #6
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    It is of course an impossible question to answer; it's the thought-provoking that is wonderful about such questions. As an intellectual and research discipline, I like sticking to the ground rules, so will. The results of the research usually provide more valuable insight. Researchers have found that insight is enhanced by asking two questions (or three, etc.), that a combination of questions will provide a more complete perspective about the subject material, peppering the results with nuance, breadth and depth.

    So, for example, the researcher might ask "if you could choose only one..."; and, having obtained that answer, ask "now if you could choose only three..." and finally, "if you could choose only ten...", etc. something different will be discovered. But the starting place is always "if you could choose only one", the sphere of Robert's fun question.

    With contemplation, I enthusiastically choose "Kill Bill Volumes 1&2" as the single cinematic epic it was made to be.

    It has everything I want in entertaining cinema. First, it is a tribute to all movies, and the art and science of making them. Watching it repeatedly I am reminded of a hundred cinematic masterpieces and the creative genius/inspiration that gave them birth. A pervasive, in-your-face theme throughout Kill-Bill is love and appreciation for the art of movie making. It glorifies in appreciating art, storytelling, cinematography, choreography, art direction, set-building, costuming, music, sound, editing, and in the end just plain outstanding acting and direction - all the creative mix and cooperation that is required to make an enduring, ever-watchable masterpiece that can stand the test of time with repeated viewings.

    Second, it is epic. It takes a single, narrow-minded theme, revenge, and builds an epic tale of human melodrama complete with all the essential requirements. It sets the stage with love, friendship, camaraderie and loyalty disturbed by unspeakable betrayal. It breathes the human will to achieve purpose despite all obstacles. It is rife with a complex mixture of moral ambiguity and moral certitude coupled with the paradox of Will vs. Fatalism, action-oriented choice in the context of human mortality, living the fullest while consorting the inevitable.

    The epic's forward movement is built with numerous mini-movies (extraordinary, perfectly-integrated scenes) that are whole and complete unto themselves, mini-epics going back and forth in time to slowly reveal the complex nature of individual characters, their motivations, their hopes and dreams, their demons, the richness of human psychology that drives the characters behavior and makes sense of an epic unwinding.

    Kill Bill has many characters, many with brief appearances. The Director, Guentin Tarantino, pulls from each the performance of a lifetime. Even the minor characters are so well drawn in brief appearances that you feel you know their life story. He pulls it in the quality of the script, their pivotal roll in the larger epic, and directs each actor to draw on something in themselves that creates a believable while larger-than-life personality whose presence remains with you long after you have seen the film.

    The soundtrack is inspired, a perfect integration that turns music into a gut-throbbing visual experience and propels the story forward. The film mixes tension, suspense, action, contemplation, psychology, surprise, humor, wit, raw human emotion and masterful storytelling with a musical integration that propels you into another world that is both other-worldly fantastical yet immediate in its gut reality.

    The movie is both funny and sad, absurd yet profound, fast yet slow, deep yet superficial, sacred and profane, chaotic while profoundly orderly. It is above all else immensely entertaining. If I were stuck on a desert isle with the long, lonely horror of being separated from all human contact, it would be a blessing to have the salve of something out-of this world entertaining to take my mind of my plight. Kill Bill can provide that diversion, that entertaining absorption taking me for a time to another time and place, a place I could visit repeatedly and discover something new no matter how many times I had traveled there before.

    I have seen over 3000 movies. So picking one is absurd. But forced into the absurd, I travel there with enthusiasm with "Kill Bill Volumes 1&2" .

    I have a top three, but, well, it would be cheating to tell.

    ***************************
    PS: The question was what favorite movie, not what favorite TV mini-series. Robert could start another thread about what favorite TV mini-series would you choose. I was pleased to see D'Akey's mention of Shogun in his brilliant missive, a missive I read with delight. Shogun lives in a world of it's own, an unparalleled accomplishment for its genre. Just yesterday, out of the blue, I was just having a long conversation with my wife, Rosy, about Shogun's inexhaustible specialness. It was a treat to stumble upon D'Akey's appreciative reference. Now I want to run to Blockbuster and rent the thing and watch in all again in one marathon 16-hour session.
    Last edited by byroncallas; 08-11-2009 at 07:02 AM. Reason: spellling
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  7. #7
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    It would be a toss up of African Queen, Sabrina, The Bishops Wife, Christmas Carol. I think I would watch Christmas Carol because Charles sent such a message to people as he had really suffered in his life, and tried to convey the message that we can be happy and overcome the weight of self pity, greed,ignorance, and become charitable and happy in life.

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    High Noon.

  9. #9
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    Hmmmm??? really only one choise??? would have to go with 'Gone With The Wind', ,,, or anything Cary Grant

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    Amacord Federico Fellini

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