Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The Five Films
A trend has been started. Film Geek posted the five films that changed his life. My buddy Primal Scream guy did one. I think it's a really cool idea. So, for your amusement, I post such.
To really think of films that changed you. Not films that amuse you, but actually had a real impact. Narrowing it down to five is hard, but here goes: The five films that changed my life.
5. Being There. Peter Sellers as the oddball Chance Gardiner is pure genius. The film is flawless in sustaining gentle, understated humor. On some level, I related to Chance being so out of step with the world because so often I feel that way. The world hums along at a rate and manner that I feel totally at odds with at times.
It is a film that makes me feel good. After all, as Chance says:
...And if you give your garden a lot of love, and if you work very hard and have a lot of patience, in the proper season you will see it grow to be very beautiful...
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Aren't we all, in some way, fighting a system that threatens to dehumanize us? Nicholson gives his best ever performance as Randle P. McMurphy who is ultimately destroyed by a system that values order and protocol over humanity. Sounds like where you work? You betcha.
3. The Elephant Man. I can not fathom someone watching this and not being moved.
I think of Dickens: "It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. "
2. Amadeus. How do the merely talented contend with genius? Does it eat them up inside with jealousy? Is there rage against God because of it? How does a creative life continue with the knowledge of limitations? Every artist must resolve this issue or be eaten up by jealousy. This film knocked me out.
At the end, while being wheeled down the hallway of the asylum, the elderly Salieri cries out: I am the patron saint of mediocrity! I absolve you! I absolve you!
1. Apocalypse Now. No kidding, I debated whether to put Hamlet. (1948, Sir Laurence Olivier) at number one, but Apocalypse Now clearly outranks it. People at first thought that this was just another indictment of the Vietnam War, but time has shown that the film has a much broader meaning. This is just a metaphorical journey of the soul with the warning that when we look into the darkness, it also looks into us (to paraphrase Nietzsche). Brando is so awesome as the insane Kurtz and the narration by Martin Sheen is unparalleled. Simply a flawless film, but one to be viewed sparingly.
As a friend said as he returned a tape soon after I loaned it to him: "It began to hypnotize me. I began watching it in the morning as soon as I got up."
Bad way to start the day, dude. Start with coffee.
Well, that's my five. A very tough assignment. Enjoy. Do a list yourself.
Posted by eclectic guy at 1:04 PM