Tuesday, May 19, 2009

antialliteration tuesday: movie night

My friends & I are always talking about starting up an OMG Have You Seen This?? movie night for screening things that are important that maybe not everyone has seen. These aren't necessarily your favorite movies, but they probably changed the way you think about film, or storytelling, or Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Tori Spelling (House of Yes, anybody?).

Here's my current list. I'm NOT linking any of these to websites 'cause, well, a) I'm lazy tonight, and b) the statute of spoiler limitations is WAY up on most of these, so lots of web pages feel comfy tossing tidbits out that I'd rather you discover for yourself. I have faith in you to figure out how to use Google/Wiki/IMDB all by your lonesome if you must.

Tampopo -- A Japanese film about food culture containing several threaded subplots. The main one is about a woman who decides that she wants to open a ramen restaurant, but to be successful must learn the craft from a wise wandering samurai ramen expert. Bizarre and hilarious.

Perfect Blue -- An animated Japanese film about retaining your identity in the commercial music/acting industry, the weird role of pop idols in culture, and dangerous fan obsession. If you ever hear me singing in Japanese, you can blame this movie. Disturbing and Lynchian.

Requiem for a Dream -- A visually stunning and highly overdramatic film about desires and addictions. I think the script is silly, but everyone in it acts their asses off, and the Kronos Quartet's musical score sets the mood perfectly. Strung-out and depressing.

You Shoot, I Shoot -- A Hong Kong parody of action flicks about the unlikely team-up of a filmmaker and a hitman. Cartoony and possibly the most enjoyable if you've seen a good blend of American, Chinese, and Japanese pop cinema.

The Last Dragon -- A blacksploitation/Bruce Lee mashup containing all the 80s you can handle, sho'nuff. Silly and more silly.

Videodrome -- A Cronenberg flick about the worst case scenario of mass media influencing society. And about how James Woods is the best ever. Think The Ring meets seduces Snow Crash in an S&M club for conspiracy theorists. Unsettling and Freudian.

Jacob's Ladder -- This is my Horror 101 pick. It visually influenced a lot of my favorite modern horror media, and while it's a little kitschy, it has some fabulously creepy moments. And Tim Robbins when he's all young and extra-gangly. Hitchcockian and retro-70s-tacular.

Arsenic & Old Lace -- A macabre screwball comedy adapted by Frank Capra from a stage play during WWII. Full of all my favorite things, including Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Vaseline on the lens, snap-quick dialogue, triple-takes, and 40s pop political jokes that you maybe need to be from Manhattan and the 1920s to fully appreciate. Hammy and romping.

What are some of your favorite movies to subject your friends to? Link me to your blog if you decide you wanna discuss this on your own turf.


Leigh said...

House of Yes is a must, along with Donnie Darko.

We once watched Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream back to back. I do not recommend it. Also on my list: Boondock Saints and Rumble in the Bronx.

Until I was 23, I refused to watch any old movies. I do not recall why. Then my friend sat me down and made my watch Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Way We Were. I'd say those two movies changed my perspective significantly.

Random, vaguely related tidbit: I have tried to watch Snatch and Lock, Stock on at least three separate occasions. I fall asleep every single time.

the grammar monkey said...

Trainspotting/Requiem double feature = ouch. I can't watch either of those without feeling like maybe I shouldn't even drink coffee for awhile.

And Boondock Saints! YES. I am possibly biased because faux-Irish faux-twins are so cute.

Lock, Stock and Snatch both drag a bit in random places. Their pacing is not so much with the existing. (I'm that way with Brazil. Love the movie! Always puts me to sleep, charm-like.)

ZennMora said...

I'll definitely be checking out You Shoot, I Shoot. Looks like it'll be right up my alley.

As far as movies that I try to get people to watch: Dragon the Bruce Lee Story and Little Shop (duh!).

Also, I fell asleep during Lock Stock as well...and I'm the kind of person that gets very mad when people fall asleep during movies.

the grammar monkey said...

You definitely need to watch You Shoot, I Shoot! It was really hard to find back in college, which is the only reason I never made you watch it then.

What IS it with the falling-asleep-during-movies anger? It's not a personal insult, sometimes it's just late and a person is tired. =P