Something you may not know about me is that I find it hard to commit. I need to be sure before I do that I’m making the absolutely, really, truly, beyond-reasonable-doubt correct choice of sandwich filling when I’m confronted by a shop’s ‘Top 10 combos’. Mistakes are bad. They can be defining. Me? I like a more fluid approach. A bite of my sandwich, a bite of yours. The best of both worlds. Don’t tell That Man. He thinks he gets to eat his own lunch.
Hence this weeks’ Lounge topic was difficult for me. How to choose my Top 5 books, movies or songs? They shift with the tide. With my mood. On the current. With the jetsam and seaweed. As Patrick would say, I’m ‘Like the Wind, through his tree’. So, I’m going to give you my ‘at this moment in time’ favourite movies. See if you spot any of my ‘not-favourtite-but-very-well-liked song’s’ lyrics on the way through.
1. Donnie Darko – Love this. Baby Jake Gyllenhaal and his big sister Maggie in the same movie, fighting at the dinner table. Awesome lines, like: ‘Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?’ He hates these blurred lines between reality and the dream-world he taps into, and becomes agitated and confused, believing the world’s going to end. You would too if you kept seeing a man in a giant rabbit suit.
2. Les Mis – I know. Just released. Overhyped. Yes, yes. I can hear you all singing, angry men. But I loved every single minute of it. Hugh spends all his time on the duck and weave hiding in doorways cos he looks like somebody that Russell Crowe used to know. And while he’s not at his hottest in this movie, he gives good voice (unlike Russ – meh). When he really lets rip he does remind me a little of Barney on the Simpsons, tonsils jangling visibly in the back of his throat. Voice projection people. It’s important. I’ve never seen it before, but it brings back memories, since Castle on a Cloud was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano. And Eponine? She just breaks my heart. ‘On my Own’ has to be one of the best torch songs ever. Though, why she’s lusting after that simpering blonde whelp is baffling. She can’t live, with or without him. One of the classic flaws of musicals is the tendency of characters to fall in love for no particular reason, just because there’s a girl or guy standing in front of them. I accept it though – for the music. Movies, musicals. You’ve gotta keep em separated. You know this about muscials, so you leave your brain at the door.
3. Fight Club – Right here, right now, we’re actually NOT going to talk about Fight Club. You know why, don’t you. Tyler Durden’s like a mole, digging in a hole, except the hole is his brain. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. OK. So, I’m out. I just did, sorta. Probably for the best. My biceps are imaginary.
4. Being John Malkovich – I would sure pay money to climb inside John Malkovich’s brain through a tiny door on the 7 1/2 floor of an office building; wouldn’t you? They climb through the little door, then get sucked in through John’s ear canal, where the streets have no name. I’d also pay money to climb inside the brain of whoever came up with this genius movie. It’s so crazy it makes sense. A comedy/fantasy – Hallelujah! The ultimate genre. And Cameron Diaz’ hair!!! It has everything going for it, PLUS JOHN CUSACK. I give this 50 million stars.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – only a COMPLETE change of pace here. It’s not often you can have one of your (ooh ahh here comes a HUGE COMMITTING STATEMENT) favourite books also translate into one of your favourite movies. Gregory Peck helps this transition immensely, since he is exactly how Atticus looked inside my head (only – imagine this – BETTER!) It’s such a powerful story and has one of my favourite quotes that I try to follow: ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’ I always screw it up, of course, but then I get to picture Gregory Peck when I try to follow it again. Unfortunately I can’t say I shed my skin and put my bones into this list… because no doubt I’ll read some other Lounge posts and go ‘YES’! I love that movie more. And THAT one defined the turning point in my adolescence’ (not that there was one, defining point so much as many points of excruciating existential angst… but you know). But I’ve written my disclaimer. I’m like the wind. I’m blowing away now. (Through Patrick Swayze’s trees … )