Nick from The Cinematic Katzenjammer has kindly submitted his Desert Island Films. Please read on for his choices and reasons, and be sure to check out his site.
Before we get to Nick’s list, I just want to say a couple of things. First of all, I would like to share with you the images for the De Niro blogathon Analyzing De Niro Mark Walker & I are running which kicks off later today. Be sure to look out for Marks thoughts on Rocky & Bullwinkle over on You Talkin’ To Me? (spoiler alert – they weren’t positive thoughts) and we have plenty of great people involved with this project. Still waiting for some reviews though……some people are slower than me at delivering! ;) To have a succesful blogathon, we needed some images. That’s where Nick came in, and he designed the banner below, and the rating system for it. So Nick, thank you, excellent work my friend!!
Speaking of blogathons, and in return for Nicks help, I want to also promote a project he is currently running over on Cinekatz. The Four Horror Movies Of The Apocalypse Blogathon challenges everyone to come up with four movies that define the end of it all, each representing one of the horseman of the apocalypse: Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. For more information and to sign up, please click HERE and take part!
Now, on to Nick’s Desert Island Films…….
Desert Island Films #84 – The Cinematic Katzenjammer
I finally have gotten around to writing up this list for Tyson after telling him I’d have it done for months. Luckily, he’s patient enough to give me eons to put this together so I owe him that. Thanks, Ty. So here we go…
The Princess Bride (1987) – “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
My all time favorite flick, The Princess Bride has the lovely ability to be watched over and over and never become boring. It’s a fairy tale of the glorious sort and has Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…What more could you ask for?
As a movie lover who is absolutely terrible with quotes, The Princess Bride is the rare kind of film that I can actually talk along with, as I am that obsessed. And to all of you that quickly judge me, a man, as a lover of The Princess Bride- go watch it before you give me a hard time, you silly nancies.
The Sandlot (1993) – “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”
Every summer, The Sandlot burns it images across my television as I watch it over and over. There’s something about the film that’s just so fun, so creative, and so damn American, I can’t help but crave the summer when watching it. It’s one of my favorite comedies of all time and is packed with one-liners I repeat almost as much as The Princess Bride.
I recently discovered that a lot of my non-American friends have never even heard of the flick (damn you Canada!), and I hope that my inclusion of this movie on the list will motivate them to go find it themselves and bask in the glory of a baseball movie.
The Dark Knight (2008) – “Why so serious?!”
Yes, this film is on everyone’s list of favorite flicks, but there’s a reason for that, isn’t there? The Dark Knight not only revolutionized the way we look at superhero movies, but at summer blockbusters in their entirety. Christopher Nolan’s universe exploded into a massive world with TDK and gave Batman a story he’s been waiting to be a part of for almost 80 years. Not only is the film fitting for the hero, but we finally got to see The Joker, an insane agent of chaos, in the form he’s been dying to be in. Heath Ledger delivers an Oscar worthy performance and has gone down in history as one of cinema’s greatest villains.
It’s also worth mentioning that the film changed the way The Academy (yes, the g’damn Academy) comes up with the Best Picture nominees. Following the backlash of not including The Dark Knight on its annual list, The Academy expanded the category to up to 10 nominees.
Before Sunset (2004) – “Baby, you’re going to miss that plane”.
Good God is there a better film that depicts a more realistic romance than this? Part 2 of the Before Trilogy, Before Sunset reunites Jesse and Celine nine years after the events of Before Sunrise. The entire film is simply a 90 minute walk through Paris, as the two lost-lovers reconnect over incredible conversation, and has two of the best performances I have ever seen. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are absolutely perfect together, with their chemistry oozing out of your screen and right into your lap. It’s intimate, it’s emotional, and at times, even hard to watch, but holy cow is it incredible.
Cloud Atlas (2012) - “This world spins from the same unseen forces that twist our hearts.”
Unfortunately for me, I was unable to watch Cloud Atlas in theaters. It’s quite the shame, really, given the scope and ambition of this gorgeous masterpiece. Cloud Atlas is unlike anything I have seen before and it’s a true testament of the value and creativity of film-making. It’s in these facts that Cloud Atlas needs to be re-watched over and over and appreciated in every frame, picture, and actor. The film features a cast of only a handful of actors, who play a handful of roles stretched across a myriad of timelines, which only helps reiterate the fact that everyone and everything, across time and space, is connected. It’s a beautiful idea that’s executed brilliantly and has an incredible score to accompany it.
Plus, it’s almost three hours long. So if I have to drag my ass to a deserted island, Cloud Atlas alone will occupy plenty of my time.
Sunshine (2007) - “We’re only stardust”
Debating on which Danny Boyle film to include on this list was quite the chore. On one hand, I wanted to include 28 Days Later, but being alone on a deserted island with images of “zombies” scratching themselves on the inside of my eyelids did not sound that pleasant. So I decided to go with Sunshine, his 2007 film that’s one of the best sci-fi flicks in recent memory. Telling the story of a small crew set to the sun to reignite it for the sake of humanity, the film is gorgeous in its special effects and even more haunting with its soundtrack. In the end, one of the characters talks about his own time, left alone, where he found God and talked to him about our existence and the value of life. Something definitely worth contemplating on an island by yourself.
Forrest Gump (1994) – “Stupid is as stupid does”
I’ll admit, I almost included another Robert Zemeckis/Tom Hanks collaboration on this list, but I felt Cast Away may have been too upsetting given my circumstances on the island. So I chose to go with the classic Forrest Gump, another film you always find yourself watching whenever it comes on the TV. Forrest Gump is an American movie through and through and features one of the most likable, yet simple, heroes throughout all of movie history. It’s funny, it’s heart-breaking, and it just enough feels to put you in whatever mood you’re looking for. Hanks is superb (and Oscar-winning) and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t hold this film in high regard.
Amelie (2001) – “These are hard times for dreamers”
French love starring the gorgeous Audrey Tautou, what’s not to love? Amelie is my favorite film of one of my favorite film-makers, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Mixing fantastical elements with an energetic realism, Jeunet manages to find the happiest moments and humor in everything. When you’re alone on an island, you need that kind of optimism. The film also boasts an incredible score by Yann Tiersen, allowing me to enjoy the film by just listening to it.
As for literature, you’ll find me having a much harder time picking a book than I did the eight films above. I’ll admit, I’m not much of a reader, but am really trying to remedy the situation. I guess I just prefer my stories playing out on screen a lot more than on the page. Call me… new school? Regardless, if I had to choose a book to take with me, I’d have to settle on On Writing by Stephen King. It’s a semi-auto-biography from the master of horror, who includes personal stories with lessons on how to become a better writer. Part text book, part personal anecdote, On Writing is one great read.
As for my luxury item, I’d have to keep it simple. A shit ton of paper and a bunch of pens (or one pen that never runs out of ink). I can draw, I can write, and even make paper airplanes? In the end, when you’re all alone, if you don’t have a way to outlet your creativity, you’re pretty much screwed.
The worst part of it all? Having to transcribe it all when I get rescued. Carpal tunnel syndrome, much?
Thanks again to Nick for taking the time to join the prestigious castaway list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to THIS LIST, please drop me an email to – firstname.lastname@example.org