I’ve been meaning to make this list for a long time and to be honest, it took me a loooong time once I started on the list. The thing has been sitting on my desktop for more than 6 months now and after all that time I’m still not sure that I have it exactly right. That’s why I’m calling it “50 of My Favorite Films” instead of “My 50 Favorite Films.” So, take this whole numbered ranking system with a grain of salt. ‘Cause not even the author is sure about it.
As I’ve said before, my heart is a home for wayward films. A lot of the movies I like are ones that people have never seen and many of the movies that the general American public hold in high regard are ones that I have not and will likely never lay eyes on. The Wizard of Oz, for instance. I never would have seen that had my father-in-law not insisted on it during one of our visits to Pennsylvania. And really, at this point, my life is no better for seeing The Wizard of Oz. I could do without it entirely. But thanks, Stewart 🙂
Since some of these are ones that I don’t expect many people have seen (but don’t worry, some are cliched and estrogen-filled), I’d love to hear what you think if you HAVE seen them. Please discuss! I love talking movies, especially with people who enjoy the same ones I do.
50. Central do Brasil
Dear Jesús, You’re the worst thing to happen to me. I’m writing because your son Josue asked me to. I told him you’re worthless, and yet, he still wants to meet you.
Back in early high school I was embracing my interest in things that could best be described as Not Smalltown Oklahoma. It was an interesting time. One of the things I took an interest in was foreign film. It was rare, but when I could get my hands on one I was glued to our TV. Mostly it was only on Showtime or HBO preview weekends (because, you know, my parents would have never paid to have that in the house). One of my favorites is Central do Brasil, a film about the friendship formed between a young boy and a middle-aged woman after a tragedy. The fabulous actress Fernanda Montenegro stars in it and it is well worth seeking out.
49. The River Pirates
“In my life I find that memories of the spirit linger and sweeten long after memories of the brain have faded.”
“Why in childhood and youth do we wish time to pass so quickly – we want to grow up so fast – yet as adults we wish just the opposite?” (quotes from My Dog Skip)
I was a senior in high school when I first saw My Dog Skip. I know that’s not the movie I’m talking about here, but it a way, it sort of is. Watching that movie, I heard one of the characters mention the name “Rivers Applewhite” and memories came flooding back to me. Things that must have been buried for years. But who could forget a name like Rivers Applewhite. It all came back. Pirates, Yazoo, dark stormy nights in the south. A little googling pointed me in the direction I needed to go, to a movie I saw before I started kindergarten, one that clearly left a mark on me back in the day.
The movie was The River Pirates which is now often billed as Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood (title comes from the book it’s based on). It was a favorite of my mom’s when I was little and after it premiered as a PBS Wonderworks production, we would rent it occasionally from the little movie store in the nearest town. The newer film, My Dog Skip, is essentially a prequel to the events in The River Pirates.
It’s a coming of age tale based on author Willie Morris’s life growing up in Mississippi. Mr. Morris is such a wonderful writer, this story is one that captured my heart as a little girl and now I’m thinking I need to get a copy so that I can share it with my children someday.
48. Dancer in the Dark
“I used to dream I was in a musical because in a musical nothing dreadful ever happens.”
Ah, my Björk phase. Good times. Who am I kidding. I still love her. But back in early high school my love for her music and overall quirkiness was at an all time high. When Dancer in the Dark came out I knew I had to see it.
Life as a musical. But don’t be fooled. It’s a pretty depressing movie, but the music is beautiful and there is a quietness to it that I can’t help but adore. Catherine Deneuve co-stars and all I can say is I hope that I hold up that well.
47. Now & Then
“Thomas Wolfe once said you can’t go home again. Well, that’s great for old Tom. But he wasn’t a chick who made a pact with her friends when she was twelve to get together whenever any one of them needed each other. So here I am driving back to my childhood home in Indiana a place I can tell you I never wanted to see again.”
photo credit: mypassionforbeauty on tumblr
Now & Then is one of those movies that makes me wish I had anything other than highly dysfunctional relationships with the majority of women that I know. I mean, it’s sad, but most of the friends I had when I was 12 don’t even talk to me anymore. Just the nature of things I guess. This movie came along when I was about the same age as the girls in the film and I learned a lot of things from it back then. It’s one of the sweet ones that is fun to sit back, enjoy, and get nostalgic about.
46. The Bridges of Madison County
“The old dreams were good dreams; they didn’t work out, but glad I had them.”
photo credit: kmar on flickr
Oh, sweet mercy. When this film was first released and I saw the trailers on TV, I remember looking over to my mom, wide-eyed with that “I have got to see this movie” look on my face. Of course, it did no good ’cause I wasn’t going to the theater to see this…ever. It wasn’t until sometime in college that I picked up a copy of the DVD out of a $5 bin. The story unfolds beautifully because DUH, Meryl Streep. Now, it’s about infidelity but there is just so much more to the story than that. Decisions…how the smallest ones can change your life forever. What’s worth letting go. What you choose to hold on to.
And then there are the farmhouses, that plainsy Iowa scenery, and the covered bridges.
Sigh. I love me a good covered bridge.
. . .
The next five are coming soon! What did you think of this group? Any of your favorites included?