It's alphabetical

>> Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sheesh, you tag me with a stupid internet meme, and I tell you I usually won't bite. You just kind of do it, and if it's just goofy enough, I just might do it. Hence, when I saw this at Ilya's Burlaki On The Thames, well, I just had to.

The meme is pretty simple: from R. Jason Bennion's Simple Tricks And Nonsense, quote:

1. Pick one film to represent each letter of the alphabet.

2. The letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title, unless the film is simply titled A or The, and I don't know of any films with those titles.

3. Return of the Jedi belongs under "R," not "S" as in Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi. This rule applies to all films in the original Star Wars trilogy; all that followed start with "S." Similarly, Raiders of the Lost Ark belongs under "R," not "I" as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Conversely, all films in the Lord of the Rings series belong under "L" and all films in the Chronicles of Narnia series belong under "C," as that's what those filmmakers called their films from the start. In other words, movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release. Use your better judgment to apply the above rule to any series/films not mentioned.

4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number's word. 12 Monkeys would be filed under "T."

5. Link back to Blog Cabins in your post so that I can eventually type "alphabet meme" into Google and come up #1, then make a post where I declare that I am the King of Google.

(Speaking of which, here's a link to the heir apparent to the Kingdom Of Google, Fletch at Blog Cabins.)

The original rules state that somebody must be tagged: since it annoys me to tag others, I won't tag anyone else. Instead, I offer two other rules, or perhaps a new rule I followed and two amendments in the spirit of rule 3 (ever the lawyer, I must be, but I prefer to think of it as I, The GM, coming up with an appropriate house or table rule):

3a. Films whose original titles were in a language other than English are filed under their foreign title or the closest Anglicized approximation (i.e. no, I didn't try to figure out the original Japanese characters for Rashômon, but City Of Lost Children appears as La Cité Des Enfants Perdus; on a slightly-related note, I was actually surprised, when I fact-checked myself on Alphaville, to discover the real title of the movie is much longer than I'd ever known; also, for the record, this rule screwed me out of including one of my favorite movies of all time, Per Un Pugno Di Dollari, which I realized I had never, ever, ever referred to by its actual Italian title until I went to include an IMDB link--dammit... oh well, I love the Coen brothers, so it all worked out);

3b. Ego stroking shall be swatted down with a big stick. It's Halloween, not John Carpenter's Halloween, fuck you very much, Mr. Carpenter (we all know who directed the damn movie). (And it's not just Mr. Carpenter: every now and again Mr. Jarmusch has felt obliged to sign his name on everything. Screw you too, Mr. J.);

6. These are all films, yes, that I've actually seen. Some titles came to mind here and there (e.g. Idiocracy) for movies I haven't seen, and that just didn't seem right.

Some of these films are favorites and some simply aren't, and a few of these (e.g. Quartermass And The Pit, a.k.a. Five Million Years To Earth and When The Wind Blows--truly one of the most depressing movies ever) are ones I haven't seen in forever. But enough jibber-jabber, as Mr. T might say--the list:


Ilya Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 8:50:00 AM EST  

Count on you to come up with an esoteric list, Eric. I don't even know a handful of your selections :(

Eric Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM EST  

I started to single out favorites for you, but then I realized they're all worth seeing (even cheesy-fun ones like Quartermass). So I'd say add any you haven't seen to your queue.

I took the extra step of making all the entries IMDB links, so if you're wondering about one before you add it, click the link and check it out.

The ones that are essentials--movies that really everybody ought to see sometime are: Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Kurosawa's Yojimbo and Rashomon, and Hitchcock's Vertigo. (You could make a case for Godard's Alphaville as an essential, a film I only got around to seeing myself last year. If you're an SF fan, it's definitely a must-see.)

I wouldn't say it's that esoteric a list--I know people who could come up with real mind-blowers, but thank you.

Leanright,  Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 1:01:00 PM EST  

Let me go entirely off subject and share a story with you, Eric, because I know you have a love for classic and progressive rock.

Late Tuesday evening on a business trip to Portland, OR., three of my colleagues and our boss shared a nice dinner and some cigars at El Gaucho restaurant in Downtown Portland at the Benson Hotel off Broadway. Dinner ended around midnight, and we hit the local brewpubs around that time, Wednesday, VERY early morning. We closed down Rogue Brewery in the Pearl district around 2:30 am, and then proceeded to head back to the Benson hotel, arriving there at around 2:50 am to ask the valet to call us a cab to go to our much lower class hotel. Just around that time, and ambulance shows up. Not thinking to much of it, we proceeded to get into our cab.

Then, I get this story emailed to me.,0,5386794.story

How strange. The last remaining artist of one of the greatest bands to never reach their full potential. Sad.

Nathan Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 1:35:00 PM EST  

There's one obscure movie I tried to remember for "K" on my list. (And it might not even be a "K" movie.)

It's about 20 minutes long, has the title repeated over and over and over again ad nauseum in an atonal chant while the images just keep changing. Very strange and I'm just betting you know the name off the top of your head.


Ilya Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 4:10:00 PM EST  

I'll certainly be looking for some of these on the cable channels that I record. Thanks, Eric!

Eric Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 5:33:00 PM EST  

For those who didn't follow Leanright's link: Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix's drummer, has passed away at age 61.

Sad news. Thanks for passing that along, Leanright.


Nathan: I started to say I had no idea what you were talking about, when it suddenly occurred to me that you almost certainly had to be talking about Koyaanisqatsi, although Koyaanisqatsi is an hour and twenty minutes long. It's a movie best known for (1) being part of a trilogy with the better known Powaqqatsi (the third film is Naqoyqatsi, which I'd never even heard of before checking Wikipedia for Koyaanisqatsi) and (2) for having a soundtrack by avant-garde composer Philip Glass. Actually, it's best known for the latter, and Glass would have been my search focus if I hadn't dimly remembered Powaqqatsi by name and searched for it, instead.

I saw Powaqqatsi in college, nearly twenty years ago. I don't believe I've ever seen Koyaanisqatsi.

If I guessed correctly: yes, I really am pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.

And if I didn't: sheesh, what's wrong with you, dude? Like I can pull out the name an obscure art-film starting with "K" with nothing more than a hunch and a Google search. What the hell do you think I am, anyway?


Eric Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 5:35:00 PM EST  

(To clarify: I knew Koyaanisqatsi was part of a trilogy with Powaqqatsi--I just didn't know the name of the third film or an approximation of it.)

Eric Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 5:40:00 PM EST  

Actually, y'know what? I think it actually is Koyaanisqatsi that I saw in college, not Powaqqatsi: I remember the "Life Out Of Balance" subtitle, and the Wikipedia article on Powaqqatsi (thank you CTRL-C and CTRL-V, you're the awesomest!) doesn't ring as many bells.

As I recall, it was for a class I took freshman year.

You know what else? I don't think I'm going to sit through either one of them any time soon. :-)

Carol Elaine Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 5:56:00 PM EST  

I've seen both Koyaanisqatsi and Naqoyqatsi, but not Powaqqatsi. The two that I've seen are excellent films. I'd call them ambient films (which fits perfectly with the Glass' music) and if you don't mind movies that're just fascinating images and music, I'd highly recommend the entire Qatsi trilogy.

However, I've also seen Anima Mundi, also by Reggio and Glass. Unfortunately, it comes across as a Reggio/Glass knockoff.

Nathan Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 9:00:00 PM EST  


You're a fucking genius. That's exactly the one I was trying to remember. And I honestly thought it was 20 minutes but just felt like one hour twenty.

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