Jan 9, 2012

a cinema on a desert island

So, the fabulous Matt Zoller Seitz wrote an article recently for Salon in which he asked us, what, if we could somehow take a perpetually functioning DVD/Blu-Ray player to a desert island -- one run by solar power or coconuts, one presumes - we would be watching.

He allows for a single short film, one self-contained season of a television show and ten films. However, the last part has a caveat -- for example, because "Carlos" played Cannes as a single five-hour film from the the French TV miniseries, it qualifies as a single film. However, film trilogies, franchises and whatnot do not. The first two "Godfathers" are separate works.

Part of this is easy - one simply thinks of what films one has watched the most. But the other part -- I am shutting myself out from all future works, from all the films and shows yet to be made, from all the ones I have not yet seen - is hard. The question, quite simply, is what can I watch over-and-over that still has hidden depths I have not yet seen? Once the novelty is gone - once the third-act twist has been revealed, once the dialogue has been memorized - what remains?

So, with that in mind:

Short: Hotel Chevalier
Season: Twin Peaks, Season Two
1) Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
2) Bringing Up Baby
3) Citizen Kane
4) Fanny & Alexander
5) Gone with the Wind
6) Lost Highway
7) Out of Sight
8) Umbrellas of Cherbourg
9) Vertigo
10) Zodiac

Look for justifications to appear shortly. For now, I will merely say that several on this list fall into the "stop whatever I am doing and watch them in their entirety, should they appear on TV, despite the fact that I have seen them all before and own them on DVD."

(Honorable mention using that criteria: Bring It On. It is a constant delight.)