A little late, but very enthusiastic

Hello. In my inimitable style (unless you can imit it, in which case, go forth and imit) I’m starting one day late for NaBloPoMo. In other words, I’ve lost the race right out of the gate, but that won’t stop me from running it. That’s the Palinode Way. Check the self-help section of your local bookseller.

Anyway, I thought I’d lend some focus to the enterprise by writing each day about my favourite films. I’m not making claims about the quality of these films - that is to say, my list is derived by taste instead of judgment - but these are the movies that I will watch without hesitation, no matter what the circumstances. Seriously: If my apartment were burning down and I still had twenty minutes to go until the end of Aliens, I’d probably just lay on the floor and hope for the best.

This is the list of films I’ll be discussing over the course of November. In order to avoid any semblance of coherent argument, I’ve arranged them in alphabetical order. It’s my hope that by following an alphabetical sequence, I’ll avoid falling into the standard patterns of thought that come with, for example, going in chronological order. Besides, that would probably show a grossly lopsided preference for the late ’70s or mid ’50s. I also seem to prefer films directed by men. Well, isn’t that special of me.

  1. After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)
  2. After Life (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1998)
  3. Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)
  4. Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969)
  5. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
  6. Besieged (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1998)
  7. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
  8. Bliss (Ray Lawrence, 1985)
  9. Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
  10. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
  11. Delicatessen (Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, 1991)
  12. The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin, 2007)
  13. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)
  14. Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 1978)
  15. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
  16. The Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1968)
  17. Jules et Jim (Francois Truffaut, 1962)
  18. Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)
  19. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Anderson, 2003)
  20. The Man without a Past (Aki Kurismaki, 2002)
  21. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
  22. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
  23. Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1950)
  24. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  25. The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (Slavoj Zizek, 2006)
  26. Solaris (Andrey Tarkovskiy, 1972)
  27. Something Wild (Jonathan Demme, 1986)
  28. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
  29. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1939)
  30. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
  31. Underground (Emir Kustirica, 1995)
  32. Wall-e (Andrew Stanton, 2008)


You can also see that the films in this list outnumber the days of November. And that’s okay. I can do whatever I want. This is the Internet, where there are no rules. I don’t even have to capitalize Internet, even though the Canadian Press Style Guide advises me that I should. Screw you, CP guide. I’m not a journalist on this blog. I’m just a guy with a set of half-formed opinions and a weblog. Tremble.

First up: Martin Scorsese’s screwball nightmare After Hours.