Friday, July 07, 2006

Smart List, Dumb List

As I have been virtually invisible online the past couple of weeks for reasons that have nothing to do with my health, believe it or not, and, because I am leaving town for the weekend, I have decided to post the down-n-dirty blogger's crutch, the "list" post, for no other reason that I have been suffering "guilt" over the fact I've been invisible, and feel I need to publish something before I depart. (Make sense? Doesn't to me.)

For me, books are the obvious list-maker to address, but movies are easiest to do, and so I offer a couple of lists devoted to the Art of Cinema, published in concert with the highly anticipated premier of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

(Will someone tell me whose idea it was to include "Dead Man's Chest" in the title? The images that come to mind are gruesome. At least make sure that the dead man's chest doesn't resemble Alec Baldwin's or Andy Garcia's, men whose hirsute torsos resemble the Amazon rain forest viewed from above.)

I love movies as much as the next fellow, but I am hardly a student of the genre and cannot discuss film in any manner befitting a cineaste. Or in any matter befitting an idiot, for that matter.

Though I don't know Art but I know what I like, I do have one insight into the matter of these lists: the older one gets, the less likely it is that one will discover your all-time book, movie, or piece of music.

Such revelations happen all the time, of course, and it wasn't until I had passed 32 that I first saw "Touch of Evil" (see below). But had I seen it at 22 or 18, it would affected me in a way that it could not have years later. The simple reasons for this are:

--You're young, impressionable, and once you get out of high school, realize it's a good thing to become cultured. You want to educate yourself. You want to find something that speaks to you in a way most pieces of art cannot.

--When you're younger, there is a tendency to find things that make you "better," and, out of high school, talking about them won't get you beaten up.

--You have raging hormones, and for losers like me who couldn't get laid with pre-paid prostitution calling card, you have to direct that energy elsewhere.

Dream come true

So, without further introduction.

My Favorite 10 Movies That Make Me Look Smarter Than I Really Am:

10. Brazil
9. Y Tu Mama Tambien
8. The Magnificent Ambersons
7. Yojimbo
6. Talk to Her
5. Jules et Jim
4. Rashomon
3. Touch of Evil
2. The Seven Samurai
1. Citizen Kane

If you see a pattern here, you win! No prizes, though.

My Favorite 10 Movies That Make Me Look Stupider Than I Really Am:

10. Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery
9. The Man From S.E.X.
8. The Men Behind the Music (Devo)
7. South Park: The Movie


6. The Naked Gun
5. Any and all of The Three Stooges (Curly Howard only)
4. Police Story
3. Office Space
2. Drunken Master II
1. This Is Spinal Tap

I imagine that "Tap," "Office Space," and the two Jackie Chan movies don't make me look dumb, but I wouldn't bring them up in conversation. Then again, I usually do.

Comment and have a great World Cup weekend.