Abecedarian movies

I saw this at SamuraiFrog. You name one movie for every letter of the alphabet.

Here are the rules:

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. [Lengthy rules about Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, LOTR, Chronicles of Narnia series…]

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.

6. If you’re selected, you have to then select 5 more people.

The original Blog Cabins rules suggest that one picks their FAVORITE film under that letter, which not explicit in the various iterations I’ve seen such as the one by Tom the Dog, who had a lovely twist on the concept. Johnny B. also did it.

My blog, my (additional) rules. These are films I have seen and that I like. Maybe not THE favorite (A would be Annie Hall, e.g.), but one of my favorites. Some were tough to find anything (X), while some had a plethora of possibilities (T). I’ve tended to lean towards those I first saw in an actual movie theater rather than on video. In fact, I think I saw all my main choices that way except E, H and X

Amadeus – a rockingly good time with Mozart. He died making perhaps my favorite music ever, his Requiem.

Being There – I spent a lot of time defending this film from people who thought it was “boring”, that “nothing happens”.

Cabaret- picked over the obvious Casablanca only because I saw the latter on TV first.

Dumbo – I decided that I needed some animation, and while The Incredibles and Toy Story 2, to name two, would rank higher, this story of the outsider always resonated with me, despite the crows.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – my wife and I saw this on video, were too tired to finish, watch the rest in the morning. I still LOVED it. As someone said, “A very, very sweet movie masquerading as something else.” But I’ve recently discovered that my wife likes it much less than I thought she did. TThis was one of the two Charlie Kaufman films I considered, but since I had a perfectly good B choice, Being John Malkovich, alas, was cast to the side.

Field of Dreams = STILL makes me cry.

Groundhog Day – own this on VHS to see annually.

Hairspray – somehow missed this John waters film in the theater. But saw it recently enough to review in this blog. I’m talking the original here, not the remake.

In the Name of the Father – my Daniel Day-Lewis pick. Not even my favorite of his films, but still solid.

Jules et Jim – saw this at a museum in Binghamton when I was in high school. If you insist on something in English, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Kissing Jessica Stein – had trouble picking ANY K movie.

Lonestar – my John Sayles pick. Sayles is from Schenectady, near Albany, and I’ve seen a LOT of his films, but this is my favorite.

Malcolm X – this covers Denzel Washington and Spike Lee. Actually, my favorite Spike joint would be Do The Right Thing, but I like this one as well.

The Night They Raided Minsky’s – I do believe I’m obsessed with this film, based on the number of times that I’ve mentioned it in this blog. I actually was talking to someone this week who thought it’d be a fine Broadway musical.

On the Waterfront – I actually saw this in television inonly in the past five years. Quite powerful.

Planet of the Apes – a great story co-written by Rod Serling.

The Queen – a recent view; a thin group of choices.

Rear Window – saw this Hitchcock film in a theater when it was re-released in mid-1980s. Indeed, I think I’ve only seen two Hitch films in an actual movie theater, this and the Birds, though I’ve watched a number on TV.

sex, lies and videotape – just edging out The Sound of Music and the Shawshank Redemption.

The Truman Show – tough category with Toy Story 2, 12 Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird. But this is a GOOD Jim Carrey film.

Unforgiven – one of Tom’s selection, the directing of Clint Eastwood needed a spot. So did the western, now that I think of it.

Volver – a relatively recent movie that came to mind with Penelope Cruz.

West Side Story – though Wizard of Oz is the better movie, I do so LOVE the music of WSS. AND I saw it in the movies as a kid.

X2 – this may be the ONLY X movie I’ve seen and remember. I saw this with my wife in a hotel in Maryland or West Virginia on New Year’s Eve a few years ago, before Lydia, stopping midway in our return trip from North Carolina to NYS

Young Frankenstein – oh, yes, another Tom pick. Literally fell out of my chair laughing when I saw it in the theater; good thing I had an aisle seat.

Z – haven’t seen this since it first came out, but I remember being riveted by it.


October Ramblin’

I have no idea how or why, but someone I do not know wrote to me and asked: “Do you know why Amy Madigan was not cast as Allison French in the 2008 movie Appaloosa. She’s married to Ed Harris who co-wrote the screenplay, directed & starred in the movie?” I wrote back, “I have no idea except that Renee Zellweger is younger and more famous.”
I did also include a couple quotes:
September 13, 2006
Harris’ wife, actress Amy Madigan, informed the [SF] Chronicle that she won’t be appearing in the film because there’s no role for her in it.

October 16, 2007
Tavis Smiley: How is [Ed], by the way?
Amy Madigan: He’s wonderful. He’s directing a film right now in New Mexico called “Appaloosa” with – and he’s also acting in it – with Viggo Mortensen. He’s playing his part in that, and Renee Zellweger and Jeremy Irons, and they’re just riding horses, and they have guns, and it’s a very cool story, based on a Robert Parker novel, as a matter of fact.
Tavis: After 23 years of marriage…?
Amy: Twenty-four.
Tavis: Twenty-four years – you guys are used to being apart, I guess, for extensive time?
Amy: Yeah, but I still don’t like it. We’re just revisiting – we’re lucky because when we’re together we really have all that time, but it’s still difficult.
I Am the Walrus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The song also contains the exclamation goo goo g’joob with “koo koo g’joob heard clearly in the second. Various hypotheses exist regarding the origin and meaning. One is that the phrase was derived from the similar “koo koo ka choo” in Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson, written in 1967. However, the film The Graduate, where “Mrs. Robinson” debuted, did not appear until December 1967, a month after “I Am the Walrus”, and The Graduate Original Soundtrack (which contained only fragments of the final version of “Mrs Robinson”) was not until January 1968.
There’s a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It’s about eliminating the ‘drive-through’ Mastectomy where patients are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.
Lifetime Television has put this bill on their Web page with a petition drive to show support. Last year over half the House signed on. Sign the petition if you feel so moved; you need not give more than your name, state, and zip code.
Possibly not coincidentally, there was a story on ABC News last week about a father and daughter who both had breast cancer. I recall that Ed Brooke, former US Senator (R-MA) had breast cancer. Here are some stats. So while over 99% of people getting v=breast cancer are women, men can get it too.
alan david doane has started a blog to promote his freelance copywriting services. I understand he works in both UPPER and lower case.
An old friend, Elinor Brownstein im very excited that the musical she wrote is being produced: Oy Vay, the Musical
Chicken soup for stressed-out pandas
The Wuhan Zoo in central China has been feeding its two pandas home-cooked chicken soup twice in a month to reduce stress and give them a nutritional boost, a zoo official said Friday.
“A church squabble of ten years’ standing at Wallpack Center, NJ has developed a very singular phase. When the church was built, some ten years ago, the church people were divided on the subject of the site. Later, their choir became the center of the quarrel. A part of the congregation wanted the organist and singers of their choice, while others were opposed to them. The past few weeks the feeling has been getting more and more bitter. A few days ago there was to have been a special service, for which another organist was engaged, but on gathering at the church the congregation was amazed to find that someone had entered the building and, after daubing the organ inside and out with tar, had sprinkled on a bountiful supply of
feathers. The whole organ, cover, keyboard, stops, pedals, and all had received the double coat. This is certainly the most ridiculous display of petty vengeance on record”. From the News and Observer, Raleigh, NC, October 26, 1883. (Re-printed in The American Organist, October 2008, p. 52.)
Condolences to my friend Mary whose brother Tim died at the age of 46 after spending the last 10 years of his life fighting a battle with adult onset myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy.