The middle is a convenient and easy place to be, where no arguments or controversies exist. The center is a comfortable neutral point where conformity shares space with submission. The middle is a tedious place where no one voluntarily should remain for a long time. Life is meant to be a continuous experiment. The middle is fine, but only temporarily. I must go to the extremes, both extremes. I should never be static. I should never allow myself to fall into docility or mediocrity. I would rather be invisible than mediocre.
If I ever get lost, I should dig deep inside my mind to find myself again and break through to the other side. My inner light, where my subconscious remains amid heaven and hell. Limbo? Then while there, I should visit my storage dump, where all my repressed memories lie, and cleanse myself of regrets, fears, and sins. And reconnect the mind and soul with my mortal spiritual body.
I should also distance myself from all human suffering that obscures my enlightenment by crossing the abstract threshold that leads to the path of my intangible insight that helps me to assimilate the objectives of a meaningless life. I would also liberate the confined beliefs that could help me realize that suffering is never inherent to any situation. My good deeds will eventually guide me to my karma and final encounter with the ecstasy of reaching my Nirvana.
I must find where the past and the present collide to avoid an unmerciful future. I need to push the button to pause all brain activity to counteract severe burnout.
Nihilism will cease to exist. My zenith will rise above my nadir. My reborn optimism will help me obtain the best possible world. Now that I reached the highest happiness, I will create my perfect destiny. The scary part of reaching Nirvana leads to a downward spiral to the depths of hell. Once you get total spiritual bliss and total euphoric ecstasy, you will crash against a wall of confusion.
Damn! I can’t continue. I ran out of weed. That was my last joint. Now what?
I don’t have a list of my favorite movies on my Facebook page because no one agrees, just like in religion and politics. It’s just a matter of taste and preference. In the issue of movies, everybody is an expert and a critic. But we all agree on one thing. Nobody’s right. My list could be absurd and even ridiculous to everyone else.
Each magazine picks different movies. Each critic has other choices. It’s the same thing with every person. My favorite movies might be dumb choices to everyone else. If I see your list, I might disagree with some of your favorites. That’s why we call ourselves individuals. Ultimately, all lists are useless because every single mind is different.
The best thing on this Earth might be the individual mind and the assertion that no two minds are alike.
The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences or Oscars is the bible of universal films. (What an arrogant and inflated title) Most people don’t agree with many of their choices. If you are going to trash the ‘experts,’ I can’t imagine what you would do with my list. (But I can guess.)
I saw my first movie when I was seven, and since then, my passion has only increased. And I was hooked forever. I still remember many details about the film and even the surroundings of the ‘movie theater .’ (The exterior wall of a church was the screen.)
For many years, one of my favorite programs was Siskel and Ebert at the Movies. They later renamed it Ebert and Roeper. I watched it religiously every Sunday. They were very smart, so bright, that even when one had a thumbs down and the other a thumbs up, I would agree with them after they gave their reasons. They made me love the movies even more. And I also enjoyed the end-of-the-year program dedicated to the year’s worst movies. It always gave me significant pleasure that I never saw any of the worst films they listed.
Sight and Sound, a respected and revered British film, monthly prints the list of the ten best movies of all time every ten years, chosen by hundreds of critics worldwide. It is as close as possible to fairness and perfection; still, half the world wouldn’t agree. The 2012 list includes one Japanese film, one Italian, one from Russia, two French, and five from the USA. Of the ten, three are silent films. The list of the top fifty films from the same magazine shows various languages and genres. Out of the top ten movies, I’ve seen eight.
I’m not fond of Musicals, where everybody dances, sings, jumps, and fights with fake knives. Or when a lady sings atop a grassy mountain, followed by a bunch of nerdy, rich kids. That’s different than my choice of a good movie. I would not pay to see that. To me, Lawrence of Arabia was a four-hour documentary about sand. I love England but not their movies about kings, queens, and boring things. I was not fond of The English Patient or Chariots of Fire. Also, if it’s too romantic, I’ll skip it.
So there you have it. Now that you know what I don’t like, you can slaughter my choices, mock my list and ignore and condemn my preferences.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could retire the great movies to a “Movie Hall of Fame”? For example, pick the ten best of every decade, put them in the Hall of Fame, and do the same every ten years.
On another subject, I wouldn’t feel so sad when Blockbuster finally disappears. How can they have fifty copies of Eat Pray Love and only one of City of God?
I can easily add another hundred movies to my list of favorite films. I can put them all in random play and be happy for the rest of my life, and I wouldn’t feel like I’m wasting my time. The common denominator in all these films is a great story. The story is the heart of the movie. First of all, we should thank the writers.
These movies shaped my life and inspired me to be a good person. (I’d like to think I am.) I love and enjoy life because of these movies. By the way, probably half of them had made me cry.
Without any order or preference, here’s my list:
CITY OF GOD
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
THE GODFATHER II
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
THE BICYCLE THIEF
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
THE GRAPES OF WRATH
GONE WITH THE WIND
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
THE WIZARD OF OZ
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD
DAY FOR NIGHT
DRUNKEN MASTER II
THE 400 BLOWS
LITTLE BIG MAN
BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
CRIES AND WHISPERS
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
TALK TO HER
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT
THE VIRGIN SPRING
MARCELINO PAN Y VINO
JEAN DE FLORETTE
MANON OF THE SPRING
I SAW THE DEVIL
DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER
A WOMAN WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
HELL OR HIGH WATER
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
They ask me, “If you were alone on a deserted island, what movie (book or album) would you take?” I’d answer, “None.” I need at least a hundred, not just one. It’s like asking a mother which of her two children she prefers. (Oh, I forgot about Sophie’s Choice!)
You might say, “Oh, but you missed this one or that one,” I’ll respond, “Yeah, I know, but they belong on your list.”
So, why put a shortlist of my favorite movies on my Facebook page if all my friends disagree with my choices? Why not add a more extended list to my blog and tell the world about my disparate preferences?