Alphabet Meme: Film Titles

16 November, 2008 at 5:03 pm (film, webjunk)

Glenn Kenny compells me to do a lot of things. I miss Premiere magazine, a periodical with which he was involved that first introduced me to the idea of Film as compared to Movies, the writing of David Foster Wallace, auteur theory, the realization that entertainment was a business, and that hype was as well. His memories of The Feelies got me to finally watch McCabe & Mrs. Miller, in a charmingly banal coincidence. I don’t know the man, but he’s a writer, and I do like the way he strings words together.

So, when he blogs about being tagged to participate in an internet meme (after having started his own), I’m inclined for reasons passing understanding to jump on board.

The rules are as follows: 1. Pick one film to represent each letter of the alphabet.

And that’s basically it. There are actually more rules than that, but they’re about propagating the meme, and how to do with spelling and title conventions, and blah blah blah. The meme is, Pick 26 movies, one for each letter, put them in order, you have no additional guidelines as to what you should pick. So my limiter, self-imposed, is going to be my DVD collection. Anything in grey is something I don’t actually own. Here we go.

Alphabet Meme: Charade, The Incredibles, The Philadelphia Story, A Very Long EngagementThe Apartment (1960), Billy Wilder
Broadcast News (1987), James L. Brooks
Charade (1963), Stanley Donen
Dangerous Liaisons (1989), Stephen Frears
Edward Scissorhands (1990), Tim Burton
The Fisher King (1991), Terry Gilliam
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), George Armitage
Heist (2001), David Mamet
The Incredibles (2003), Brad Bird
The January Man (1989), Pat O’Connor
Kicking & Screaming (1995), Noah Baumbach
Little Man Tate (1991), Jodie Foster
M*A*S*H (1969), Robert Altman
North By Northwest (1959), Alfred Hitchcock
Out of Sight (1998), Steven Soderbergh
The Philadelphia Story (1940), George Cukor
Quiz Show (1994), Robert Redford
Rushmore (1999), Wes Anderson
Strange Brew (1984), Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Norman Jewison
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), Philip Kaufman
A Very Long Engagement (2004), Jean-Pierre Jeunet
What’s Up, Doc? (1972), Peter Bogdanovich
The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998), Rob Bowman
Young Frankenstein (1974), Mel Brooks
Zodiac (2007), David Fincher

Going through my DVDs for this, I could have easily constructed two more lists, one just for classic films, and one for commercial pleasures. There were more than twce as many films as I listed that I regretted having to leave out. I don’t remember having this much trouble selecting my top twenty films over at YMDB. But the list that remains is still a valid reflection of my tastes over time and my history as an audience… there’s nothing here that I don’t have vivid memories of or a particular connection with. And while I refuse to tag five people to spread this meme, particularly when I know full well there aren’t that many people who read this, I hope someone feels the urge to at least mentally run down one’s own list of twenty-six, with whichever selection criterion feels appropriate…

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