Monday, November 10, 2008

That Pesky Alphabet Meme

Okay, has everyone on the Internet done this now? The only alphabetical list of films I have seen is Daniel Getahun's. I'm not going to go through the rules--you can find them by clicking the link I just left, mkay?

I decided sometime early on Sunday morning that there were two ways of going about this. The first way would be to endlessly agonize over it, consider an encyclopedic self-survey until I found myself perfectly happy with the results on my part. The second way seemed more appealing and, frankly, much easier: completely wing it and simply type out the first film for each letter I felt strongly about at that crucial moment, going on mere impulse. This entire meme's objective, it seems to me, is not about whether you consider Annie Hall a more flawlessly enjoyable slice of cinematic life than the profound despair of The Ascent or if Zero for Conduct is in actuality a greater film than Zodiac. Like the immortal question itself, "What's your favorite film?" it's actually about stirring discussion. How does one answer? How does one judge?

It is the quandaries associated with such exercises that continually trouble me on a more regular basis. It is why I do not give films star ratings, 1-10 marks or letter grades. For those who do, I give you credit for being so rigorous in your examinations of all things cinematic, as always.

So, I will just give the answer to each letter that I'm feeling right now. That means if I were to fulfill the obligations of this meme an hour later, it would almost surely look quite different. Some films would doubtless not change at all--a few of them are ones some of my more steadfast readers would most likely be able to guess. And perhaps some will surprise.

A: Aguirre, the Wrath of God

B: Broken Blossoms

C: Citizen Kane

D: Double Indemnity

E: Empire of the Sun

F: Freaks

G: Grand Illusion, La

H: His Girl Friday

I: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

J: Jules et Jim

K: Kind Hearts and Coronets

L: The Lady from Shanghai

M: M

N: The Night of the Hunter

O: Out of the Past

P: Psycho

Q: Queen Christina

R: The Road Warrior

S: Sunrise

T: The Third Man

U: Ugetsu Monogatari

V: The Virgin Spring

W: Wild Strawberries

X: Xala

Y: Yojimbo

Z: Z

12 comments:

darkcitydame4e said...

Hi! Alexander,
Wow!..What a nice list!..Some of the films on your list I have watched "repeatedly" and some films on your list I haven't viewed yet!...

A.C., "Remembering
what I did to you yesterday...I am "running" away from you again!..ha! ;-O
Btw, I don't think the "Meme" games are "pesky,"...but great fun! especially, if you are a "lover" of films!

dcd ;-)

Daniel Getahun said...

Haha, pesky is the word alright.

As dcd says, though, this is mostly harmless fun, something to break up the reviewing that we all do.

His Girl Friday! Definitely a gem that I thought of later on. Like you, I just went with "what I was feeling", which was usually the first one listed alphabetically for each letter.

I also love the brilliant simplicity of choosing "M" for "m".

Sam Juliano said...

Great list Alexander, and it is well represented by many masterpieces of world cinema. Love them all, and am particularly please with EMPIRE OF THE SUN for "E." I've done mine, and sent it on to Rick Olsen at Coosa Creek Cinema.

Rick Olson said...

Sam ... you're not going to post it at your own site? That's kind of the idea ...

Alexander, great list. I especially like your choice of "Ugetsu" for "U", one of my favorite ghost stories.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Dark City Dame, Daniel, Sam and Rick!

Looking over my list this morning, I like how it's just varied enough. Though it's fairly obvious that I'm a lover of noir, isn't it, Dark City Dame?

Daniel, you're right about M for M, and, on that score, I couldn't resist having Z represent Z.

Yes, Sam, Empire of the Sun! I thought you would like that choice.

Thank you, Rick, I love Ugetsu Monogatari. I love Mizoguchi, and I love Sansho the Bailiff, which would be where Sunrise is now at a different moment... There are so many great films beginning with the letter "S," though.

Larry said...

Fantastic picks. Love the diversity here, too. Must admit there are a number of them I have not seen.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Larry.

Daniel, yes, His Girl Friday is just too wonderful to pass up on for me.

Ari said...

I'll play.

a - and the ship sails on

b - brief encounter

c - chungking express

d - do the right thing

e - eyes wide shut

f - f for fake

g - grand hotel

h - hour of the wolf

i - in the name of the father

j - john and mary

k - killing of a chinese bookie

l - lower depths

m - mulholland drive

n - naked

o - on the waterfront

p - paprika

q - quiz show

r - raging bull

s - sweet smell of success

t - thin red line

u - unbearable lightness of being

v - viridiana

w - what about bob?

x - x: the man with the x-ray eyes

y - youth of the beast

z - zelig

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you for coming by CCC again and playing this alphabet meme game, Ari. It was fun, wasn't it?

ari said...

it was, indeed. "x" took me a while, though. heh. and I liked your picks. Virgin Spring is probably my favorite Bergman.

Matthew Lucas said...

Almost went with UGETSU MONOGATARI, but ended up with UN CHIEN ANDALOU instead. Maybe that shouldn't have counted under the rules, but oh well.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Ari. Good choice there, Matthew. Perhaps you're right, maybe they should not have counted, but oh well, ha.