Thursday, December 23, 2010

30 Movies For My 30th Birthday

Today is my 30th birthday. Out curiosity (and as a way to stave off deep existential angst), I posed myself a question: what are the thirty films released in my lifetime most important to me personally? In assembling this list, I tired to intellectualize it as little as possible: I paid no mind to whether a movie is widely beloved or hated, whether it was a box office success and a cultural touchstone or a financial flop and a forgotten cult object. I simply started typing. Here were the results, in alphabetical order:

"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (Adam McKay, 2004)
"Army of Darkness" (Sam Raimi, 1992)
"Back to the Future" (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
"Before Sunrise" (Richard Linklater, 1985)
"Blow Out" (Brian De Palma, 1981)
"Boogie Nights" (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
"Clerks." (Kevin Smith, 1994)
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
"Finding Nemo" (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
"Ghostbusters" (Ivan Reitman, 1984)
"Goodfellas" (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
"Gymkata" (Robert Clouse, 1985)
"Hard Boiled" (John Woo, 1992)
"High Fidelity" (Stephen Frears, 2000)
"L.A. Confidential" (Curtis Hanson, 1997)
"Mulholland Dr." (David Lynch, 2001)
"My Winnipeg" (Guy Maddin, 2008)
"The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad" (David Zucker, 1988)
"No Country For Old Men" (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
"Pulp Fiction" (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
"The Room" (Tommy Wiseau, 2003)
"Spaceballs" (Mel Brooks, 1987)
"The Terminator" (John Cameron, 1984)
"There Will Be Blood" (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
"The Thing" (John Carpenter, 1982)
"This is Spinal Tap" (Rob Reiner, 1984)
"Total Recall" (Paul Verhoeven, 1990)
"Trainspotting" (Danny Boyle, 1996)
"Videodrome" (David Cronenberg, 1983)
"Zodiac" (David Fincher, 2007)

Once I assembled the list I looked at it closer. I was surprised how evenly the films were split between the decades of my life -- 11 from the 80s, 9 from the 90s, 10 from the 00s -- and by the mixture of high-brow art pictures and low-brow schlock.

Does this list have any value to anyone other than me? Rob Gordon from "High Fidelity," one of the films from my list, would say that what really matters in this world is what you like, not what you are like. In which case, those thirty films represent a pretty decent window into who I am on December 23, 2010.


Blogger Edwin Arnaudin said...

There are 10 from your list that I've yet to see, but of the remaining 20, I imagine that many of them would make my list in 3 years.

Happy Birthday!

3:49 PM  
Blogger P.L. Kerpius said...

I love it, M! I'm not surprised by any of these selections, they are all very Matt Singer and ones that if I were making a list of your faves I would likely pick too. Actually, this would be a good friendship test for The Crew: make a top 30 (or 35 in Ancient Alberto's case) and compare it to what that person picked. Lest we run out of list-making exercises...

Happy 30th!

11:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home