Friday, May 11, 2012

Extraterrestrial Blogathon


Earlier this week, my good buddy Sam at Duke & The Movies proposed a Blogathon to take place today. The concept is simple, the execution has been painful. Here’s the prompt:

Extraterrestrial forces land on Earth. Unknowing of our planet and society, you can pick five films from the history of cinema that represent humanity. What titles would you choose and why?

I’ve tried to be as varied and all encompassing with my picks as possible. I could easily list 30 movie titles here, but the challenge is five, so five it shall be.


The Virgin Spring (1960)
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Because there must be a Bergman, and while Persona is my favorite, I think The Virgin Spring is the best fit here. It perfectly tackles the themes of love, death, suffering, revenge and, of course, faith, as well as any one film can.

Taxi Driver (1976)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Because I can think of no better way to demonstrate art than by showing my favorite component of our finest creative medium.

Amélie (2001)
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Because some people are equipped with a life philosophy fueled by unapologetic optimism, and that deserves to be articulated to our new visitors.

Babel (2006)
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Because Babel conveys the full extent of the goodness than people can bestow on one another, but it’s also not afraid to show how fucking horrible we can treat each other.

When the Levees Broke (2006)
Directed by Spike Lee
Because outsiders need to understand what happens when the people who are supposed to take care of us don’t.


I’m sure Sam will be aggregating everyone’s picks on his site sometime this week. Check out his homepage here.

21 comments:

  1. Superb list! I really should start watching Bergman - I hear so many people (especially Tyler) talk about his films so often! I can't wait til holidays where all I have to do is lie in bed and do nothing. Then I'll be watching so many films!

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    1. Thanks! Bergman is by long and far my favorite filmmaker. His work has had such a profound impact on my life - creatively, emotional, humanly. Ah, I just love him. I wish I could watch all of his movies for the first time. They are truly magical.

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  2. I second Ruth's notion about Bergman. I haven't seen a single one of his titles, and I hear so many great things about him. When I'm good and ready, my friend, I'll have to hit you up on where to begin... :-)

    Great piece, Alex. I like seeing everyone's picks for this blogathon. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of picking 5 films for this theme, so I'm an outsider on this one.

    Fo'shizzle, dude.

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    1. Oh man, I will gladly be your Bergman guide, when you are ready.

      Fo'shizzle SHO'NUFF!

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  3. Absolutely fantastic picks and reasoning for them.

    I too put TAXI DRIVER on my list - for different reason though.

    Thank you for this Alex - great stuff as usual.

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    1. I just saw your picks, loved them all. Got a huge smile when I saw that we both picked Taxi driver.

      Really cool idea here man.

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  4. Damn good picks Alex. As usual you remind me of some great films I love and introduce at least one I haven't seen (in this case When the Levees Broke). And of course, as usual, you put my five choices to shame. Well done!

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    1. Me, put your choices to shame? Shiiiiit. I loved your picks dude, but either way, thanks so much for your kind words, glad you like my list!

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  5. Interesting list, Alex. I have not seen your #1 and #5 picks, but these are different and well-rounded selections and I love your explanations for Taxi Driver and Amelie.

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    1. Thanks man, I really enjoyed your picks as well. I cannot recommend The Virgin Spring highly enough, and When the Levees Broke is pretty goddamn jarring too.

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  6. Oh I love 'Amélie' as a pick - such joy and so much love. 'Babel' is also great - a perfect example of the best and worst of humanity.

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  7. Haha Taxi Driver! Awesomeness! Amelie was almost in my list too. I can never watch Babel... I get too depressed. But lovely list :)

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    1. Yeah Babel is heavy shit - constant angst and turmoil until the final minutes, and even then...

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  8. Love the inclusion of Babel - it was such a touching film though at the beginning it didn't hint that much towards the powerful endings to each of the stories.

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    1. Thanks Sati, I'm really glad so many people love that film as much as I do. Floors me everytime.

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  9. Nice balance. With Amelie in there they might just spare our little planet!

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  10. And by the way Alex, I'd really appreciate your input on my latest post which is inspired by this very post of yours! http://ilovethatfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/best-of-bergman-interactive-post.html

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  11. Great List Alex !! I need to watch Virgin Springs, I have been hearing a lot lately and Babel - you are torturing them Alex !! :)

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    1. Ha, that's one way to look at it. But in all honestly, I think it'd be important to show outsiders the full badness that we humans are capable of. Would help give perspective, you know?

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