Thanks to Ian for starting this off. Please read his article for the full set-up, but essentially here are my five “watch-'em-again-and-again” DVDs.
I wanted to include Austin Powers here, I really did. I am a massive fan, and I use the catch phrases all the time but..... Well, I simply do not revisit the films much. Just the odd time. So, in the rules of this exercise, I cannot include him. Had it been my top five all-time films, then maybe.
Airplane - The Movie
This is my most-watched movie of all time, along with Airplane 2 - The Sequel. I have lost count how many times I have watched this film. If you had asked me, I would have predicted that my most-repeated viewings would be of serious films - the theory being that comedy gets old.
Well, for me, this did not. This film broke the mould when it appeared in the 80s. The humour was completely madcap, and the key to its enduring appeal for me is that so much is going on on screen at any one time.
There's a primary joke, and anything up to five other jokes in the background. For me, that's more than enough. Enough classic moments and catch phrases to fill a young man's life, and it did.
More comedy, this time from the madcap brain of Mike Judge, creator of MTV's Beavis and Butthead. Not to be confused with our own “The Office”, this film deals with one man who has simply had enough of the way modern life in a computer company is treating him. His girlfriend is cheating on him, everyone agrees, and after a dose of hypnosis he finds himself in an altered state where he simply does not care. He discovers that “not caring” brings him everything he thought he wanted.
I watched this film 26 times straight when it aired on a Dutch TV channel which I happened to receive at the time. Maybe the notion of escape appealed to me. Maybe I just liked the great part played by Jennifer Aniston.
I suspect the real truth of my ability to watch this film again and again is the richness of the characterisations and the simple truth of the story. Some of the action sequences, and the music that accompanies them are reminiscent of The Matrix.
Bottom line for me is that this is a comfort film. I know what happens, but I love to /see/ it happen. The triumph at the end is truly satisfying.
Monty Python - The Life of Brian
Much has been said about this film, mostly by people who, at the time, had not seen it. I disagree with anyone who thinks this film is a negative religious statement. I seriously doubt whether it is a religious statement at all. Of all the python films, this one seems to have the strongest plot-line and the film is more enjoyable as a result.
It is, nonetheless, a truly brilliant piece of writing that includes many lines which have fallen into the language that we choose to call English. After all, what have the Romans ever done for us?
I could go on, but won't.
As Neo emerges from the depths of delusion into an unsettling and unsatisfactory reality, we journey with him and learn t glory in his new-found super-powers. Everything in this film is so perfect, and so perfectly brought to life. It epitomises stylish film making, and never fails to be visually amazing.
I find myself drawn into the same emotions each and every time I watch, and they are good emotions. The film urges me on to be my own Neo, to make a difference and to fight for what I believe in.
I embrace that completely.
With the benefit of many viewings and much talking, I believe I know most of the basics. That said, each time I watch I enjoy a different element of this timeless classic. Bruce Willis turns in an amazing performance in the lead, ably assisted by a young Brad Pitt and numerous others.
The film intrigues me still, and this is its key in respect of me watching it time and time again. I find it sad, troubling and yet somehow strangely hopeful.
Thanks for reading my Desert Island DVDs. I hope you at least understand why I made my choices. I care about your choices, should you wish to share.
Thanks, Ian, for starting it all off. :)