My Favourite Twenty-Five Movies Because Ten Would Be Stupid And Thirty Would Be Fucking Annoying Part Four


From my mother’s garden, let me know if you want a large format version for your wall.

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“Last one out of Liberty City, burn it to the ground.”
“Last One Out Of Liberty City”, ‘Hello Rockview’; Less Than Jake (1998)

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A list poem is one of the easiest kinds of poems to write because it doesn’t require either rhythm or rhyme. But that doesn’t mean you should write down anything helter skelter. Here’s a list of elements that makes a list poem a poem instead of just a list:
1) The writer is telling you something–pointing something out–saying, “Look at this” or, “Think about this.”
2) There’s a beginning and an end to it, like in a story.
3) Each item in the list is written the same way.”
“How to Write a “What Bugs Me” List Poem”, by Bruce Lansky (1996)

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“My advice, to anyone willing to listen, is to find a notebook that fits into your pants pocket. Use a pen with a cap so it doesn’t explode in your pocket, and start writing down whatever you can remember. Even if it’s a favourite colour. Then, later, write down why it’s your favourite colour…. and pretty soon you’ve got a list.”
Me.

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The Fourth Five: My Ultimate Twenty Five Movies
This is the sixth in a series of list posts, and the fourth list of my favourite movies. I’ve also posted a partial list of embarassing moments in my life and the first of two posts on the nearly sixty places I’ve lived. These lists are meant to show the value in writing memories down in our recovery from manic depression. Two years ago, after nearly a year in treatment, I started keeping a journal again. Soon after I began to use it to sort out the memories swirling around in my mind. Living untreated for eighteen years left me confused and vulnerable to the effects of manic depression. Writing down my embarassing moments, for example, took the power out of those memories. It was one less thing the disease could use against me. I have two lists which require one more post each — movies and homes, then I’ll post the last list soon after. 

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Run Lola Run (1998) (Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu) Really hot punk chick running. What more can you ask in a movie. RLR won the 1999 Audience Award from the Sundance Film Festival and could be the only German movie worth watching not set in a submarine. It could also be one of the most upbeat considering the main character only dies once and her boyfriend only dies three times. I could be a little off on the numbers. The first time I watched RLR it was without the benefit of English subtitles. Which, until the first sequence ends, I thought was a total waste of time… again, except for the seriously smoking hot punk chick. But then the movie resets and starts over… then there’s animation, and the camera work is excellent, and even without understanding what’s being said you can understand what’s going on. Basically the main character, Lola, has twenty minutes to raise a wack of cash before her boyfriend robs a grocery store which, in the first version of events, gets him killed. She then gets a few opportunities — seemingly through her will alone — to fix what her boyfriend has broken, and each time the entire movie is slightly different. It really is a brilliant little movie.

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Three Days of The Condor (1975) (Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway) The level of paranoia and mistrust in the American government by Americans during the 1970’s cannot be overstated, it’s reflected very clearly in movies like Three Days. But we watch movies made during the period as entertainment, we forget that movies reflect other times the way movies like Babel and Syriana do today. The biggest difference between then and now, however, is Three Days was a near-masterpiece and Babel and Syriana sucked dog crap off the bottom of a dung beetle’s boot. The main character in Three Days is a reader for the CIA. All he does is read books, then makes a report on them which are then fed into a computer to look for codes. He finds one certain parts of the American government don’t want known. The resulting moment of carnage sees the entire staff in his office slaughtered. But he’s not there. The chase starts when he returns. It would be interesting if people started watched these kind of movies looking for historical lessons which could be taught today. Because, one, the events keep being replayed, and; two the movies like Three Days Of The Condor are vastly superior to the crap made today. It’s also fun to see a period where True Believers still considered the “Media” (aka: The Press) to be above politics. This movie also does a pretty good job in explaining the government’s side as well…

Higgins [FBI Chief]: “It’s simple economics. Today it’s oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?”
Joe Turner [Condor]: “Ask them.”
Higgins: “Not now – then! Ask ’em when they’re running out. Ask ’em when there’s no heat in their homes and they’re cold. Ask ’em when their engines stop. Ask ’em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won’t want us to ask ’em. They’ll just want us to get it for ’em!”

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City Of Ghosts (2002) (Matt Dillon, James Cahn) A man goes on a quest to find his father. Dillon, who has always been a better actor than the parts he gets, wrote and directed this movie as well as playing the lead. At its core it’s about a father-son thing. They’re essentially conmen, and when an insurance con gets way out of control Dillon leaves New York and makes his way into Cambodia, where his father may or may not be involved in a casino scam. Stellan Skarsgård, Gérard Depardieu and Natascha McElhone filll out the cast… actually Natascha (who starred with Skarsgård in “Ronin”) is the only mistake in the film. The movie is about the two men — Cahn and Dillon, so the Romantic sub-plot never has time to go anywhere, her character Just Is. She’s supposed to be The Redemption but there’s never really any depth given to her. Actually it’s Cambodia that is the real romantic lead. At the end of the movie Dillon stays more for the country and its slow-moving weirdness than Natascha. The soundtrack is spectacular. It’s mostly traditional Cambodian music — which is very moving — but there’s a 1994 track by Beck called “Blackhole” that is just mesmerizing. Personally I’d buy the Soundtrack version, the one on his “Mellow Gold” CD has a hidden track attached to it that’s basically just three minutes of unrelenting feedback.

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Touching The Void (2003) (Joe Simpson, Simon Yates) This is an amazing movie, basically a re-enactment documentary, based on the book by Joe Simpson of the same name. Simpson and Yates are accomplished mountaineers who — in 1985 — were trying to become the first people to scale the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Which they managed to do. Which was great. But then they got lost on the way back down and there was an accident that left Simpson at the bottom of a crevasse with a leg so insanely shattered the bone in his upper leg actually splintered around his femur. Yates, believing Simpson was dead, continued safely down the mountain. Simpson, believing himself still alive, managed to crawl — on his belly — down the mountain in what must be one of the most incredible survival stories ever told… and it’s all freaking true. Yates actually became a pariah in the mountain climbing community for leaving Simpson on the mountain, but Simpson has always said there was nothing to forgive because Yates — who also came close to dying several times that night — did nothing wrong. Yates and Simpson appear in the dramatic-documentary as interview subjects, but also as stunt doubles for the actors.

Simon Yates: “Rather than just sit here, feeling sorry for myself or whatever, I’ll get on with it and I’ll die on the way down.”

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The Third Man (1949) b/w (Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton) An Oscar winning thriller set against the German post war landscape. Welles plays a good man corrupted by the potential of a country with little or no government. He’s the star of the movie, but shows up very late and only for brief periods. Cotton plays an American pulp-fiction writer, Holly Martins, who has come to Vienna to visit his wartime friend, Harry Lime — played by Welles. But he’s told Lime died in an accident. Wanting to find out how and why his friend died Martins starts to unravel several mysteries. This was a movie made back when Orson Welles hadn’t been crushed by Hollywood. He’s only in the movie for short periods, but he’s like Marlon Brando in Apoclypse Now with Cotton as Martin Sheen. You think the movie is about one thing, about one person, then you realize that person is just a bit player in something so much larger.

Harry Lime: “Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.”

Harry Lime: “Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs – it’s the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.”
Martins: “You used to believe in God.”
Harry Lime: “Oh, I still do believe in God, old man. I believe in God and Mercy and all that. But the dead are happier dead. They don’t miss much here, poor devils.”

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…since november fourteenth, 2006.

“You burn things when there’s no going back. How much of
yourself have you had to burn away to be
the person you are today? Because baby, my body
is ash and my mind is still smoking.”

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Canada, crazy people with no pants, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Salted Lists. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My Favourite Twenty-Five Movies Because Ten Would Be Stupid And Thirty Would Be Fucking Annoying Part Four

  1. damewiggy says:

    This is the funniest damn title i’ve ever seen!

  2. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks Dame Wigginsofree… it’s one of my favourites, unfortunately I only get to use it once more.

    I liked this one as well…

    “Number Two Of Five Lists: My Most Embarrassing Memories Ever… There’s No Way This Could Ever Come Back And Bite Me On The Ass”

  3. samp says:

    not that it has any relevance to well, anything really, but im getting a kitten tommorrow and im soooo excited… oh and my flu has gone…. 🙂

  4. Pingback: The First Of Five Lists — The Topic: My Favourite Twenty-Five Movies Because Ten Would Be Stupid And Thirty Would Be Fucking Annoying « …salted lithium.

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