My ten favourite films

Now I love the Criteron collection and it’s website that has ten favourite films by various actors directors , writers and celebs (so far no one famous for being famous thank god ) . So I decide to do a weekend rundown post of my ten favourite films after a few days thinking about it I came up with my list .

1. Wings of desire dir Wim Wenders  –

Well I mention Wender a lot in my post this film was my first intro to him seeing it when it first came out in the UK mainly due to the Nick Cave connection at the time , this hymn to Berlin shot in sepia Black and White capture west berlin just before the wall fell  .It is the story of two angels observing the city from an old man reflect on the cities past glory , a little girl and a woman left behind by the circus that one of the angels falls in love with .

2. Alphaville Dir – Jean- Luc Goddard

French sci-fi classic a detective is sent out to a city to find a missing person , along side that the city is run by a tyrant that that he needs to find and free the city from , This movie also in black and white is a touchstone for some great films to follow and my favourite Goddard film .Its a mix of french chic meets american noir the main character could have walk off a classic  american crime novel .

3.The English patient dir Anthony Minghella

An injured Airman ? well is he English , we see a story of a love affair in the days before world war two and the injured man true story is seen as we see what is hiddden in his book the picture paintings of the better days before he was injured in a terrible plane crash  . Beautifully shot from one of my all time favourite books . So sad Minghella died a few years ago he made some great films and before that some great tv shows. This is one best film adaptations .

4.Stand by me dir Rob Reiner

Four boys of to see a dead body , along the way they learn more about each other and the world around them . Rob Reiner has a retro take on a fifties america small town and when a boy disappearing was still news .This was one of the first dvd I brought and has been the most watched over that time .All from the master of horror Stephen King

5.Amelie dir Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Kooky french girl , looks for a mysterious man that she has found photos of whilst connect a man with his youth saving  her father by gnomenapping his garden gnome . quirky , funny and most of all uplifting on a gloomy day this film makes you look at the world a fresh .

6.The life aquatic with Steve Zissou dir Wes Anderson

well any film by Anderson , but this is my favourite , father and son bonding as he completes a moby dick like hunt for a mythical shark for the latest in his aquatic film series . Add to that Bill Murray in brilliant form , hip addidas trainers (I want some Zissou’s ,when I can afford them ) and Bowie sung in Brazilian .

7.Control dir Anton Corbjin

This film ticks so many boxes for me , its set in a big part in the part of the world I grew up in Cheshire and Manchester . It is about one of my favourite bands Joy division and lastly it is direct by the great pop photographer of the new wave era .This film also introduced a great new star in Sam Riley

8. Anne Hall dir Woody Allen

What can I say , man remember failed love affair .Allen in his best years as a director and actor . I love most of his films and he recently has returned to form after a number of weaker films early in the 2000’s .

9 .The third man dir Carol Reed

Orson Welles as a charismatic con man in post war Vienna selling items on the black market bu has he gone to far this time ? Is he even alive as he has supposedly died but who saw the body .  Great tension from the novel by Graham Greene .

10. Citzen kane dir Orson welles

A news man tries to find out the story behind the citizen Khan , the dead owner of a huge fortune from his humble beginnings to running a paper . Wonderful clever shots made this film an instant classic and heralded a new star that maybe  never matched the brilliance of this film . Orson Welles a larger than life man who once touched brilliance directing this film .

Please what are your top ten films ?

Walking in Kerouac’s boots my wild years

If you’ve not seen yet  finally a film version of Kerouac’s on the road is finally being made after more than 20 years of false starts it reaches our screens in the summer .I first heard of Kerouac as a fourteen year old when my friend Andy loaned me some Doors music, but also Jerry Hopkins AND Danny Sugerman’s wonderful biography of the Doors lead singer Jim Morrison “no one here gets out alive “.early on in the book  Jim’s  describes his reaction to reading “on the road “and how it led to him following the rest of the Beat group of writers figure such as William Burroughs ,.Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti .So me as bookish young teen and in some ways looking for something to mean something to me , made my first move it to the world of the beats  he’d read and got a copy of Burroughs’ naked lunch I know not the best first choice but I lapped it up in a couple of days and then moved on to On the road and lived in Jack’s footsteps and his friends as I found out the book is as much about Kerouac’s real life at the time .At this time I had a very tense home life I don’t get on well with my stepfather and there was a constant sense of unease at my home.So these books gave me great escape but also as Jim and Jack had both hitch-hike I start missing college and hitch-hiking round firstly in Cheshire and Manchester as I spent my days escaping the impending doom of coming home at night to an unsettled feeling at home I found beauty in the world whether it seeing the world moving or a bird  or plant as I waited for a ride .I became a more open person due to this as Hitch-hiking forces you to talk to the person  who has  picked you up .Well this  carried on even after I left and moved to Northumberland to live  with my father. I read more and more Burroughs and Kerouac thanks in two ways to the newly opened Barter books in Alnwick where I lived and the wonderful stock Alnwick library which even thou a small Library  had a number of William Burroughs books so cities of red night ,nova express and others fell through my hands as I tried to live as a beat in a small way ,drinking, seeing the world  , writing poetry (bad poetry looking back but loved typing on an old typewriter I’d been given ) and maybe in some way trying to  escape impending  adulthood in a way , this I did till well in my twenties and managed to  reached Germany as I still had wanderlust and now a romance , had a ball with my German girlfriend seeing different places and cultures first hand was something I’ll never regret  .I know look back and have fond memories of what one small book has brought to my life and also a tinge of sadness as it must be over ten years since I read a beat writer but with a new collection of william Burroughs letters out by Penguin this month I feel a summer dive into some beat writing is called for ,I m sure I said that two summers ago but this summer I m going get on the road again anyway in my mind as I know have a wonderful home life with my dear Amanda and Winston ,so the need to run has gone some what .I ll leave you with the trailer for on the road .

Bookish deeds a film and lend

well last night I had a great night at home with the Amanda but had two great bookish moments away from reading books the first was a film that was new to me that was on the sky premier film channel so a newish film it was called Eleanors secret ,a French Animation with english language soundtrack .We follow Natanael a seven year old boy that is afraid to read aloud and this is effecting his school work ,so on the way to his late aunts house where he spent many happy summers with her reading to him from her library of first editions fairy tales and classics .She left him this library and the secret that goes with it .I don’t have kids but I fell this is a film to inspire kids to read and to a book junkie like me was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours with my darling wife .I m sorry I picked german trailer first as it much better than the english one I found gives better idea of the book .But have include the english one as well .

My second bookish event last night was minor but to me a thrill I borrowed my first e-book from our library system I didn’t know Derbyshire even  had a e library well we do it’s not terribly big but there is a number of books there I wanted to read but most were out on loan so I choose Arctic chill by Arnaldur Indridason as I have it on my shelves if I don’t finish it on my I pad in time .

Have you borrowed a e-book ?

What bookish things your discovered recently ?

Sam Riley to star in Burgess book

I am a huge fan of the books written by the late Anthony Burgess so ,was amazed to hear on the film grapevine that a film is to be made of the book starring Sam Riley who starred in control the film about Joy Division where he played Ian Curtis .He is down to play the Elizabethan playwright ,in burgess book about Marlowe Dead man in Deptford which was one of the last novels he wrote and last published in his life time I read the book in 93 when it was first published  ,but have decide to reread it and review it for the blog  as I loved it loads first time round .Look forward to the film as he was meant be a spy so can see dark alleys and taverns in this film .

December 2021


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