I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve always wanted to share the movies that I enjoy time after time. Not that anyone should care about my preferences, but hey, it’s my blog, and I felt like sharing…
I compiled a list of my top ten all time favorite films. What makes these films my favorite is that no matter how many times I see them, I will watch them over and over again. Some of the movies on my list are staples of TBS and they’ll play them day after day, or over a weekend. But if I’m surfing channels and I come across them, even if I saw them the day before, I’ll watch them yet again. Maybe a film had amazing performances, an engrossing story; in some rare cases, much like a record, CD, mp3 that no matter where you drop the needle, click the cursor, or hit play on the iPod, the track is going to be bangin,’ so it is with some of these films, where every single scene is perfection. So without further ado, in no particular order (unless I note it), here is my list of my all-time top ten favorite movies:
10) Do The Right Thing, 1989
When I first saw this movie, I didn’t like it. I attribute that to the fact that I wasn’t a very mature filmgoer at the time, I was right out of college, I needed a story to spell it out for me in black and white. Who was I supposed to cheer for in this movie? Was it Mookie, a slacker who seems satisfied with his pizza delivery job and rarely sees his kid, and oh yeah, throws a garbage can through the pizzeria window, igniting a riot; Sal, the hard-working pizzeria owner who presents himself as a decent guy, but when pushed, resorts to using the N word (which some people would argue is true for most of the melanin-challenged public). Is it Radio Raheem, the intimidating black man with the boomin’ system who is killed ultimately over a boom box? Is it Buggin’ Out, who acts out to conceal the insecure child inside, possibly representing a segment of black society?
After multiple viewings, I came to the conclusion (and thus, grew as a filmgoer and a human being) that maybe I’m not supposed to cheer for anyone in particular. That things aren’t always black and white, no pun intended. Things are complicated, things are messy. Sometimes there are no heroes, just people who are doing the best they can with the cards they’re dealt. And sometimes they get pushed to the limit. I think the uncertainty of who’s good and who’s bad in this movie is best shown on the special features of the Criterion laserdisc, in a behind-the-scenes segment where Spike admits that he and Danny Aiello (Sal) had a difference of opinion as to whether Sal was a racist or not. But you set these questions against the backdrop of a hot summer day in Brooklyn, which is captured so beautifully by Eric Dickerson, and you have a masterpiece that will make you question the state of race relations even today.
And by all means, “Thank God for the left nipple…thank God for the right nipple.”