Saturday, December 18, 2004

Meyer: 100 Best Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of

REFERENCE (sort of)

The best Christmas gift-book I ever opened (thanks, Caroline!) is this compilation by David N. Meyer, 100 Best Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of. The sub-head, "Hidden Treasures, Neglected Classics, and Hits from Bygone Eras" is entirely born out by the films that made it onto the list.

Example 1: Aguirre, Wrath of God. If you've seen this movie you know how powerful it is. Meyer gives us the principal actors, director, and a useful review. But Meyer adds Attitude and Mood indicators for each movie. Aguirre is noted for Attitude: Existential Conquistadors, Mood: Arty mind-blowing travelogue/adventure. One sentence from the review helps set the tone:
The Spaniards fear the Indians and they fear demons, but they fear Aguirre the most, and for good reason... Only the strong survive, and nobody's stonger than Aguirre. Don't forget: His nickname is "Wrath of God"...

Example 2: A Fistful of Dynamite. Attitude: Ka-boom!, Mood: Exciting, adorable spaghetti western. My all-time favorite western, and one-third of the reason I still love James Coburn—the other two thirds are In Like Flint and Waterhole Number 3—was released in Africa where I first saw it as Duck, You Sucker. A reviewer noted "My political views swung from the left when I was a child to the right when I knew better, and I still get caught up in the revolution in this movie."
Coburn plays a demolitions expert, so he gets to blow things up. Coburn's entrance is immortal: a series of symmetrically-timed explosions erupt from either side of the roadway, and through their smoke appears Coburn, riding a turn-of-the-century cycle...

Last Example: Vanishing Point. Attitude: Dope-fueled road movie, Mood: Car chases, hippie philosophizing, car chases. Man! I think this was the last movie I ever saw at a drive-in, in a car loaded with testosterone-stoked college students. (The trip back to the dorms was more terrifying than the movie.)
Barry meets some engaging characters along the road, as all picaresque heroes must. ...Dean Jagger, Severn Darden (are there any dope-fueled, worthy trash films from the 1970s that -don't- feature Severn Darden?), and Paul Koslo appear.

There are 97 other gems waiting here for you. This is a book to take along to the store, rental shop or Let me say one more thing: A Boy and His Dog—the Don Johnson you never knew: after the Apocalypse, sex and rhubarb pie.


Blogger samraat said...

4/03/2010 9:18 PM  

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