Friday, February 15, 2013

My Dinner with Andre

I just watched ‘My Dinner with Andre’. This is a film that is an experience. An hour and forty minutes almost entirely of two men, eating dinner, having a conversation: “A unique work in cinema history” doesn’t adequately convey the gravitas of experiencing these men’s conversation.

It feels as freeform as the real conversations I have. That alone is masterful.

Four months ago I cut and paste the words of “Bob Dylan’s Dream” into a writing I was working on:

“While riding on a train goin' west/ I fell asleep for to take my rest/ I dreamed a dream that made me sad/ Concerning myself and the first few friends I had
With half damp eyes I stared to the room/ Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon/ Where we together weathered many a storm/ Laughin' and singin' till the early hours of the morn
By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung/ Our words were told, our songs were sung/ Where we longed for nothin' and were satisfied/ Jokin' and talkin' about the world outside
With hungry hearts through the heat and cold/ We never much thought we could get very old/ We thought we could sit forever in fun/ And our chances really was a million to one
As easy it was to tell black from white/ It was all that easy to tell wrong from right/ And our choices there was few so the thought never hit/ At the one road we traveled, we ever shattered or split
How many a year has passed and gone/ Many a gamble has been lost and won/ And many a road taken by many a first friend/ And each one I've never seen again
I wish, I wish, I wish in vain/ That we could sit simply in that room again/ Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat/ I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.”

Or take a different example, from Simon and Garfunkel, in their track “The Dangling Conversation”:

And we sit and drink our coffee/ Couched in our indifference,/ Like shells upon the shore/ You can hear the ocean roar 
In the dangling conversation/ And the superficial sighs,/ The borders of our lives. 

Yes, we speak of things that matter, / With words that must be said, / "Can analysis be worthwhile?"/ "Is the theater really dead?" 
And how the room is softly faded / And I only kiss your shadow, / I cannot feel your hand, / You're a stranger now unto me 
Lost in the dangling conversation. / And the superficial sighs, /In the borders of our lives.

Back in 2010 I recorded the following day in September:

“Mitchell and I met up Sunday night. Meeting at Civic Center we then moseyed up to Coit Tower, where Mitchell had never been. He wanted to go to the Stinking Rose, so we did. I was stiffed in terms of portions, and mine came out much later than his. Still it was good: gnocchetti in garlic gorgonzola fontina with asparagus. I suggested hitting up A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, and so we went, but it was closed….

“We went back to Powell and hung out in the square, on a balmy night, shooting the breeze and shooing away the homeless. I spoke to him not about my romances, as we'd shared at dinner, but of my concern that that which was around us was destined to collapse, and our lifestyle irrevocably alter when we were older. The collapse of the cities will, in one sense, be magnificent. In another, from a survival point of view, it will be merely horrid.

“We parted around 11, nearly eight hours after we met.

These conversations are how I live my life. Just last night a group, eight of my peers, got together and discussed things over beer, wine and cheese. But this was shoptalk, commentary on the company, anecdotes of amusing things. It wasn’t conversation – it was talking. Pleasant talking, funny stories; but talking nonetheless. The moments (or should I borrow from Simon above and say ‘words’?) that matter are those that partake of some depth.

This time, roughly, last year I was labeled through no action on my own part, as a ‘traveler’. The implication is that I either distribute my wealth, my knowledge, wherever I go, or that I was seeking out such knowledge – on a quest of experience. Most probably a bit of both.

In the past I’ve ruminated on a particularly edifying conversation – that of the backpacker’s hostel. It captures precisely the traveler’s mix of search and sharing of wisdom and experience.

Yet, on the other side of the life spectrum, I lived for a period in a Zen monastery. This was the opposite, the insular confrontation of self that, in Buddhist fashion, is not a confrontation at all. So too, in my existentialist studies of Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, and especially Heidegger, the moments of the self confronting self were examined.

So to encounter, to experience, ‘My Dinner with Andre’ was a revelation, from the nauseous feeling akin to Sartre’s regarding the modern world, which paralleled Mitchell’s and mine, to the direct referencing of Heidegger, to Andre’s search from Poland to Tibet, from spiritual experience to communal living – I thought, “My God – this isn’t just me.”

I’ve known for a very long time that people are looking for answers. Look at the right section of the bookstore. But I thought most everyone, most of the time, was talking shop. I thought my conversations were more special – for in these conversations I share my experience of life and reality, which, naturally, I thought was somehow unique.

Meanwhile Wallace Shawn felt the same thing 32 years ago. And it was insular Wallace, not travelling Andre, whom I connected with at the end, during his cab ride back to his girlfriend, mulling the differences between his and Andre’s worldview. In 2011 I recorded the following, forever etched into my mind:

“Raining heavily outside. Just put on Pet Sounds.

“Last night I read two emails from Jen. The first, in response to how things were going, said she was now dating John. The second, sent a few hours later, said her father was in a coma.

“I got them after a very tiring Thanksgiving celebration that seems very unimportant now. The cab ride back from Ella’s was very odd – totally Nausea by Sartre. I kept looking at my leg, illuminated by the stripes of the back window and street lamps and not feeling as though it was me. As I said this morning to Jack when chatting on Facebook, it was as though the world was different – sharper. Colder, a bit.”

Whether or not we’ve read Sartre, we’ve experienced the veneer of all of this peeled away. Some find it on Mt. Everest, others at the cigar store next door. It can be empty, like Simon and Garfunkel, or nostalgic, like Dylan, or just plain terrifying: Nietzsche’s abyss staring back into you.

Conversation – the way we see if others get what we’re saying. See the world through eyes like our own. Understand us. Fundamentally we want to understand the world, that’s true, but even more so we wish to be understood ourselves. Conversation affirms this, or denies it. That’s why Dylan felt nostalgic for the group of friends that understood him. That’s why Mitchell and I had such a powerful reflection in San Francisco on the fate of Western Civilization – we both got it. That’s why my girlfriend of four years leaving me left the world colder, and sharper: all that understanding lost. That’s why Wallace Shawn’s cab ride mirrors my own after his dinner with Andre. The connection is there, in glimpses of shared fervor, but they are talking in parallel conversations for the rest of the night. That disconnect is unnerving – to experience someone who almost gets it, but not quite. Who just, can’t quite see your point of view. It makes us pause and ask that most difficult question: Am I experiencing the world correctly? Do I see it the way it really is, or does this guy really get, and I’m missing something? To ask these questions is to directly confront us with ourselves. That is why a good conversation is so affirming and powerful, but why one such as ‘My Dinner with Andre’ is even more so. For, in that experience, we regard anew our foundations, and cannot but reflect on what we find.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learn Popular Music

Starting in March, if you listen to one song a day, you can teach yourself popular music in nine months. This is slightly adapted from what I used to teach back in Reno in 2009/10 (and since I've not posted in a while, was a quick and easy way to make a post). Or you can take a look and see how many you know out of 275.

Or you can disregard this list. It's your life.

MARCH (31)

1902 – The Entertainer, Scott Joplin
1906 – Grand Old Rag, Billy Murray
1908 – Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Edward Meeker
1909 – Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Fisk Jubilee Singers
1910 – Auld Lang Syne, Frank C. Stanley
1910 – Cloud Chief, Vess Ossman
1911 – Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Irving Berlin
1911 – Some of These Days, Sophie Tucker
1912 – Memphis Blues, W.C. Handy
1913 – When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Chauncey Olcott
1916 – I Ain’t Got Nobody, Marion Harris
1917 – Livery Stable Blues, Original Dixieland Jass Band
1922 – Sallie Gooden, Eck Robertson
1924 – Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin
1925 – St. Louis Blues, Bessie Smith
1925 – Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister, Charlie Poole
1925 – Black Bottom Stomp, Jelly Roll Morton
1926 – Sail Away Lady, Uncle Bunt Stephens
1926 – Bye Bye Blackbird, Gene Austin
1927 – Stardust, Hoagy Carmichael
1927 – Blue Skies, Ben Selvin
1927 – Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed, Blind Willie Johnson
1928 – Statesboro Blues, Blind Willie McTell
1928 – Keep on the Sunny Side, Carter Family
1928 – The Butcher’s Boy, Buell Kazee
1928 – Frankie, Mississippi John Hurt
1928 – Big Rock Candy Mountain, Harry McClintock
1928 – West End Blues, Louis Armstrong
1929 – Pinetop Boogie-Woogie, Pinetop Perkins
1929 – Ain’t Misbehavin’, Fats Waller
1929 – Saut Crapaud, Columbus Fruge

APRIL (30)

1930 – The House Carpenter, Clarence Ashley
1930 – I Got Rhythm, Sam Lanin
1930 – Puttin’ on the Ritz, Harry Richman
1931 – Mule Skinner Blues, Jimmie Rodgers
1931 – Minnie the Moocher, Cab Calloway
1931 – Mood Indigo, Duke Ellington
1931 – Tiger Rag, Mills Brothers
1933 – It’s Only a Paper Moon, Paul Whiteman
1933 – Tea for Two, Art Tatum
1933 – Heartaches, Ted Weems
1934 – Anything Goes, Cole Porter
1934 – Stompin’ at the Savoy, Chick Webb
1935 – The Stuff is Here, Cleo Brown
1935 – Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Gene Autrey
1936 – Goodnight Irene, Lead Belly
1936 – Wabash Cannonball, Roy Acuff
1936 – Ol’ Man River, Paul Robeson
1936 – I Can’t Get Started, Bunny Berigan
1936 – The Way You Look Tonight, Fred Astaire
1937 – Minor Swing, Django Reinhardt
1937 – Hellhound on My Trail, Robert Johnson
1937 – One O’Clock Jump, Count Basie
1938 – Sing, Sing, Sing, Benny Goodman
1938 – Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Guy Lombardo
1939 – Cotton Eye Joe, Elmo Newcomer
1939 – Body and Soul, Coleman Hawkins
1939 – In The Mood, Glenn Miller
1939 – Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland
1939 – If I Didn’t Care, Ink Spots
1939 – We’ll Meet Again, Vera Lynn

MAY (31)

1940 – You Are My Sunshine, Jimmie Davis
1940 – Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar, Will Bradley
1940 – Frenesi, Artie Shaw
1941 – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Andrews Sisters
1941 – God Bless the Child, Billie Holiday
1941 – Which Side Are You On, Almanac Singers
1942 – White Christmas, Bing Crosby
1942 – White Cliffs of Dover, Jimmy Dorsey
1943 – Brazil, Xavier Cugat
1943 – Stormy Weather, Lena Horne
1943 – Der Fuehrer’s Face – Spike Jones
1944 – This Land is Your Land, Woody Guthrie
1944 – Straighten Up and Fly Right, Nat King Cole Trio
1945 – Groovin’ High, Dizzy Gillespie
1945 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive, Johnny Mercer
1945 – Blue Moon of Kentucky, Bill Monroe
1945 – Sentimental Journey, Les Brown and Doris Day
1946 – Amazing Grace, Dixie Hummingbirds
1947 – Every Day I Have the Blues, Memphis Slim
1948 – How Far I Am From Canaan, Ward Singers feat. Marion Williams
1948 – Move On Up a Little Higher, Mahalia Jackson
1948 – Round About Midnight, Thelonious Monk
1948 – I Can’t Be Satisfied, Muddy Waters
1948 – Boogie Chillen, John Lee Hooker
1948 – Lover, Les Paul
1948 – Guitar Boogie, Arthur Smith
1948 – Buttons and Bows, Dinah Shore
1949 – Just Friends, Charlie Parker
1949 – Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Professor Longhair
1949 – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Hank Williams
1949 – Saturday Night Fish Fry, Louis Jordan

JUNE (30)

1950 – Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
1952 – Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes, Perry Como
1954 – Sh-Boom, The Crew Cuts
1954 – Mr. Sandman, Chordettes
1954 – Rock Around the Clock, Bill Haley
1954 – That’s All Right, Elvis Presley
1955 – Tutti Frutti, Little Richard
1955 – Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley
1955 – Maybellene, Chuck Berry
1955 – Great Pretender, Platters
1955 – What Is This Thing Called Love, Frank Sinatra
1956 – I Get a Kick Out of You, Ella Fitzgerald
1956 – Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino
1956 – I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash
1956 – Smokestack Lightning, Howlin’ Wolf
1956 – In the Still of the Night, Five Satins
1957 – Great Balls of Fire, Jerry Lee Lewis
1957 – That’ll Be the Day, Buddy Holly
1957 – Wake Up Little Susie, Everly Brothers
1957 – Walkin’ After Midnight, Patsy Cline
1957 – Blue Train, John Coltrane
1958 – Moanin’, Art Blakey
1958 – Lonesome Town, Ricky Nelson
1958 – Tom Dooley, Kingston Trio
1959 – Mack the Knife, Bobby Darin
1959 – Big Iron, Marty Robbins
1959 – Afro Blue, Mongo Santamaria
1959 – Take Five, Dave Brubeck
1959 – Lonely Woman, Ornette Coleman
1959 – What’d I Say, Ray Charles

JULY (31)

1960 – The Twist, Chubby Checker
1961 – Mama Said, Shirelles
1962 – Green Onions, Booker T and the MGs
1962 – Up on the Roof, Drifters
1962 – Autumn to May, Peter Paul and Mary
1963 – The Girl from Ipanema, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto
1963 – Be My Baby, Ronettes
1963 – Louie Louie, Kingsmen
1964 – Mississippi Goddam, Nina Simone
1964 – My Girl, Temptations
1965 – A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
1965 – Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, James Brown
1965 – Going to a Go-Go, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
1965 – I Ain’t Marching Anymore, Phil Ochs
1965 – Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
1965 – My Generation, Who
1966 – Good Vibrations, Beach Boys
1966 – Monday, Monday, The Mamas and the Papas
1967 – Hey Joe, Jimi Hendrix Experience
1967 – Black Angel’s Death Song, Velvet Underground
1967 – Respect, Aretha Franklin
1967 – Light My Fire, Doors
1968 – Walk on Gilded Splinters, Dr. John
1968 – Everyday People, Sly and the Family Stone
1968 – Troubadour, Tim Buckley
1968 – Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
1969 – Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin
1969 – Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish, Captain Beefheart
1969 – Christine’s Tune, Flying Burrito Brothers
1969 – Pharaoh’s Dance, Miles Davis
1969 – Come Together, Beatles


1970 – Carry On, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
1970 – Friend of the Devil, Grateful Dead
1970 – California, Joni Mitchell
1970 – Fire and Rain, James Taylor
1971 – Changes, David Bowie
1971 – Proud Mary, Ike and Tina Turner
1971 – What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye
1971 – Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin
1971 – Paranoid, Black Sabbath
1971 – Layla, Derek and the Dominos
1971 – Hot ’Lanta, Allman Brothers
1972 – Superstition, Stevie Wonder
1972 – Superfly, Curtis Mayfield
1972 – Tumbling Dice, Rolling Stones
1973 – Penetration, Stooges
1973 – Turn the Page, Bob Seger
1975 – Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain, Willie Nelson
1975 – Birdland, Patti Smith
1975 – Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
1976 – Hotel California, Eagles
1976 – Corn Fish Dub, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
1976 – Blitzkrieg Bop, Ramones
1977 – Anarchy in the UK, Sex Pistols
1977 – I Feel Love, Donna Summer
1977 – Birdland, Weather Report
1977 – Europe Endless, Kraftwerk
1978 – One Nation Under a Groove, Funkadelic
1978 – 1/1, Brian Eno
1979 – Rapper’s Delight, Sugarhill Gang
1979 – Life During Wartime, Talking Heads
1979 – London Calling, Clash


1980 – Redemption Song, Bob Marley
1980 – Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd
1980 – Back in Black, AC/DC
1981 – Secret Journey, Police
1982 – Beyond Belief, Elvis Costello
1982 – The Message, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
1982 – Avalon, Roxy Music
1982 – Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
1984 – When Doves Cry, Prince
1984 – Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
1984 – Radio Ga Ga, Queen
1984 – Rock You Like a Hurricane, Scorpions
1984 – Turn on the News, Husker Du
1984 – Unsatisfied, Replacements
1985 – Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Tears for Fears
1985 – The Sweetest Taboo, Sade
1986 – Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi
1986 – Battery, Metallica
1986 – Walk This Way, Run DMC ft. Aerosmith
1987 – I Ain’t No Joke, Eric B. and Rakim
1987 – Sweet Child O Mine, Guns n Roses
1987 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, U2
1987 – The One I Love, R.E.M.
1988 – Teenage Riot, Sonic Youth
1988 – Bring the Noise, Public Enemy
1988 – Fuck Tha Police, N.W.A.
1989 – High Plains Drifter, Beastie Boys
1989 – Like a Prayer, Madonna
1989 – Monkey Gone to Heaven, Pixies
1989 – I Wanna Be Adored, Stone Roses


1991 – Only Shallow, My Bloody Valentine
1991 – Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
1991 – Verses from the Abstract, A Tribe Called Quest
1991 – Daydreaming, Massive Attack
1992 – I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
1992 – Actium, Aphex Twin
1992 – No Rain, Blind Melon
1994 – Mysterons, Portishead
1994 – Piggy, Nine Inch Nails
1994 – Violet, Hole
1994 – Buddy Holly, Weezer
1994 – Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley
1994 – Waterfalls, TLC
1994 – N.Y. State of Mind, Nas
1995 – Wonderwall, Oasis
1995 – All I Really Want, Alanis Morissette
1995 – Just a Girl, No Doubt
1995 – Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio
1996 – What I Got, Sublime
1996 – California Love, 2Pac
1996 – Midnight in a Perfect World, DJ Shadow
1997 – Bittersweet Symphony, Verve
1997 – Paranoid Android, Radiohead
1997 – Hunter, Bjork
1998 – Doo Wop, Lauryn Hill
1999 – Sweet Lovin’ Man, Magnetic Fields
1999 – Sandstorm, Darude
1999 – Run On, Moby
1999 – One More Time, Britney Spears
1999 – Fast As You Can, Fiona Apple
1999 – Smooth, Carlos Santana


2000 – Stan, Eminem ft. Dido
2000 – Big Exit, PJ Harvey
2000 – Tanto Tempo, Bebel Gilberto
2000 – Killing Floor Blues, R.L. Burnside
2000 – B.O.B., Outkast
2001 – Last Nite, Strokes
2001 – Too Long – Daft Punk
2001 – Me Gustas Tu, Manu Chao
2002 – Has It Come to This?, Streets
2002 – None of Us Are Free, Solomon Burke
2002 – Guess I’m Doing Fine, Beck
2003 – Ringing My Phone (Straight Outta Istanbul), Jason Moran
2003 – Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
2003 – Seven Nation Army, White Stripes
2004 – American Idiot, Green Day
2004 – Jesus Walks, Kanye West
2004 – Confessions Part II, Usher
2005 – Chicago, Sufjan Stevens
2006 – Knights of Cydonia, Muse
2006 – Dani California, Red Hot Chili Peppers
2006 – Crazy, Gnarls Barkley
2006 – Fidelity, Regina Spektor
2006 – John Saw That Number, Neko Case
2006 – Summersong, Decemberists
2007 – No Cars Go, Arcade Fire
2007 – Paper Planes, M.I.A.
2008 – Disturbia, Rihanna
2008 – Single Ladies, Beyonce
2008 – Viva La Vida, Coldplay
2008 – Poker Face, Lady Gaga

Friday, February 8, 2013

Presidents Birth States

So here's a map of where the Presidents were born:

But if each election had gone to the main contender, the map would look like this (with Washington and Monroe uncontested):

Note the increased Western placement, and how NY now dominates even Virginia, and Ohio drops out. Also: Who knew McCain was born in Panama??

Two Time Losers (Never had the major candidate): Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island - 19 states.

Living Former Presidents:

Carter, H.W. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama

Living Failed Presidents:

Mondale, Dukakis, H.W. Bush, Dole, Gore, Kerry, McCain, Romney

Saturday, February 2, 2013

25 Sound Recordings for the National Recording Registry

Two years ago I made comment on the National Film Registry. Only one of those has been inducted since, The Times of Harvey Milk, this past year. (My post:

So I thought I’d instead turn my attentions towards the National Recording Registry, which since 2002 has been compiling important recordings. Examples are the early Edison reels, FDR’s fireside broadcasts, Born to Run, and “A Change is Gonna Come”. The most recent recording added was 1995’s “Dear Mama” by 2Pac, added in 2009, 14 years after it was released. As such, my list didn’t consider anything past 1999.

For a list of what’s already inducted check out:

1885 (?): Volta Lab Experimental Recordings.
1893 (?): Benjamin Harrison Recording – A wax cylinder of Harrison, the first recording of a President.
1911: “Aloha Oe” recorded by Madame Alapi.
1912: Teddy Roosevelt campaign speech.
1937: First recording of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on the radio.
1939: “Canto XLV – With Usura” read by poet Ezra Pound.
1944: Julius Howell Interview – Recording of a Confederate soldier interviewed on the Civil War.
1948: H.L. Mencken Speaks – The only recording of Mencken’s voice that’s preserved.
1950: William Faulkner Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.
1956: Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
1957: “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly.
1961: The Smothers Brothers at the Purple Onion – Seminal comedy album.
1961: Freedom 7 recordings – first recordings of manned American space exploration.
1964: “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone.
1967: “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procul Harum.
1968: There and Now: Live in Vancouver by Phil Ochs.
1969: Complete Woodstock recordings.
1971-73: Nixon White House Tapes.
1971: “Birdland” by Weather Report.
1972: Superfly by Curtis Mayfield.
1975: A Chorus Line, original Broadway cast recording.
1976: Concert of the Century – Celebrating Carnegie Hall’s centennial: Menhuin, Horowitz, and Stern.
1978: Einstein at the Beach, first recording of the Philip Glass opera.
1978: Recording of Harvey Milk’s last words, in case of assassination.
1996: Endtroducing….. by DJ Shadow.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Top 'Decade' Movies

Here are five movies for each decade that just ‘grok’ the decade they represent. They may not be the ‘best’ films of the decade – but if you want to understand the decade they represent, there’s no better.* So, for example, Lawrence of Arabia is one of the best films made in the 1960s, but isn’t a great film about the 1960s, and so is not on the list. I also made sure it was made during the decade it represents – so while American Psycho is a great film about the 1980s, it was filmed in a different decade, and thus not counted. Make sense?

Starting with the most recent:


The Hurt Locker (2009)
Garden State (2004)
Lost in Translation (2003)
Talk to Her (2002)
25th Hour (2002)


Office Space (1999)
Go (1999)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Empire Records (1995)
Terminator 2 (1991)


When Harry Met Sally…(1989)
Wall Street (1987)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
The Big Chill (1983)
Scarface (1983)


Apocalypse Now (1979)
Annie Hall (1977)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Nashville (1975)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)


Alice’s Restaurant (1969)
The Graduate (1967)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
La Dolce Vita (1960)


Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
Vertigo (1958)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)


The Third Man (1949)
The Lost Weekend (1945)
Casablanca (1942)
Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)


The Rules of the Game (1939)
Ninotchka (1939)
Modern Times (1936)
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Grand Hotel (1932)


A Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
The Last Command (1928)
The Crowd (1928)
Sunrise (1927)
Sherlock Jr. (1924)

* I must admit I’ve cheated a little and have added two films based on reputation alone, and not my viewing of them. These are 2009’s The Hurt Locker and 1987’s Wall Street. Should I find this to be in error I will amend the list.


February first marks the beginning of National Novel Reading Month, or NaNoReMo. November (National Novel Writing Month) gets all the credit. But your novel won't be any good if you're not fluent int he language of literature. So this month is a chance to read that book you've always meant to read, but not gotten around to. The original NaNoReMo post can be found here:

As for myself I'll be reading Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man' which has been on my shelf for years now, unread. If you want to make your pledge public you can do so on the site above, or on here in the comments section.