HELLO EVERYONE! WE’RE POSTING ABOUT EACH OF OUR FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME (IS ANYONE READING THIS PARAGRAPH?) AND A BIT ABOUT WHY WE LOVE THEM(I FEEL LIKE YOU’RE NOT). WE HOPE YOU LEARN MORE ABOUT US (HELLO?) HERE AT STICKERFRIDGE IN DOING SO. THIS WEEK IS ZACH CAVENDER!
This film is pretty loaded for me, and this will definitely be the longest section. I’ve always been fascinated by nonlinear time. It’s all over, from Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’, in which Dr. Manhattan explains, “There is no future. There is no past. . . . Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time”, to the Tralfamadorians of Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’. There’s a hint of Buddhism in that philosophy, which also works its way into the film – apparently just as a happy accident, though – in the form of the Heptapod’s language resembling “zen circles”. (It also works well with the idea that we live in a simulation, which I 100% don’t not believe.) Amor fati plays a large role in Louise’s revelation and decisions. Choosing to embrace great suffering and loss, knowing that “good” and “bad” are two sides of the same coin. Circling back to Vonnegut, there are elements of antiwar that flirt with misanthropy, but ultimately end in hope. From the rogue soldiers planting a bomb on the craft (Don’t understand it, blow it up!) to China’s threat to attack, but coming to terms. (Understanding and communication = cooperation = survival) Early in the film Louise issues test for the linguist at Berkeley – “Ask him the Sanskrit word for war, and what its translation is.” His response is “disagreement”, and hers is “A desire for more cattle.” Beyond the context of the film, this bit just reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s tendency to describe things in a way that sort of pokes fun while also being spot on. (“He was a graduate of West Point, a military academy which turned young men into homicidal maniacs for use in war.”).
Hopefully that all makes sense, and doesn’t read as some muddled ramblings of a madman. I could go on about this stuff, but I haven’t even mentioned this film is directed by easily one of my top 3 directors – Denis Villeneuve. Honestly, the only thing that could make this movie even better would be if Roger Deakins was the cinematographer. (I will tangentially connect him to this film though – because he was the cinematographer for ‘A Serious Man’, starring Michael Stuhlbarg, who is in this) The Villeneuve/Deakins combo films (Prisoners, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049) are all fantastic.
The Boat That Rocked (2009)
Also known as ‘Pirate Radio’, though not by me. I believe that is the American version, which I accidentally watched once, and is a garbage bastardization of the UK version. This film is just fun. I’m not going to say nostalgic, because it takes place in the 60s and I was -30 years old back then. Plus nostalgia can piss off. If I recall correctly, this is at least loosely based on a true story. A group of radio DJs playing rock and roll, standing up to the government – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd – love, loss, vinyl, all on a boat.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
This is the film that put Robert Downey Jr. in a very comfortable seat in the center of my heart, from which he may never be dethroned. Probably my favorite Shane Black film (if not, it’s a tie with ‘The Nice Guys’, which has almost the exact same plot (but in the 70s!)), and definitely my favorite Christmas film – which is almost the same as saying Shane Black film. This movie has it all. Snarky banter, magic tricks, Michelle Monaghan’s boobs, and Native American Joe Pesci. It’s entertaining and funny throughout, and for some reason I feel like it’s underrated – even though it has pretty good reviews.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Odds are the algorithm will pick up on this, but I really hope they don’t do a remake of this film. I love it the way it is, and have since the first time I saw it, which was probably in middle school. I remember my brother giving me the book around then, which is even better – crazy. I still quote this at least once a week, and it was an answer to a trivia question a couple weeks ago, so this movie has objectively improved my life. True love, fencing, Andre the Giant – what more could you ask for? A six-fingered man?
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Anyone that knows me, knows that one time I was at a bar and a random guy told me I look like a “better looking Paul Rudd”. And also that I have a very absurd sense of humor. I love every single joke and gag in this film. The cast is great. (Fun fact: this was Bradley Cooper’s film debut). It’s so dumb, it’s funny. The same way pugs are so ugly, they’re cute. I could see someone not liking this movie, but I could also see that someone being boring as hell. The behind-the-scenes documentary ‘Hurricane of Fun’ is a great companion – and the Netflix seasons are worth a watch. The absurdity must go on.
- Are a cop-out for people that can’t make decisions.