I recently set some of my film blogging friends the challenge of taking part in a new blogathon I had launched: ‘Five Films Forever’.
“You wake up to eerie silence. You call out ‘Hello?’ but no-one answers. You’re alone except for a film projector and speakers with infinite battery life and five of your favourite films at the foot of the projector. You have nowhere to be so start watching the films. What are they, where are you and how will your story play out?”
To take part I asked entrants to list:
- My five films: What are the five films you would happily watch for the foreseeable future and why?
- My fate: Where have you been deserted – are you adrift like Hanks in Cast Away or are you an end of the world survivor like Smith in I Am Legend?
- My finale: How will your time alone end? Will you be saved by Spielberg or will you live happily ever after on your own like Disney?
My five films
After much deliberation – and cursing myself for setting the limit of five films, but hey, it wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise – I came to several conclusions with my selection.
Firstly, I decided that I wanted to have variety – from format to release date and from genre to cast. Variety keeps things interesting so the films I have chosen include a black & white film and an animation, a romance, a couple of fantasies, a historical epic, and a drama. My selection also features puppets. And singing.
Secondly, and no doubt quite shocking to those of you who know me well, I have not included any films from The Lord of the Rings series. The reasons for this are two-fold: 1, I couldn’t just watch one without the other two and 2, I near enough know them all verbatim so don’t need to continue watching them for them to bring me joy.
The films that will be stacked by the projector are:
- The Last Unicorn (1982): Featuring music from one of my favourite bands (America) plus the soothing tones of Jeff Bridges and Christopher Lee, this is a favourite of mine that I have loved for longer than I can remember. Funny how we revert to our childhood for comfort, eh?
- Labyrinth (1986): This is another film that I’ve loved for many, many years. One of my heroes – David Bowie – has top billing alongside a young Jennifer Connelly. There are musical ear worms aplenty (along with an actual work) with catchy songs and dancing puppets.
- Gladiator (2000): For those moments when I need motivation, to feel empowered or to just have a good cry, I would want to watch Russell Crowe’s Oscar-winning performance in Gladiator.
- Brief Encounter (1945): Although I only watched this for the first time recently (my review) I completely fell for the leads, the story and the beautiful words of the script. I think it would be a film that I would only enjoy more on repeated watches.
- The Way (2010): I have watched The Way – directed by and starring Emilio Estevez with his father Martin Sheen playing his on-screen dad – many times and still take something away from it every time. It’s an inspiring story and one that I think I would continually take peace from.
Having decided not to select any of the films from The Lord of the Rings series, my fate – and I admit it is very idealistic and positive – would see me waking up in the real Middle-earth instead: New Zealand. Albeit with a watery twist, as I do have a soft spot for water-based disaster flicks.
In this scenario I’ll be waking up on South Island on the shores of Abel Tasman National Park in a bach (Kiwi term for beach house or holiday home). I’ll be there on my own after visiting a dear friend who lives in New Zealand and then deciding to go travelling for a few weeks by myself.
Driving through the night I’ll have made it to Abel Tasman National Park in the small hours and will be completely alone as far as my eye can see. I’ll unpack my things in the bach and then step outside to admire the gorgeous — but slightly unearthly — sunrise.
The ground will start gently shaking, which isn’t uncommon for New Zealand, and as the intensity starts to grow I will decide to head inside — years of watching films telling me to shelter under a table — but while doing so I’ll unfortunately bang my head and be knocked unconscious.
When I come to I’ll discover that an earthquake has separated a substantial part of Abel Tasman National Park from the rest of South Island and is surrounded by a circular, impassable trench that — as if operated by magnets — pulls down anyone or anything that tries to cross it. So, I’ll be on my own. Fortunately, I’ll be in paradise.
For all the happy escapism that films present me with my story would conclude with quite a normal ending, as while there are a lot of injustices and things to dislike about our society at the moment, we live in a beautiful world and I share my life with some special people so wouldn’t want to be on my own forever.
After four or five months the trench would subside and a heroic crew from the Royal New Zealand Navy would rescue me. I would be absolutely fine, having lived off nature’s bounty and now quite at one with the local and animals and fish life — a version of Snow White crossed with Ariel, if you will.
Life would resume as normal, and it would just so happen that my dog and everyone I care about now lives in New Zealand too, having decided to make the move so they could stay closer to me and take part in the rescue attempt.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and the posts of other people who have taken part in the first blogathon that I’ve run. Please feel free to take part yourself: leave a comment below to share your entry and I will compile a list of links.
Now read entries from:
- Dom Holder from the Rambling Dad and his excellent narrative about the ‘magical cinema’
- Andy Hart from Fandango Groovers is on an island but will he be watching Cast Away?
- Dan Stephens from Top 10 Films chooses five films close to his heart
- It’s a double whammy from Distracted by Films and Mrs Distracted by Films
- Ruth Maramis from FlixChatter is adrift but thankfully not for long
- Birgit from BB Creations finds herself with a man, but is all as it seems?
- Rodney Twelftree from Fernby Films is nice and cosy in Bag End, Hobbiton
- Pat Hatt from Pat Hatt Time has gone for a sinister twist: will he be okay?
My parents got in on the action too:
- Mum: Mary Poppins (1964), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), A Knight’s Tale (2001), Tuck Everlasting (2002) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
- Dad: El Cid (1961), The Guns of Navarone (1961), Zulu (1964), The Italian Job (1969) and The Yakuza (1974)