Tag Archives: Blade Runner

Listeria – Going to the Picture Show

2 Jul

The folks at Entertainment Weekly just came out with a bunch of lists. The 100 greatest television shows. The 100 greatest novels. The 100 greatest albums. The 100 greatest lists of great things in popular culture. It is perfect fodder for “Listeria”, the ongoing examination of our fascination with lists.

This is an examination of the magazine’s list of the 100 greatest movies, or, as my dad used to call them, the picture show. When I was a kid, he would ask if I wanted to go to the picture show because he knew it drove me crazy. For those who don’t know, the picture show was a southern term for the movies. He said a lot of other things to drive me crazy, but that one was a sure thing.

Never fear, I am not going to write about 100 movies. I am going to list the ones that I have seen. To add some texture, I think I will include my favorite thing about each one.

Oh, there will also be a little trivia at the end.Ward Bond

1. Citizen Kane (1941) – The line, “A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own.”

2. The GodFather (1972) – The line, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

3. Casablanca (1942) – Rick’s Cafe

6. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – The floor that separates to form an indoor swimming pool

9. Nashville (1975) – The song, “It Don’t Worry Me”

10. Gone With the Wind (1939) – The coolness of Rhett Butler

12. The Searchers (1956) – Monument Valley

14. Bambi (1942) – Thumper

18. Jaws (1975) – Quint’s story about being on the USS Indianapolis

19. Pulp Fiction (1994) – The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

24. The Sound of Music (1965) – When it was over

25. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – The music

28. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – The Red Brick Road (where does it go?)

29. North by Northwest (1959) – Mount Rushmore

33. The Graduate (1967) – Katharine Ross

41. The Road Warrior (1981) – The kid with the decapitating boomerang

43. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Gandalf

49. Goldfinger (1964) – The Kentucky Fried Chicken in one of the scenes

52. Titanic (1997) – The wreck

53. Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Darth Vader

56. Schindler’s List (1993) – The last scene in the cemetery

59. All the President’s Men (1976) – Jason Robards

61. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Hannibal Lecter’s cell

62. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – The flying bicycle

63. Network (1976) – The line, “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

68. GoodFellas (1990) – The music

69. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – Slim Pickens riding the bomb.

78. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – The melting face of the Nazi

81. Blade Runner (1982) – Pris

83. The Wild Bunch (1969) – The Front Porch Massacre

85. Dirty Harry (1971) – The line, “I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

88. The Dark Knight (2008)Batman riding away at the end

89. Woodstock (1970) – The crowd shots

93. A Face in the Crowd (1957) – All of it

94. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Randy Quaid

99. There WIll Be Blood (2007) – The line, “Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I’m so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake… I… drink… your… milkshake!”

Trivia – Ward Bond (pictured above) was in at least 5 of the top 1oo movies. This includes 3 of the top 12.

Immortalized

23 Jul

It seems that I have been surrounded by immortals lately. Not real immortals, but the ones found in the pages of books. I just finished Blood Line by James Rollins, a book about a secret cabal performing experiments on humans to find a DNA secret to immortality. Currently, I am reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This is the true story of cancer cells taken from a woman and how they have continued to thrive since the 1950s. The cells have been used to further numerous scientific advancements.

Obviously, the books are different. One fiction. One non-fiction. However, the both center around something that humanity has often dreamed about – immortality. The scientists goal in the Rollins book may seem fantastical, but scientists in the Skloot book were looking at prolonging life as well.

Through this reading, I have been reminded about a conversation I had with some students. We were hiking through New Mexico when I asked what superpower they would pick if they could. I chose invisibility. One chose the ability to fly like Superman. However, another chose immortality. My first thought was how cool that would be, but then I started thinking about the problems.

1. When you get that power, you had better have a non-aging policy.

2. What happens when the Earth is destroyed? I suppose by that time people will be traveling to other planets.

3. How do you handle the death of loved ones over and over and over?

This brings to mind one of my favorite movies, Highlander – the story of Connor MacLeod, an immortal who must fight other immortals until only one is left. What’s the prize for the winner? He has immortality taken away. There is even a great song by Queen called “Who Wants to Live Forever“. And, what does that song say?

Who wants to live forever when love must die?

People have always been fascinated by immortality. After all, that is what religion is about. The Greeks and Romans worshipped immortals. Modern religions look for life after death. However, religion is not the only place immortality resides. Vampires have become a major theme in popular culture, and they hang around until somebody sticks a stake in them. Even zombies offer a glimpse at immortality, or an undead version of it.

So, why has humanity always had immortality on the brain? There’s probably more than one answer. First, people don’t want to stop being. No one wants to die even though it’s going to happen to everyone. It’s like a horror movie. YOU WILL NOT GET OUT ALIVE!!!

Second, we don’t want to miss anything. At least, this is what I think about. What will the world be like after we are gone? I call it “future history”. We have this urge to know what’s going to happen. What will the world be like in 2100? Will it be like The Jetson’s or like The Planet of the Apes? And, I use those examples for a reason. We like futuristic movies because it gives us a glimpse of what things might be like after we are gone. Some, like Star Trek, are about a hopeful future. Others, like Blade Runner, are about a desolate future. It doesn’t matter which because we just need to know what’s going to happen.

I feel bad for what people have missed. My grandfather was a huge fan of the University of Tennessee, and he passed away on a Saturday morning in 1995. That night his team, led by Peyton Manning, beat Alabama 41-14. I kept thinking how I wished he could have seen that. The next few seasons were great ones for Tennessee, and they eventually won the national championship in 1998. All I could think of was that he was missing it. I wish he could have seen it, and I wish I could see all of the games of the future.

But, those wishes are impossible because immortality is impossible. And, if it was possible would we really want it? I don’t know, but I do know that there is an old saying – Be careful what you wish for because it may come true.