Films to Be Buried With is a new podcast from Brett Goldstein. It’s essentially Desert Island Disks — but instead of music and an involuntary beach holiday, it’s films and sudden painful death!
There have only been two episodes so far, with funny people James Acaster and Katherine Ryan, but it looks to be an early hit. You can listen to it right here, instead of reading this, because it’s much better.
I’ve been thinking about the ten questions (and subsequent ten films) so much over this past week that I’m just going to nab the format and answer them here this morning. I’m never going to be successful enough from my writing to be on that podcast, so it feels like a safe option to come up with my “Films to Be Buried With” now.
Besides, even if that happens for me, I’ll just refer Mr Goldstein to this blog post and take a booking with someone else. My fictitious time in the entertainment spotlight will inevitably be precious…
1. First film you remember seeing — The Lion King
I’m from that generation whose first view of the world was an animated sun rising over cartoon grasslands. I think it’s what we all saw as we emerged from our respective wombs, African chanting and all. I probably saw films before this one, but it’s the earliest I have a tangible memory of. I was too young for the cinema when it released, but I remember being three and watching it on VHS, repeatedly.
2. Scariest film you’ve ever seen — REC
So I definitely saw films in my earlier teen years that originally scared me more than this, but when I hit 16 I realised I’d become desensitised to horror; I’d seen it all. So at university I tried to recreate the magic of cinematic fear by turning off the lights, drawing the curtains and watching a load of horror films. At around 1am I watched the Spanish horror, REC, and it was exactly what I needed to remember that films could still be scary.
3. Film that made you cry the most — Toy Story 3
This is pathetic because I’ve cried at a lot of genuinely moving dramas, but not quite so much as when I saw Toy Story 3 in the theatre. It was the end of my childhood. I was leaving for university the next month, and I made the mistake of seeing it with my whole family. When Andy started letting go of everything that represented his youth, I was a wreck.
4. Critically bad film that you love — Batman & Robin
So it helps to have some childhood nostalgia goggles here, but this is what superhero movies looked like before people started taking the genre seriously. It’s cheesy, poorly acted and overly cartoonish, but it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. Shamefully, I prefer it to most modern day superhero flicks, who’re all trying to be Citizen Kane for some reason. You’re a person in a costume fighting crime; Act as stupid as that sounds.
5. Film you loved ages ago but watched recently and it’s not that great — 500 Days of Summer
A decade ago I used to watch a lot of sad American movies about sad boys who didn’t end up getting the girl they’d imagined. I wonder why? Then I discovered all of the sad French movies from the 60s told that story a lot better, so re-watching films like 500 Days and Garden State just don’t have the same effect. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind still holds up, because that’s about flipping the script on those kinds of movies.
6. Film with a lot of meaning to you, given the circumstances of the viewing — Submarine
This wasn’t even the first time I’d seen the film. Back when my wife and I were dating long-distance, we’d have movie nights where we’d pick a film, press play at the same time and then message throughout. You know when you’re falling in love with someone and you want to recommend a piece of media to them? And you know that if they end up loving it, then it shows that you understand that person and you’ve listened well? This was one of those moments. Also, it lead to a conversation where she could open up about a traumatic thing in her past for the first time, so this film acted as a kind of conduit for deeper talk. Thank you Richard Ayoade.
7. Sexiest film you’ve ever seen — Batman & Robin
I was eight and it was Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, not the Bat Nipples™. Let’s move on.
8. Most relatable film — Adaptation
I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this Charlie Kaufman-penned film. I’d seen his others years before and loved them, but Adaptation just fell through the cracks. It perfectly captures the struggles of suppressing neurosis and anxiousness, in an attempt to write something long-form. It takes four perspectives on the writing process, and the take-away is that all writers are all four at one point or another — or even simultaneously.
9. Technically/Critically the best film of all time (but not your favourite) — Taxi Driver
It had to be a Scorsese film, as he embodies this question for me. I love most of his films, but none of them would make my personal top ten list. He’s an artist and a true master of everything, from camera to character. Taxi Driver is regarded as one of his best films by critics, but I don’t think it even touches The King of Comedy in terms of character study, or The Departed in terms of film analysis.
10. Film you could watch again and again — Clerks
This could honestly be any early Kevin Smith movie, but Clerks is just so quotable, and I think that’s what you need from a film you watch over and over. It’s got as many dumb, gross-out scenes as it does conversations with heartfelt dialogue. Fortunately, in a world not restricted by one answer, I can re-watch Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma as well.
“Bunch of savages in this town.”
If you want to answer these questions in a quick list in the comments below, I’d love to read them! Or just check out the brilliant podcast that I’ve 100% stolen these questions from.
Today is Friday, July 20th and I now want to re-watch all of these films.