The Favorite Movie Thing

There’s this favorite movie thing going around the last couple days on Twitter: a list of your favorite movies from every year you’ve been alive. It’s a younger Gen-X thing, because everyone’s within five years of me. You do it in iOS Notes, post the grab. It sounds fun. Except I don’t like the iOS Notes thing. There’s skeuomorphism to it in a really gross way with the paper textures. Any redesign of note-taking has to take better advantage of its platform, which Apple hasn’t wanted to do in a lot of cases. The phone still doesn’t have depth in the UX. Android’s worse, in a Windows 95 sort of wallpaper shite way, which is amusing. But it’s like Khan. It’s two-dimensional thinking.

Now, back to the list, which I was going to do in Notes because I really liked the idea once I embraced it. I couldn’t do best movies of those years since 1978 because I’m spotty with it. I know there’s some great Woody Allen I haven’t seen since starting the blog and lots of great other stuff. And who knows what kind of foreign stuff I’ve missed. But favorites? What an idea. Media taste is self-brainwashing. Some of it is objectively good. But a lot of it is self-brainwashing. Some of it isn’t even conscious. Most of it isn’t conscious. So you have to make it conscious. You have to actively engage it; one needs to be personally accountable for their intellectual development, after all.

Just imagine getting The New Yorker strip where people are finally informed and engaged enough and the fucking bombs are going off anyway. It’ll feel great. They might even tie it in to the end of “The Walking Dead.” I’m kidding, of course, I haven’t read The New Yorker regularly since undergrad. Because I’m a snob, but I never let my snobbiness get in the way of bullshit. One needs to be personally accountable for their snobbiness development, after all.

I did four years of The Favorite Movie Thing before I gave up. 1982 killed me. What’s my favorite movie of 1982? Blade Runner, The Thing, maybe I should write Star Trek II, I mean, I was going with Thief for 1981, which seemed more dramatic a choice than even Escape from New York. I don’t like writing subjective. I really don’t. I love picking a subject or a topic subjectively, but then it’s got be objectively handled. It’s why I’ve got to rewrite that Superman post for The Stop Button. Writing can have so many layers—the experience of processing media, of ingesting it intellectually—one can recognize so many layers moving at once. Did anyone ever see Tron? It doesn’t look like Tron, because come on. It’s like the end of 2001; it’s those late sixties effects; you can see what the layers contain, how they move, how they react to one another. Would I have made a Maugham semi-colon joke if I hadn’t just made a “Simpsons” one. You’d have to ask Dupin. You can go forever with the movement and the reaction. And you can angle them to get different perspective on the content. Kind of like the Phantom Zone. It’s two dimensional physically, but three visually. Which is kind of what I mean with the phones. I want depth.

I hate picking my favorite movies. It makes me hate movies. You have to rip nostalgia out you’re Harry and the Hendersons and you just ripped poor Poncho’s spine out. I mean, it’s not funny, but the movement is just bad reference juxtaposition. It’s what Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino—and Miramax and Bruckheimer—did to movies for a decade. Stunt casting. I also realized I would have incomplete for a lot of years since the early 2000s. I don’t have a lot of “favorites” since then. Technically, Dredd should be, just because it’s the one movie I’ve watched repeatedly. I keep having friends who haven’t seen it.

So I gave up on the list. And spent four times longer writing this post. And now I need to go to bed, because it also makes you feel really young. Depending on when you saw a movie and under what circumstances, there might be a really vivid sense memory. It’s a really fucked up part of modern culture. And even remembering the last time I saw Dredd or talked about watching it or told someone to watch it. Wow, does it feel like ages ago.

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