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Name: Molly
Age: 18

Top Ten Movies:

1. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, (2003) Director: Peter Weir
2. Good Will Hunting, (1997) Director: Gus Van Sant
3. Diarios de Motocicleta, (2004) (Argentina) Director: Walter Salles
4. October Sky, (1999) Director: Joe Johnston
5. The Patriot, (2000) Director: Roland Emmerich
6. A League of Their Own, (1992) Director: Penny Marshall
7. That Thing You Do!, (1996) Director: Tom Hanks
8. Sense and Sensibility, (1995) Director: Ang Lee
9. Fight Club, (1999) Director: David Fincher
10. Saving Private Ryan, (1998) Director: Steven Spielberg


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
So! I have a question-- I'm guessing from this list that you're a Tom Hanks fan, and I find his career fascinating in a lot of ways. You've also got movies he worked on that are fairly different in nature, so I was wondering if you could talk about what you like best about his work as both an actor and a director.
Feb. 8th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
I don't even know how to approach this question, but I suppose I will start by saying that one of things I like best about Tom Hanks is that I he just seems like a genuinely good person. He doesn't throw telephones at strangers, he doesn't get arrested for DUI every weekend, he doesn't have a drug problem, he's happily married and he manages to keep his daily life out of the magazines. He's one of those celebrities that doesn't feel like a famous person. I don't know, that's just an endearing quality to me. It makes me feel good that fame doesn't always end in a sad downward spiral into unhappiness.

Anyway, aside from me obviously fangirling the poor man, let me get back to the question at hand: what I like best about him as an actor and director. I definitely appreciate him more in dramatic roles, though he does a great job with the funny lighthearted ones too. He doesn't have huge versatility as an actor in the same sense that you'd never expect to find Vin Diesel in a romantic comedy, but he finds a way to make each role different, each character he plays distinct. He is versatile in that way, so that he can play the drunken Jimmy Dugan as more of a comedic supporting role in A League of Their Own, and he can spend 95% of a movie alone on an island and still do an incredible job even with no other actors to play off of. I'd still never want to see Hanks as the Leading Man in an Action Thriller (The Da Vinci Code was awkward enough, though I understand Robert Langdon isn't an action hero, either).

The two films I've seen that Hanks has directed are That Thing You Do! and his tv mini-series "Band of Brothers", two polar opposite films in both plot and directing style. That Thing You Do! is really just a childhood favorite of mine, a film my best friends and I grew up watching and loved to quote. It's got a very Beatles feel to it, which I love, and as his first feature film he directed, I think it's just fun and lovely. I have a lot of respect for actors turned directors, because I feel they have a special relationship with film, having the ability to be in front and behind the camera (especially on the same project).

And if you haven't seen "Band of Brothers", do so as soon as possible. I was drawn to it by my love of Saving Private Ryan (the intensely realistic depiction of war), and I think in this type of action and historic directing, Hanks' really takes after Speilberg. It's raw and graphic, and I think he utilizes well his angles in order to make it appear real, but also keep an artistic feel to it.

It's about time I stop spewing.
Feb. 10th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
This was an excellent answer, as was your answer about war movies! War movies are definitely a genre I'm lacking in so I'd like to hear more from you about them.
Feb. 8th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
I've noticed that all of the films mentioned are from the last ten or so years (give or take)- is there something you particularly like about recent cinema? What are some pre-1990s movies that you enjoy?
Feb. 9th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I suppose the easy answer is to say that I've really never been introduced to older movies. I know, that's an extreme cop out to hide behind my age, but my parents aren't movie people and I'm not too adventurous standing in the aisles at Blockbuster. I am slowly discovering classics with the help of suggestions from friends, and that's part of the reason I think this community would be good for me. I figured I'd have a more recent list than other members, and this would be a good place to find recommendations.
Feb. 12th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
(Apologies for the late response, I was out of town)

As long as you're willing to be open to new things, there's no shame in that! Still, are there any pre-1990s movies you've seen and would recommend?
Feb. 8th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
As I said to the other new applicant, this is a very modern list. In that spirit, can I get your top five black and white movies?
Feb. 8th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
Hmm, let's see:

Mildred Pierce
To Kill a Mockingbird
Twelve Angry Men
The Maltese Falcon
Feb. 10th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
Why not? :-)
Feb. 8th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
If you had given me this question, I would totally have listed The Man Who Wasn't There, 13 Tzameti, Pi, Persepolis, and Pleasantville ...just to fuck with ya.
Feb. 8th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
Young Frankenstein...
Feb. 8th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
Re: Hmm.
And that would have been a yes for 13 Tzameti alone.
Feb. 8th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
Three of your choices have a military theme running through them - PLUS, The Motorcycle Diaries has revultionary stuff hanging over its head, a character in That Thing You Do goes to war, and A League of Their Own of course takes place during WWII. Is this a coincidence? If it isn't, could you talk about that, please. If it is, could you...also talk about that. :D
Feb. 9th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Well, I can tell you it's certainly not a coincidence. Anyone who knows me understand my seriously unhealthy addiction to war, and how I need to branch out in my movies a bit. It was hard to sculpt my list so that it didn't read too much like the DVD shelf of a 23 year old boy, but I just generally am drawn to well directed war movies.

In my Spanish class recently, we learned the word actante, which translated describes a character, prop, item, concept or theme in literature that helps drive the plot forward, or acts as common point between main characters that affects their lives and reactions. I'm not really sure what the English equivalent is. Most of my favorite movies, as you noticed, feature some kind of war acting as an actante for the characters. It is interesting to me to be able to see not only how war affects the lives of soldiers directly (Saving Private Ryan, Master and Commander, Patriot) but also the average citizen, even in the most indirect ways (October Sky occurs right in the middle of the Cold War and the space race with Russia).

I like movies that entertain, but more than that I like movies that help more fully develop my understanding of historical moments.

Edited at 2008-02-09 10:17 pm (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC)
Your reasons for liking the movies you do are very interesting. I think talking about movies with you will be very cool.
Feb. 8th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
Could you share 5 movies that you would never consider "great cinema" but which you love to watch anyway? Things that are fun, fluffy, exciting, adventurist, or great with popcorn are what I'm thinking. And maybe a sentence for each.
Feb. 9th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Of course! I would never consider these movies great cinema, but they are either childhood favorites or secret fluff movies.

Tommy Boy, You know, a Chris Farley and David Spade grade film. I never saw it in theaters, and I doubt it even stayed in theaters very long, but my brother and I can probably quote the entire movie.

Love Actually, I love watching this film, especially during the holidays. It's one of those fluffy movies with some of my favorite actors. I also enjoy movies with separate plots/vignettes that all connect in the end (a la Crash)

The Italian Job, I LOVE heist movies! The intricacy of the plans, the amazingly attractive lead males, the special effects! Plus, this movie has just a hint of Donald Sutherland, which makes it that much better.

Harry Potter, any of the five I'd consider fun and great with popcorn. The acting I have a problem with, as well as the direction in the first two, but they are movies I can watch over and over.

The Muppet Treasure Island, I had to include Muppets. What a classic, fun, exciting, adventuring piece of childhood crap.
Feb. 10th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Your answers to other questions have been fabulous.
Feb. 10th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Have you read the book(s) that Master and Commander was/were based off of? If so, I'll base my question on that, but if not, I can probably think of another one.
Feb. 10th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
I definitely have! I think they are terrific and way better than the movie, if that helps?
Feb. 10th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
I love the movie, but I wish they'd kept the sloth in there somehow. That was what sold me on the books.
Feb. 12th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh good! I think so too. I was actually quite disappointed in the movie, to be honest.

But, you obviously like the movie too, so what about it made it a worthwhile adaptation to you?
Mar. 9th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
A lot of your movie choices deal with the theme of people finding out who they are/what their dreams are. Is that an important theme to you?
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )