Thursday, June 13, 2013

A trip to the movies with a Movie Mixtape!

So, Fandango Groovers Movie Blog has started a blogathon called Mixtape Movies and it's quite the intriguing premise, so I had to bite.  Besides, this was a lot of fun (as most of these blogathons are) and so I couldn't resist.  Basically, the idea is to create a mixtape of sorts, with movies.  We select five movies that have no direct connection (actors/directors/material) and yet connect them by a common thread.  Then we select a wild card, which doesn't quite match up with that common thread and yet still fits.

For my common thread I selected THE MOVIES!  Yes, I know, that seems rather lazy or obvious and yet I actually had a thought about this a little while ago, about films that use the theater in particular to express the love we so often have for the power of cinema.  I wanted to select films that actually had key moments or scenes that took place in the theater itself, and I wanted to find films that used those scenes to either help anchor the film or to express our innate need for cinema.  Cinema is a powerful medium used as a form of self expression by those who work within its center and used as an outlet of sorts for the rest of us to feel, purge and even escape our own worries and pains.

So here it goes:

The Last Picture Show
The lost lives of the people in this dusty town are connected by their shared love of the movies, and that is seen in heartbreaking subtlety when word gets around that the theater will be closing.  The loss of the movies, a mundane thing in the greater scope of things, has a devastating impact on the subliminal lives of those around because it represents a change that is inevitable and not particularly wanted.

The Purple Rose of Cairo
One of Woody Allen's finest films, the beauty of this film is that it completely captures the power of the movies.  Escaping a life she finds constricting and burdensome, Cecilia is completely engulfed by her constant trips to the theater, finding an escape from her sorrows in the arms of a fictional character who represents everything she could never dream of actually having.

Holy Motors
The opening scene to this film kind of says it all.  This film explores the death of true cinema by infusing so many modern entities into the basic idea of movie-making, and it uses such lush imagery to convey the basic need we all have for cinema in our lives.  Watching it dissolve into something it should never have become is crushing.

Inglourious Basterds
Is it just me, or is it kind of telling that the big climactic scene at the end of the film happens in a movie theater?  Tarantino is a man who obviously LOVES cinema, and it shows in the way he creates it.  There is no feeling in the world like going to the movies, and sometimes fear and tragedy consume us, much like they did those dastardly Nazis.

Cinema Paradiso
Honestly, this is possibly the greatest film to ever express the love of the movies and the power it can have in a persons life.  Everything I noted on the outset is expounded upon in this marvelous film, and as we follow young Toto on his life journey we are taken to places we only dreamed of; places that are only there in the movies!

My Wild Card Pick
8 1/2
The art of making movies!  What better way to show it in its many layers than to show someone Fellini's masterpiece '8 1/2'?  I contemplated 'Contempt' from my beloved Jean-Luc Godard, but that is more about the art of 'writing' and less about the art of movie-making.  '8 1/2' takes us into every avenue of the joys and pains and struggles and triumphs of creating, period.  We all love the movies, and it's because of movies like this!


  1. Genius man! Such a great mix of fantastic films. 8 1/2 and Holy Motors on one mixtape... What's not to love?

    1. You're too kind! Thanks. This was a ton of fun.

  2. Yes! Cinema is so important to contemporary society, the way we use cinema within movies is always telling us more about the filmmaker than almost anything else within the film.