Listography

manhattan

Wandering aimlessly in my local Waterstones (a museum which realistically recreates the days when human beings bought physical books from physical retain establishments) I was intrigued by a volume entitled Film Listography. At first I thought it would be a collection of lists compiled by some movie hack, but to my surprise it turned out to be a collection of blank pages with headings — inviting the reader to compile their own lists. It seemed quite fun. But I’m buggered if I’m spending £7.83 on a bunch of blank pages. You can do what you like.

What you get is stuff like MEMORABLE MONOLOGUES and FILMS WITH GREAT COSTUMES. About seventy of those and you’ve got yourself a book, apparently. It’s not a bad gift for somebody beginning to think about cinema. But you could make your own book and invent your own headings and have even more fun. Here’s what I’d put in mine.

40s MOVIES WITH TALKING CAMELS

MOVIES WHICH STEAL/ADAPT THE PREMISE OF “THE THREE AMIGOS”

SILENT MOVIES WITHOUT INTERTITLES

MOVIES WITH UNBALANCED STOCK FOOTAGE-ORIGINAL FOOTAGE RATIOS

MOVIES WHERE MIKE MAZURKI GETS A CHARACTER NAME THAT ISN’T A THUGGISH NICKNAME

MOVIES WHERE A BODY BUILDER WRESTLES AN EXTRA DISGUISED AS A WILD ANIMAL

MOVIES WITH GREAT BAD LINE READINGS

SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES WITH TRAGICALLY UNDIGNIFIED COSTUMES

MOVIES WITH BRILLIANT BUT INACCURATE ACID TRIPS

MOVIES WITH RESPECTED ACTORS DOING TERRIBLE ACCENTS

ACTORS WHO LOST CREDIBILITY DUE TO WEARING TOUPEES

ACTRESSES WHO PLAYED THE MOTHERS OF MEN THEIR OWN AGE

FILMS WITH BOTH MONKEYS *AND* DOGS IN ‘EM

MOVIES IN WHICH ANN-MARGRET IS HOTTER THAN BALLS

If you want to buy a book with lots of blank pages: Film Listography

I would welcome further suggestions.

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14 Responses to “Listography”

  1. Judy Dean Says:

    I was faced with a dilemma where this book is concerned. I was given a copy as a Christmas present, with instructions to fill it in, by my daughter in law who is “somebody beginning to think about cinema” so that she might learn something from browsing my responses. But what to make of a page headed “List Unique Art House Films You’ve Seen”? or “List Memorable Movie Star News Stories”? Do as instructed or throw the book across the room in irritation? So my solution has been, as you suggest, to substitute some headings of my own but none, I’m afraid, as creative as yours.

  2. Chuck V. Says:

    MOVIES IN WHICH GOD IS PORTRAYED BY A SECOND-HAND HOME APPLIANCE?

  3. Dogma? No, that was Alannis Morrisette, who only SOUNDS like a high-end brand of vacuum cleaner.

  4. ADAPTATIONS THAT REALLY P**D YOU OFF FOR MESSING WITH A FAVORITE
    — Most versions of “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”
    — “Modesty Blaise”
    — “Bye Bye Birdie”
    — “Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

    ADAPTATIONS THAT WERE ALSO SACRILEGE BUT YOU LIKED ANYWAY
    — Rutherford as Miss Marple
    — “Without a Clue”

    DISAPPOINTMENTS YOU GO BACK TO BECAUSE YOU KEEP THINKING MAYBE IT WAS YOU
    — “Popeye”

    DVD YOU KEEP GIVING TO PEOPLE IN HOPE OF CONVERTING THEM TO A GIVEN STAR, DIRECTOR, GENRE, ETC.
    — Silent Keaton shorts from Kino

    CHEAP SHAMELESS MANIPULATION THAT ALWAYS WORKS
    — Sad, non-comic dogs in the pound in “Lady and the Tramp”
    — Scottie howling over Jock at climax of same film

    FILMS THAT HINGE ON SOMEBODY OVERHEARING SOMETHING THAT EITHER CAUSES FAKE TROUBLE OR CLEARS EVERYTHING UP
    — “Shrek”
    — Too many romantic comedies

  5. MOST romantic comedies seem to rely on “fake trouble” for their second halves!

  6. MOVIES RUINED BY THEIR SCORE

    ADAPTATIONS THAT ACTUALLY IMPROVE ON THE SOURCE MATERIAL BY TACKING ON A HAPPY ENDING

    ANIMATED MOVIES THAT TURNED OUT TO BE A STAR’S SWANSONG

    MOVIES THAT AREN’T COMEDIES WHICH FEATURE COMEDIANS AS GANGSTERS NOW FOR SOME REASON

    MOVIES IN WHICH SHADOWS BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY TO THE CHARACTER CASTING THEM

    MOVIES MADE AS A BET

    MOVIES OTHER THAN STAGECOACH WHICH ORSON WELLES MIGHT HAVE SPENT THE DAY REPEATEDLY WATCHING TO LEARN HOW TO DIRECT

    MOVIES WHERE WE SEE THE MISTRESS’ BREASTS BUT NOT THE WIFE’S

    MOVIES IN WHICH BRUCE GREENWOOD IS HAPPY TO SEE THAT YOU MADE SUCH A SPEEDY RECOVERY BUT HAS A FEW QUESTIONS FOR YOU ABOUT THE INCIDENT

  7. The Grifters is a movie where we see the mistress’s breasts but not the mom’s, and the bloke keeps his vest on.

  8. A small mercy that he was able to receive such recognition just before his death. RIP.

  9. KID / FAMILY MOVIES OF YOUR YOUTH YOU’D BE HESITANT TO SHOW A KID TODAY
    — “Pinocchio in Outer Space”, packed with fake cartoon science even while claiming to be educational. And it gets morbid on Mars.
    — “The Glass Slipper”, for the b*tchy narration and arch “sophistication.” Funny, but not the way it was meant to be funny. And Leslie Caron is hotter than anyone must have intended.
    — “The Blue Bird” — the weird Shirley Temple version with its unsettling visits to dead relatives, hostile trees, and children waiting to be born (including two who know they’re doomed and a creepily intense pair of young soulmates).
    — Shirley Temple in general. My niece nostalgically played some for her own daughter and was shocked by how dark a lot of the stories were.

    SOUNDTRACK ALBUMS YOU PLAYED TO DEATH AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR SEEING THE MOVIE AGAIN (WAY BACK)
    — “Star Wars”
    — “Mary Poppins”
    — “The Music Man”
    — Any James Bond

    CARTOONS THAT MADE YOU CRINGE AS A KID
    — Baby Huey
    — Casper the Friendly Ghost
    — Terrytoons with romantic plots
    — Pluto being noble or actually suffering
    — Roadrunners made without Chuck Jones

  10. What creeps me out about the unborn children in The Blue Bird is, if I recall correctly… THEY’RE ALL WHITE. Do they get assigned differing races later on, while remaining caucasian at heart, or are white kids the only ones with souls?

  11. “MOVIES IN WHICH SHADOWS BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY TO THE CHARACTER CASTING THEM”

    Now I can’t stop thinking about these.

  12. Jeff Gee Says:

    -Color movies that should have been shot in black-and-white, and vice-versa.
    -Movies where the lead actors really should have switched roles.
    -Movie titles apparently chosen in order to facilitate obscene marquee scrambling.
    -Movies worth seeing because there are beatniks in the background.
    -The last movie where “X” was any good, and it’s flip side, the first movie where you realized “X” wasn’t a complete no-talent after all.
    -Movies where a monkey actually shits on Klaus Kinski.

  13. Of course, if you asked Klaus, that would be most of his films, and the directors would be the monkeys.

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