Sam Fragoso at Duke & The Movies has come up with an excellent blogathon, whose premise is-
"Extraterrestrial forces land on Earth. Unknowing of our planet and society, you can pick five films from the history of cinema that represent humanity. What titles would you choose and why?"
I thought a lot about this. Listed and crossed out many a celebrated title. I was originally going for a much more rounded approach, but then I decided to go the Doctor Who way, because I do hope the aliens are as awesome as David Tennant and Matt Smith make them out to be. When I meet them, I would like to show them what for me represents the best of humanity. Here's hoping that they don't turn out to be Daleks and facehuggers.
Honourable Mentions: Citizen Kane, Juno, The Great Escape, My Dinner with Andre and all the Lord of the Rings movies (how I wish it was just one big film).
My five films:
Pan's Labyrinth (Dir: Guillermo Del Toro)
A bit of the light and dark in humans. In most certainly the bleakest times that our species have ever faced, the pure imagination of a young girl and the courage of a few independent people flourish. It shows our ability to create fantastical places in our mind, the beauty of childhood, and the ultimate good that comes to all those who are brave and kind.
Ratatouille (Dir: Brad Bird)
Because hellooo, human food is amazing! I have always thought this Pixar masterpiece is the simplest and most ambitious of the lot. A rat who wants to cook. We as a species can come up with a concept like that- weird but just to show our undying ability to believe in dreams. Yes some of us can be haughty and egotistical, but simple things can tap into us and make us happy and forget all that.
Moulin Rouge! (Dir: Baz Luhrmann)
To show how art defines us. We as a species love stories and music and theatre... "All the world's a stage" and all that. Also since the aliens are landing now, what better way to introduce them to the many things that are part of our culture- from pop tunes to musicals (even Bollywood!) to our eternal fixation with the story of doomed love. Romanticising things, including tragedy, is part of our psyche, and it's never been more eccentric and ecstatic than this.
2001: A Space Odyssey (Dir: Stanley Kubrick)
For our ambition and curiosity and daring. I have only seen this once properly, but I don't think any film will ever aspire to broaden our ideas of well, everything, like this one has. I still don't know what it is about exactly and I'm pretty sure I never will, but I can understand, and so will the aliens, that this shows the zeal of humans to question things- of our origin and our future, of our true nature and what it may become, and a whole mixed bag of other stupendous stuff. It's just epic.
The Breakfast Club (Dir: John Hughes)
The undauntable spirit of youth. This was the first film I thought of for this blogathon, and to explain, I'll use a rather long quote from one of my most favourite books (educating the aliens even more) 'When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.'
Just that, and how the future really is the future. Also this film is about however different our personalities and backgrounds are, we're all made of the same stuff inside.
When I told my friend about this whole concept and my choice of films, she sort of reprimanded me on being so positive. I really am not; in fact I'm quite the pessimist in most cases. But when it comes to films, they are the one truly great and wonderful medium, at least for me, that bring out the best in things. I mean even the worst of scenarios and settings and characters are shown beautifully, so the lighter side of things look so much more brighter. It makes me endlessly joyous. Therefore I would obviously like to show the aliens just that- the best, of the best. Then we just have to hope and pray that we don't get exterminated.
Some fantastic picks here!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you decided to participate - and you've inspired me to choose a similar 80s film to Breakfast club.
Do spread around the blogathon when you can.
Thank you so much.Delete
Yep- love your 80s pick. Glad I could be of help :D
Pan's Labyrinth is still able to show the ugly side of humanity through people like the captain, but he's so obviously condemned - :)ReplyDelete
It does show the really ugly side through him, but he is condemned, so win-win!Delete
Excellent picks here. I was so close to adding 2001 to my list as well. The Breakfast Club is a really festive choice. Love it.ReplyDelete
Thanks :) Yeah 2001 is pretty darn obvious for something like this.Delete
Great picks Nikhat, funny how you chose Ratatouille- it's my nephew's favorite movie!ReplyDelete
Thanks! Your nephew has good "taste" in films (sorry- had to do that) :PDelete
'The Breakfast Club' is an inspired choice!ReplyDelete
Thanks. It was my first and absolute choice. Dunno why but I think aliens will love it :DDelete
Thanks for commenting :)
Nice picks Nikhat, fun blogathon. I would argue that the creature in Pan's Labyrinth isn't extraterrestrial though. Obviously, he looks somewhat like a conventional representation of ET but if you think about the story, where exactly does it come from?ReplyDelete
Thanks Castor. Great blogathon.Delete
He's mythical, isn't he? Anyways the choice was more for the character of Ofelia.
Out of these, I haven't seen The Breakfast Club only, and I like the rest of the picks. They're versatile.ReplyDelete
Thank you. You should really watch The Breakfast Club... that's like my favourite pic here.Delete
replace ratatouille with the incredibles and i'll propose now.ReplyDelete
pan's labyrinth is a great choice! no bollywood, tho? i only ask because i've never seen one.
i would also want them to see the big sleep or maltese falcon - and harvy.
btw, how many of our movies do you think aliens see via radio waves going into space?
Aww shucks :PDelete
I couldn't think of a Bollywood film. Moulin Rouge has a lot of Indian elements in it though, as well as a Bollywood song, so at least it's represented.
I have only seen Big Sleep from among the ones you've mentioned :(
Oh they must see loads of films.. I fear they've seen a lot of Twilight already ;-)
I came very close to choosing The Breakfast Club and Pan's Labyrinth for my own list. 2001, however, is a great choice. It captures mankind's desire to explore and to push boundaries. And it is a great piece of art.ReplyDelete
Yes that's why I chose 2001. So friggin ambitious, and really a great piece of art.Delete
Thanks for commenting :)