What are your top 10 films of all time? Here are mine

Trying to decide on what my top 10 films are was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The countless hours and arguments I spent with myself, the hard cuts I had to make, and when I finally chose the 10 I struggled with the order and which one will take that coveted top spot. So without further adieu here they are.

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10. City of God- What Coppola did for the mob in the Godfather, Fernando Meirelles does for the slums of Rio De Janeiro in City of God. By giving the audience a fly on the wall look into the harsh realities of life as a young man in the most dangerous city in the world. Based on a true story, City of God will leave you speechless. There wasn’t one thing about this film I didn’t love. Seriously watch it. Stop reading and watch it.

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9. On the Waterfront- My favorite movie quote of all time, “You don’t understand! I coulda had class! I coulda been a contender! I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” Marlon Brando gives one of his finest performances as Terry Malloy, a down on his luck street thug and once prized fighter who wants to turn his life around.

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8. Annie Hall- The simple story of a pessimistic New Yorker who falls in love with a girl named Annie Hall, played by the loveable Diane Keaton. Filled with charm, crisp dialogue, and enough Woody Allen quirks to keep you smiling from the first frame to the last. If you like being awesome and hate being not awesome then you will watch Annie Hall because it’s awesome.

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7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- For all you Jim Carey haters out there “Sunshine” (sounds cooler than ESOTSM) will make you eat your words. One of the most original scripts I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing portrayed on film. The plot and the performances are so masterfully guided, under the direction of Michael Gondry, that we’re left with something unforgettable and hauntingly beautiful.

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6. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb- Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about the Cold War may not age as well as his other films, but in my opinion is his most important. Filled with a strong cast, solid performances (Peter Sellers is like totes lawlcatz) and sharp script, Dr. Strangelove will have you saying, “What am I watching and why do I like it?” If not well then that would make this really awkward.

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5. Vertigo- The first time I watched Vertigo was the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had when watching a film. I know some will disagree but in my opinion this is Alfred Hitchcock’s finest film. The plot is masterfully woven together and the score is so magnetically executed you can’t help but feel every hair on your body standing by the time the screen fades to black. Filled with suspense and mystery, Hitchcock proves why he is the best at what he does.

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4. Casablanca- Everybody’s favorite love story in cinematic history (I don’t know if that’s true or not but it’s definitely mine). Humphrey Bogart is the coolest cat in film history, and he proved it by single handedly making the name Rick sound cool. Also Ingrid Bergman is the ultimate babe (no jokes). After watching Casablanca all I wanted to do was wear tuxes, smoke cigars, start revolutions, and fall in love. Those are the signs of a good film.

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3. The Godfather- There’s no such thing as a perfect film, but the Godfather comes awfully close. Like scary close. What else could I say that hasn’t been said? The score is amazing, the performances are unforgettable, Coppola’s direction is handled with such discipline and finesse yet still remains technically sound. No other film has impacted North American culture the way the Godfather has.

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2. Citizen Kane- Hailed by many as “the greatest film of all time”, Citizen Kane pulls in at number 2 on my list. Watching Citizen Kane for the first time is one of those experiences you never forget. I literally couldn’t eat for two weeks because I couldn’t wrap my head around how beautifully the story of Kane was told and how tragic his life had turned out. It’s so good you just want to punch Orson Welles in the face for making such a mind-blowing film.

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1. The Graduate- Picking number 1 was difficult, I mean any of my top 5 could have easily been here, but ultimately I had to go with the Graduate. Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin Braddock has to be the most tragic figure I have ever seen portrayed on film. Also the marriage between Mike Nichols vision, and Simon & Garfunkel’s soundtrack alone makes the Graduate worth watching. And when that final frame comes along be prepared to witness the saddest moment in cinematic history.

Just Missed the Cut: Reservoir Dogs, Shawshank Redemption

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Top 5 Memes I Found In 5 Minutes

So after long debate on what to write tonight’s blog about and how to incorporate memes in the blog the idea hit me: “Oliver, why don’t you search the internet for 5 minutes and write a blog about your 5 favorite ones?” To this I was all like “Charles, great idea bro. I’ll do that!” Then I shared an awkward high-five with myself. (To explain the Charles and Oliver thing)

Anyways moving forward, let’s get started or in the words of the late great Heath Ledger in his role as the Joker “And here we go.” (But instead of the anti-climactic non-explosion of the two boats that would’ve resulted in the Joker’s victory ultimately proving that deep down inside everybody is as ugly as he is, I actually have something that follows)

5. #dwight #boom

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Dwight does it again. Our loveable anti-hero from everybody’s favorite paper company in Scranton Pennsylvania, proves every want to be, player hating, low pants wearing, pop star loving, party goer and 16 year old wrong by using simple logic. On behalf of every logical thinker out there, I thank you Mr. Schrute.

4. Morpheus Dupes Us . . . Again.

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Morpheus you trickster you. Made me read the top line again and again and again and again and again. (Sadly that is true . . . just kidding I’m smarter than that). In all honesty though, I did have to read the first line over again so that was enough for me to rank it #4 on this list. It was like the first time I watched Inception. Speaking of Inception . . . 

3. ‘Nuff Said

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Leonardo DiCaprio ftw. #godihopethegreatgatsbydoesntsuck

2. The Tool of the Century: George Lucas

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“See That Guy? He Actually Watched the Prequels. Lulz!” Really George, really? I mean what a tool, right? Jar Jar Binks? You Suck George you really do. I’m just kidding how could I hate the man who came up with the idea for the lightsaber. I’ve won so many imaginary wars because of you George, so I thank you. (On a side note: Am I the only one not looking forward to seeing Mark Hamill as Luke in the upcoming trilogy? But that’s a discussion for another day) 

P.S. You’re still a tool George.

1. Diabolical Baby

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How could something so evil and malicious be so cute? This kid is probably going to be the most malevolent dictator when he grows up and be the oppressor of many innocent individuals, but for now he rocks wrath filled intentions like they were on sale at Baby Gap. And for that he stole the top spot as well as my heart. Well done Hitler Junior, well done.

That concludes today’s blog hope you enjoyed and we’ll see you next time.

P.S. If you want to make your own fun memes to impress your little friends check out Derek’s 5 Steps On How To Make A Meme Of Yourself.

Poetry? What’s That? (or the Dying Language)

“Oh Neruda! Oh Uncle Walt! Oh Poe!

Oh Frost! Oh Ginsberg! Oh McKay!

Oh Maya! Oh Keats! Oh Rimbaud!

Oh Gibran! Oh Wilde! Oh Blake!

 

The words you left still linger

But seem to slowly wither away

Like sand between my fingers

Your songs of yesterday

 

For the ever turning world

Has forgotten beauty’s name

And her love like once a pearl

Is drowning all the same” – Anonymous Poet

I love poetry. Ever since I was 12 years old and in the seventh grade all I wanted to do was become the next William Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe. In my angst filled high school years poetry became my religion, it was the only thing I believed in. And even to this day poetry still plays an important part in my life.

Poetry made me believe in things. It inspired me to live and capture moments and words and feelings. It taught me to let go of pain and regrets and fears. Poetry made me believe in love “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate . . . “ and all that jazz. In poetry I discovered true beauty and felt true loss. I can go on and on about joys and sorrows, and beautiful melodies, and gardens and the terrifying night, but I think you get the point.

Anyways the other day a horrific truth came to my mind: “the world doesn’t care for poetry as much as it once did.”

The tender heart of Uncle Walt is forgotten. The honest anguish of Rimbaud is drowned in silence. The simple beauty of Frost is no more. The freedom that Ginsberg fought for is left in cages. The world has moved on and poetry and all her charms are but a fleeting whisper lost in the winds of change.

Why is this?

A few reasons come to mind. People just don’t care anymore; they feel they don’t need poetry in the modern world, and that poetry is simply something you hate learning about in school. Poetry is considered by many to be dainty and for the emotionally weak. In today’s age of the inter-webs and social networking people don’t need poetry to express themselves like they may have once did. Again I could go on and on but I’ll stop there.

So what’s the point to what I’m saying you ask? There’s no point really. This isn’t some Feed the Starving Poet’s Campaign, or another pointless Occupy movement. It’s just some kid who likes making rhymes venting his frustration.

Sometimes I think I’m the only one on this sinking ship, but you know what I really don’t mind that thought at all. But like James Gates Percival says, “The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.” So what do I got complain about? Absolutely nothing.

The Disclaimer Blog (or “Trust Me I Am Not A Schizophrenic”)

“I have one shot at this and only one, so I gotsta make it count, I just gotsta.”- No one ever said this

When I was thinking of what to write for this evening’s blog I had a lot of things running through my mind on what to write about. I thought about sharing my views on a number of different subjects. Subjects like poetry, film, life, ambitions, music, dancing, love, death, beauty, eternity, heaven, hell, and everything in-between and politics. But I thought to myself, “Oliver (that’s what I call myself when I find myself in moments such as these) what are you doing man? You have the rest of your life to get into those subjects so why don’t you just take it slow.”

Normally I would respond to myself by saying, “Charles (that’s what Oliver calls this side of myself when they are in conversation with one another, trust me I am not a schizophrenic this kind of behavior is perfectly normal), over the years you have said a lot of crazy things, but this has got to be one of the craziest things you have ever said. There are people dying out there, people who don’t have a voice, people who are lost and confused, people who need answers. I have no time to take it slow, the world needs me and my awesome opinions. Otherwise how will it survive? I’m going to kill you Charles! I’m going to kill you!” (Again that kind of behavior is perfectly normal)

But you know what Charles had a point. I have the rest of my life to get into those subjects but as of right now I just felt like taking it slow and allowing you, dear reader, to take a glimpse into who I am. Because in all honesty the world doesn’t need my opinions, as awesome as they are, to survive. At the end of the day I’m just a kid from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who decided to attend a writing school in Texas because I felt called to come here.

With that out of the way I guess there is only one thing left to say, but right now I don’t feel like saying it. So from all of us here at David, we would like to say farewell and good day. (Or night depends on where you are or what your definition of “day” is. Perspective, perspective, perspective.)

First blog post . . .

My thoughts on starting this blog could be shared with that of Khalil Gibran’s thoughts on talking. Gibran writes:

“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; and when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your own heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold it’s wings but cannot fly.

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape. And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand. And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words. In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue. Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear; For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.”

And that’s all I have to say about that, but I’ll blog anyway . . .