for whatever reason my family loves the topic of movies.

our dinner conversations are always centered around debates and everyone in my immediate family’s penchant for intrigue, impossible questions about the way our world works, and a general state of curiosity that really just never quits.* the movie thing is kind of a way for everyone to let the air out at the dinner table and just have some fun chatter.

what i realized yesterday after having posed to all you wonderful readers the question two posts down was that i’d asked the wrong question.

i realized this while reading an article chuck klosterman wrote about guilty pleasures a few years ago, which is reproduced in his new(ish) novel Chuck Klosterman 4. in it he articulately explains that it doesn’t matter what you like…what matters is WHY you like it.

i should have asked you why.

so i’ll give you my picks, and try to explain why.

actor: johnny depp
why: it’s hard to argue that he’s pushed his roles to places other actors probably couldn’t get them, and i think he takes risks that every person should take in their daily lives. but i think i prefer him over some other options (who may be better actors) because of the way he seems to approach the idea of entertainment…he’s always seemed hyper-aware of reality. it’s as if he’s acutely aware of a real world, where he makes his home and lives out of the limelight…and when he’s in hollywood he’s always the guy he wants you to see.

actress: julia roberts or julianne moore
why: this one is tough. i think julianne moore was my dinner pick. boogie nights and the big lebowski are two of my favorite flicks…but i think she’s here because my impression is that if my mom was in another life, she’d be julianne moore. julia roberts, for me, not only kind of personifies the archetypal female for this generation for me, but she was in pretty woman which i saw before i’d been laid the first time…i’ve loved her ever since.**


big lebowski.
why: although this is my humor pick, and i think humor keeps you alive, i also think this movie says a lot about life through the construct of an entirely unbelievable personal experience. plus, they say fuck a lot.

pulp fiction.
why: i like watching movies and shows i know i’m not fully understanding at the time. i think tarantino made a masterpiece of pop culture here; he asked the question “what does it all mean, and where do i fit in?” and then DIDN’T give a straight answer. because there isn’t one. it’s about the question…and i think that’d be a useful mind-filler on a desert island.

spirited away.
why: this is an anime movie. the best anime movie. and my little kid mind would need some fantasy or animation type film if i was stuck on an island, and i couldn’t really go for the disney/pixar stuff. something about nemo being chased by dumb sharks wouldn’t really work on the sandy beaches. spirited away is beautiful, artistic, and child-like fantasy like no other film i’ve ever seen, and would serve as a perfect escape from a life of beach survival.

so there you have it!

i’m about to hop in the car for ANOTHER 250 mile trek up into remote wisconsin for a weekend with ten friends in a cabin for new years. skiing, drinking games, and general childishness should be the ultimate result.

apparently we’ve got internet up there, so turn off your safe-mode filters now.

*this would probably explain why my sister is pursuing a PhD in neuroscience and my dad spent the entire holiday weekend holed up in his study researching the events and circumstances that led up to the production of the world’s first opera performance. serious nerdiness runs RAMPANT in my family.

**this was difficult during the lyle lovett debacle.

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