The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh
If I’m stranded on an island, odds are I will be feeling pretty darn pissy and will require something to make me laugh. Nothing tickles my funny bone (I find that expression kind of icky) quite like the Boosh. The prodigiously amusing Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt play, respectively, adorable dandy Vince Noir and self-serious jazz fiend Howard Moon, not to mention a slew of other memorable characters such as the transgender merman Old Gregg and psychotic cockney The Hitcher. They’re joined in their adventures by Bollo the ape, Naboo the Enigma (a pot smoking shaman), and Bob Fossil (whose nipple rubbing dances defy description). Oh, and there are musical numbers and priceless raps called crimps (“bouncy bouncy, ooh such a good time!”).
Vince (aka “The Confuser”) tempts creepy men with his tight pants and gorgeous hair.
In my favorite episode, “The Nightmare of Milky Joe,” our heroes find themselves stranded on an island and promptly fall in love with coconut women, only to suffer the consequences of coconut spousal abuse and eventual murder. I hope it won’t come to that on our island, but regardless of what happens, I’ll be better off with the Boosh there.
It seems only fitting that The Swiss Family Robinson should come with to the island. Not only is it effing awesome, but it could act as our survival guide. This movie teaches us all sorts of super useful survival techniques, such as how to (1) build a wicked cool tree house, (2) disguise yourself, albeit unsuccessfully, as a boy, (3) with limited resources, still look as good as Dorothy McGuire, and (4) fend off racially stereotyped pirates with coconuts and tigers. But if The Swiss Family Robinson has taught us anything it’s this: it’s much better to be stranded on a tropical island as opposed to a desert island because there is always plenty of fruit (for food) and animals (also for food, but for the occasional zebra vs. ostrich race, too). Yet as much as I love this movie, I find I always have to suspend my disbelief. How is it that they managed to salvage so much stuff from the shipwreck? There was a damn organ in that tree house! (Sidebar: This is also my problem with Gilligan’s Island. Why does Ginger have so many smurfing gowns? It’s absurd! Not to mention The Skipper and Gilligan’s endless supply of blue and red shirts. And don’t even get me started on Mrs. Howell. But I digress.) Despite the completely improbable plot (it is from Disney, after all) I adore this movie. I’ve watched it countless times and I never get tired of it. And, as T pointed out, it’s very meta to have an island movie on an island and I love anything meta. A final note… Many moons ago, whilst watching The Swiss Family Robinson for the 107th time, T and I wondered, as we were confused by the various accents of the actors, where does the Swiss Family Robinson hail from? To which T’s mom replied, with a look of pity and/or disgust, “Switzerland! They’re the Swiss Family Robinson!” Touché, Mrs. T’s Mom. Touché.
Belle & Sebastian’s The Boy With The Arab Strap was one of the first albums I ever bought. It was 1998. I was 12-years-old and seriously in love with Stuart Murdoch. While my fellow students were listening to Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys, I was listening to these lovely Scottish indie darlings. I felt cool for listening to Belle & Sebastian because (1) no one at my junior high school knew who the hell Belle & Sebastian were and (2) I imagined they were the kind of band only clove cigarette smoking, tea drinking, artist types listened to in their dorm rooms. I don’t know. I was twelve. I’d listen to this album over and over again trying to absorb their genius by osmosis, trying to inject them right into my bloodstream. It’s this oddly infectious combination of 60s pop and these beautifully sad songs, with some filthy lyrics thrown in for good measure. This is probably Belle & Sebastian’s best album and I think my love affair with music began here. The Boy With The Arab Strap has been with me for the past 12 years and I’m bringing it with me to the island.
There are few things I love more in life than a good, old fashioned romantic tragedy. I’d enjoyed musicals, costume dramas, and Ewan McGregor for years, but never dreamed they could be combined anywhere near as stylishly and heartbreakingly as in Baz Lurhmann’s genius extravaganza. I was pretty sure this was the film for me from the moment those red curtains parted to reveal the titles, but by the time top hatted johns started signing Nirvana lyrics to petticoat flashing courtesans, my brain exploded and I was lost. The film is fast passed, by turns funny and sad, and has an excellent soundtrack.
Nicole Kidman has never looked more beautiful (which is truly saying something) even while coughing up blood, but Ewan McGregor steals the show as lovesick playwright Christian, who drops to his knees in the rain and bellows his beloved’s name at the top of his lungs. That’s hot. In the height of my obsession, I was known to watch this film several times a week (and once, even twice in one day). It’s in my blood now, and it’s coming to the island. T
As far as silent films go, this one is king. Metropolis is a sci-fi German expressionist film that takes place in a futuristic dystopia (2026 to be exact, which was super futuristic way back in 1927 when this film was made). It examines the relationship between workers, who live underground, and the wealthy, who live in a luxurious paradise above ground. Wealthy Freder, son of Joh Freder, leader of the city, then meets poor Maria and leaves behind his privileged life to join the oppressed workers of the underground in revolt. The sets and special effects are impressive even by today’s standards. Unfortunately a significant portion (about one quarter) of the film was lost, yet it still plays at two hours long. Metropolis is still considered one of the best movies ever made, and with good reason. A desert island must have.
The city of Metropolis
The Machine Man
I was into this movie from the get-go since both Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are in it. In my book, this movie has it all. It’s a suspenseful thriller, a romance, and it’s surprisingly funny. Plus it has those amazing opening credits and the music of Henry Mancini.
It’s a somewhat silly story, as those quintessential 60s crime capers are wont to be. Audrey Hepburn’s husband dies and it turns out he was a thief and three crooks think she has the loot so Cary Grant (whose name changes every 5 minutes) comes to her aid. Of course they fall in love. Obviously. Grant and Hepburn are so smurfing adorable together that the 25-year age difference doesn’t even bother me (unlike the 30-year age difference between Bogart and Hepburn in Sabrina). Charade is full of amusing exchanges like, “When you come on, you come on, don’t you?” To which Hepburn replies, “Oh, come on!” And Grant’s delightful with lines like, “How about making me vice president in charge of cheering you up?” Oh, Cary, just seeing you doing your “Drip dry, drip dry” bit is cheering me up. This is just the kind of movie necessary on a desert island because it’s so ridiculously enjoyable and funny. Besides, I’ll need something to distract myself from my inevitable demise since my experience will most likely not mirror Swiss Family Robinson in any way.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Raiders of the Lost Ark is usually everyone’s first round pick when it comes to Indy movies, but my heart has always belonged to Crusade. It has all the adventure, history, and tomb raiding of the first two films, with the added humor of Indy’s antagonistic relationship with father Henry, played with perfect condescension by the always enjoyable Sean Connery. Most importantly, it also features my favorite Indy love interest: Dr. Elsa Schneider, a sexy Arian ice queen who cries at the sight of burning books but nonetheless aligns herself with the Nazis in the interest of tracking down the Holy Grail. To young me, Elsa was the epitome of stylish, intelligent, and resourceful women. (Question for future psychoanalysts: what does it say about me that the beloved films of my childhood all seem to feature Nazis?) Throw in the Knights Templar, River Phoenix as the best young Indy (sorry Sean Patrick Flannery), and Venetian boast chases, and you have the perfect adventure film. I’ve watched this movie countless times since it came out in 1989, and it’s mentally impossible for me to ever get sick of it. No desert island would be complete without it.
Oh, man. Where do I begin? This movie is hysterical. The fact that everyone plays it so straight makes it even better. It opens with a boy piecing together a nudie jigsaw puzzle. Then he kills his mother with an axe. Cue the awesome credits. Are you hooked yet? Just wait. Forty years later he’s a chainsaw wielding maniac killing girls on a college campus, collecting body parts and making a human jigsaw puzzle. Yes! It’s a veritable whodunit. Is it the dean? The anatomy professor? The maintenance man? It hardly matters, as this movie is really more about being visually shocking (i.e. copious amounts of super fake looking blood, waxy body parts flying, women running around topless). Girls get hacked to bits and this movie shows everything. I mean EVERYTHING. “It’s a masterpiece of early 80s sleaze,” as Eli Roth said. I think providing a plot with substance was the last thing on the director’s mind because, let’s face it, folks, it’s utterly ridiculous nonsense. You’ll watch this movie scratching your head, trying to make sense of it all. Don’t strain your brain. It’s part of what makes Pieces so delightful.
I was hooked at matricide but as soon as Lynda Day screamed “Bassstaaaard!” about ten times at the top of her lungs I was in love. If I have to be stranded on some desert island I want, nay, need to be able to watch this gem at least once a week.
This is one of the first films I ever saw in a theatre and looking back, I can’t believe I was only 5 when it came out. My darling niece is five, and I can’t imagine taking her to see a movie featuring gangsters, Nazis, and a battle atop a hydrogen balloon, but my parents clearly knew what they were doing, because I instantly fell in love with this movie and watched it so many times I wore out my VHS. I’ve been told that viewing this film offers insight into my apparently unusual personality, and I guess this makes sense because I’ve maintained a lifelong interest in mobsters, old Hollywood, and being kidnapped by sexy Nazis like Neville Sinclair. It’s possibly also informed my sense of morality, as I’ve been known to quote gangster Eddie Valentine on many occasions: “I may not make an honest living, but I’m an American and I don’t work for no two bit Nazi!” Now that’s patriotism!
Disclaimer: K and I take issue with the whole concept of desert island lists. First of all, why are we packing CDs, movies, and books when other articles could be of more use to us during our seclusion, such as rope, matches, water filters, etc.? Second of all, how exactly are we going to enjoy those electricity requiring items? Is this a fancy, Swiss Family Robinson style luau with tree forts, running water, and creature generated energy? It’s absurd!
That said, we do love making lists and forcing ourselves to make decisions in preparation for events that will likely never occur in life (although my perceived likelihood of being stranded on an island has gone up considerably since I started watching Lost). So, in honor of my new favorite show and the aforementioned love of list making, I present the first installment in our new Desert Island series!
David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
This is possibly the only disc I can listen to straight through over and over without skipping a single song. I never really understood the concept of the Album that rock journalists love to prattle on about until I heard this one. I get it now, how the songs all connect and tell a larger story than any single track could on its own (well, as cohesive as any album about rockers from space written by a renowned drug taking zany pants could be).
But more importantly, Bowie is one sweet transvestite from transsexual Mars. “I’ll be a rock n rolling bitch for you,” he sings on my favorite track, Moonage Daydream. You’ll always be my favorite bitch, Bowie!