Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Top Ten: Alexander(s) The Great

Tuesday Top Ten! ~a new weekly feature. For the listmaker in me and the list lover in you

Ten Alexanders You Should Love
10. Alexandre Despatie well he's not in the movies but he does win gold. Plus he looks like this...

so you know...

09. Jane Alexander. A solid four-time Oscar nominated actor. Last seen as Nicole Kidman's icy mother-in-law in Fur. When is she going to have a comeback?

08. Aleksandr Sokurov Because the Russian Ark is a neato cinematic trick. I regret to inform that I have not seen anything else he's done. Anyone care to make a 'first things first' viewing suggestion from his catalogue?

07. Lloyd Alexander His fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain is great fun and quite wonderfully cinematic. Disney gave it a bad rep with their awful adaptation (The Black Cauldron) back in the 80s but given that lengthy fantasy adaptations are all the rage ... Hollywood execs: get on this one!

06. Alexandre Dumas He wrote The Three Musketeers and who doesn't love swashbuckling? Oh and Queen Margot. Merci --I love the 1994 movie version.

05. Alexander Graham Bell. I hate talking on the telephone. But I like having one. Thanks.

04. Alexandre Desplat. The best new film composer in the world. Two years ago he won a devoted small army of fans for scoring the haunting Nicole Kidman flick Birth. Yesterday he won his first Golden Globe for The Painted Veil. It's a truly lovely film score.

03. Alexander Payne He hasn't made a bad movie yet. Famous last words, I know, but Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt and Sideways? That's a grade A filmography.

02. Alexander the Great (2008never) by Baz Luhrmann. This movie does not really exist but I love it anyway. Because I love Bazmark movies as a general rule... principle. calling (?)

01. "Xander" Harris Willow's best friend. Buffy's ever faithful righthand man. Anya's true love. Cordelia's boytoy. Because he was always something for everyone and never anything for himself. But mostly because he was hilariously clueless (Season 1), looked great in a speedo (Season 2), lost his cherry to Faith (season 3), fell hard for Anya (Season 4 & 5), saved the world (Season 6) and lost his eye in (Season 7). I love you Xander!

Previous Tuesday Top Tens (New Series):
Best 2006 Movies from The Departed (sure) to Marie Antoinette (you heard me)
Movies by The Three Amigos Best of Cuarón, González Iñárritu and Del Toro


Glenn Dunks said...

teehee. I looove Alexandre Desplat. Genius.

And apparently Australia is the first of Luhrmann's new trilogy and Alexander will be one of the other two. ...interesting.

Ali was quite enthusiastic about Sokurov's The Sun

J.J. said...

Bless you for citing Jane. "Testament" has long been part of my "you-must-see-this" evangel.

adam k. said...

Wow, Alexandre Despatie is just painfully gorgeous. It hurts my feelings to look at him.

I love that he and Alexandre Desplat have virtually the same name.

Brian Darr said...

Sokurov's Mother and Son is far more beautiful and meaningful than anything made by Payne (who I tend to admire, with About Schmidt a major exception). I'd start with that one, but the Sun is great too.

Three more cinematic Alexanders come to mind:

Alexander Dovzhenko, the Soviet-era auteur behind the gorgeous cine-poem to the land and the people who work it, Earth.

Alexander Rodchenko, another Soviet, this time a graphic artist whose posters for likes of Battleship Potemkin and Kino-Eye helped to define the look of that regime. And his influence is still strongly felt in graphic design today- everywhere from Franz Ferdinand album covers to that Film Bitch Awards-nominated V For Vendetta poster.

and Alexander Mackendrick, the Scottish director who made Ealing comedies like the original Ladykillers and Hollywood classics like Sweet Smell of Success.

Anonymous said...

I second the motion for Rodchenko. Great artist, and as Brian notes, terribly influential.

And amongst the list of great Alexanders, I'm going to suggest Alexander Trocchi - Scottish existential author of "About Adam" fame. Didn't see the movie, but the novel is a little known gem. So get to the library kids!

c.p. iñor said...


par3182 said...

i love lists

Anonymous said...

Nice call on Lloyd Alexander! I still cart those books around with me wherever I go. Too bad everyone's all too starry-eyed with Harry What's-His-Name to consider a book about Taran the Asst. Pig-Keeper. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

I am so amped for your personal awards. That sounds so lame hahah.

But still, I can't believe The Departed didn't make your best picture list... This is the best film of it's kind in years and years, so superior to Goodfellas (yikes! but not moved so terribly)... I steadfastly hope that the Academy will show good judgment.

Neel Mehta said...

You do realize that Lex Luthor's full first name is Alexander? If you combine the various versions of him in print, TV, and movies, that's one heck of an Alexander.

Anonymous said...

You really should try Sokurov's movies about great leaders: Moloch, Taurus, The Sun. Sokurov reminds me Visconti, who made great pictures about political power and decadence. If you love Il Gattopardo, you'll love Sokurov.

- cal roth

Anonymous said...

Gattopardo = The Leopard, right?

I prefer "Father and Son" to "Mother and Son," so check those out. Definitely "Moloch" and "The Sun" too.

Paxton Hernandez said...

Foreign Film Oscar shorlist has arrived! The 9 Finalists are:

Algeria, “Days of Glory,” Rachid Bouchareb, director

Canada, “Water,” Deepa Mehta, director

Denmark, “After the Wedding,” Susanne Bier, director

France, “Avenue Montaigne,” Daniele Thompson, director

Germany, “The Lives of Others,” Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director

Mexico, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Guillermo del Toro, director

The Netherlands, “Black Book,” Paul Verhoeven, director

Spain, “Volver,” Pedro Almodovar, director

Switzerland, “Vitus,” Fredi M. Murer, director

It seems that with Letters and Apocalypto out of the way there's a chance that Verhoeven will grab a nomination!!!

Middento said...

My son's name is Alexander -- and while your #1 choice was not the reason he got such a name, that was definitely a plus. (We call him Xan, though. In part because our friends know we're THAT GEEKY.)

Anonymous said...

"The Zeppo" is my favorite Buffy episode. Xander serves as a scratching post for Faith, and saves the world with a perfect combination of goofy Xander and dead-serious Xander.

Anonymous said...

Alexandre Despatie is gonna be in a movie.

Check the official movie blog!


Gilidor said...

Yeah it's true, he's in that French Canadian teen comedy that's coming out this spring!


Erik said...

Okay, I have to jump on the Alexandre Despatie bandwagon and say that he should be higher up on the list.

However, I love that Xander Harris is #1.

And I am so in love with the idea of a Top Ten Alexanders list.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Alexandre Desplat. I heard the news today that he is going to score The Golden Compass (the big one with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig) and it made my day.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, you should definitely see Sokurov's Mother and Son, The Sun, Moloch and Taurus. Not to mention his "Elegie" series. :)

Vancio said...

The 10:22 comment is mine. I'm Luca.:) I've just created my blog. It's in Italian, though. :p

Anonymous said...

Sokurov's "Mother and Son" is more beautiful than Alexandre Despatie and Xander Harris combined. It's a genuine masterpiece. However, "Father and Son" has some very homoerotic scenes between the eponymous father and son.