Film Fridays is a project initiated by Darren from over at The Arty Plantsman and me.
After doing a daily music challenge for a month last year we talked about doing something similar for movies.
And the current global lockdowns give us the perfect excuse to start!
Many of us are confined to home with only the TV for company so we thought we would start ‘Film Fridays’ so that we can talk about our favourite movies and hopefully give our readers some ideas for things to watch.
We would be delighted if you would join us!
Just tag your post with #FilmFriday and do a pingback to either Darren’s or my posts so that we can can have a look at yours! You can also copy the “Film Friday” poster I came up with.
We don’t necessarily want to talk about the nerdy technical details but more about why these films speak to us as individuals, why they have a place in our hearts, and any personal memories they evoke.
So please join us each friday when we will each be talking about a different movie from our list of favourites!
If I had to decide to take only one DVD on a desert island with me, from all the films I’ve written about here yet, “A Fish Called Wanda” might very well be the one I’d choose!
It’s incredibly witty, hilarious and a real masterpiece in my mind.
A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 heist comedy film directed by Charles Crichton and written by John Cleese.
It stars Jamie Lee Curtis playing con artist and femme fatale Wanda Gershwitz, Kevin Kline playing Otto West, a weapons expert and an ignorant and mean-spirited anglophobe, Michael Palin as Ken Pile, an animal lover with a stutter and John Cleese as barrister Archie Leach (which by the way was Cary Grant’s real name).
The film itself is a love story, an exquisitely constructed farce, a crime caper, and a dissertation on the differences between Americans and the British, all at once. Its intricate plot, which revolves around a crew of criminals crossing and double-crossing each other following a diamond heist, involves copious layers of deceit, the unintended assassination of three Yorkshire terriers, one character flattened by a steamroller into wet cement, and likely the most absurd and funniest love scene in cinematic history.
This British-American film was released to positive reviews and was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and winning Best Supporting Actor for Kline.
In case you haven’t seen this film, or need a refresher here come a few quotes, that I love:
Otto (Kevin Kline, brilliant by the way, absolutely and completely brilliant!):
- Oh you English are SO superior aren’t you? Well, would you like to know where you’d be without US the good old U.S. of A. to protect you? I’ll tell you. The smallest fucking province in the Russian Empire, that’s where! So DON’T call me stupid, lady. Just THANK me! …If it wasn’t for us, you’d all be speaking German, singing, “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles!”
- [On finding George has moved the jewels, forestalling his and Wanda’s attempted double-cross] Okay…Okay… DISAPPOINTED!!! Son of a bitch! What do you have to do in this life to make people trust you?!?!…People are always takin’ advantage of me!
- You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, fuck-face, dickhead, asshole!
- You English! You think you’re so superior, don’t you? Well you’re the filth of the planet! A bunch of pompous, badly dressed, poverty stricken, sexually repressed football hooligans!
- [repeated] Don’t call me stupid.
- Oh look, it’s K-K-Ken! C-C-Coming to k-k-kill me! How you gonna c-c-catch me, K-K-Ken?
[Otto dangling Archie out of a window]
Archie: All right, all right, I apologize.
Otto: You’re really sorry?
Archie: I’m really really sorry. I apologize unreservedly.
Otto: You take it back?
Archie: I do. I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.
Otto: [thinks a moment] Okay.
Wanda: But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?
Otto: [superior smile] Apes don’t read philosophy.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it! Now let me correct you on a couple things, okay? Aristotle was not Belgian! The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself!” And the London Underground is not a political movement! Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked ’em up. Now. You have just assaulted the one man who can keep you out of jail and make you rich. So what are you going to do about it, huh? What would… an intellectual do? What would Plato do?
Otto: [mumbles] Apologize.
Wanda: Pardon me?
Otto: [mumbles] Apologize.
Otto: Apologize! I’m sorry.
Okay, I’ll stop now – for your sake, not for mine since I could go on and on and on… well, you get the drift. 😉
Wanna tell me your favorite scenes (if you’ve seen the film that is)?