Tuesday 7 April 2009

Favourite Movie Characters Meme

The latest meme working its way through the blogs is based around your 10 favourite movie characters. I hemmed and hawed a bit when I started reading some of the lists - as always you immediately think about your own list, but could I really come up with a decent one of my own? My take on films usually starts from the visual/direction point of view, so I wasn't sure if I could pick 10 stand-out characters.

I started considering my options on a lazy windy Sunday afternoon and slowly began to compile the list. Again though, how do I choose? Characters I relate to? Ones I like? Ones that are compelling even if the're evil? When in doubt, I fall back on my default: go with my first off the cuff impressions. And then when that list gets too big, change the rules to make it fit.

Here's my list - 10 sets of two (in no order whatsoever). The couplings don't really work all that well in some cases, so I'll admit I might be forcing it a bit. These are the characters that jumped out at me though, so I'm sticking with them:

Rob Gordon (High Fidelity) & Marty McFly (Back To The Future)

OK, neither of these guys is perfect, but they each have moments when you want to be them. Rob owns a record store (if you're a music fan, you know you've daydreamed about this) and, though he may be crappy at relationships, sure seems to get some interesting lady friends. Marty gets to travel back in time and jump around a stage playing "Johnny B. Goode" on guitar. Yeah, I'd say that's pretty cool.

Geum-ja Lee (Lady Vengeance) & Diana Christensen (Network)

A couple of the most determined and focused women you'll ever come across. I wouldn't recommend it though - they will squash you like a bug.

Clementine Kruczynski (Eternal Sunshine Of The Logical Mind) & Amelie (Fear And Trembling)

Lovely, young and filled with low self esteem, both of these ladies still have a great deal of charm and kindness to share. If given the chance that is...

Mr. Parker ie. "The Old Man" (A Christmas Story) & Raymond Stoller (Breaking Away)

My two favourite gruff, but loveable, movie fathers. Both remind me a great deal of my own.

Henry Gondorff (The Sting) & Miles Kendig (Hopscotch)

One is a con man and the other a former intelligence operative. Otherwise, they're pretty similar - each is way too smart for the rest of us and is always one step ahead of the game.

Hanada Goro (Branded To Kill) & Jef Costello (Le Samourai)

Hired killers who each lead closed off lives. Hanada has a few additional quirks (he likes to huff rice vapours), but neither one fits well into general society.

Dixon Steele & Laurel Gray (In A Lonely Place)

"I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me."

Godfrey & Irene Bullock (My Man Godfrey)

Irene could've been all kinds of annoying as the spoiled, rich girl trying to help out an underprivileged man, but the continuous zippy repartee between the two of them makes it highly entertaining just to spend some time within earshot.

Maria "Cabiria" Ceccarelli (Nights Of Cabiria) & Jackie Demaistre (Bay Of Angels)

Seemingly confident, strong, vibrant women who fend for themselves, but end up again and again in desperate straits due to judgement calls on their part.

Katherine "Sugarpuss" O'Shea (Ball Of Fire) & Jean Harrington (The Lady Eve)

The fact that both of these characters are played by the stunningly beautiful Barbara Stanwyck has absolutely no bearing on this choice whatsoever. None. Well, not much anyway. I mean, not as much as you might think. Well OK, it's a large part of it...

But seriously, that's not the only reason. Both these women are quick witted, sharp and ready to throw your snappy remarks right back at you. There's a zest for life coming from the two of them at every turn and it tends to infect others around them. Pretty sound reasons in and of themselves.

Honourable mentions:

Aniki Murakawa (Sonatine)
Shozo Hirono (The Yakuza Papers)
Nikander (Shadows In Paradise)
Mark Lewis (Peeping Tom)
Ellen Bowen (Royal Wedding)
Gulley Jimson (The Horse's Mouth)

Update: I forgot to tag anyone. So if you just read this sentence, you are now tagged. Ha. Nope, sorry...Too late. You're it. Get working on that list.


RC said...

very nice and extremely diversified list. impressive.

Trista DeVries said...

Well Bob, I was actually GOING to tag you, but since you went ahead and did it anyway.... My list has nothing on this one. Mine's all poppy and yours in all culture-y. I love it! You totally didn't disappoint...

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Wow, awesome list Bob. My films to see list just got bigger, again! Love the In A Lonely Place quote - I'll be seeing that one for sure.

"...go with my first off the cuff impressions. And then when that list gets too big, change the rules to make it fit."
Dangnabit - that is the best rule breaking rule I've heard of!