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SLIDE SHOW: Movies for a desert island

Television
by Matt Zoller Seitz
January 6, 2012 9:41 PM
8 Comments
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You don’t need much of a setup for this one: It’s a Desert Island List of visual media that I’d like to have with me if I were shipwrecked.

Here are the rules:

1. This list is composed solely of motion pictures and TV shows. Music, books, paintings and other media are not included. It is assumed that you’ll have an indestructible DVD player with a solar-recharging power source, so let’s not get bogged down in refrigerator logic, mm’kay?

2. You can list 10 feature films, one short and a single, self-contained season of a TV series.

3. NO CHEATING. Every slot on the list must be claimed by a self-contained unit of media. You can put all 15 hours of Berlin Alexanderplatz on the list because it’s considered one long film (or if you saw it in Germany, a TV miniseries), but you can’t put The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II in the same slot because “it counts as one long film” (it doesn’t!). You can’t put 10 seasons of I Love Lucy on their, either, or "Twin Peaks up through the part in Season 2 where we finally find out who killed Laura Palmer.” Part of the fun of this exercise is figuring out what you think you can watch over and over, and what you can live without. Stick to the parameters, otherwise we’ll have human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, and mass hysteria.

I’ve listed my short film pick and my TV season first, followed by a list of 10 theatrical features in alphabetical order. Please add your own picks to the Letters section; I want to see what you’d put in your suitcase.

You can view Matt's final slide show here at Salon.

A critic, journalist and filmmaker, Matt Zoller Seitz is the staff TV columnist for New York Magazine and the founder of Press Play.

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8 Comments

  • filmneye | January 12, 2012 3:56 AMReply

    Short: For Cereal Lovers Only (a short film I made:o}); TV series: Star Trek (1st season); 10 Films: Wizard of Oz, Notorious, Hamlet (Laurence Olivier), Roman Holiday, Shoot The Piano Player, The Graduate, The Godfather, Bananas, Taxi Driver, The Kids Are Alright (The Who's rock-doc)

  • Henry | January 9, 2012 11:56 AMReply

    Come on, guys! Not one of you is going to bring at least one Russ Meyer film? I can't believe this. . . .

  • Tom | January 8, 2012 2:06 PMReply

    Short: T is For Toilet. TV series: Six Feet Under (Season 1). 10 Films: No Country for Old Men, Modern Times, Love Actually, Taxi Driver, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Tree of Life, On the Waterfront, Psycho, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Inglourious Basterds.

  • Talia Lugacy | January 7, 2012 6:51 PMReply

    Short: Tom Goes to the Bar (Dir. Dean Parisot; feat. Tom Noonan)
    TV Series: The Office (BBC)
    10 Films: Wild Strawberries, Double Indemnity, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, 2001: A Space Odyssey, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Gold Rush, Sweet Smell of Success, Macbeth (Polanski, 1971), The Lion in Winter (1968).

  • J. Purvis | January 7, 2012 2:51 AMReply

    10 Films: The Seventh Seal, The Godfather Pt. 1, Apocalypse Now, The Bourne Supremacy, The Graduate, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pinocchio (Disney), 28 Days Later, Rushmore, O Brother Where Art Thou?
    Short: Brave Little Tailor (Disney)
    TV: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 2

  • Sebastián Lalaurette | January 7, 2012 2:18 AMReply

    Short: I don't know many of them, so I leave it vacant. Series: "The prisoner" (1967), all episodes or just the ones that constitute a season for you (there's some debate). Long films: "Lady in the water", "Citizen Kane", "Barton Fink", "Brazil", "Barbarella", "Top secret", "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind", "Dead Poets Society", "Back to the future" (pt 1), "Short cuts".

  • Chris Barry | January 6, 2012 11:18 PMReply

    Short: Thank You Mask Man (Lenny Bruce); TV - The Andy Griffith Show - S2 (Barney really hitting his stride); Top 10 films: Meet Me in St. Louis; Kiss Me Deadly; Blow Out; Taxi Driver; Jackie Brown; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; West Side Story; Dazed and Confused; Saturday Night Fever; Woodstock

  • Andrew G. | January 6, 2012 10:47 PMReply

    Short: "Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown."
    Television: "Always Sunny In Philidelphia - S3"

    Top 10 Films (Alphabetically): Apocalypse Now Redux, Carlos, Clue, Dazed & Confused, F For Fake, Out 1, Ratatouille, The Royal Tenanbaums, The Usual Suspects, The Wild Bunch

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