By Juan Caceres | SydneysBuzz March 5, 2014 at 3:00PM
We asked a few LatinoBuzz amigos to get their Robinson Crusoe on and pick a film, an album, a book and a companion from the movies to join them in their shenanigans were they to be stuck on a deserted island (and before anyone nitpicks, filmmakers are resourceful, so of course they built solar powered entertainment centers made from bamboos, coconuts and grass to watch movies and listen to baby making slow jams). We figured we'd start with the narrative filmmakers since they probably sit around thinking about this kinda stuff anyway.
Film: Choosing desert island items may mean sacrificing taste and/or reason, thinking about those items that you wouldn’t forgive yourself for not bringing them as your company, it´s like choosing the woman of your life. Here it goes: Hiroshima Mon Amour; there might be others I fancy as much as or more than (La Dolce Vita, Vertigo, M , some Lubitsch or Preminger), but I can think of no other as unique. I wouldn’t be able to choose any other without feeling Hiroshima’s absence - the best love film, the best movie about war, the best motion picture regarding the memory and its consequences. I can spend my whole life learning about film and the world because of Hiroshima...'.
Album: “Los Preludios de Debussy” by Claudio Arrau. These were so important to my life (I'm referring to my childhood of course) and I think no one does it better than Arrau. Same thing: it is endless. I think I could never tire of this and I could still wake up each and every morning amazed by it.
Book: “Sentimental Education”, by Flaubert. Similar to “Hiroshima”, a book that changed my outlook on literature and the world and I am certain it will keep transforming it forever.
Companion: Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer in 'The fabulous Baker Boys'). Since I saw the film (which I liked very much!) in the provincial movie theater of my childhood, I felt as Jack Baker´s relative and I loved Susie. If we had a piano, it would all be all be perfect. - Santiago Palavecino (Algunas chicas/Some Girls)
Film: This is a tricky question. I've always said that on a deserted island you should bring some porn. You could use that more than regular movies. But since I've got to pick a film I guess it'd be Jaws. Why? Because it's one of my favorites (I could also go with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). But being on a deserted island, Jaws will remind me all the time what'll happen to me for sure if I try to get away!
Album: “ Appetite for Destruction” (Guns N' Roses). Hey, I was 13 when this came out. I listen to it every day while I work, anyways. My favorite, by far.
A Book: I'm going to cheat on this one: 'The Complete Works' by Jorge Luis Borges. The best writer, and enough labyrinths to get lost on endless nights.
Companion: Sherlock Holmes. He's always been my favorite, and also, since my guess is he'll be pretty useless in a deserted island, every time we fail to get out because of him I can get to tell him "Is that the best you can do, Sherlock? - Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead)
Film: Los Olvidados- this is punk rock and Pachuco. Mexico City style before the bombed out bunkers of Sid & Nancy. Bunuel is a hero and I wanna buy Jaibo a beer and milk for the old poetic man!
Album: The Blade Runner album. I can play it over and over, get cranked up or mellow with Blade Runner Blues and the constant rain.
Book: '20 years of Joda' - poems of Jose Montoya, my pop. Epic stuff! 'Ran with Miguel Pinero in the Lower Eastside!”
Film: I´d choose Misery because a year can go by and I can watch it again eagerly. It's simple and the director (Rob Reiner) and Stephen King are both masters of suspense.
Album: I know this may be considered cheating but it would have to be 'The Best of David Bowie'. That way I have 2 CD's with nearly 40 songs!
Companion: There's many great people who I would to live with but on a deserted Island? It would have to be Mary Poppins for obvious reasons.
Film: I would say White Chicks. I’m going to need some humor! White Chicks is the movie that I put on when I need a good laugh. It does it for me every time. I grew up with characters like that; and admittedly, I can regress back to a few of them myself when no one is looking.
Album: ' Songs From the Capeman' - Paul Simon. I can’t get enough of that album. It instantly takes me to that world and electrifies that side of me that’s determined to make a change for Latinos. I want to keep that feeling with me alive eternally…wherever I’m at.”
Book: There are many but 'Anatomy of the Spirit' by Caroline Myss has been my compass. It taught me how to take control of my destiny by listening to my intuition and body. I stand by her quote: “Your biography becomes your biology.
Companion: The first person that came to mind when I read the question was silly Clarence from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I guess I’m going to need an angel with me, and he’s perfect. He has a pure childlike spirit that would help me find gratitude in the most unlikely moments… even on a deserted island! That right there is the meaning of life. - Carmen Marron (Endgame)
Film: There are so many brilliant, groundbreaking favorite films that have influenced me (The 400 Blows; Jules and Jim ; Law of Desire; et al) but I wouldn't bring any of them. If I'm stuck on a deserted island, I'm bringing Neil Simon's Murder by Death so I can laugh my ass off. Not a great film at all, it's true, but it's a classic comedy.
Album: Oh, this is easy: Madonna's "Ray of Light." I am no Madonna fanatic, but "deserted island, " means beach + summer weather + Fire Island-like atmosphere. So somewhere nearby there's got to be gay guys partying and I will use Madonna to lure them to me so I can be rescued.
Companion: Huckleberry Finn. He will be a great companion: not only will he tell great stories, but undoubtedly, the ever-resourceful Huck Finn will figure out how to build a raft and get us out off that island! - Terracino (Elliot Loves )
Film: Whenever anyone asks me this I always think of what use these items would serve practically on a deserted island, so I answered this in that respect. Tokyo Story - Yasujiro Ozu. This would be a great film to take on a deserted island because it's really about the unavoidable suffering of the cycle of life, which I'm sure you'd relate to if you were stuck on an island. I really could watch this film a million times over and notice something new every time. Watching most Ozu films is not unlike participating in a Zen meditation practice. It's patience and slowness and trying to empty your mind of thought until your left with the basics of existence. Kind of like sitting on a deserted island alone. I can watch the scene where Kyoto says “Life is disappointing, isn't it?” and Noriko smiles and says “Yes it is.” I can watch that endlessly and cry every time. It's so true.
Album: ' Tusk' - Fleetwood Mac. I could also deal with 'Rumours' but I picked 'Tusk' because it's longer and denser; probably better for an island. 'Sara' is maybe my favorite song in the world and so it would be nice to have that with me. I think channeling the powerful witchy energy of Stevie Nicks would be a real asset on an island. This album has so much strange material on - you wouldn't get bored too easily with it. It's also got a range of emotions so if you get too depressed on the island you can just put on 'Never Forget' and feel better. And 'Sisters of the Moon' would be good around a fire at night. Even though you're stuck on an island, it's good to create an ambiance to remind you that life is worth living.
Book: ' In Search of Lost Time' - Marcel Proust. I've only read 'Swann's Way' which is first part of this. My analyst recommend it to me when I was totally heartbroken after someone broke up with me. It really did the trick. This would be a good long epic read that has enough complex ideas in it to keep you occupied for a life time. Probably a good book (or set of books) to get back to nature with.
Companion: I'll say Terry Malloy from “On the Waterfront”. He'd be strong and good to have around to cut down trees and hunt and stuff. He's also easy on the eyes and someone that could do with a little lonely contemplation away from the loading docks. That doesn't sound half bad...stuck on like a tropical island with a young, cute Marlon Brando, watching Ozu, reading Proust and listening to Fleetwood Mac all day. Sign me up! - Joshua Sanchez (Four)
Film: My film would have to be Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados. I have been a movie watcher since I was a child. Raised on mainstream American films and Wuxia flicks, it wasn't until I was a late teen that I took my first film class and was introduced to the work of Buñuel. Los Olvidados literally changed my perception of the world, both socially and visually. It was also the gateway for me to progress from movie watcher to film student.
Album: Music is my religion and I belong to the church of Robert Nesta Marley. I would prefer the whole anthology, but if I had to choose one album it would be “Exodus”. When on an island listen to island music.
Book: Right around the time I discovered the work of Buñuel, I was gifted Jose Montoya's 'In Formation: 20 years of Joda'. The book is a treasure of epic poems, sketches, and corridos. All testaments to the beauty and strength of Chicana/o culture. 20 years later I pay homage to both of these Maestros in my debut feature film, “Cry Now”. The film's protagonist is nicknamed 'Ojitos' during the course of the narrative, a reference to one of the characters in Los Olvidados. The late great Lupe Ontiveros playing the role of a sage loosely recites Montoya's mantra 'La Locura Cura' (In madness you find truth) while she councils our protagonist.
Companion: To bring it all full circle my fictitious character would have to be a Wuxia hero. As a child I was awe inspired by these bigger than life martial artists. As an adult, Ang Lee's “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” did the same. I know all would be as it should if Yu Shu Lien was on that island with me. - Alberto Barboza (Cry Now )
Film: Nothing But a Man (1964) It's a film that does an incredible job balancing a character-driven story within a politically charged context. It's a film I'm finding myself inspired by as I continue to write Los Valientes.
Album: I'm not a fan of albums, but if I had to choose one I guess I would have to go with any of Prince's albums. His music always puts me in a trance.
Book: My dream journal so I can look back look for signs of what is to become of my future.
Film: Hell in the Pacific so that I can be reminded that even in paradise there is a duality.
Album: “La Scala: Concert” by Ludovico Einaudi – I've listened to it a thousand times and each time I feel or discover something new.
Book: “ Voces Reunidas” by Antonio Porchia. Each time I read one of his poems I learn something new and I'm deeply moved.