Zombies are the things that get us that we don’t see coming…

World War Z is getting a lot of coverage this weekend, but I would like to remind everyone that it is a pretty good novel. By all accounts, the book is different enough from the movie that it’s worth reading even after seeing the movie. I have been reading some profiles of the author, Max Brooks, this weekend. Things I did not know: He is the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft; he tours the country giving lectures on zombie preparedness; and he doesn’t think zombies are funny. For him, zombies are those random things in life that get us that we don’t see coming–a car accident, cancer, random chance. Zombies are the personification of that old chestnut, “Life isn’t fair.”

By trying to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, something that we can feel reasonably sure is not ever going to happen, we prepare for the things we can’t control, that feel too big for us to take on. (Max Brooks wrote a survival manual for the zombie apocalypse before he wrote World War Z.) Maybe this is why I like to read apocalyptic fiction. There is literally very little I can do about climate change or peak oil, but I can read about people who go through worse, and survive it.

Alternate World War Z movie poster art found here.

Hitchcock films…

For Christmas, I got a great set of Hitchcock films, what I would consider to be his five best: Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, and North by Northwest. But of course, everyone knows these films. (If you don’t, you’ve got some watching to do!) After you’ve seen them, what next? This is what I would consider to be the next top 5 Hitchcock films:

  • Rope
  • The Trouble with Harry
  • Notorious
  • Shadow of a Doubt
  • Strangers on a Train

By the way, 2012 is the year that Vertigo knocked off Citizen Kane as the number-one movie of all time. We’re currently rewatching Vertigo, but it’s hard to beat this classic scene from North by Northwest:

Source: Chris Cattle | North By Northwest – James Hance.

Essential movies…

I have been wasting a lot of time over on FlickChart building a list of what I consider to be essential movies, all of which I want to watch with my son when he is old enough as part of his education. So far, the list is 318 movies long and still growing. That’s over 6 years of weekly movie-night material. We’d better get started!

I won’t share the whole list with you, just the top 10 as it currently stands. This could change at any moment, though.

10. Pulp Fiction
9. The Shawshank Redemption
8. Jaws
7. No Country for Old Men
6. Alien/Aliens
5. The Godfather Parts I and II
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Vertigo
2. Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi
1. The Big Lebowski

Source: Image Gallery: Quentin vs Coen – Flavorwire.