lundi 14 novembre 2011

Film cures for colds

As you saw from my list recently, I love the idea of winter much more than the reality but when the weather turns cold, I can't escape the chapped lips, cracked hands, frozen feet, raw, red skin and worst of all, sickness. Today I've abandoned all hope of going to work after waking up with a throat that feels like it's been sandpapered, sore eyes and a sinus infection. I hate taking time off work, mainly because I find it difficult to stay inside and do very little. If I can I make an effort and get dressed, make some tea and porridge with honey and venture outside for a bit. Somehow slobbing around in pyjamas with boxes of Kleenex everywhere makes me feel even worse. What helps me to survive though is my film collection and with about 200 DVDs, I'm never short of anything to watch. Bad colds mean I tend to choose films in English to give my sore eyes a break from reading subtitles or having to concentrate on listening to foreign languages. Below are my top 10 films to watch when you're not feeling so great.

1. Radio Days

You knew I'd start with a Woody Allen one, right? People tend either to love or hate him and those who love him always have their own particular favourites. I'd be happy with almost any of his films, but somehow Radio Days is my favourite. Seeing Rockaway beach on a grey, rainy day makes me feel all wistful and nostalgic and the soundtrack is wonderful. I already have this planned as my New Year's Eve film.

2. Groundhog Day

Basically, anything with Bill Murray gets my vote; Ghostbusters, Broken Flowers, Lost in Translation, The Royal Tennenbaums. I love the way he was never really young and always wears that look of eternal suffering. Groundhog Day is probably my choice for sick days because it really makes me laugh and also grateful that at least tomorrow will be different.

3. Bringing Up Baby

When it comes to comedies, I'm very picky; it either has to be screwball or extremely black humour which is the reason I tend to avoid them. Until recently, I had very few in my collection but then I had a terrible cold a couple of years ago and realised that I wasn't in the mood for Ingmar Bergman. Luckily, it was possible to watch the Marx Brothers on YouTube. This film by Howard Hawks with two of my favourite actors, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, is sheer perfection and I love the chemistry between them. Oh and the leopard is adorable too.

4. Metropolitan

What is it about New York winters that makes them seem so romantic? The reality must be different with blizzards and freezing temperatures but this comedy about the debutante season in the 80s always makes me long to spend Christmas there. The scenes where the main character is asked if he isn't cold just wearing a trench coat and replies that it's very warm and has a lining are my favourites.

5. The Squid and the Whale

I grew up in a dysfunctional family with parents who were both married before so this film really strikes a chord with me. It's painful, funny and reminds me how much easier it is to be an adult, even if they still act like children sometimes.

6. Stolen Kisses

One of the few non-English films I often watch when I'm ill is Francois Truffaut's Baisers Volés or Stolen Kisses. It felt so good to first see it as a twenty year old, unsure of my direction in life and as chaotic as Antoine Doinel. Now it makes me dream of being young in the Paris of the 60s and spending all day at the old Cinémathèque.

7. Rio Bravo

I know this won't be my most popular choice because westerns never are but at two and half hours, this one with John Wayne and Dean Martin manages to fill an afternoon which is nice for long days at home. Tarantino used it as a test for prospective girlsfriends but I love it because it's about friendship and courage in the Old West.

8. Atlantic City

Louis Malle has always been one of my favourite directors and film noir one of my favourite genres, but as you'd expect from Malle, he makes it his own and does something original. It's as much about the characters as the heist. Old has-been Burt Lancaster peeps at Susan Sarandon, his beautiful neighbour and imagines his great life as a gangster in a city that has also seen better days but then events throw them together that will change everything.

9. Chinatown

I can never resist the chance to rewatch my favourite film on a free afternoon. It's brilliantly written with perfect acting from absolutely everyone but especially Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson who I feel give their best performances as well as a chilling one from John Huston. The music makes me feel I'm sitting in an old fashioned cinema with velvet seats and it's nice to have a little LA glamour when you're sneezing and coughing.

10. Chungking Express

Two stories based around a snack bar in Hong Kong when paths cross, sometimes changing our lives, sometimes not. The first one is darker about Brigit Lin's need for survival and a chance meeting with a lonely policemen, the second is funny and touching with Tony Leung looking handsome in uniform and Faye Wong charming behind her black heart shaped sunglasses and rubber gloves, bringing change into his life.

And you, what are your favourite films for days off sick?

22 commentaires:

  1. An interesting list! I loove Chungking Express and have seen it quite a few times.



  2. Singing in the Rain! C'est un must, ça met de bonne humeur et ça donne envie de faire des claquettes :-)
    Sinon, Manhattan, ou Chungking Express (je suis dingo de ce film !)
    (Par contre, je ne connais pas du tout Metropolitain et ça m'intrigue...)
    Soigne-toi bien !

  3. Ohhhh Metropolitan !!! Comment ai-je pu oublier ce film que j'ai tant aimé ?!!! (merci du souvenir !!!)

  4. Yes Singing in the Rain for me too, and Purple Rose of Cairo, and Amelie, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox

  5. Anything with Tracy and Hepburn makes me smile. My recent infatuation has been with Star Trek: Voyager. Not a movie, but an immensely addictive series with the gal (Kate Mulgrew) who played Katherine Hepburn on stage (and we saw her do it—woo hoo!). Oh, and Jeff Daniels—the most underrated actor of his generation. AND, Bill Murray—you are so right—he does wear a look of eternal suffering.

  6. Such a good collection! I'll be referencing this again.

    A few that come to mind for me are Stealing Beauty, Somewhere, In the Mood for Love, Enchanted April, Darjeeling Limited, Lost in Translation, Shopgirl, and the short Nadja à Paris.

  7. @Rosa - I'm sure you have great taste in films and remember you liked Chungking Express.
    @MM - Merci pour les mots très gentils! Ah, j'ai failli choisir Singin' In the Rain car c'est un film si merveilleux. J'adore aussi Fred Astaire et Ginger Rodgers et moi aussi, j'ai toujours si envie de faire des claquettes mais c'est crois ce n'est pas très facile. Je suis sûre que tu aimeras Metropolitan - un vrai bijou.
    @Gwendoline - Je suis ravie que tu aimes aussi ce film et que tu aies maintenant envie de le revoir. Je l'ai vu peut-être 5 ou 6 fois.
    @Anonyme - Purple Rose of Cairo was my favourite film as a child and I watched it constantly and I have a real fondness for Wes anderson films too.
    @Tracy - I know, weren't they great together? Adam's Rib is hilarious but I've still yet to see Woman of the Year and Pat and Mike so need to correct that. Series are also great for days at home and Star Trek sounds wonderful. I totally agree about Jeff Daniels, he's so wonderful but has never got the recognition he deserves. Love him in the Squid and the Whale. How I envy you seeing a play about Katharine Hepburn!
    @Denise - Thanks to you I discovered Nadja à Paris and also another wonderful Rohmer short, the Girl from the Monceau Bakery. I'm a huge fan of Steve Martin so Shopgirl sounds good. So many people have told me about Enchanted April that it's plain ridiculous not have have watched it yet. I was torn between In the Mood for Love and Chungking Express - both such wonderful films.

  8. Amelie always cheers me up, when I am bundled under blankets.

  9. I love your list. You recommended Metropolitan last year & I really liked it. I have long lists but will be back. I'm having some internet sluggish problems...but I just had to click over when I saw the post title...

    Get well soon! xoxo


  10. Ah! We saw Metropolitan together ^_^

  11. @P.K - A good choice. It's been ages since I last saw it.
    @Susan - Yes, I remember that because you posted a picture of Paul Newman in an overcoat and it reminded me of the lining discussion. How rotten to have Internet problems and fingers crossed it gets sorted out soon. We need you back online!
    @Sasa - That makes it even more special of course :-)

  12. What a brilliant collection. Squid and the Whale is most definitely on my list. Laughed so hard it hurt in some bits.

  13. I love most of teh films listed.
    My brother and me are big fans of black and white movies and have special 'date' when we watch them together;)

  14. C'est une excellente idée en effet ;-) Je ne connais pas tous les films que tu présentes !

  15. Voilà une tonne de bonnes idées. J'en connais déjà plusieurs, de ces films, mais il va falloir que j'en regarde plein d'autres ... Sinon, pour les jours où je ne suis pas bien, je prends des livres. Les films, c'est pour me changer les idées quand le boulot m'énerve ! ;o))

  16. Well, you know how I feel about Woody Allen so I'm not going to say anything more than "Annie Hall"—my favorite movie of all time.
    Bill Murray is the best. You are sooo right, it seems like he's never been young :)
    I haven't seen Chungking Express. I'm intrigued. How did I miss that??
    I hope you're feeling better by now dear Emily Vanessa. Take good care!

  17. oh poor you, I hope you feel better soon! I love watching Groundhog Day when I'm sick too. There's something about its monotony that suits being ill in bed.

  18. @Tori - Oh thanks. The Squid and the Whale had the same effect on me. The bits with the tennis match are classic.It also reminds me what it was like to be a kid in the 80s.
    @Dzoli - I love the idea of film dates and getting together to watch old movies. How lucky you are to have someone to share that with.
    @Malice - Ah mais tu dois connaitre de supers films aussi, non?
    @Hélène - Si tu savais comment j'aimerais profiter du temps à la maison pour lire mais avec la tête et les yeux qui me font mal, le nez qui coule je renonce à la lecture. Mais j'arrive à lire quelques pages de The Woman in White par Wilkie Collins, une histoire de fantômes du 19me siècle. C'est trop bien.
    @Magda - Thanks for your wishes. Am feeling stronger today but it's really hard to speak so I'm still at home. Bill Murray turned 60 recently but I read an article saying it's as if he's been waiting his whole life to become this age and I agree. In other films he was younger but never young. I'm sure you'd love Chungking Express, such a great film with wonderful photography and music, plus it's lovely hearing Cantonese.
    @Hila - Nice comments like yours make me feel better already so thanks. Hope to make a full recovery over the weekend. I watched Groundhog Day yesterday and it turned out to be so perfect as you say with that monotony.

  19. I usually sleep when I'm sick - try to - or read. It's never occurred to me to watch a film - I must change that! I'm surprised that I haven't seen a number of these on your list - I'll bookmark your post for future reference.

  20. Oh yes, I like The Bakery Girl of Monceau too. I hope you are feeling better.

  21. Moi aussi je me fais des marathons de films sur mon projecteur les lendemains de soirée...
    Woody Allen en fait toujours partie!

  22. @Lecia - Well, I'm glad my time at home can prove useful to others. Hope you stay well though but let me know if you like any of the films.
    @Denise - Thanks again for this tip. Today at last I'm finally starting to feel better after getting another rotten cold.
    @Manon - Ah, comme j'aimerais venir chez toi pour un film marathon, surtout tes films de Kieslowski et Woody Allen. J'espère que tu vas bien!