A two disc version of Michael Mann’s Heat comes out in a week and a half; when I saw the ad I thought it was out already and was ready to run to the store. It’s not every day a top five favorite movie comes out with a special edition. I mentioned this to L. while we were driving, and she asked what else was in my top five.

“Searching for Bobby Fischer, The Third Man, and… I don’t know, probably LA Story and The Maltese Falcon.” There is some volatility in the list, especially with number four and five. I would usually put The Maltese Falcon down another notch or two, below Bridge on the River Kwai, but I caught a bit of Falcon on TV the other day and like so many things in life, they don’t make them like that anymore. After a moment’s thought, L – who I must note had her wisdom teeth out two days ago and is not happy about things – replied:

“I’m not sure I can stay with you with a list like that. I think you’re just trying to put on there what you think you’re supposed to.”

“That’s not true! If I was doing that, I’d have Blade Runner and Star Wars and Citizen Kane on there.” For a certain type and age of film geek, those films are retired from being on favorites lists; they’re just sort of assumed, unless you hate them and deliberately want to pick a fight by saying so. But sharing this fact would not help my case. L. thought for a minute. “Star Wars is better than The Maltese Falcon. And I can’t speak for The Third Man because I’ve not seen it, but if it’s black and white, Star Wars is better.”

There has to be a way to argue with that, but I’m not sure how.


This was published on 13 Feb 2005.
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