My Cinematic Alphabet

I don’t typically participate in blog memes, mostly because deadlines aren’t really my thing– this is a leisurely blog, updated when I deign fit to update it, after all, and I have so many other things to do with my time that setting dates for myself generally doesn’t work out. But some memes are just worth engaging in (especially those with deadlines far, far off in the future), and they’re the ones I break my loose rule for. Case in point, a number of bloggers from across the web have been offering their cinematic alphabets, a list comprised of one film for each letter of the alphabet. I’m a sucker for quick lists, and I always love an opportunity to give some love to lesser known films, so this one’s right up my alley.

So, getting right into things,

“A” is for Attack the Gas Station, 1999, directed by Sang-jin Kim.

“B” is for Blazing Saddles, 1974, directed by Mel Brooks.

“C” is for Cemetery Man, 1994, directed by Michele Soavi.

“D” is for District 9, 2009, directed by Neil Blomkamp.

“E” is for Evil Dead 2, 1987, directed by Sam Raimi.

“F” is for Friend, 2001, directed by Kyung-taek Kwak.

“G” is for Ghost Dog, 1999, directed by Jim Jarmusch.

“H” is for Harvey, 1950, directed by Henry Koster.

“I” is for Irreversible, 2002, directed by Gasper Noe.

“J” is for Jindabyne, 2006, directed by Ray Lawrence.

“K” is for Kind Hearts and Coronets, 1949, directed by Robert Hamer.

“L” is for La Commare Secca, 1962, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

“M” is for Marnie, 1964, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

“N” is for Nowhere to Hide, 1999, directed by Myung-se Lee.

“O” is for Once Upon a Time in America, 1984, directed by Sergio Leone.

“P” is for Persepolis, 2007, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud.

“Q” is for The Quiet Family, 1998, directed by Ji-woon Kim.

“R” is for Resurrection of the Little Match Girl, 2002, directed by Sun-woo Jang.

“S” is for Six-String Samurai, 1998, directed by Lance Mungia

“T” is for Tsotsi, 2005, directed by Gavin Hood.

“U” is for Undead, 2003, directed by Michael and Peter Spierig.

“V” is for Videodrome, 1983, directed by David Cronenberg.

“W” is for Wonderful Days, 2003, directed by Moon-saeng Kim.

“X” is for Xtro, 1982, directed by Harry Bromley Davenport

“Y” is for Yojimbo, 1961, directed by Akira Kurosawa.

“Z” is for Zatoichi, 2003, directed by Takeshi Kitano.

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13 thoughts on “My Cinematic Alphabet

  1. You are the best! I love the movie Friends, I have been desperately looking for it but it’s not available on Netflix 😦

    Also just saw Yojimbo last week, what a great movie and the soundtrack is absolutely awesome. Great cinematic alphabet Andrew!

    • Castor, I have a copy of Friend that I bought years ago, and I haven’t actually seen it pop up in stores very often since obtaining my disc from an overseas vendor. It’s a shame because it’s an incredible film; I imagine it’ll find its way to Netflix someday, and I hope it finds a new audience when it does . And yeah, Yojimbo is a classic and one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. Happy to hear my alphabet didn’t disappoint!

      Eric, thanks very much– I tried to go out of my way to pick out more under-the-radar movies, and I hope that among the people who read this at least a few are inspired to go and check them out. (Though I admit that a few of them are probably tricky to find even in the Netflix age– as Castor points out in his comment.) Hope to hear more from you in the future!

  2. A lot of films I haven’t seen on here, so mission accomplished on spreading the word on lesser known films! Love that you chose Persepolis, Ghost Dog, Irreversible (just watched it recently .. really magnificient). Tsotsi’s great!

  3. Wow, what a great list. Didn’t know you were such a fan of asian cinema. Zatoichi is one I haven’t seen in a while but just remember loving it. Yojimbo is one of the best Kurosawa films imo,and think I might watch it again this weekend:)

    Irriversible is a tough one to watch (read: I’ve only seen it once for a reason) but a damn good film. Funny I’ve never heard anything good about Undead. Been wanting to see it for a while but all the reviews pan it. Maybe I’ll give it a shot!

    • Thanks, Split– sounds like I hit the mark with this list. I don’t think enough people have seen Persepolis, and fewer still have seen Irreversible though I can understand why for that one. Check out Attack the Gas Station if you get the chance– really wonderful Korean gem that never found its way over here.

      Marc, I went through an Asian cinema phase starting in late high school and ending in college. Not that I don’t love Asian cinema as much as other cinema of the world today, it’s just that I went out of my way as a student to find great, obscure Asian flicks to show them to my friends. A huge number of movies hailing from China to Japan to Korea to Thailand came to mind for each letter, and while it pained me to exclude some of them from the list (especially Last Life in the Universe and Save the Green Planet!), I needed to keep things diverse. Besides, Cemetery Man doesn’t get a lot of love either.

      Irreversible is a challenge. It’s a fantastic bit of filmmaking, but it’s blunt and emotionless in its graphic displays of brutality and misogyny and I imagine that makes it difficult to engage for a lot of people. And I’m surprised that you’ve heard nothing good about Undead— if you’re a Raimi/Jackson fan it should be right up your alley.

  4. ItIt’s an awesome idea to have movie posters for each alphabet! I haven’t seen most of these, and though I’m Asian I’m actually not familiar w/ Asian cinema. But yay on District 9, LOVE that movie! Can’t wait for Elyssium.

    • Me too– I think Blomkamp’s a potential genius, and I really want to see if he can score two home runs in a row with Elysium.

      I hope you get the chance to check some of the movies on this list out– they’re well-worth the price of admission (so to speak) and definitely are worthy of a viewing. Thanks for stopping by! Don’t be a stranger!

  5. Very interesting list. Lots of movies I’ve never even heard of. Might have to give some of them a try sometime.

    I’m of the same mind as you with this stuff, just too busy to be doing a daily thing. However, this meme piqued my interest and thought I might get around to doing it. Like you, I opted to go with more under-the-radar movies. Though, none quite so obscure as these, nor as foreign a list. Still haven’t got around to actually typing out the article and posting it, though I have picked movies for most all the letters. Hopefully I’ll get around to it in the next few days before April runs out.

    • I don’t see any reason why we should participate in memes that have no interest, JL. Agreed 100%. Let me know if you get around to seeing some of the titles on here that you’re not too familiar with– I’d be curious to know what you think of them.

      Harvey‘s awesome, Fitz! More people should see it.

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