Fred ‘If it was made in my lifetime, I probably haven’t seen it’ Sullivan and Yasser ‘part of cinema died in my heart since I saw ‘Avatar‘ and ‘Titanic” Akram – two movie-mad friends – agreed to exchange lists of 25 of their most beloved films. Over the coming weeks, each will watch one movie from the other’s list and then discuss what they thought of them. There will be eulogising and criticising, bigging-up and slapping-down, laughter and maybe even a tear, and it will all be recorded here for you to enjoy.
The lists are ready, but here is a little insight into the cinematic tastes of Fred and Yasser to kick things off.
Fred Sullivan: Hello.
Yasser Akram: Yo! I watched ‘Psycho’ the other day and I thought of you. You remind me of Norman Bates
YA: You are WELCOME!
FS: I was once told, by an ex-girlfriend, that I had the eyes of a serial killer.
YA: (laughs) Wonderful! Maybe she had a thing for blokes that did all that kinky kidnapping shit.
FS: She wasn’t laughing when I killed her entire family.
YA: (laughs) Before we get going on the lists, I want a list of your five favourite movie directors, please.
FS: Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Martin Scorsese and … I’ll go for Leo McCarey over Frank Capra as he paired Laurel & Hardy, and for that I am eternally grateful.
YA: Well Fredders, mine are Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott… this is hard… Michael Mann…. arrrgh… I don’t wanna say Spielberg…
FS: Spielberg would probably make my top 20.
YA: Okay! It’s a toss-up between… DRUM ROLL… Scorsese and Coppola. Maybe Scorsese clinches it because of ‘The Departed’, whereas Coppola’s recent work is wank.
FS: You’ve made the right choice.
YA: … you know what? Spielberg might enter my top five.
YA: Hey, hey, hey! Another question! Favourite actor of all time?
FS: Spencer Tracy. He’s the one actor who, when I watch his films, I’ll watch individual scenes over and over. How about you?
FS: I’ve never understood why everyone raves about Brando. I don’t rate Pacino either. They are from the same school of ‘LOOK AT ME! I’M ACTING!’ as Daniel Day Lewis.
YA: Much like early Hoffman. Day Lewis just embodies a role.
YA: (laughs) What? You think so?
FS: Absolutely. He strikes me as a pretentious hypocrite.
YA: I like the way he immerses himself in a role. Paul Newman was awesome too, and I think DiCaprio will soon be a legend.
FS: Olivier, Frederic March, Dustin Hoffman, James Stewart, Chaplin, De Niro – they would all be up there for me. DiCaprio is excellent too, I agree with that.
YA: So, I reckon we should exchange our Top 25s
YA: You know there’ll be superhero movies and lots of CGI on my list.
FS: And you know there will be absolutely none on mine.
YA: You know my list will have at least one stoner movie on it.
FS: You know my list will have at least one silent movie on it. You’ll be watching so much black and white, people will think there is something wrong with your television.
FS: Is your list ready?
YA: I’m tooing and froing about it.
FS: Me too. There was three of four films that I was certain would be on it when we were originally talking about this, but they aren’t on it.
YA: Same here. No Harry Potter or ‘Star Wars‘ movies as they wouldn’t make sense without the others. ‘STAR WARS‘! There’s no ‘Star Wars’ on my list. That makes me sad.
FS: (laughs) Of my five favourite directors, three of them don’t feature at all.
(THE LISTS ARE EXCHANGED)
FS: At first glance, I’ve seen 15 of yours.
YA: What? I’ve seen four of yours (laughs), two of them on your recommendation, too.
FS: What movies just missed the cut? For me, it was ‘Casablanca’, ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’, ‘Jaws’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, and ‘Rear Window’.
YA: Harry Potter! ‘Warlords’, ‘Troy’, ‘Oliver!’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’…
FS: ‘Oliver!’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ were on my long list too.
YA: … ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘The Lion King’…
FS: Only one Disney film on your list, and one I’ve never seen, though it is my girlfriend’s favourite Disney movie.
FS: (laughs) I didn’t go to the cinema much as a child.
YA: I showed Michelle [a mutual friend] your list. She’s wondering, as am I, which of these movies are recent, if any?
FS: One is from the 1990s. Four were made in our lifetime.
YA: (laughs) Oh dear!
FS: 17 are over 50 years old.
YA: Black & white?
YA: … a half?
FS: One is in both colour and black & white..
YA: How old are you again?
FS: 90. I look good for my age. I actually died 20 years ago.
YA: (laughs) Come on, mate. 30?
YA: From reading your list, my missus would have said 60.
FS: (laughs) Okay, so week one – I have ‘Fearless’, which is the only one of your 25 that I’ve never even heard of.
YA: I’m going to watch it too to refresh my memory. My first movie… is a Woody Allen movie… Oh joy!
FS: Do you not like Woody?
YA: Rarely. All of his films are moany and full of whining charecters.
FS: No-one plays Woody the way Woody does. Thankfully in ‘Crimes and Misdemeanours’ you get the man himself.
FS: So we watch these and then report back on the blog next week?
YA: Yes. Just don’t make me out to be a Karl Pilkington figure.
FS: (laughs) Damn! My plan’s been foiled!
NEXT WEEK: The challenge begins as Fred watches ‘Fearless’ and Yasser gives ‘Crimes and Misdemeanours’ a go.