Doomsday scenarios are the stuff that films are made of — from last year’s melancholic MELANCHOLIA to the newly released comedy SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD. The demise of the planet can certainly stoke our imagination. (I hate to admit that I was little disappointed when, this past May, a team of archaeologists reported that the rumors regarding the Mayan calendar end-of-the-world predictions were greatly exaggerated.)
Frankly, if the end was nigh and a rogue asteroid was hurtling toward Earth, I don’t think I would choose to watch a movie. More likely, I would be curled up in a dark corner with some extravagantly fine red wine. But one never knows how one will respond to the news of such an event. So I want to be prepared.
After much pondering, I’ve come up with my top three selections for an imaginary End of Days Home Projectionist Film Festival. I’m relatively convinced that my choices are correct — but still waffling about the order in which I would show them. As of this writing, here is what I’m proposing:
- PLANET EARTH (2006 BBC version)
Sure, this is really a 10-hour plus mini series but I’m giving myself some leeway. With its astounding images, coupled with Richard Attenborough’s soothing voice, this extraordinary achievement would seem to be the most appropriate love letter to our stunning planet as it departs the universe.
- HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964)
Neuroscientists have determined that the musical influences of our youth have a profound impact on the way our brains develop, and hearing familiar music releases all kinds of pleasure-inducing dopamines. So why not watch one of the most memorable films of my youth and get all the dopamine I can? I can think of no other movie that brings such unbridled happiness to me — for not only the music, but also the spirit, joyfulness, humor, and, of course, larger-than-life Beatles.
- CINEMA PARADISO (1988)
This award-winning film — and its soundtrack — can bring me to tears just by thinking about them. (In fact, I’m crying right now.) With this absolute masterpiece, director Giuseppe Tornatore created a profound cinematic experience about the journey of life and how we love, aspire, lose, endure. And it has a perfect ending.
How would you program your own End of Days Film Festival? What would you watch? Let us know and we’ll compile the results. It may be a good list to have on hand. Be prepared, that’s what I always say.