In Which He Can’t Commit To Movies Either

Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

by Daniel Murray

I’ve never wrapped my head around the question, “What’s your favorite movie?” It’s not necessarily a good thing, for someone who works in the film industry, and who pertains to having aspirations of making films, that I can’t name a single favorite movie or even five.

When it comes to things cultural, I do have a favorite song, “Girl from the North Country.” I also have a favorite beer, Guinness. And I have a favorite sexual fetish, which I won’t name here.

For movies, I have merely a favorite event, a favorite night of the week: double feature night. The double feature is an event that has marked many nights in the last lonely two years. So I now leave you with my favorites.

5. A Fistful of Dynamite (Duck You Sucker) & The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This double feature sticks out in my memory because I watched it the first time I visited The New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood. The New Beverly is a super grimy cinema, which offers double features for 10 bucks and Raisinets for two. It’s possibly the best bargain in any major city in the universe. This particular double feature is a little long and afterwards I was totally wiped out for days.

Sergio Leone‘s Duck You Sucker is a wistful blend of action, western and buddy/buddy gay love. James Coburn plays an IRA agent whose skill with the dynamite has forced him to go on the lamb in Mexico. He befriends a ragamuffin Mexican outlaw played by the hilarious Rod Steiger. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly simply supplies a nice reminder of how cool Clint Eastwood is. Watch it with your boyfriend, gay or straight.

Sergio Leone, keeping it realer than we even thought possible

4. Le Notte Bianchi & Crazed Fruit

My first romance was on the brink of devastation when I first watched these films. I was in a foreign country surrounded by foreign people who were unwilling to speak English to me. I was rather lonely and ended up spending the week watching three to four movies a day.

When I showed my host the DVD of Le Notte Bianchi, he said, “When I was your age I was madly in love with a woman. I thought I would spend the rest of my life with her. When she finally broke off our engagement, I didn’t leave my house for a week. But I watched Le Notte Bianchi 19 times.”

Neither his thoughts nor the movie helped me make sense of the impending self-destructive manner in which I would act. It actually only made the slow implosion of my relationship more inevitable. It’s a beautifully sad sad sad movie…Watch Crazed Fruit as dessert. Proof that a great movie can be made with amateurs and in less than a month. Plus like my favorite movies, it reminds me of how reckless I wish I could live my life. (It also has my favorite end sequence of all time).

3. The Graduate & Carnal Knowledge

When I think of bonor-popping performances Rosie Perez in White Men Can’t Jump (I got my first non-morning-wood-woody watching the shower sex scene) and Michelle Pfeiffer’s turn as Cat Woman instantly come to mind. But few performances get me as randy Anne Bancroft’s in The Graduate.

She really gives me a bonor for life. And while I admit that I can listen to “Scarborough Fair” on endless repeat when I’m desperate and hung-over, try watching the first act of The Graduate without sound. It will show you how dynamic and stylish the film really is.

“Scarborough Fair” – Queensryche (mp3)

I live in Williamsburg–it’s totally close by!

Carnal Knowledge is my favorite of Nichols’s Sex Trilogy (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, CK and Closer). The Graduate is super stylish and fun to watch but I think the Sex Trilogy comprises Nichols’s best work and CK’s script by Jules Fieffer is particularly sharp (less whiny and precious than Closer and a fizzy cocktail compared to Woolf).

2. Cronos & The Devil’s Backbone

Guillermo Del Toro‘s first film Cronos won a shitload of Mexican Oscars when it first came out. If you like Ron Perlman, give it a go. I only saw it ’cause I love Hellboy and Guillermo was speaking after the double feature. Dude is my hero! He makes dark, violent and funny pictures and he’s got a massive personality.

I also have a major thing for Alfonso Cuaron/Y Tu Mama Tambien, but Del Toro has the real stuff. He has a healthy knack for the grotesque and grand fantastical films. Sergi Lopez’s performance in Pan’s Labyrinth is unbearably good (evil) and will haunt me for a while but I prefer The Devil’s Backbone as whole.

Supposedly the story was inspired by legends Del Toro heard himself as a child from exiles and former soldiers of the Spanish civil, who had a made a new home in Mexico. It’s a classic, haunting ghost story, more heartfelt than its predecessor.

1. Yojimbo, Sanjuro by Kurosawa

My two favorite actors of all time are Harrison Ford and…….

Toshiro Mifune!

Daniel Murray is a contributor to This Recording. You can read more of his work here. He lives in Williamsburg, and was recently anointed the grandmaster of Union Pool. He has now coined the word bonor.

“Postcard from Kentucky” — Rocky Votolato (mp3)

“White Daisy Passing” — Rocky Votolato (mp3)


There was a new crime, let’s commit it.

Danish burned Malibu to the ground.

Barely safe links for work.

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