Monday, January 05, 2009

stories of the year

I’m in Costa Rica at the moment, teaching at the CIY International School of Youth Ministry. We’re set up at this compound type building in the capital city of San Jose. Tomorrow our team will drive the five hours down to Panama and do the same thing in that country.

It has been an enjoyable couple of days. Teaching with a translator is a challenge, though I am thankful for the missionaries who are jumping back and forth between English and Spanish. I mentioned to one of the other teachers on this trip that it is like speaking in a space telephone. Granted, I have never spoken on a space telephone but I imagine it would have the same delay I am experiencing here.

I intended on posting the following closer to the turn of the New Year but it slipped my time. I don’t typically come up with specific resolutions (usually I approach the New Year thematically) but this year I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m not planning on losing any weight but I would like to concentrate on hearing a bunch of new stories.

Here is what I mean. I have selected a group of classic books and movies that I am going to read and watch during this year. I got my lists from several different web sites and periodicals that ranked the greatest novels of all time. They come from all time periods and literary genres but each fall under one defining characteristic: if I haven’t read it yet, it made my list.

The same goes with the films. The one difference is that I pulled all of the movies from the IMDB top 250. Naturally, I left off the movies that I have already seen. This won’t cover the entire 250 but does put a big dent in the list. It also gives me an excuse to finally see Godfather II.

I’d appreciate your feedback. What of these have you read/seen? Are there any I left off the list that I need to add right away… or at least pick up in 2010? Here is my list:

Great Expectations – Dickens
The Catcher and the Rye – Salinger
Catch 22 – Heller
Animal Farm – Orwell
All the King’s Men – Warren
The Grapes of Wrath – Steinbeck
Harry Potter Series – Rowling
War and Peace – Tolstoy
A Passage to India – Forster
Ulysses – Joyce
A Farewell to Arms – Hemmingway
The Stand – King
Clockwork Orange – Burgess
Brave New World – Huxley
Don Quixote – Cervantes
Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, II (1966)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Goodfellas (1990)
Rear Window (1954)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Sunset Blvd (1950)
North by Northwest (1959)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Taxi Driver (1976)
M (1931)
The Shining (1980)
Rashomon (1950)
Amadeus (1984)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Heat (1995)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
La Dolce vita (1960)
A Man for All Seasons (1966)


Jacob Epperson said...

I’ve started reading The Catcher in the Rye 4 times now. Someone gave me a copy while I was in the hospital. She said it was her favorite book. I bet it’s good.
Same goes with Catch 22. Remember when we were flying to New Orleans? That was during my second go at it.
I’ve read Animal Farm. I wouldn’t read it right now. It would make me hungry for pork, bacon, steak - things I can’t easily get ahold of here.
Read up to chapter 3 of The Grapes of Wrath. It’s about a turtle. I actually had a copy of it mailed to me. We can start a book club and have weekly discussions about it while our teas rest on doily things.
I really would like to read Farewell to Arms. Almost bought it a couple days ago at a bookstore I found in Shizuoka. Tell me how it is. Reading The Old Man in the Sea right now. Some days are really slow.
Brave New World is pretty good. To me, it was just another 1984 type story of a government-turned-bad future. I read it right around the time I read Ayn Rand’s Anthem, another one of that type.
I’ve been thinking for some time about reading Don Quixote. Either that or Count of Monte Cristo. I plan on buying one or the other, then quickly admit that I probably don’t have the patience.
12 Angry Men is very good.
Dr. Strangelove is alright. Took a long time for me to get into it, but it ended up pretty good.
Citizen Kane is alright. Watched it for some random class. I enjoyed it more for the sake of it being such a famous movie than I did for the story.
Taxi Driver is good. Profane, vulgar and violent, but good. I think there was a lot of controversy due to the age of the actress playing the young girl prostitute...obviously.
I’ve seen The Shining a few times. Jack is great. I think one of his best movies. There’s a scene towards the beginning with him in some room with his kid. Great scene. I can’t sit through the movie again, however, and all because of the main female actress. I don’t know if her performance was what they were going for, or if Stan finally gave up and went with the best he filmed. It’s just too much for me.
What I said about Citizen Kane goes for On the Waterfront as well.
I almost bought the book version of A Streetcar named Desire. I got in line, changed my mind, and picked up The Slaughter-House Five. I’ll tell you about it when I read it. (I bought another copy of it at the bookstore I told you about. It looks good on m shelf.)
Philadelphia is a pretty good movie, but not what you are talking about.

I Am All Grown Up said...

Amadeus is brilliant, I saw it in Elementary school everytime we had a substitute teacher in music class, I feel in love with it as a child. I still recall how blown away I was, even at such a young age.

Allyson Neely and Fam said...

"War and Peace" is actually "War What is it Good For". Come on Eric...

LOVED "A Farewell to Arms". Sad, but beautifully written. Lots of metaphor.

Dr. Strangelove is FREAKING HILARIOUS. I was a little bored the first time I watched it but it totally grew on me. The more you watch it, the funnier it gets!

Anyway, good luck on your quest! I can only wish I had enough time to do something like this!