Written by Stu Perrins
I know it’s an obvious choice but that doesn’t make it any less important. It’s one of those things like Batman (more of whom later) where I honestly can’t remember not liking it, it’s almost as if this stuff is somehow ingrained in my soul in some way. I recently watched the original trilogy with my five year old son for the first time and his face during the ‘I AM YOUR FATHER’ scene in Empire brought it all back on how and why I still love it!
When the people of the world sit around the lager stained tables of pubs everywhere to discuss the greatest film of all time, they inevitably mention either The Shawshank Redemption or Citizen Kane (or in the worrying opinion of my girlfriend Jaws 3??!) But in my most humble of humble opinions in the greatest film ever made is the 1980’s Terry Gilliam classic ‘Time Bandits’.
For those of you not familiar with this cinematic masterpiece, Time Bandits is what happens when you cross Alice in Wonderland style adventure with the cynicism of mid 80’s 2000AD. It begins somewhere in the near future, and tells the tale of Kevin, an eleven boy whose humdrum live is starved of fun and adventure, until six map stealing dwarfs crash through his wardrobe chased by the Supreme being. The film is essentially the ultimate battle between good and evil….oh, and John Cleese plays Robin Hood, what more could you want?
Flash Gordon was, I think, the Guardians of the Galaxy of it’s time. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, it’s just an out and out, balls to the wall fun camp classic. I’ve watched it a ton of times and regardless of what else is happening in my life, this film always has me smiling by the end of it. In a lot of ways it was an influence on ‘Whatever happened to the Archetype?’
Now, as good as the Dark Knight Trilogy is, I think, Tim Burton created a Gotham that was closer to the one that’s in the comics. It’s the right mix of neon humour, cartoon absurdity and shadowy Gothicism and, I know I’m not on my own when I say that Michael Keaton is MY Batman.
THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY- DOUGLAS ADAMS.
Again, another obvious choice maybe, but still a bloody good one. I was introduced to this via reruns of the television show that ran I was a kid (On BBC2 on a Friday night if I remember correctly) and was instantly draw it. There’s something about the fact that these absurd lines were delivered in an almost matter-of-fact way that made it feel that it was created just for me. Once I’d seen the show I went and hunted out the radio play and, of course, the books and fell further in love. The books go further into filling out the Hitchhikers universe and there’s some wonderful jokes, not just in the dialogue but in the narrative.
MOVING PICTURES- TERRY PRATCHETT
The first Discworld novel I read and the one I still reread on occasion. Terry Pratchett had the amazing ability to fill his fantastical world with completely believable, rounded characters. Within a few words you instantly know how these characters spoke and carried themselves, which goes to show what a magical gift that man had. An absolute hero of mine- talent beyond talent.
GOOD OMENS- TERRY PRATCHETT AND NEIL GAIMAN
A wonderful story from two of the UK’s greatest. The end of the world has never been so much fun.