My favourite podcast series is Films To Be Buried With by Brett Goldstein. You can learn a lot about a person by the films they like.
Sadly, I’m not famous enough to be invited to Brett’s podcast, but that’s not stopping me from writing my own list as a tribute!
The podcast series starts off by Brett introducing the guest.
So here goes: I am an amateur writer, wannabe film critic, travel writer, digital person, curry aficionado and lover of the NHS. I’m not an actor.
Brett then asks his guests about their thoughts on death. Death is something I’ve had to think a lot about when doing previous jobs. I was involved in modernising the death certification process across England and Wales. The current process is awful. The burden on people who are grieving is immense. I’d hope that my involvement paved the way for people to focus on grieving and being with their loved ones.
I’d hope there’s something beyond this life, but as an agnostic, I can neither confirm or deny this is the case. I hope when I go, it’s because I did something heroic like rescue people on a bus like Keanu Reeves in Speed.
I’ve taken some liberties with the categories and the order. I couldn’t bear not include some of my favourite films. Forgive me Brett.
Now without further a do, let’s go into my film selection.
What’s the first film I remember seeing?
I remember having this on VHS, and playing it on repeat. I was mesmerised by the sights and sounds. There’s a scene later on with a dragon, and the music turns up a notch. Like thunder, it stunned a small child into silence.
What’s the first film I remember in the cinema?
I know I’ve seen other films in the cinema before this but I’ll never forget this. I vividly remember seeing an orc for the first time. I’m not sure that ever leaves you.
What’s the first film I actually watched in the cinema?
“Hakuna Matata: It means no worries for the rest of your days.” -Timon & Pumbaa
My mum tells me I was obsessed with this film. She says I watched it so many times I nearly broke the VHS.
This film is Disney at its best. I didn’t realise that it was a Hamlet reimagining. Can all Disney try to turn other Shakespeare stories into animation!?
I am probably still traumatised by Mufasa’s death — that I won’t forgive Disney for.
What’s the most ‘hell yeah’ moment in cinema?
There’s a scene at the end. I won’t spoil it but I was terrified it would end how it normally ends in real life. Jordan Peele know’s the audience is expecting the same thing.
He turns the situation on its head. I screamed feelings of pure joy.
What’s my most memorable experience in the cinema?
I watched this in a packed out cinema in London. I’ve never heard the cinema get so loud when this film was on.
The film is different from your classical Marvel films. It’s philosophical. It wrestles with colonialism. It asks tough questions about what power truly means. What could Africa have looked like now if it wasn’t colonised?
The city is teeming with life, and each character oozes personality. The passing of Chadwick Boseman was a horrible loss. He was the Black Panther. Wakanda Forever.
What’s the most romantic film I’ve seen?
This is quite possibly the most exquisitely shot film I’ve ever scene. The story is heartbreaking .The cinematography is breathtaking. The neon lights of Hong Kong give the city a glow and warmth that the film captures superbly.
It’s intimate but there’s no touching.
Maggie Cheung stole my heart and will never let go.
What’s the film with the sexiest dialogue?
Regular listeners to Brett’s podcast will know there’s a sub category to the romance film, but I can’t possible write it here. My mum reads my blog posts! So here’s my alternative.
There’s so much sexual tension between this pair the train must be on fire. The film still holds today. An Alfred Hitchcock classic.
What’s the film I’ve seen the most?
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham or KG3.
Are you Indian if you haven’t seen this!? This was one of the first films that tackled the loss felt when families part and move to another country. The songs play at every wedding. It’s a right of passage to watch this movie. Iconic to Indians across the world.
What’s the most bat s**t crazy film I’ve seen?
Sion Sono is a nut job and only he could make this film. There’s about 10 different genres packed into one film. I rarely struggle to describe a film. I don’t know where to start with this.
It’s an immense film at 4 hours run time. This film will have you experiencing all the emotions. Stick with it. You’ll be rewarded.
What’s the best Christmas movie?
It’s a movie that transcends time. What happens when you’ve fallen so low, you think the only option is that you are better not living. This film explores the impact we have on those around us. The perfect Christmas film.
Honourable mention: Die Hard (it’s a Christmas movie)
What’s the funniest film I’ve seen?
The writing in this film is on another level. These guys are comedy legends. They reimagine what a vampire film could be. Do yourself a favour and watch this.
What’s the most quotable film of all time?
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
The perfect family film. The premise of the film is a grandfather reading to his sick grandson. His grandson would rather play computer games. But like the viewer, the story soon captures his imagination. This film has it all. The writing is witty, the action sequences fun, and the characters are such a joy.
What’s the film everyone thinks is terrible but I absolutely love?
Look I know this film is absolutely terrible. The dialogue is stunted, the characters are forgettable. But there’s something magical about the sights and sounds of Tokyo. That makes this film work for me. It made me want to visit Japan. It was such a privilege to achieve that dream.
My worst film of all time?
It’s basically one giant ad. It’s truly awful. I won’t do you the disservice of linking to it here.
What’s the film that started my mini k-drama obsession?
Picture this I’ve just finished university. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I’m moping around in my childhood bedroom applying to random jobs and gaming at night. My only solace was films. At some point, I was working my way through IMBD film lists. I wanted to watch a comedy. I found this. I was blown away by how funny this film was. I had never seen a leading actress like Ji-hyun Jun. It opened my eyes to whole new world of film. I then started to consume Korean content like there was no tomorrow.
This was the start of my love affair with Korea, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
What’s the scariest film I’ve seen?
I was part of my school’s film club (I promise I was cool). We went to see this film in an independent cinema. The room was tiny, and the screen huge. I didn’t really know much about this film beforehand. I didn’t realise it was a horror film. I hate horror films.
When I experienced my first fright, I almost jumped out of my chair. My teacher was so worried she thought she’d have to escort me outside! I managed it though, just about.
What’s the film I relate to the most?
Our hero, Tom, falls in love with Summer. She’s a dream. He’s head over heals for her. But she doesn’t feel the same way.
Unrequited love is brutal. I think we can all relate to that. It can be hard to let go but it’s necessary to move on. This film is special because it’s not your conventional romantic comedy.
Sometimes the hero doesn’t get the girl. And that’s ok.
What’s my favourite action film?
Sometimes action films try to do too much. The Raid proved you don’t need silly things like romance! Give the people what they want e.g. people smashing each other into walls. There’s a simplicity to this film that few can match.
The Raid’s influence on cinema has been immense. You can see it in films like John Wick.
What’s the most problematic film that I enjoyed before but now cringe at?
This might be a controversial choice. Look I love this film. But there’s a certain part that does not sit right with me. You know what I’m scene I’m talking about. That Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln scene with the cards. Imitated by a million people since (and unfortunately by politicians eww). It’s cringe because of the disrespect shown to the friend! They did him wrong!
Honourable mention: The Graduate
What’s the film I cried the most at?
I don’t normally cry at films. I bawled at the end of Paddington 2. It’s such a delightful film filled with such whimsy and charm. It had one of the best endings I’ve ever seen in a film.
What’s the film I thought about for ages afterwards?
There’s so many layers to this film. This film has symbolism in each frame. From the references to smell, the way the house is structured and how the house is underground (upstairs and downstairs analogy).
I was so thrilled when this won an Oscar. Bong Joon-ho is a bonafide genius.
There’s so many twist and turns you are not expecting. The ending had me shook.
What’s the most critical acclaimed film?
99.9% of people on Brett’s podcast say The Godfather. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant film. A film few will ever rival.
But it’s not my favourite gangster film.
I prefer Goodfellas. Please don’t shoot me! Goodfellas has it all. It’s far more rewatchable than The Godfather.
There’s a heaven, and it’s movie night, and it’s your night, and you can only choose one film, what’s the film I’m taking?
My favourite film. The art style is breathtaking. The music outstanding. The story is sublime. Hayao Miyazaki films are like portraits hanging in the Louvre. There’s magic in each scene. Few can match this director’s ambition and storytelling ability. I have goosebumps every-time I watch it.
I’d love to see what films mean the most to you. I’d also encourage you to listen to Brett’s podcast series. It’s well worth your time.