So, here we are again… The last time I wrote a post in English was also the time I partook in the blogathon My Movie Year, likewise instigated by the movie blogger Fandango at Fandango Groovers Movie Blog.
And now it is to be about Mixtape Movies. Even though I am definitely old enough to have experienced the phenomenon of tape cassettes, I realise that I have never really understood the level of commitment that mixed tapes apparently demands. For me, it was always just a question of managing to press the “Rec” button when Kaj Kindvall happened to play the song I liked on the radio show Tracks.
Ah well, better late than never. The premise for this blogathon was as follows:
1. Movies with no direct connection (star, director, source material) but that fit together or compliment each other.
2. Six movies, five plus one wildcard (a movie that doesn’t quite fit but still belongs).
I will now make a bit of a leap, but bear with me. I will try to make some sense of it.
In the mid-eighties the Swedish coffee brand Gevalia (“Coffee the Swedish Way”) launched a phenomenally successful campaign. It became so established that they still basically lean on it today. The tag line was “Which coffee would you offer an unexpected visitor?” and “The unexpected visit” has since become a concept in Swedish popular culture.
I decided to go with this. My five movies all concern unexpected (and often unwelcome) visits in a previously safe or at least well-known environment. The visit will always change both this environment and the visited. I link to my own posts about these movies, which unfortunately all are written in Swedish. But maybe Google Translate will ease your pain and unlimited curiosity?
1. Mary Poppins (1964)
We start on the lighter side. The original super-nanny Mary Poppins does not only whip the younger Banks into ship-shape but manages to transform the whole family. When papa George giggles manically and rather flies a kite than go to work all is well. Since this is Georgian Great Britain, coffee will never be able to compete with tea.
2. Funny Games (2007)
Straight into the darkness. The initially well behaved Peter and Paul get into an argument with the Farber family about eggs and it all goes downhill from there. Maybe they really wanted some coffee, but were too shy to ask for a cup?
3. Yôjinbô (1961)
There’s a new samurai in town and it will definitely have become a calmer place when he finally leaves. Classic genres like westerns and noir in jidaigeki-form spell excellent excitement and hardboiled humour. Toshirô Mifune seems more inclined towards sake and I am not sure I would like to see his ronin in action on a coffee-high.
4. Alien (1979)
Oh, come on! Did you really think I would skip such an obvious candidate? Its obviousness in this context is perhaps only contested by The Thing (1982). Sitting down with a nice cuppa’ java might perhaps be a first step towards a new relationship between host and parasite. Then again, maybe not.
5. The Age of Innocence (1993)
Leaving off on a calmer and more melancholic note. Newland Archers former contentment with the New York social scene turns to ashes with the arrival of the exciting Ellen Olenska. Probably not even good coffee would make Newland satisfied.
But wait! There was one more movie to decide on and boy, did I agonise over this wildcard. In the end, I went with an old favourite which incidentally also harks from the excellent movie year I wrote about in the last blogathon.
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington makes an unexpected visit to Christmas Town, which in the end mostly affects himself and Halloween Town. Unlike Newland Archer (who, granted, was the visited), this visitor learns to look at the everyday drudgery with fresh eyes and succeeds in finding new inspiration. Who needs coffee when you have Sally’s concoctions?
Fandango’s blogathons usually attract an impressive number of blogs. Why not scoot over and see what the others have cooked up in their tape recorders?