Thursday, September 28, 2006

Top Ten #4

Okay, the list continues:

Fly Away Home, 1996, Written by Robert Rodat and Vince McKewin; Based on the book by Bill Lishman; Directed by Carroll Ballard.

Of all my favorites, Fly Away Home is probably the one most people will consider the lowest quality from a "critical" or "artistic" point of view. However, we all have our personal favorites that are meaningful on more personal levels. Fly Away Home is one of those movies for me. It's the 2nd film on my list by director Carroll Ballard, and if you haven't figured it out yet, I love movies that explore the relationship between people and nature/animals. There are very few high quality movies in this category, and most of them are directed by Carroll Ballard (though not in my top ten, Never Cry Wolf is also an excellent film). Based on a true story, Fly Away Home is about a 13 year old girl named Amy, who moves in with her father in Canada, after her mother dies in a car accident in New Zealand. She has troubling adjusting to her new home and her long-estranged father until she finds a nest of geese eggs abandoned by their mother. She raises the geese and with the help of father decides to lead the geese to their winter nesting grounds by having them follow her in an ultralight aircraft. Their are some cheesy moments aimed at the kids and a stock bad guy in the form of a land developed, but overall the movie is intelligent and complex. The highlight is the absolutely beautiful montage ending, filled with amazing aerial shots photogrpahed by Caleb Deschanel, in which Amy leads the geese, over an almost abstract Carolina shoreline, to the the haunting song 10,000 miles, composed by Mark Isham and sung by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Even if you don't relate to the film's plot, it's hard not to be moved by the film's ending


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say I'm a little surprised at your top ten list thus far. Considering all the hardcore classic films we have to watch in Cinema History, I was expecting off the wall, crazy technical type films to be in your list. Its nice to see that you are just like the rest of us who like cheesy kid movies for whatever reason. I am quite curious to know what criteria goes into your top ten list. Basically, you said that you have movies on a rating system from 1 to 5 stars. How does that work? What is the criteria for a 5 star film as opposed to a 2 star film? Oh and just how long will it take to post all of the top ten list, b/c some of us had to come up with that in a week and it was not an easy task?

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand about how you can have a top ten movie and it not be necessarily Oscar worthy. One movie that didn’t make my list was “Krull”, which is a fantasy science fiction movie that really doesn’t get recognized.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger bdhutch said...

Like I said at the start, these are my favorite movies, not the ones I necessarily think are the best by some critical or historical standards. I do believe that all the films on my list are highly competent technically and all have interesting stylistic traits. But, more importantly, they all have an attribute that speaks to me at a more emotional/personal level. And in the end, that's a subjective attribute, which I think means that everyone's individual list should be unique.

And if, in Cinema History, I taught my favorite movies, instead of the most infuential or typical of certain time periods, I wouldn't be a very good teacher of film history. Having said that, I do love many of the films I show in class.


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