Last week, Shia LaBeouf invited fans to sit with him in a theater and watch him online as he watched all of his movies in one sitting that stretched over multiple days. LaBeouf’s antics have garnered public scrutiny before, on more than one occasion, but for us film fanatics at AE…well, we kinda liked this idea. In fact, we think more artists should offer the same opportunity. So we’re going to share with you the artists with whom we’d like to sit with as an audience to their entire careers, and we want to hear your picks in the comments or in the survey:
Robin Williams’ #AllMyMovies – Grace Porter
My pick has less to do with the collection of films and more to do with the man who never failed to make me laugh. Sure, this may be bending the rules a bit, but there’s no one I’d rather watch Aladdin with than the Genie himself. Robin Williams is responsible for some of my most remembered childhood, and still favorite, films: Jumanji, Hook, and Mrs. Doubtfire. What’s more, he transitioned seamlessly from kid-friendly funny to dramatic roles, with characters in Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, and What Dreams May Come, that were brought to life with striking believability in their compassion and propensity for unconditional love. Williams is credited with over one hundred roles, and while he’s my #AllMyMovies pick, I don’t even think that would be enough time with the man who never lost that little spark of madness.
Wes Anderson’s #AllMyMovies – Sean Fallon
Though it would be like drowning in an ocean of twee sincerity, I would love to watch all of Anderson’s works, one after another. That’s a lot of Bill Murray moping, ’70s songs, pans, pastels, young love, crazy fashion, typewriters, title cards, cameos, slow motion, quick zooms, family strife, Futura Bold, stop motion, and Owen Wilson Owen Wilson-ing. There’s even the advantage of having Darjeeling Limited there, if I want to have a little sleep before the house is brought down by the tsunami of quality that is Fantastic Mr Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, which is Anderson’s masterpiece, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Tom Cruise’s #AllMyMovies – Richard Newby
I’d bet there are few actors who love their work more than Tom Cruise. Whether he’s running at full speed, performing his own stunts, or playing for laughter or tears, there’s always a sense of sheer joy and passion in Cruise’s performances. He also strikes me as the kind of guy who would get a kick out of watching his own movies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he already makes a habit out of this. If LaBeouf’s emotional reactions were hypnotic, just imagine Cruise’s energetic flurry of facial expressions through countless hours of entertainment. With a career spanning thirty-four years, Cruise’s filmography has enough versatility, enough bad, good, and great films to make watching him watch his own films a rewarding and engaging experience. As one of the last true movie stars who can carry a film on his own name instead of a familiar property, Tom Cruise’s #AllMyMovies could be another impactful look at the power of celebrity, identity, and the transformative power of performance art.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s #AllMyMovies – Jack Godwin
According to Paul Thomas Anderson, the first thing his teacher told his class at film school was, “If you want to make Terminator 2, leave now,” and so he left. After hearing him talk with Marc Maron on his podcast WTF, I realised that he’s open about his key influences and other cinematic loves. As Maron remarked afterward: “Geniuses aren’t supposed to be that affable.” There is a clear intent to every cinematic technique he uses, and his films are full to the brim with fascinating and compelling characters. He’s worked with some of the best actors working in cinema today, utilising their best qualities, yet still pushing them into more abstract and experimental territory. His recent films can be oblique, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. After all, this is a man who compared There Will Be Blood to a Tom And Jerry cartoon.
Terrence Malick’s #AllMyMovies – Jason Ooi
My name is Jason Ooi, and I am a Terrence Malick apologist. He is my favorite director. I watched each of his movies over the course of a year, and was rendered into a catatonic wreck after each one. I chose to separate each viewing with a few months, because there would be no way to predict the effects of a marathon. But it certainly makes me curious. Similarly, there is enough drama in the editing room of each Malick movie to make watching his reaction fascinating enough. I wonder how he feels about his own movies, as each one feels so personal and intimate to the viewer, so it’d be fascinating to see what they mean to him.
David Lynch’s #AllMyMovies – Josh Rosenfield
Lynch is infamous for refusing to say much about his work, and it’s something I’ve always admired about him. I don’t expect he’d be much chattier at a retrospective event like this, but the chance to see his films on the big screen would be reason enough to attend. Seeing Inland Empire in a theater isn’t an opportunity you pass up lightly. The reverse-chronology would also be a neat look into the evolution of Lynch’s process, or perhaps it would reveal that his artistic aims haven’t changed much since he began. If nothing else, maybe it would inspire him to work on a new feature film. The new season of Twin Peaks is wonderful, but cinema has really been missing his voice.
Michael Mann’s #AllMyMovies – Diego Crespo
Few directors direct movies with the surgical precision of Michael Mann. Every frame, every decision by an actor, every story beat maintains the fluidity of the director’s vision for two hours of storytelling. His filmmaking style constantly floats somewhere between mainstream accessibility and hard art house infatuation, negating casual moviegoers any appreciation of certain of his filsm. But it’s the cinematography that can always be appreciated, with crisp editing alongside the stylistic visuals used to accentuate a mood or thematic component. Mann’s filmography contains a series of trademarks in specific characters and the world they operate in. Defined by a sense of duty or self-preservation, not many people understand these people or their careers, and as such are accompanied by a sense of isolation. This allows for remarkable shots of characters pondering existential questions. “Time is luck,” characters will say as they look out towards an ocean of city lights. I’d trade all the luck in the world for the time to watch Michael Mann’s entire filmography.
Wachowski Siblings’ #AllMyMovies – Ryan MacLean
If forced to sit through someone’s filmography with them, there is no one I would rather choose than the brother-sister duo of Andy and Lana Wachowski. The two have done more than most to push the boundaries of both narrative and visual storytelling. To be able to pick their brains on everything from their early work on Bound and The Matrix trilogy, to the groundbreaking Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas, would be a privilege and an honor. And I would be dying to find out exactly what they were thinking when putting together the bold disaster that is Jupiter Ascending. Most of all, they just make incredibly watchable movies, each one worthy of revisiting. Given the opportunity, I would sit down to do so with Andy and Lana Wachowski without a second thought.
Nicolas Cage’s #AllMyMovies – David Shreve, Jr.
There may only be one actor whose recognition rivals that of Shia Lebeouf, and who might manage to put on a more absurd display through his filmography. Nic Cage’s career contains B-movie excellence, a deserved Oscar, the best action films of the ’90s, a Coens classic, approximately twelve scenes that birthed internet memes, and the most pedal-to-the-floor approach to screen acting that Hollywood has ever seen. Cage seems to possess a sharp self-awareness when it comes to his own weirdness, and that, mixed with the respect he seems to have for his craft, would make for the best viewing experience imaginable.