I saw The Royal Tenenbaums with my stalwart comrade Nitetrain Nick in Houston back in 2001. I do believe it’s my favorite movie that I’ve seen in a cinema. Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson wrote a cracking script, word-perfect. They assembled one of the best casts ever and each actor delivers memorably but what makes the movie unforgettable is the little things. The dalmatian mice. The closet full of board games. 111 Archer Avenue. The tent. The Baumer. Wildcat. Mescaline. Those violent paintings. Amazing names. The Coens always have great names but this movie is the best ‘named’ film ever. Royal. Etheline. Chaz. Margot. Richie. Eli. Raleigh. Mordecai. Dudley. Buckley. Uzi. Ari. Pagoda. Dusty. Gorgeously directed, wonderfully acted, perfectly written and the music hits you right in the face. It’s almost impossible to choose one great scene from this movie so here’s one of many scenes in this film that give me chills. One of the finest opening scenes ever. Go Mordecai!
This is one of my favorite Woody Allen scenes. It comes toward the end of Manhattan, Woody’s tour de force about relationships and life in Manhattan circa the late 1970s. It’s a stunningly shot movie, especially the black and white cityscapes set to the tunes of George Gershwin. It’s gorgeous and I always feel good when I’m done watching it. I love this scene for it’s concept -naming what you love about life- and for the way it is shot. I also especially love the tape recorder.
‘Alright, Why is life worth living? That’s a very good question…Uh…Well, there are certain things I guess, that make it worthwhile. Like what? Okay, for me…’
Black & white movies especially when it’s raining outside (Bicycle Thief, Manhattan, Young Frankenstein)
Gene Wilder (In anything)
Morning newspaper (even more so on Sunday)
Wes Anderson’s first three films
Gardens and Parks (even more in a light drizzle)
The Beatles (pre- 1966)
Girls in Salwar Kameez
Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part 2
Martin Scorsese’s work in Goodfellas
Laughing until I cry
Sev dahi puri
Soft idlis with coconut chutney
Hot dosa on a cool evening