I love compilations.
Mix tapes. Anthologies of poetry. Greatest Hits albums. Selected Stories. Lists of Top 10 Anything (to see, read, do, wear, covet, aspire to, laugh at…the list(s) are endless.)
I love them because:
- They are the best bits brought together in one place. Like a patchwork quilt – each square chosen for its colours, patterns, and the way it blends in (or contrasts) with all the other squares to create a masterpiece
- They are a wonderful way to introduce yourself to an artist/poet/writer/singer through the eyes of someone who truly loves them
- They save you time – whilst it’s lovely to meander through the back-streets of a new travel destination and discover your own gems, it’s also handy to have a ‘Top 10 Things To Do’ list with you for reference, even if you prefer the road less travelled by.
So here’s a compilation of my favourite movie quotes. I do realise some of these were originally books but I never read the books (shock horror) so for the sake of authenticity, we’ll call them movie quotes.
1. The Shawshank Redemption – on freedom and letting go
“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.”
2. A Few Good Men – the famous ‘You Can’t Handle The Truth!’ monologue which I may have spent hours memorising and practising (complete with Jack Nicholson sneer) when I first watched this movie.
“You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall…..I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you” and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”
3. The Light Between Oceans – on forgiveness
“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”
4. Casablanca – on fate and serendipity
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
5. Skyfall – on manipulation (creepy but clever)
“My grandmother had an island when I was a boy. One summer, we came for a visit and discovered the whole place had been infested with rats. They’d come on a fishing boat and had gorged themselves on coconut. So how do you get rats off an island, hmm? My grandmother showed me. We buried an oil drum, and hinged the lid. Then we wired coconut to the lid as bait. The rats come for the coconut, and they fall into the drum, and after a month, you’ve trapped all the rats. But what did you do then? Throw the drum into the ocean? Burn it? No. You just leave it. And they begin to get hungry, then one by one…they start eating each other, until there are only two left. The two survivors. And then what – do you kill them? No. You take them, and release them into the trees. Only now, they don’t eat coconut anymore. Now they will only eat rat. You have changed their nature. The two survivors; this is what she made us.”
6. Zoolander (not exactly high-brow literature but when something makes me laugh until I snort, it has to be included in a list of favourites) – when Derek is shown an architectural model of a children’s literacy centre.
Derek Zoolander: “What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit inside the building?”
Mugatu: Derek, this is just a small…
Derek Zoolander: I don’t wanna hear your excuses! The building has to be at least… three times bigger than this!
7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – on fear and self-imprisonment
“You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”
This exercise took longer than I thought it would. It’s not easy condensing your favourites into one list. So for now, a work in progress. And a favour to ask – let me know your favourites. I need inspiration.
©2017 Seetha Dodd