Due to a lack of time and a lack of inspiration, I asked my Berg colleagues to help write my blog entry this week. Inspired by a recent NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, I asked them what they would consider their pop culture “comfort foods”: music, movies, books, TV shows, games, etc that they return to time and again because they are comfortable and familiar, bring you back to a happy place, create a certain feeling in you, etc. NPR’s Linda Holmes described it as things that “we turn to when we get into a cultural rut and want to reawaken our love of the things we love, as it were.”
I can think of so many things that fit in this category for me. Here’s a few:
- The Sound of Music (both the film and the soundtrack)
- Pride and Prejudice – both the book and the films (both the Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle version and the Keira Knightley & Matthew Mcfadyen version)
- The West Wing
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- U2 – Achtung Baby (brings me right back to my first year at university)
- Hem – Eveningland
- A House Like a Lotus and A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle
I’m happy to say that everyone in the studio humoured my request. Here’s what they had to say:
- Point Break
- Winnie the Pooh
- Midnight Run, must have watched it 50 times. The most re-watchable film of all time.
- Also Rhubarb and Custard (As a kid I slept under the animation table at Bob Godfrey Studios on Neal St, still remember Bob doing the voices).
- I still return to many of Kieslowski’s films, they were formative in my understanding of film.
- Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
- The Invisibles
- “Can’t buy a thrill” by Steely Dan
- Princess Mononoke
- Yo La Tengo – Little Honda just for the distortion sound if nothing else
- Any video of Sister Rosetta Tharpe I can find
- The drum battle where Steve Gadd (he starts at 2.45 in the clip below) launches a stomp attack on Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl and their supple wrists.
- Spirited Away
- Asimov’s “Robots of Dawn”
- Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episodes
- Underworld’s “Second Toughest In The Infants”
- Once Upon a Time in the West, which has the single best concentrated set piece scene of any film at any period in history. It is beautiful, epic, speaks truth to humans, society, and history, and I can watch it infinitely.
- Starship Troopers, the book, and actually any sci-fi stories from the 1940s to the 1970s I can find in second hand shops or Project Gutenberg
- 30 Rock
- ‘F-Zero’ / ‘Unirally’ for games
- Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder for music
- ‘C’était un Rendezvous’ for moving image
- Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
- And the films: My neighbour Totoro (for the scene at the bus stop)
- Bourne Ultimatum (for the scene at Waterloo station)
- This nutrigrain ad from a billion years ago, which I don’t think ever got aired but gets better every time you watch it:
So how about you? What are your culture “comfort foods”?