Oops, I accidentally just spent ages watching that Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal on YouTube – instead of ruminating on Round Three of this competition with my customary scientific rigor. This time around, I didn’t make it to the lab and I didn’t consult an international panel of experts. So all I got is my gut, and the nerve to pull it off. A bit like that Felix Baugartner fellow, probably, only more so.
Here’s where we pump in eight lots of meat and squeeze out four lovely sausages…
Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew beats Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here
There’s just a whiff of something… I don’t know, kind of board room about Pink Floyd, isn’t there? A corporate sort of awfulness that, over time, makes them seem more like a business than a band. It’s not too big a stretch to tell their story in terms of mergers and acquisitions, lobbying for influence, hostile takeovers, and – always – profit, profit, profit. (Money, it’s a gas… and we fucking LOVE it!) I mean, look at them now: expensive watches, loafers, and shirts tucked in way too tight to the sort of jeans that hedge fund managers wear in the Hamptons at the weekend. Yes, they’ve got more than a fair share of great tunes in their back-catalogue (this album definitely included), and, yes, the cover of Wish You Were Here is authentically awesome. But, seriously, Miles Davis, and Bitches Brew especially, is so much cooler it’s not even a fair fight. Just look at this and do the math:
Il Conformista (1970) beats The Cameraman (1928)
Surely I speak for everyone when I say both these posters feature prominently something extraordinarily easy to warm to and like: two attractive women erotically entangled, in the one, and a heroically funny man, in the other. Only… how could any sane person possibly decide which is better? (Depends what you’re in the mood for, I guess, and what you have to hand.) So, hey, I’ll decide some other way instead. Il Conformista. Because I’m pretty sure if I was clever enough I’d see how smart its imagery is. And also because the name of the film’s director, Bernando Bertolucci, is the most fun to say out loud.
North by Northwest (1959) beats Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen…
It was a good run for Spiritualized, but here is where it has to end. The packaging of their most popular album may be a great joke about taking loads of drugs, but we all know how that story ends, don’t we: once the medicine cabinet is empty, all you’re really left with is an empty medicine cabinet. No doubt you can accomplish all sorts of things on drugs. But if you want to send Cary Grant to the middle of nowhere and then chase him with a crop-dusting plane, there’s something altogether else you need and it’s nothing to do with anything pharmaceutical. You need to be an earth-shattering genius. A win, then, for Hitchcock.
Manhattan (1978) beats Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run
Ok, if this frivolous blogging were a balls-to-the-wall action film, this is the bit were the hero says, this shit got real. Manhattan versus Born to Run?! Are you fucking shiting me? I can’t decide that. At the best of times, I wouldn’t have it in me… but, hell, I’ve got an eight-week old daughter for crying out loud – I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in forever! (Why did I even start this crazy enterprise… what was I thinking… bugger me, I wasn’t…)
Urgh. Manhattan. For the simple fact, if nothing else, that there is no amount of times that watching this constitutes ‘too many times’ –
Three-one to movie posters, and the final whistle fast approaching… if this hasn’t moved you, even incrementally, to the edge of your seat then, frankly, I can only presume your sitting in a very comfy seat.
Either way, I give you… Round Four:
Thanks for making it this far! See you on the morrow…