I thought of doing this pretty much as a pointless exercise to see what I would actually do in a completely hypothetical situation (also because I was bored and felt like it), but I wondered this scenario:
The government has paid me a vast sum of money to sit in an underground bunker for 10 straight years with no breaks. I’d be typing in data about minerals or something, the bunker task isn’t really important, it’s some remedial task that requires me to be down there typing in data for 10 years. It’s not that hard or time-consuming, but I have to do it every day, so there’s plenty of time on my hands. All the necessities are there (food, water, bed), but there would only be enough room for me to bring along 100 films for the next decade to watch in the space they have provided me. It’s vastly expensive or something for me to reach the outside world to get new stuff, so I’m stuck with what I pick. There is no internet (so no YouTube or downloading movies), and as expected, Comcast couldn’t provide adequate service down there, so no broadcast television. I bet the Dolphins still wouldn’t win the Superbowl in the 10 years I was gone, so no sports for a decade would probably be alright. There is other stuff to entertain me like a few books, albums (save those for another list!), napping and (shutter) exercising, but let’s just say that watching movies would probably be in my top 3 desired activities on any given day, so it would be important what I choose. Just as a strange inexplicable technicality: they won’t let me take any TV box sets, only films. Don’t ask me why! The government works in strange ways!
When I went through and did my rough list without even counting how many I was picking, but only picking things I really assumed would make the list, I had 141. Time to do some hacking.
Now it’s a matter of choices. I would probably want a good mixture of genres to keep things fresh. Also a good mixture of old and new (I’m surprised at my almost complete lack of 1950s and earlier films). Replay value is crucial in this situation, don’t include anything I would only want to watch once. I love my depressing movies, but if I’m stuck in a bunker I’m probably going to want a decent amount of uplifting, happy movies. Probably a chunk of comedies to keep my spirits up. Include some childhood nostalgia to raise my spirits, maybe a couple musicals and/or music docs for pep as well. If it’s a slow drama, it better be something that I really, really love. I’m probably going to want a lot of action type movies to keep my energy levels high. I can’t think of a better place to desire a crap load of escapism than in an underground bunker…! (OK, a prison… But they won’t let you take movies in there.)
Then it came down to things like trilogies… Do I want to take up three entire slots for a trilogy? Maybe take the best one or two? Does that ruin the entire purpose of having any one the films singularly, if I can’t watch the entire trilogy? Trilogies do run longer, they would take up more of my time down there. And do I need similar films? Do I need Zombieland AND Dead Alive? Godfather AND Goodfellas? Do I really want to take Batman Returns if I’m already taking Dark Knight? The choices!
So now the government is knocking at my door, and I have my big duffel bag of 100 movies ready to go. They
drag escort me to the bunker, and below are the choices I made. I didn’t want to torture myself with ranking them in a best/worst order, so I just arranged them alphabetically. See you in 2022!
72. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
74. The Royal Tenenbaums
75. The Running Man
76. Scarface (1983)
77. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
78. The Shawshank Redemption
79. The Shining
80. Some Like It Hot
81. Spider-Man 2