Friday, June 14, 2013

Mixtape Movies Blogathon: Dude, It's A Volleyball!

Andy Hart AKA Fandango Groover has done it again, created another great Lamb Blogathon. This time he challenges us to bring back the mixtape: compile a collection of six movies that fit together, they are not expected to be definitive personal lists, they are just small expressions of creativity in linking the movies. Pick five movies within a chosen theme that compliment each other and one wild card that stands out as different but still maintains the theme.

"I would rather take my chance out there on the ocean than to stay here and die on this shithole island, spending the rest of my life talking TO A GODDAMN VOLLEYBALL!" - Tom Hanks CAST AWAY
I expect this third instalment of Mixtape Movies will be the last for a while but who knows what inspiration I might get between now and tomorrow? If you missed the last two tapes check out Home Sweet Home and A Tiny Flame now!

In honour of Wilson the volleyball from Cast Away this mixtape is intended to highlight loneliness and the various ways we as a species deal with it, at least in cinema anyway. With the idea that these mixtapes are intended to make friends and influence people I started making a list of movies that I love and that aren't widely seen or been used in one of the other mixtapes and I noticed this theme amongst them and it's a theme that has spread to my own writing projects of late. Lost connections, isolation and loneliness are what this mixtape is all about. That and sharing the way I see cinema.

Moon (2009) Dir. Duncan Jones

As with previous mixes I'm going to start the tape off nice and easy, Sam Rockwell in the modern science fiction classic Moon is probably as accessible as it gets when I start to think about this subject. The way he clings to his sanity via GERTY whilst an enjoyable watch is as obvious as it gets without painting a face on a volleyball with your own blood.

The Brown Bunny (2004) Dir. Vincent Gallo

A controversial choice for many but I find Gallo's sophomore effort to be a beautiful, atmospheric study of a man set adrift from society of his own doing. Sure the famous fellatio scene was perhaps a little indulgent but I can't blame the guy. Both of Gallo's films touch on the same subject matter but Brown Bunny is certainly more likely to ignite conversation versus the almost universally loved Buffalo 66.

Atmen (2012) Dir. Karl Markovics

Karl Markovics' debut is a very recent experience for me but it has stayed with me, barely a day passing without thinking about the life of its protagonist, Roman Kogler, a young man who has spent his entire life in an institution of one kind or another struggling to find his place in the world. Truly affecting cinema.

Man Push Cart (2005) Ramin Bahrani

The first film I ever got invited to watch at a film festival, it always struck me as deserving of a much wider audience than it got. Its subject is a lonely Pakistani immigrant in New York working towards his American dream and features a series of indiginities culminating in a heartbreaking ending. Bahrani has gone on to be considered a pioneer of the "neo-neo-realist" American cinema with his films Chop Shop and Goodbye Solo treading similar territory. A director well worth searching out.

Fish Tank (2009) Dir. Andrea Arnold

Fish Tank is my wildcard selection because it doesn't take the idea f loneliness as it's central theme but it underscores the entire piece by being the driving force for the behaviour one of the characters. Andrea Arnold is another director whose work consistently deals with similar events and emotions, whilst Red Road featured a woman who chooses isolation in an attempt to deal with her grief over a tragic event Fish Tank looks at a teenage girl in a working class single parent family and how she reacts to being essentially abandoned by her mother.

Wendy & Lucy (2008) Dir. Kelly Reichardt

Wendy starts the movie with three things, her car, her dog and hope. By the time the end credits roll she has had to give up all but the slightest slither of hope. A wonderful film featuring a wonderful performance from Michelle Williams.

I'm starting to think that I might not be making the best impression on people with all these less than cheerful movie mixtapes, maybe I'll make a bubblegum pop mixtape next. Join in the discussion in the comments or tweet @bbbgtoby #mixtapemovies. Did you make a mixtape I haven't seen yet? Leave a link. If you want to join in head over to Fandango Groovers for the full instructions and for more movie mixtapes check out the complete database here (after 22nd June.)


  1. Awesome :) I've only seen Fish Tank, one of my favorite movies, but I loved the Moon trailer and am dying to watch it. I really like that the title of your mixtape made me expect more of a bubblegum pop mixtape ;). You should do one and name it something sad.

    1. Really not sure if I have enough love for "happy" cinema to craft something but I loved this blogathon so much I may make mixtapes a permanent feature. Hope you get to see Moon soon, and I'll be over to pay a belated visit to your mixtape shortly.

  2. Oh, and the link to my mixtape:

  3. Wow, this is a great idea for a mix tape. Love your theme. Sounds like a really need to check out Atmen... thanks for the recommendation.

    1. Thanks Alex. It might not be something to lighten the mood but this mixtape speaks to something inside us all I think. Even if it's just that unconscious fear of being alone. Do check out Atmen if it comes across your radar, I think I mentioned before that it's already on Netflix US, or was, so hopefully that's your chance.

  4. Apologies for the late reply, thanks for stopping by and sharing. I'll be heading your way shortly.

  5. Great picks! Love seeing films like Moon and Wendy and Lucy on here, and Fish Tank is a fine wild card.

    1. I hope you enjoy the other three as well then Josh.