Lists of lists

Here’s a confession- I love to make lists. No, scratch that. I need to make them. Lists, specifically “to-do” lists define my life- they keep me hovering on this side of sanity. I know that without these little pieces of paper, chaos would reign. It’s not like the life I lead is so crazy-busy, but I can’t stand to have extraneous information floating around in my mind. Just the act of writing the lists make me  calmer and makes my brain feel less cluttered. Out of the head, onto the paper. Repeat. This could be my mantra. Crazy much? Yeah, except at least I know what it takes for me to be functional. I’m sure I get it from my mom, who is probably one of the most logical and organized people I know. I’m not on her level (yet), but that could be because some of my genes are my dad’s, who, let’s just say, has an artistic temperament. I could make a top ten list about their wildly different approaches to life and the effects it has had on me, but that’s another post for another day. (Or not.)

So, not only do I live by lists, I love reading lists.  There are an abundance of these to be found on the internet- one of the best sources is Pop Candy, where writer Whitney Matheson will often post various pop-culture lists that become fodder for endless controversy in the form of angry comments about omissions or inclusions.

Examples of my favorite weird, random and entertaining lists: 7 pretentious teenagers of cinema ( a few of which are pictured below, caught in pretentious poses) 11 predictions Back to the Future II got right (there is also a list of predictions the movie got wrong, but that’s not as fun), 61 essential postmodern books, 13 surprisingly enjoyable songs about the end of the world, 8 racist words you use every day… And I could go on and on. It’s nice to know I’m not alone: people like lists. They must really, really like lists for this site to exist.

All right, so where am I going with this? Not that we apparently need more lists, since even this has been covered, but I’ll be trying out a “list” feature as a way to keep my random, floating, mind-cluttering ideas organized. (Don’t worry, my to-do lists will not be making an appearance.)

To start, it may or may not be appropriate and/or necessary to list my top 5 favorite movies that involve characters traveling by train.

1. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)


2. North by Northwest (1959)

One of my favorite Hitchcock movies, but I haven’t seen Strangers on A Train, which would maybe be a better choice? But the final shot alone demands inclusion on this list.

3. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Can’t go wrong with the Beatles being all sassy on a train.

4. Away We Go (2009)

One of those new quirky, post-modern, self-aware hipster movies* that happens to involve train travel. However, one needs to be able to get past the glaring error that it it impossible to take a train from Phoenix to Madison, as neither city has passenger rail service.

5. Back to the Future III (1990)

Probably the weakest movie of the trilogy, but the plot is so train-centric it would be silly not to include it. Right?

Which awesome train movies am I forgetting?**

*AKA my fave kind. Yeah, so.

**I know Amy is a far better source of older movies in which train travel was the main mode of transportation, and there must be a ton that I should watch.


3 thoughts on “Lists of lists

  1. great post. made me realize how much i love lists, too! i’m always listing something. there is great relief from knowing i won’t forget things if i list them, however that’s IF i never lose the list lol. i’ve had loads of them – paper & electronic – around for as long as i can remember. *thumbs up* :).

  2. Let’s see – not sure if I can limit myself to 5 (leaving out any you’ve mentioned!). Some Like It Hot, The General, White Christmas, The Lady Vanishes, Murder on the Orient Express. And I can’t leave off Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    Here’s a huge list of trains and movies – love that they include movies that involve trains but no scenes on trains (Bridge on the River Kwai and Stand By Me, for example). There are some wonderful movies on this list:

  3. Pingback: Strangers on a Train (1951) Movie Trailer

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