I decided to spend last week celebrating my actual birthday instead of writing up this post, but I'm here today, continuing the celebration with another not-so-random list of 40 things!
This week I offer you 40 of my favourite TV shows, movies and/or documentaries. Again, it's not a Top 40 list, but a 40 I Like List.
As I wrote it up I realized that I have an undeniable thing for old movies, but I tried to include a few more recent ones in there as well. The list is grouped into four categories: TV shows (1-5), New-ish movies (6-12), Classics or "old movies" (13-26), and Documentaries (27-40).
I could have added many more, but a girl has to stop somewhere. Voici:
Downton Abbey Oh Crawley clan, how I love thee!
Archer (animated) WARNING: This is NOT for the easily offended. It's crude, often tasteless, and most likely R-rated. But when I'm in the right mood, this will crack me up till the tears spill. There's no judging in Four Weeks of 40.
Mad Men Don Draper, why must you be such a charming swinger? I also enjoy this for its glimpse into fashion and design of the 1950s & 60s.
Frasier Classic laughs.
Friends My go-to comfort sitcom. I own every season on DVD and can probably quote a lot of the lines.
Amélie Someone once told me I reminded her of Amélie Poulain. To this day it's one of the best compliments I've ever received.
Frida If you follow me on Facebook you know I'm a big fan of Frida Kahlo. Watching the trailer for this movie still gives me goosebumps.
C.R.A.Z.Y. The Québécois know how to make good movies! This one is beautiful in many ways.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel I love it because it exemplifies growth, discovery and adventure well after college and mid-life. It shows me there's something to look forward to. That and the cast is incredible!
Romantics Anonymous A delightful French film that was recommended to me this year. It's a fun little escape.
Love Actually A favourite holiday movie, I never tire of it!
New York I Love You I loved this one: the format, the stories, Ethan Hawke, Natalie Portman... I thought it was edgy and witty.
Singin' in the Rain I dare you to click on that link and not break into a grin!
Harvey This Jimmy Stewart movie about an imaginary rabbit holds a special place in my heart. It was the first sort of kind of “date” movie with my husband D.
Sabrina Though I do like Harrison Ford in the 1995 remake, there's nothing like watching Humphrey Bogart in the original – not to mention Audrey Hepburn!
The Philadelphia Story Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in a 1940 rom com. You can't go wrong with that.
Holiday Inn Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas for the first time. 'Nuf said.
Funny Face Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in Paris. Oui!
Roman Holiday More Audrey Hepburn, this time with Gregory Peck, in Rome.
North By Northwest The first of four Hitchcock flicks on this list; I could have included more. There's a reason they called him the Master of Suspense.
Torn Curtain A very handsome Paul Newman coupled with Julie Andrews in a later Hitchcock flick (1966) set in Germany. This movie kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
Rear Window I think this was the first Hitchcock film I ever watched, with Jimmy Stewart and the beautiful Grace Kelly.
I Confess A favourite Hitchcock film set and partially shot in one my favourite places: Quebec City. Starring Montgomery Clift (swoon) and Anne Baxter, it was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival. Last year a Hitchcock Film Festival was held in Quebec to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
It's a Wonderful Life A holiday classic.
You Can't Take It With You I like a lot of Frank Capra's movies (he did It's A Wonderful Life, among others). Though I've only seen this one once, I remember it resonating with me. In 1939 it won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Capra), and was nominated for seven.
White Heat Featuring James Cagney as “psychopathic criminal with a mother complex.” This is one of the most intense movies I've ever watched. And yes, it's related to Madonna's tune by the same name on her True Blue album.
The Human Experience This documentary started out slow for me, but boy did it make up for it! I started sobbing about half way through and couldn't stop, I was so touched by the human heart and spirit.
The September Issue A great glance into the life of Anna Wintour and Vogue magazine's prep for its biggest issue of the year.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey I started watching this on Netflix a few weeks ago and it's become my go-to escape show. I love it because it's insightful, and it covers film around the world vs. just Hollywood. I'm only four episodes into the 15-episode series so I have a lot to look forward to!
Gerhard Richter Painting I LOVE to see artists at work and gain insight into their creative process. This documentary left me feeling validated and inspired.
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff The man did an artistic film called The Red Shoes in the '40s, and Rambo in the '80s! With contributions from Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall, this documentary was a great look into a man's creative legacy.
Herb & Dorothy A fascinating story about Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal clerk and a librarian, who were two of the most famous art collectors in New York.
EAMES: The Architect and the Painter A glimpse into the creativity and lives of husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames. LOVED it! Someday I will own an Eames chair...
America's Castles: The Homes of Frank Lloyd Wright Unfortunately, because I think it's an older show, I couldn't find anything recent to link for this one, but if you can find it on Netflix it's a great introduction to his work.
Helvetica Dearest Helvetica, where would we be without you? And yes, I am a nerd; I watch documentaries about fonts.
Objectified Done by the same folks that brought us Helvetica, this documentary is an enlightening look at industrial design and the detailed planning that goes into anything from the lowly potato peeler to the technology we use every day.
Bill Cunningham New York People like Mr. Cunningham, who do what they love and love what they do inspire me. Period.
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman Another inspiring story about a long-time practitioner of his craft: architectural photographer Julius Shulman. Beautiful, beautiful images.
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos A visual feast by Disney Nature, documenting the story of the flamingos of Lake Natron, Tanzania.
Winged Migration I guess I'm a bit of a bird nerd. This one is a moving exploration of birds and their migratory patterns. With an engaging soundtrack and incredible filming, it's a cinematic pleasure to be savoured. I still get goosebumps when I watch the trailer.