Top 10… Movie Rabbits

Rabbits. Bunnies. Hares. Lepus. Conies. Floppy-eared, fluffy-tailed harbingers of chocolate eggs. Whatever you call them, their distinctive profiles, cute demeanour and oh-so-adorable little twitchy faces makes rabbits one of the many animals that crops up in films far more often than you might think. And seeing as it’s Easter this is the perfect time to celebrate those bouncing bundles of fluff that are the rabbits of the movies. There’s some notable omissions – I haven’t seen the likes of Watership Down or Rise of the Guardians, haven’t overly liked any version of Alice in Wonderland and couldn’t bring myself to include The House Bunny on any list. Fatal Attraction deserves a place on a list of best scenes involving rabbits, but that is not this list, and the rabbit in question doesn’t have too much of a personality, or even a name if I remember rightly, much like the dinner caught by Gollum in The Two Towers. And this has nothing to do with the quality of the films, it’s just how much I like the rabbits in question. 

Honourable mention: Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Pulp Fiction
Personally, I’m amazed it’s taken me this long to wrangle Pulp Fiction onto a list. Technically there are no actual rabbits in this film, but then that’s also the case for at least two other films on this list, but Pulp Fiction is the most tenuous link, hence why it’s only the honourable mention. Also, it’s a part of my least favourite storyline in the film, as I’m not much of an Uma Thurman fan, and could have done without the Mia Wallace segment. The club itself is pretty damn cool, even if the milkshakes cost $5.00, as the chance to be served by Marilyn Monroe, James Dean or Buddy Holly (Steve Buscemi) is just awesome. The only downside is the dance contests.
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Top 10… Philip Seymour Hoffman Films

Philip Seymour Hoffman is the recipient of this month’s Acting School over at the LAMB. I’m trying to get a bit more involved with the Lamb (hence my appearing in two recent podcasts, and hopefully a few more in the future), so I figured I’d compile a list of my favourite of Hoffman’s films for the school, which gets posted over at the LAMB on Monday.
I’ve always liked Hoffman as an actor, and not just because we’re of a similar build, especially around the midriff. He’s able to deliver a huge variety of performances, most of which I think I’ve covered in this list. And I’m aware there’s a few of his more prominent films that I’ve missed off, but that’s generally because I haven’t seen them yet (The Master, for instance). And this is a list of his best films, not his best performances, so whilst he was thoroughly deserving of his Oscar for Capote, it doesn’t appear on my list because as a film I’m not overly keen on it.

Top 5… Drug-Induced Hallucinations

This was going to be Top 5… Drug Trips, but some of the moments I wanted to use weren’t full-on immersive excursions, but simply something drugs caused the inbiber to see, so hallucinations technically covers both groups. Plus, having never taken such a trip myself, I felt I could identify more with seeing things than being wacked out of one’s gourd.

The Big Lebowski

I’ve made the point before that the list contains films of three varieties; great, popular and important. The greats arrive via the Empire 5-star 500 list, the popular from the two lists voted by the general public, and the important ones are provided by the 1001 Films to See Before You Die. Many films, though arguably important, aren’t actually very good, so one could argue that they should be remembered and acknowledged for their gifts to cinema, but not necessarily watched, as was the case with the Jazz Singer, marking the introduction of spoken dialogue to the big screen, which nowadays is dull, racist and features too many unnecessary songs. The Big Lebowski, on the other hand, is also an important film, spawning a cult following so vast there is a fan club (the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers), several books and an annual festival (creatively named Lebowski-Fest, I hope to attend one day). And yet, it does not appear among the important list, appearing here after being awarded a 5-star review and obtaining positions on both nominated lists. This is less a crime and more a cultural injustice, as the impact this film has had on society is measurable from space. Hell, they even played clips of it recently on Something for the Weekend.

So just what is it that resonates so much with the public? Maybe it’s the snappy, endlessly quotable dialogue (“Obviously you’re not a golfer), particularly everything said in the bowling alley. Or perhaps it’s the borderline caricature roster of characters on display, from John Turtorro’s lilac-hued pederast Jesus (whom nobody fucks with) to Julianne Moore’s naked yet cultured Pollock-esque artist Maud and of course John Goodman’s psychotic ‘Nam vet Walter. It’s probably got something to do with the extremely crowded plot that bears little effect upon the characters it happens to. But mainly, it has to be Jeff Bridges turn as The Dude, a man shambling and smoking his way through life, following the flow it leads him on via nihilists, urinating Chinamen, porn moguls and private detectives. That, and it’s the first great film to feature a pot-smoking lead since Cheech and Chong, and one must conclude that many of those attending Lebowski-Fest, drinking white Russians in their dressing gowns and sunglasses have similar feeling towards the weed as his Dudeness.


Me? I love it because it’s a quintessential Coen Brothers movie. It features everything you need to make a great film – a twisting plot, stellar cast (I haven’t even mentioned Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, Sam Elliot, David Thewlis, Aimee Mann or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Flea), terrific performances all round and a cracking soundtrack. The film introduced me to my cocktail of choice – Vodka, Kahlua and milk, easy on the Kahlua and heavy on the ice – and every time I watch it I either see something new or am reminded of a moment of pure gold I’d previously forgotten.
Choose film 9/10