10 movies on a lonely island

last update: 08 oct 21 – recommendation by nicola


yuval has got to read Lord of the Flies, william golding

made me think of the reality surival /outcast and :

if you were to be sent to a lonely island and got 10 movies to take with you. these are the only ones you will get to see for the rest of your life. which would they be?

please send me your list (to my gmail address) and a one or two liner with your reason

i will collate and publish. and then recommend once a week a movie

this could be fun

just got a subscription on netflix. will try to watch 3 movies a week. not sure how.



1. the israeli crowd may remember a french movie from the early 80’s zig-zag story. any clue what it is called in french?

2. top movie from each country could be fun

3. any thoughts on how to present the collated list is welcomed. the blog is not the best way


recommendations: so far by

moshe bar

kevin mullet

ronit zadicario

sagy pundak mintz

sagi rubing




Magnolia – i love Julian moor. I love the pace of movie made of stories interlaced together. the scene in the drug store were she explodes on the sales man is breath taking work of art. Philip Seymour Hoffman in a small role – always a good reason to go to the movies.

21 grams – i love Naomi Watts. she gave very emotional acting and you really see how committed she is. Sean penn gives also remarkable performance. one of those movies that makes you think long after the light turned on.
Sound of music – classic. can’t be in Austria without constantly looking around to spot the grass hill of the opening scene.
Givaat Halfon – another classical.
The tv series “from earth to the moon – Apollo expeditions” – the true story exceeds its Hollywood image. gives a reliable glimpse to the biggest adventure human kind ever had. the shots of astronauts walking on the surface of the moon are much better than the originals. I loved the way they covered various aspects of the story and honored  unsung heroes.

Requiem for a dream – something really different. The way its been edited/filmed. strong story about addictions and how it changes lives of people. great acting of Ellen Bursthn. Shame how she didn’t get supporting role Oscar.

Nina disasters – Very “Israelish”. Moving. Good acting. I saw it twice. the 2nd time with directors domumentry. Very interesting especially when he is the one who written the script. you get to know where he got his ideas, what was his directions (and relation) to the actor. being exposed to the making process gives another interesting layer to the final product. Sometimes I find – in DVDs – “the making of” extra material more interesting than the movie itself.

Matrix – great WOW affect. the action scenes were something completely new to that time. very interesting science fiction plot. Matrix 2 – walked out. Matrix 3 – didn’t bother.
Blues brother – need i say more.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Juliette Binoche, fell in love with her in that movie, didn’t get over it since.


contributions to the films:
– Ang Lee Lust Caution – Japanese occupation of China, infiltrating the enemy, unintended consequences
– El Lado Oscuro del Corazon – Argentine/Uruguyan – what is real? dance scene where his adored prostitute lover squeezes a bleeding heart behind his back
– Into the Wild – The extremes of an American youth to feel life
– Commitments – You just have to love that music –  “Ride Sally”

All time greats:

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (if you want to know what it feels like to be high without trying)
  • Magnolia (incredible pace, story, meanings…)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (The original “high school” comedy… but high quality)
  • Pulp Fiction (A movie you need to see at least 2 times)
  • Buena Vista Social Club (Music, color, culture)
  • Amalie (The beauty of France, of life, and the actress)
  • The Big Lebowski / Fargo

A few great Israeli movies:

  • Turn left at the end of the world (Sof Haolam Smola)
  • Columbian Wedding (Chatuna Colombianit)
  • Late Wedding (Hatuna Meucheret)

And a couple of must see Green movies (Other than Gore):

  • Who Killed the Electric Car?
  • A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash


  • Citizen Kane - Probably the number one movie all time. I love Citizen Kane because it has everything a movie should have (in no particular order): Mystery, (pseudo) Historical context, Twists, Emotions, Human interactions, Human nature, Symbolism and even after it is over, you are still not 100% sure of what the ending was about.
  • Casablanca - An old time classic, every time I see it I find something new (BTW, the line "Play it again, Sam" is never said in the movie; Sam (actor Dooley Wilson) couldn't play the piano).
  • American Flyers - a touching story with some mastery and just enough action to keep everyone happy.
  • It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World - Need to have some comedy and this is one of the best (or maybe I just remember it as such; I haven't seen it in almost 40 years)
  • Ocean's eleven - The original with the Rat Pack.
  • The Godfather -  Made me see the Italian mafia in a whole different light
  • 2001 A Space Odyssey - The first true SciFi movie (at least for me)
  • The Bourne Identity - Great plot, enough special effects to keep you interested without taking over the film .
  • Star Wars - Shaped a whole generation
  • Some porn movie - being on a "lonely island" without one is a cruel and unusual punishment.

Also considered:
Taxi Driver
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The French Connection
12 Angry Men
Spartacus (I liked it much better than Gladiator)
The Shawshank Redemption
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Maltese Falcon
High Noon
From Here to Eternity
The Third Man
The Manchurian Candidate (the original, the remake was bad)
The Usual Suspects
Kazablan (must consider at least one Israeli film, and if you don't like the film the music will do)

Y tu mamá también –  alfonso cuaron is a great director


1 giant leap – a documentary about music and greatness from all over the world
gladiator – power, good vs evil ( see also silverado, 300 in which the good are GOOD and the bad are EVIL), and life in Rome
Wings of desire (old but one of my all-times fav)
Stalker (russian, 1979) Andrei Tarkovsky is a genius (like bergman, if you can deal with slow movies).  i also recommend solaris and sacrifice from him
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring a masterpiece by ki-duk kim

Ben Hur
Gladiator – comes up again
Proof of Life
Silverado – comes up again
Open Range
Secondhand Lions
The Bourne Identity
The Quiet American
The Scent of Green Papaya
Open Your Eyes (Spanish) / Vanilla Sky
Betty Blue
Belle Epoque
The Lake House
The Matrix (I/II/III)
The Terminator
True Lies

Dinner Rush

Stand by Me
Three Amigos
Toy Story
Ratatouille – surprise, but i agree.
Might just as easily have listed (now that I consult my rankings!):
  • Last Life in the Univers – a wierd mix of Thai, Japanese, and English… I love the lead actors
  • Return to Paradise – so the question is: would you go?
  • Stranger than Fiction – Will Farrells best work to date (serious acting!)
  • The Emerald Forest – A miracle from the 80’s I stumbled onto 30 yrs after the fact
  • Titanic – The greatest Hollywood Blockbuster of all time, from the greatest director of all time
  • Map of the Human Heart – an all time favorite. Epic.
  • Eat Drink Man Woman – don’t watch on an empty stomach!
  • Dream Lover – more like nightmare really, but try to resist!
  • Snatch – representing the whole wonderful world of British gangster films
  • K-Pax – for sheer downright wonderfulness
  • Timeline – if you like the time travel genre this one has a great twist. Talk about Hands-on History!
There are also two fantastic television series to get if you can:
  • Firefly – a little bit of magic… lasted only 13 episodes.  It’s set in space, but that’s almost incidental. It’s really a Western.  Brilliant writing. And what a cast!  Even the soundtrack is amazing. Serenity is the movie version, but I don’t like it quite as much as the TV series.
  • Jericho – brought back for a brief second season after fans sent over NINE TONS of nuts to CBS executives to protest its cancellation… so much unexplored potential with this one (post nuclear attack… “terrorists” set off bombs in 23 cities simultaneously). Jericho is a normal Kansas town just trying to survive. Again, fantastic characters.. great story lines (sometimes have to move too fast to keep with the format) and lots of relationships to keep the women happy.
ronit zadicario added
ap-ro-po piza and movies and connecticut – it reminded me of the movie Mystic Pizza. Should be nice for Yuval and Gil.
i would like to add to the list the movie Chocolat – wonderful Juliette Binoche, sense of wanderings, smell of chocolate.

One Response to “10 movies on a lonely island”

  1. Daniel Cohen Says:

    Our List (Danny & Anat)

    1. Annie Hall: Woody Allen’s best movie
    2. The Big Chill: A lie about the American College
    3. Almost Famous: I’m a golden god…
    4. The Family Man: The life we live and want to live
    5. All about my mother: Pedro Almodovar’s best movie
    6. Princess Bride: Our kids love it too
    7. Later Summer Blues – בלוז לחופש הגדול
    8. When Harry met Sally: Say no more
    9. Jerry Mcguire: You complete me
    10. Lost in Translation: A movie about globalization

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