At a late night post-rugby celebrational conversation on Saturday night mulling over "what is your favourite symphony", it occurred to me that chosing favourites when it comes to music, film, literature, art and culture is indeed, a troublesome task that can cause a lot of in-house conflict.
Deciding on our favourites, our lists of what we consider the best or most enjoyable, seems for so many to define who we are. Author Nick Hornby wrote a book dealing with this very theme; High Fidelity, a tale of man's obsession with lists and favourites.
Essentially, it is trivial. Who cares if we rank Neighbours above Emmerdale, or Quincy above Columbo (even if it is true...) but at the same time, it is always enjoyable sifting through the options. For me, it is akin to solving a crossword puzzle - works the brain, the outcome isn't important, but if you love these things, it is deliciously satisfying to complete.
One area I often ponder is on the subject of music and film, and in particular the cross over of the two. It is through film that my love of music blossomed; an awakening of the cinematic genre brought alongside with it a voyage of musical discovery. I was brought up with little popular culture for reference: a Sgt Pepper's LP, The Yellow Submarine & Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on warped VHS. And The Frog Chorus on a 45.
When I first started studying film, it astounded me how much music enhanced the cinematic experience and vice versa. One director, aside from Hitchcock, Lynch and Kubrick, who I instantly adored was Wes Anderson. Aside from the melancholy; tragi-comic themes and slightly eccentric tones, the main element of why I loved his films so much, were the soundtracks. It was on The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack where I first heard the haunting sound of beautiful Nick Drake. Anderson's soundtracks are, standalone, musical journeys. They take you back to the film itself, and yet further on again; like the behind the scenes extras on the DVD, only inside your brain and in your bones.
So naturally, despite it meaning nothing, despite my opinion being completely subjective for my personal tastes, and despite it likely to change on my mood; here are my top ten soundtracks.
1. The Royal Tenenbaums
2. Lost In Translation
3. West Side Story
4. The Virgin Suicides
5. Chariots of Fire
6. Taxi Driver
7. The Talented Mr Ripley
8. Mulholland Drive
10. A Clockwork Orange
And I have to live with myself that I have left out The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins....And Bedknobs & Broomsticks....