We’re used to list-style books that claim to offer up the ultimate authority on what we should read, watch, and listen to. This new book by Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo falls into this category to some extent, but its frank, diary-entry style sets it apart from any of its more formal counterparts.
Whereas other books may suggest watching a movie due to historical relevance or cinematic style, Cavolo takes a more personal approach. In one entry, for example, he explains how Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times reminds him of his boyhood. “I was a pretty solitary kid surrounded by imaginary friends (whether I’d invited them or not),” he writes. “I should say that all of them were based one way or another on Chaplin. Whenever I watched him, the world outside ceased to exist.”
His reviewing style is similarly relaxed. “This movie really is amazing,” he writes of Spike Jonze’s Her. “The director builds a story that provokes a kind of nervous smile. What happens to the main character seems really nuts.”
As well as Cavolo’s individual writing, audiences are likely to buy 101 Movies To Watch… as much for his wild and unusual illustrations (seen previously in projects for brands including José Cuervo and Alexander McQueen) than for movie tips.
The book follows a similar format to Cavolo’s previous title for Nobrow on music, 101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die, with every film accompanied by drawings in his characteristic style, and the reviews written out in hand, complete with crossings out. It makes for a charming and unusual read, featuring some great movie recommendations along the way.
101 Movies To Watch Before You Die by Ricardo Cavolo can be ordered now at nobrow.net. Nobrow is holding a launch for the title, alongside a screening of the film Freaks, on September 29 at the Institute of Light in London