Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Jay Duplass

The other half of the indie team behind this week's The Do-Deca-Pentathalon on his all-time favorite movies.

by | July 2, 2012 | Comments

A couple of weeks back we heard from writer-director Mark Duplass on his five favorite sibling movies, so it seemed only fitting that we give his brother and co-collaborator Jay a chance to add his voice to the family discussion. Following the success of their mainstream-leaning Jeff, Who Lives at Home earlier this year, the brothers Duplass are back in theaters this week with a smaller-scale piece that recalls their mumblecore origins. The Do-Deca-Pentathalon — which was actually shot before the team went “Hollywood” with Cyrus — focuses on the rivalry between two brothers (notice a theme?) as they compete in a homemade version of the Olympics. Cannily timed for the 2012 event, in fact, and sure to appeal to all those fans of both overblown sports circuses and micro-budgeted indie films. To mark Pentathalon‘s release, then, here are Jay Duplass’s five favorite films. Take it away, sir.

American Movie (Mark Borchardt, 1999; 94% Tomatometer)



This is probably the most influential film on Mark’s and my work. Deeply passionate, hilarious and inspired filmmaker Mark Borchardt battles to finish his horror flick despite a lack money and common sense. What transpires is heartbreaking, hilarious and at the same time incredibly inspiring.

Rocky (John G. Avildsen, 1976; 91% Tomatometer)



Rocky one — it feels ridiculous to have to qualify Rocky with a “1,” but the subsequent sequels have smokescreened the truth that the original Rocky won the Oscar, is a monumental humanitarian story, and most importantly… Rocky does not win the final fight with Apollo. Some people literally don’t believe me when I tell them this. If you’ve forgotten this, please re-watch it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Raising Arizona (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1987; 90% Tomatometer)



I think everyone is now aware of this creative meteor, probably the most inspired piece of art I’ve ever witnessed. Think about it: The Coens created two main characters you desperately root for who have kidnapped a baby! Only the masters could pull this off, and make you laugh and cry intermittently throughout.

Dumb and Dumber (Peter and Bobby Farrelly, 1994; 63% Tomatometer)


I know, I know… indie cred is now out the window. But what can I say? Mark and I saw this film at Christmas 1994 in a movie theater, and I laughed so hard I sweat out 5 lbs of water weight and got rock hard abs in the process. We took a camping road trip to the mountains and almost froze to death because of it. I’ve seen it probably 20-plus times and it just makes me so happy every time.

The Horse Boy (Michel Orion Scott, 2009; 79% Tomatometer)



This is a tiny documentary that for me, is so much more than a movie. In short, it’s about an autistic boy who’s Texan parents take him on horseback to inner Mongolia in search of a Shamanic healing. It’s not the easiest film to watch, but in my opinion, a miracle happens on screen.

The Do-Deca-Pentathalon is in select theaters this week and is available through VOD.

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