Saturday, June 30, 2007

Where's my list? My idiot sheet...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Much hoopla has been made to the AFI's recent re-polling of the top 100 American films of all time. There were a few brand new selections, a few that lost their place, one or two surprises both pleasing and disappointing - it was nice to see Sullivan's Travels and Toy Story get recognized, and sad to see The Manchurian Candidate and Rebel Without a Cause lose their spots. The most head-scratching entry at #89 was The Sixth Sense - I could name probably a dozen movies from 1999 that are infinately better, with Magnolia and Eyes Wide Shut being merely the tip of the iceberg. But for the most part, this list pretty much what you'd expect - boring, bland, and very, very safe. Because really, is anyone going to debate the greatness, or rather, the cultural significance of Citizen Kane and The Godfather? Are there any human beings left on the planet who haven't seen E.T., The Wizard of Oz and It's A Wonderful Life? Even the most cinematically illiterate person has heard of Casablanca and it's reputation as an undisputed classic.

Something that Andrew pointed out, which I wasn't wasn't aware of, was that the films are actually selected from another list of a mere 400 popuar, successful and "classic" films, which is the reason why the list is even blander than both the list of Best Picture Oscar winners since 1928 and even the IMDb's abominable Top 250. Hence, we have a list that is ultimately predictable, as well as characteristically devoid of any foreign films (except for cheating here and there with Lawrence of Arabia and A Clockwork Orange), but more importantly doesn't matter a tick. Are Blade Runner, Nashville and The General any more masterpieces now than they were in 1998? Are Fantasia, Fargo and Stagecoach any less? Of course not. Nuts to the AFI Top 100. Make your own instead.