Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 03-25-2017 | Main | Overnight Open Thread (25 Mar 2017)
March 25, 2017

Saturday Evening Movie Thread 03-25-2017 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison]

Introduction

Last week, we discussed the idea of models of narrative in terms of how to look at and interpret movies. We covered the emphasis of four different elements of a movie and how important they are to us as viewers, and how they can color a filmmaker’s approach to material. Today, we’ll hopefully talk about favorite and best movies.


All Top 10s Are Crap


thin red line.jpg


I don’t entirely understand the compulsion to rank your favorite, or least favorite, things at the end of a year. In terms of this post, I’m of course referring to end of the year top 10 lists of movies. Well, I can understand it in terms of someone like a film critic. A film critic’s job is to try and tell the world their opinions on movies, and the top 10 list at the end of the year is one final push for their favorite films. Letting them have one final, major, spotlight before they, very likely, get completely forgotten by the masses.

Roger Ebert (him again) called top 10 lists purely political gestures. What he meant was that they were all about pushing a viewpoint of movies out into the world. His lists were important to him, and I genuinely do believe that he thought that whatever movie he put at the top of his list in a year was the best film of the year. And yet, I don’t believe he’d ever get into a fight with someone over their top 10. He would say, “Well, that’s your top 10, and here’s mine.” He and his guest would then discuss the relative merits of some of the movies on their lists and continue with their lives. I’m reminded of this episode of Siskel & Ebert (after Siskel had died and before that waste of space Roeper got brought on) when Ebert and his guest, Martin Scorsese, discussed their top 10s of the 90s. Scorsese included The Thin Red Line on his list, a movie that Ebert gave 3 out of 4 stars and left a healthy few steps from his own top 10 of that movie’s release year. Instead of arguing about whether it should be on the list at all or not, Ebert listed a couple of things he liked about the film and they moved on.

All of this is to what purpose? Well, top 10s are like assholes. Everyone has one. They’re all personal, based on experience and opinion, and they function as a demonstration of the individual’s taste in film. There’s never a definitive list. The top rated movies on IMDB will almost never align with the top rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes, and that’s completely fine. One isn’t right, and the other isn’t wrong, even if I completely agree with one and disagree with the other.


Here’s My Crappy Top 10


duck soup.jpg


I made the following list about a decade ago. This list of what I consider to be the ten best movies ever has not changed since. Why? Have no better movies been made? Have I not discovered other better movies that are just as old?

The simple answer is that it took me so much time to whittle down the thousands of movies I’d seen into this ten that I never wanted to bother finagling with it ever again. I still love every single one of these movies. I still think that they are exquisite examples of the art form. If I were forming a top ten from scratch today, would it be identical? Probably not.

So, in one regard, it’s kind of a time capsule to who I was and what I liked in film from a decade ago. The list is in alphabetical order because I could never bring myself to argue about which was #6 and which was #7 in a list of films I love so completely.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Amadeus
Apocalypse Now
Au Revoir Les Enfants
Casablanca
Duck Soup
The Last Temptation of Christ
The Lord of the Rings
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Thin Red Line

I remember when I was forming the list, part of what I considered was genres and directors. “I have my Kubrick (2001), so I can’t include another. What’s my Scorsese on this list?” It was during the formation of this list that I came across Ebert’s comment about top 10s being political things, so I embraced this mentality and it almost became a “Collection of Top Movies from Different Genres/Directors”.
I don’t think there’s a textbook out there that describes how to make a top 10 list of movies of all time, but that method seems to be as valid as any other.
I’m 100% positive that some of you will look at my list and scoff. “The Lord of the Rings? Is this guy serious? That movie has about a thousand endings!” or “ he Thin Red Line? I could barely understand what the hell was going on! And what the hell was with John Travolta and George Clooney being in there for just a few lines?”

But you see, no one will ever convince me to change this list. It’s mine. It’s personal. All I can really hope to do is to convince some people to check them out. To try and grow the population of people who love the movies that I love. I would hope that, at the least, some of you who read this see that list and say, “I’ve never heard of that movie, but it must have some qualities to recommend it since this random person thinks so highly of it to include it on a top 10 list of movies of all time. I think I will check it out.”

That’s it. That’s the ultimate purpose. I want to convince you to see at least one of these movies. I’ve got movies that represent foreign films (Au Revoir Les Enfants), silent films (The Passion of Joan of Arc), screwball comedies (Duck Soup), old school studio films (Casablanca), science fiction (2001), and epics (The Lord of the Rings, and yes, I mean all three movies which I consider to be one film). If you haven’t been exposed to some genre of film, my list provides you with a gateway. I think that the represented films are the best of those genres, so they must have some worth, right?


So, What’s Your Crappy Top 10?


anchorman.jpg


It doesn’t need to be a top 10. It could be a top 100, or a top 2, or a single movie you think is the best ever. Where “best” and “favorite” begin and end is a line that you decide. I personally don’t think that there’s much of a difference when I look at the movies on my list. I think they are the best and that they are my favorites at the same time. It doesn’t mean that they are perfect, but when you talk about subjective things, you don’t need to be perfect to be the best.

So, do you consider there to be a difference? If your favorite movie is Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, I’d hope that you consider there to be a difference between favorite and best because as much as I enjoy Anchorman, it’s clearly not one of the best movies ever made. But, that’s up for you to decide. Tell me that Anchorman is the best movie ever and make the case. You probably won’t convince me because I’m a smug know-it-all, but you may convince someone else to check it out. And that’s the ultimate point: To try and convince someone else to enjoy what you enjoy.

Movies of Today

Opening in Theaters:
Power Rangers
Life
CHIPS

Next in my Netflix Queue:
The Jacket

Movies I Saw This Week:
What We Do in the Shadows (Netflix Rating 4/5 | Quality Rating 3/4) Poster Blurb: “Very funny. Very Kiwi.”

Creepshow (Netflix Rating 3/5 | Quality Rating 2.5/4) “Hit or Miss, but with one very good segment.”

American Gangster [rewatch] (Netflix Rating 5/5 | Quality Rating 4/4) “A Masterful crime epic by a master visualist.”

Men in Black 3 [rewatch] (Netflix Rating 5/5 | Quality Rating 3.5/4) “A surprisingly affecting and entertaining scifi romp.”

Mansfield Park (Netflix Rating 4/5 | Quality Rating 3/4) “A largely breezy and entertaining Jane Austen adaptation of a Jane Austen book I’ve never read.”

Moana (Netflix Rating 4/5 | Quality Rating 3/4) “Certainly better than either Frozen or Zootopia.”

digg this
posted by OregonMuse at 07:23 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Alberta Oil Peon: "If I had one of those spring-loaded shelves for my ..."

Alcoholic Asshole Shut In: "How many dumb Italian jokes can I make? ..."

Diogenes: "233 138 Diogenes War Games? ~ Doesn't do the T ..."

bluebell: "Hey! Hey bluebell! I cooked today! Posted by: gra ..."

Alcoholic Asshole Shut In: "Lord Sonobi has recruited the Italians. ..."

Alcoholic Asshole Shut In: "The Italians broke the site ..."

Mike Hammer, etc., etc.: "Just remember folks, gratitude: https://preview.ti ..."

grammie winger - thankful: "Hey!  Hey bluebell!  I cooked today! ..."

CaliGirl: "This house isn't that new. I don't know what it lo ..."

yankeefifth: "Here are the recipes (results not guaranteed): ..."

Alberta Oil Peon: "I know. (Honka-honks AOP's nose) Posted by: ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "Here are the recipes (results not guaranteed): ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64