Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Saturday, February 28, 2004
As I build toward the release of the Jeffies, which is of course the height of indulgence, I will now offer a similar list that is similarly indulgent. Like Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, I am fascinated by lists. It will not shock you to learn that I've kept an informal list of my favorite all-time films.
What's interesting is how our vision of art changes over the course of our lives. Movies are an elemental art form, hitting us right in the emotions. Sometimes we see movies we're convinced are classics of the form; five years later we see them and wonder what was so hot. My first list was a top-five, and only two are films I still consider great. Then, of course, there's the issue of what qualifies as "great" anyway. No one's going to argue that Citizen Kane isn't an amazing accomplishment, but for reasons of personal preference or emphasis, many folks won't have it in their all-time faves.
So here's my idiosyncratic version. Rather than a top-ten, I have a top six and a second eight. Add to that another four I really like, but which are just a notch below. And finally, recent movies that I thought were stunning, but which I've cellared to see how they age.
Definitely All-Time Faves Rififi
The Third Man
Stranger Than Paradise
Lawrence of Arabia
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Could be All-Time Faves on the Right Day High Noon
The Full Monty
Wings of Desire
The Fisher King
Probably Not, But Darn Close On the Waterfront
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Aging for Possible Upgrade Wonderland
Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai