Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Favorite Films of All Time

Since Blade Runner is coming to the triangle next week, and I'm super-psyched about seeing one of my favorite films of all time, I'm going to take this time to just ruminate on my favorite films of all time. It used to be, when I was asked what my favorite movie was, I was never able to give a single film but had a pretty stable list of 5 or more films that I would answer consistently. Here's Graham's top 6 or so films, circa 2003, let's say:
Blade Runner
Apocalypse Now
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Wings of Desire
Reservoir Dogs

Ok, so, that's pretty close. A quick analysis:
Epic: 5/7 (exceptions: Wings and Dogs)
Violent: 6/7 (exception: Wings)
Long: 6/7 (exception: Dogs)
Sausagefest: 5.5/7 (exceptions: Wings and kinda Blade Runner)

Here's what I'm getting at. Besides the fact that Wings of Desire stands out, I think we've learned that, roughly five years ago, my favorite films were generally long, epic, violent, and lacking in major roles for chicks. Also, as I've said, it was a pretty consistent and pretty short list.

I guess this is it what it means to grow old. Nowadays, my favorite films span more continents, have entered the 21st century (the old list barely made it to the 90s) and gone back to the beginning of the 20th, and, yes, occasionally involve women (seriously, occasionally only). How does one construct a top 5 or 10 or even 20 list when faced with this sort of breadth and depth? Should there be a 1 or 3 or 5-year waiting period before a film can make the list? Would a waiting period apply only to films made within that time (no Departed, for example) or also to films that I've just seen recently, even if they're older (8 1/2, Magnolia, etc)? In a limited way, it makes sense to list the 10 ten films of the preceding year even if they otherwise have nothing in common with each other, but does it make any sense make some sort of giant list and stick The Philadelphia Story next to Blade Runner next to The Seventh Seal? Finally, should I just say fuck it, elevate myself to the same level as the AFI, and make a hundred film list?

I've decided to provisionally answer these questions by making a list that will be the logical extension of the 2003 list, and I'll try to represent my film geek side on it - all the stuff i've rented, hunted down, and loved, from any time except the last couple of years, over the years, even if I've just seen it. The, my various top 10 lists from the past few years can become the staging areas for the bigger list, but none of these more recent films are allowed on it right away. Also, for now, I'll try to keep it under 30 films, and I'm not going to order it. Finally, at the end, just to see what's happened, we'll get the same analysis as we got on the other list. Also, if anyone actually read this far, I'm sorry.

Graham's Favorite Films of All Time, for Now
Blade Runner
Apocalypse Now
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Wings of Desire
Reservoir Dogs
Nights of Cabiria
The Seventh Seal
Modern Times
The Philadelphia Story
The Lady Eve
The Wild Bunch
Meet John Doe
The Big Lebowski
The Matrix
The Big Sleep
The Royal Tenebaums
The Third Man
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Lone Star
Sunset Blvd

Epic: 12/29
Long: 10/29
Violent: 11/29
Sausage Fest: 7.5/27

Hmm, well, that's what I thought. My tastes in film have, in the past 5 years or so, gotten much less epic, violent, long, and dudetacular (I still love Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, though). I might starting rating all films based on those 4 factors, as well. That'll be fun.

1 comment:

Robot said...

Dude - you're not old.