Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Ten top 10's for the AFI special...

I can’t really predict what the AFI will choose for their 10 top 10’s, but these are the choices I would make, alphabetical by genre. Animation – 101 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast, Cars, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Fantasia, Finding Nemo, Hoppity Goes to Town, The Mask, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Toy Story (Too bad Nick Park’s short films collected as The Amazing Adventures of Wallace and Gromit aren’t eligible, they all deservedly won Oscars. Jason and the Argonauts, belongs here too but was a mix of live-action and animation; Ray Harryhausen was a true artist. Mary Poppins should be here also another live-animation mix.) Courtroom Drama – 12 Angry Men, Adam’s Rib, Anatomy of a Murder, Breaker Morant, The Caine Mutiny, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, Runaway Jury, To Kill a Mockingbird, Witness for the Prosecution (Is Agatha Christie's Witness going to be considered a mystery instead? if so, put The Rainmaker here. Definitely not Kramer vs Kramer or A Few Good Men, they'll probably include both due to popularity, and Adam's Rib was really a comedy anyway, but you gotta put it somewhere.) Epic – The Bridge On the River Kwai, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Gandhi, The Gangs of New York, Gladiator, Hero (the Chinese one with Jet Li), The Last Emperor, Lawrence of Arabia, Patton, The Seven Samurai (If Seven Samurai is elibigle, that would replace Ben-Hur, which was pretty boring other than the ship battle and the chariot race. Sergi Bondarchuk's 7-hr Russian "War and Peace" should be here too, but was also, like the book, way too long and had a Hollywood ending; but it did have 250,000 Red Army extras and cost 100 million in the early 70's; that's like a trillion now, right? Which was really a better film: Doctor Zhivago or Reds?) I've got SIX best pictures listed... Fantasy – 5000 Fingers of Doctor T, Babe, Batman, Dr. Strangelove, Field of Dreams, Ghostbusters, It’s a Wonderful Life, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy, Raiders of the Lost Ark (Will they consider a trilogy as one or three separate films? To me, if it’s one story then it’s one long film. With Pirates, I liked Dead Man’s Chest the most, and Return of the King from the Rings trilogy) Gangster – The Big Sleep, Bonnie and Clyde, The Departed, The Godfather, The Godfather II, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America, Pulp Fiction, The Replacement Killers, Witness (didn't know where to put this; if not eligible, then The Yakuza. Little Caesar belong here as well: "You can still dish it out but you just can't take it anymore!") Mystery – The Conversation, Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, Memento, The Name of the Rose, Out of the Past, Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, The Sixth Sense, Sleuth (Is Maltese Falcon really a gangster film, and is Silence a mystery, or suspense, where you know the criminal beforehand?) Romantic Comedy – A Room With a View, Annie Hall, The Graduate, Groundhog Day, Hannah and Her Sisters, My Fair Lady, Parenthood, Raising Arizona, Shakespeare in Love, When Harry Met Sally (Are both A Room with a View and Much Ado About Nothing ineligible since they’re both British? They definitely belong here. If Room or Shakespeare are ineligible, I would add Beautiful Girls to this genre, maybe even Singin' in the Rain: "I ain't people, I am a shining star in the firmament".) Science Fiction – 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Back to the Future, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact, The Empire Strikes Back, E.T., The Matrix, Star Wars Trilogy, Terminator 2 (The Road Warrior belongs here but is it really science fiction, or action/adventure? A better film than half of these! If they break up the Star Wars trilogy, I liked The Empire Strikes Back the best) Sports – Breaking Away, Cinderella Man, Friday Night Lights, Glory Road, Hoop Dreams, Million Dollar Baby, The Natural, Pride of the Yankees, Raging Bull, Seabiscuit remake. (They’ll have Rocky here but I hated its contrived and predictable story, I kept pulling for him to get pummeled right out of boxing; even the original Bad News Bears was a better sports film. Also, Requiem for a Heavyweight belongs here but wasn’t that a TV movie? Even Golden Boy, bw w William Holden, was a better boxing film) Western – Dances with Wolves, The Grey Fox, High Noon, Hud, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Open Range, Shane, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Unforgiven (Hud is a modern western, doesn’t that count? The Searchers is overrated and racist, I prefer “Yellow Ribbon” of all the John Ford westerns. Lonesome Dove was a tv "mini-series", as was The Broken Trail, but both belong here, and both starred Robert Duvall, as did Open Range; as he put it "my western trilogy".) Author’s Notes: I’m not certain that their list is limited to American films, and if not I would definitely place Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (French, one novel in two parts) in epic, City of God (Brazil) in gangster, and Diva (French) in mystery. I’m also not sure if they will consider Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon a U.S. or Chinese film, nor if they would consider Dr. Strangelove a fantasy, but this is such a great film that it belongs somewhere; technically it’s a comedy, but not “romantic”, same with Airplane! and M*A*S*H. Is Field of Dreams a Fantasy or a Sports film? I’ve often had this argument with people, it’s a parable about the spiritual realm, and uses baseball for a metaphor, but is not about a sport. I’m also certain that the AFI will include some films I think are highly overrated like Gone With the Wind and Rocky

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure, and not trying to be snarky, but the name of the organization is the American Film Institute.

Their lists are of American flicks, so the inclusion of foreign movies is strictly out of bounds.

Jose Sinclair said...

I thought they might be limited to American films but then they had the decidedly British "Lawrence of Arabia" at the top of epics, also "2001: a Space Odyssey" was a British film, tops in SF, just happened to be made by an American director living in England (Kubrick). I guess they can stretch it into "films from American studios" and include just about everything.

Re the name: is isn't "Institute of American Films", either, so it's a little confusing...

hence, "World's Best Films" title, why limit any potential list?

... El Presidente ...