Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Cine-Ma's Latest List

I love films. That's not to say that I watch and rewatch the same movies incessantly and am always very initially open-minded about films (rather, I am very skeptical, critical {perhaps hypercritical} and contrarian), but once I've viewed something a few times and it starts to really soak into my brain--and provided it's at least halfway decent--I am pretty quick to judge and know what I like.

That being said, I think the AFI comes out with their lists just to irritate people! (Should I call it a film flimflam? Nah, I'll just drop the hint.) I know you can't please all the people all the time, but gee whiz.

I have no idea when this poll came out; it says 2008, but I wonder if it was only recently released. My local news carried a story on their Web page, no longer there, about an AFI "Top 10" poll and I was intrigued. Just too slow to read the story. It was only on their site, that I saw, for a day within the last week, and I returned today and couldn't find it.

In any case, the AFI has/had released another list about the Top Film in 10 Classic Genres (they showcase the top 1 in each genre, but have actually listed 10 in each genre). I would like to offer my 2 cents' worth on these genres, as a Cine-Ma (I'm not a professional film critic, but I play one at home and abroad ... funny; a broad abroad!) who enjoys and critiques films of many genres. Do let me know what you think, too! All of the films I have on my list will be ones I have viewed at least once in their entirety, but sometimes it is in the distant past. I have not viewed all the AFI's favorites, however; most notable among those I've never seen in their entirety are "Raging Bull," "The Godfather," "Citizen Kane," and "Lawrence of Arabia." Only the latter two am I sheepish to admit, frankly.

THEIRS (Link here:
1. Animation: Snow White
2. Romantic Comedy: (Charles Chaplin's) City Lights
3. Western: (John Wayne) The Searchers
4. Sports: Raging Bull
5. Mystery: Vertigo
6. Fantasy: Wizard of Oz
7. Sci-Fi: 2001: A Space Odyssey
8. Gangster: The Godfather
9. Courtroom Drama: To Kill a Mockingbird
10. Epic: Lawrence of Arabia

MINE (unless I say so, in no particular order if I name more than one film in a genre):
1. Animation: Fantasia (by far, the best); Bambi; Dumbo {Their list is filled with a lot of the typical, mediocre modern crud, by the way.}
2. Romantic Comedy: City Lights; Love & Death (Woody Allen; far better than Annie Hall); Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (not sure this fits the genre, but since they included a few in their list that contain social commentary, I am, too, by golly!); and History of the World Part I (Mel Brooks)
3. Western: Not a favorite genre in which I've widely viewed, but here goes. Old Clint Eastwood movies (i.e., not The Unforgiven); Blazing Saddles; and Millionaire's Express (a Hong Kong movie)
4. Sports: Rocky (by far better than "Raging Bull," I'm going to say); Enter the Dragon; and Jackie Chan's Drunken Master (hey, AFI, martial arts is a sport, and a heckuva lot more difficult than hitting a small spool of thread with a honkin' huge lump of lumber, as much via the power of your beer-and-bratwurst gut as of your arms, or of running for 5 whole seconds straight (if that) then being hit by a fat guy who is vaguely (or more) reminiscent of "Pizza the Hut" in Mel Brooks' classic "Space Balls."
5. Mystery: Rear Window. I would have put "North by Northwest" slightly ahead, but, to me, that's a little more of a thriller than it is a mystery. RW is a clear-cut mystery (well, as clear as a muddy little gem of a never-seen-on-screen murder that may or may not be a murder can be!). Also, under AFI's seeming criteria, I think "Jaws" would qualify. An excellent film, too.
6. Fantasy: Lord of the Rings trilogy; Brazil (if a dystopia); It's a Wonderful Life
7. Sci-Fi: 2001; Planet of the Apes (I can't believe they didn't include this in their list; I mean, I dislike Charlton Heston's politics as much as the next antigun gal, but still); Fahrenheit 451; Blade Runner; Star Wars: A New Hope (part 4, technically, I guess); Terminator (esp. part 1, less so, part 2; not at all part 3); Jurassic Park; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Alien; Space Balls; They Live; and ET
8. Gangster: No vote. I boycott this category! Other than television gangster movies, I can't say any have been memorable or that I've even viewed them. Perhaps Bonnie and Clyde, but I don't know if I've seen that all the way through.
9. Courtroom Drama: Inherit the Wind (better than TKAM); To Kill a Mockingbird
10. Epic: Lord of the Rings trilogy; The Great Dictator; Enter the Dragon; Schindler's List; Planet of the Apes; Star Wars; The Last Samurai (the only list you'll ever see where I've even briefly thought about including a Tom Cruise movie!)

{I'm not sure why "Comedy" didn't make it--other than I think AFI has released a list on this in the past 5 years--but I guess it's the red-headed stepchild of film. Same goes for documentary, I guess.}

Have I left anyone (or anything) good off? Drop me a note or a vote, and we can hash it out together!

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