The polarization going on in our spinning society isn’t political so much as intellectual. The less educated revel in what they know while the vaguely educated are forever pretending cleverness. The radical devolution of film provides graphic examples.
While the Marvel Soap Operas are a harbinger of the end of us, the film snobs are not making anything better with their pronouncements. Sight & Sound, a touchstone for great filmmaking recently published its #1 Film of all time. It wasn’t The Godfather, Citizen Kane, not even Aguirre, Wrath of God, but instead: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.
And while Chantal Ackerman’s three-hour marathon is right up my alley of slow cinema, it most certainly is not the best film ever made. It is a test in patience, of understanding the irrelevance of anything, something like that, but there is no story, certainly not a story that takes three hours to tell.
A series of static images of day-to-day life does deserve our attention, especially from a woman’s perspective, but this is storytelling is not for very many at all.
Granted that Best Films of All Time lists are a sophomoric thing, but I do wish the list-makers made more of an attempt at inclusion – not box office mojos or political issues – but films that we will watch and relate to as a connected society.
Welcome once again to my can’t-miss list of the greatest films ever made. To review, the criteria is as rudimentary as I can make it: a) The immediate impact of the film and b) The compulsive need to see the film again and again. Yes, these are films I will think of on my death bed. The top ten films ever made..:
1. Aguirre, Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, Germany, 1972)
Indelible line: “I am the wrath of God. Who else is with me?” (Aguirre)
Lasting impression: The futility of man’s desires
2. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, US, 2007)
Indelible line: “What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a coin toss?” (Chigurh)
Welcome back to my can’t-miss list of the greatest films ever made. Once again the criteria is basic, almost instinctual: a) The immediate impact of the film and b) The compulsive need to see the film again and again. In other words, these films are not only entertaining but will leave a lifelong imprint on your brain. And so the next ten of the greatest films ever made..
11. Adaptation (Spike Jonze, US, 2002)
Indelible line: “What if the writer is trying to create a story where nothing happens?” (Charlie)
Lasting impression: Kaufmann breaks every screenwriting rule to create an incomparable script
12. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, US, 2006)
Indelible line: “Why a fox? Why not a horse, or a beetle, or a bald eagle? Who am I?”
Lasting impression: Kylie’s eyes and lots of frantic digging
13.2001 (Stanley Kubrick, UK/US, 1968)
Indelible line: “I’m sorry, Dave. I am afraid I can’t do that.” (HAL 9000)
Lasting impression: Silence, punctuated by breathing, in space
Looking for a film to watch? Welcome to my can’t-miss list of the greatest films ever made. Rather than employ a convoluted set of criteria, citing genres, eras, directors, etc, I use two basic guiding principles: a) The immediate impact of the film and b) The compulsive need to see the film again and again. In other words, these films are not only entertaining but will leave a lifelong imprint on your brain. Without further ado, here are films #21-30…
21. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, US, 1976)
Indelible line: “How you got to teach a course in anything is amazing!” (Marshall McLuhan)
Lasting impression: A marvelous array of one-liners and gags
22. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, US, 1973)
Indelible line: “Yeah, let’s talk business, Mike. First of all, you’re done.” (Moe Greene)
Lasting impression: Anti-heroes bathed in golden light