Archive for the ‘AFI’ Category

Musings on AFI’s list

June 28, 2007

Recently, The American Film Institute released its new list of the top 100 films, updated from 1997.

Back in January, I revealed my own votes for this series. Granted, I picked more than 100 films, but that’s their system’s fault. (Honest!)

Here are the films that made it onto the list but that I didn’t select:

American Graffiti
Annie Hall
The Best Years of Our Lives
Blade Runner
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
City Lights
The Deer Hunter
Double Indemnity
Forrest Gump
The General
Gone with the Wind
The Grapes of Wrath
Modern Times
Raging Bull
Sophie’s Choice
The Sound of Music
A Streetcar Named Desire
Swing Time

West Side Story
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Yankee Doodle Dandy

Movies I haven’t yet seen are marked in bold. So why didn’t I select the other films on this list?

Some of them deserve to be on the list – or, rather, I don’t have a compelling reason to leave them off it. It’s just that technically we were to pick only 100 movies, and as you can see there are plenty of great movies to choose from. So I can’t find fault with movies such as American Graffiti, Annie Hall, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, City Lights, Double Indemnity, Goodfellas, Modern Times

But the others …

Ben-Hur: A fine, fine movie, even an epic, but I wonder if the passage of time has blunted its appeal somewhat. It feels more relic than classic.
Blade Runner: A great sci-fi movie, but I probably should see the much-praised director’s cut, which serves to clarify the plot somewhat.
Forrest Gump: I enjoyed this movie immensely in the theater, and it’s a lot of fun, but a classic? One of the 100 best ever? I just can’t see it.
Intolerence: I just wasn’t much of a fan of this. I wonder if some of the silent movies on the list got there because they’re thought of as “ground breaking” movies, rather than being, you know, good.
Titanic: Great special effects, poor acting, no suspense. Not really well written, either. It’s more of a perfect storm of romance movies – there’s a hero, a villain, a couple of conflicts (man versus ship, man versus man, Leo versus overacting) than of good cinema.
West Side Story: Heh. See review here. This movie just plain doesn’t do it for me.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Not a bad movie, but some of the acting was a little, shall we say, overwrought.
Yankee Doodle Dandy: I hadn’t seen this when the voting commenced; since then, I have seen it and would have voted for it.

Then there are all the movies I selected that didn’t make it. There are way too many to list here, so let me list the most egregious omissions, in my estimation, after the jump.

Of course, there are only 100 slots on the Top 100 list, so some of these aren’t there simply because there’s no room – who, indeed, do you take off the list for them? But others, I’m not so sure.

At any rate, the following are movies for which I had voted that did not make AFI’s list.



AFI reveals new Top 100 list

June 21, 2007

The American Film Institute has come up with a new list of the top 100 American films of all time, ten years after their first list.

The entire list can be found here. There are plenty of new entrants, as more-recent films have been included.

Moving way up on the list (as compared with the 1997 list) are such films as The Searchers (up 84 slots, to 12), City Lights (up 65 slots, to 11), Vertigo (up 52 slots, to 9), and Raging Bull (up 20 slots, to 4). Dropping a bit were Bridge on the River Kwai (down 23 slots, to 36), The African Queen (down 48 slots, to 65!), and Ben-Hur (down 28 slots, to 100)

1. How many of these have you seen?
2. What movie or movies have been left off this list?

By my count, I’ve seen 88 of them; it was easier to count the ones I hadn’t seen! The twelve I haven’t seen are:

4. Raging Bull
6. Gone with the Wind
18. The General
23. The Grapes of Wrath
37. The Best Years of Our Lives
40. The Sound of Music
47. A Streetcar Named Desire
53. The Deer Hunter
63. Caberet
82. Sunrise
90. Swing Time
91. Sophie’s Choice

One omission that springs to mind is Mean Streets, or even Dog Day Afternoon or Young Frankenstein.

100 Years … 100 Movies

January 24, 2007

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Movies series, the Institute is coming out with a new list that (they hope) will include movies from the past decade. As an AFI member, I’ve been asked to cast my vote. Essentially, here’s how it works: They list 400 movies, and you get to vote for up to 100 of them. Then you’re allowed five write-in votes, and they ask you to list your top 5 overall to help with tiebreakers. So,without elaborating, here are my 100: (more…)