Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So I'm Working on This List...

What kind of list? Why, a list of my one hundred favorite movies, of course. And doing anything that involves coming up with one hundred anythings is going to be a bitch, as indeed this has so far proved to be. It's not difficult only because it's hard to whittle the titles down to a mere (!) hundred, although that's part of it. A bigger obstacle has been trying to figure out just how much I like a particular movie.

I'm trying to do this with no ego, you understand. If School of Rock was one of my personal favorite movies (which it isn't, though I do enjoy it), then I would, due to the Blogger Code of Ethics to which I adhere so unwaveringly, include it on this list. But I've been finding myself considering certain films that would belong, very broadly, to the same category as School of Rock (ie, not the kind of film you're supposed to admit is one of your all-time favorites) and thinking, "Yeah, but is it one of my favorites? Am I overstating its appeal to myself in order to appear more honest and ego-free?" Conversely, I'm looking at more quote-unquote important and classic and old movies that I do genuinely like, but perhaps have never regarded as a favorite and thinking "Well, it's really damn good. It's not like you don't think it's good, or anything. You could put it up there with a clear conscience, and then nobody would fucking ask you why it was left off your goddamn list of favorite movies."

Not only that, but what about more obscure movies, that might prove that my travels in this glorious world which we call Cinematografo (or at least I do -- me, and a few others) has not been the equivelant of taking a trip to Paris and only hitting the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the, I don't know, the Big Paris Church, before dining at the Hard Rock Cafè (which is authentic because of that thing above the "e"). But one must be honest about these things, and I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about how highly I regard Moran of the Lady Letty*(which I've never even seen, so no worries about that one).

What I'm saying to you is, this whole list-making thing is a fucking mental drain, for someone like me -- someone whose own brain hates him, in other words. Hell, right now I'm thinking that just by writing this post, everyone's going to regard the actual list, when it goes up in a day or two, as hopelessly compromised. All I can do is offer you, My Constant and Loving Reader/Fans, that the list that you will read will have been ruthlessly scoured of all dishonest selections, so that each movie found thereon could, should you choose to do so, be comfortably eaten off of.

So, like I say, in a day or two. See you then!

*I wondered what movie might count as obscure enough to make that line work for the kind of cinephile reader I'm used to seeing around here. My own scrambling memory was offering me nothing useful, so I had to search on-line for something appropriate. It took me a while, too, because when you type "obscure movies" into Google, you'll find, as I did, that for a lot of people, Rear Window counts.


Greg said...

Favorite movies are quite varied for most. I always mention how much I love Logan's Run and yet each time I see it it seems worse than the time before. And yet I still love it despite it being a ripe chunk of seventies cheese. I also pretty much love Smokey and the Bandit and I'm not afraid to say it.

But if I go through my favorite films of all time, the ones I can watch again and again, it usually does come down to what I think is the best as well because in all honesty, unless a movie has a lot to offer in terms of visuals, story and character, I just can't return to it over and over. Still, there are plenty of 50's sci-fi I would rank as well as several action-adventure flicks from the 50s through the 70s.

bill r. said...

Well, sure. Right now, I'm trying to think of a movie that I honestly consider a favorite that I don't also think is completely defensible, and I'm having trouble. That doesn't mean I won't take shit for some of them, but that's different.

Word verification: uncologi. If that's how your hospital or doctor spells "oncology", go elsewhere.

Marilyn said...

I've seen Moran of the Lady Letty. It's actually a pretty good film. Dorothy Dalton (and of course, Rudy) is really wonderful.

bill r. said...

I've seen Moran of the Lady Letty...


Marilyn said...

What's cool about it is that Moran (Dalton) is undoubtedly a lesbian, but she gets shocked straight by the wonderfulness that is Rudolph Valentino. What girl wouldn't!

Patricia Perry said...

Bill -

It's hard to make lists like these. I put up a "Top 12 Films of the Decade" list at my blog but not without bitching about how hard it was to parse. In the end, I picked 12 (then upped it to 13 when I realized I'd overlooked "Mulholland Drive") and left the criteria as "These are the films I'll remember most fondly from the decade past."
I also, unapoligetically, included "Bridget Jones's Diary" simply becuase I still really like it, even after watching it more times than I'd ever freely admit. Is it a film for the ages? No, but in a decade where romantic comedies have become almost universally anemic, formulaic showpieces of product placement, this one actually is both romantic and comedic.

Hell, Stepanie Zacharek on Salon even put "Pootie Tang" in her Best of the Decade. Everyone gets a wackadoo personal choice or two, if you ask me.

As for a Favorite 100 Films of all time list - the very thought of compiling one makes me want to lie down and take a good,long nap. But kudos to you for the effort. I'll look forward to seeing your list.

bill r. said...

Thanks, Pat. There will be some comedies on my list that might get me an askance look or two, but that's fine. I think they're truly funny movies, and, anyway, I'm not one to look down my nose at something that genuinely makes me laugh.

And I've actually heard very good things about POOTIE TANG. Louis CK, the guy who directed and at least co-wrote it, is one of the funniest people alive right now, in my view, so I've always been curious about that one. It's gathered a pretty sizable cult over the years, too.

Neil Fulwood said...


I've nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award. Details here:


bill r. said...

Goodness! Thank you so much, Neil! I'm genuinely honored.

Alan said...

Slavoj Zizek, noted Slav uber-brain (??), includes The Sound of Music as one of his ten favourite films of all time (see link below). By that yardstick, you're pretty much obligated to stick in your top 100 a handful of "I know it's probably crap but I actually love it" films.