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'Apocalypse Now' voted greatest film of the last 25 years

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Christou, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    "Apocalypse Now," Francis Ford Coppola's surreal account of a journey to the heart of darkness during the Vietnam War, has been voted the greatest film of the last quarter-century by British film experts.

    In a poll organized by the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine, the 1979 epic beat Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" into second place and Ingmar Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander" into third.

    "Apocalypse Now deserves its position for being a richly complex, madcap experiment in war film-making that comes off because it never falls from the tightrope it walks between extravagance and profundity," Sight & Sound editor Nick James said in a statement.

    A panel of 50 British film experts were asked to consider 259 films made between 1978 and now.

    In a similar poll conducted by the same magazine earlier this year, Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" was the named the best film of all time."
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Here's the top 10 films of the past 25 years as polled in Sight & Sound.
    1. Apocalypse Now (Francie Ford Coppola, 1979)
    2. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
    3. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
    4. GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
    5. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
    6. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
    7. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
    8. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)
    9. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
    10.Once Upon A Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1983)
    10.Yi yi (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang, 1999)
    To be honest I'm happy that Apocalypse Now is number 1, and its nice to see
    Blade Runner in there too.
    The biggest omissions in my opinion is Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, easily better than most of those films.[​IMG]
     
  3. JonZ

    JonZ Well-Known Member

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    Yea Shindlers belongs in there. So do the first 2 Godfather films.

    Very cool to see Blade Runner and Once Upon A Time..... which are 2 film I adore.
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    Interesting list, but one that I disagree with a lot. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Well-Known Member

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    Steve,
    Have you actually seen all the films on that list, or you are guessing that the Spielberg films are better than the ones you haven't seen?
    All such lists are by definition problematic, and I can certainly think of many films that I would put there. Saving Private Ryan though, is absolutely, positively not one of them. My only quibble with the films actually on the list is Chungking Express -- I thought that Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love is clearly better.
    Ted
     
  6. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Well-Known Member

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    Godfather part I and II were made before 1977, the 25 year cutoff date, so they did not count in the Sight and Sound poll. I have read many polls where it was unanimous that Citizen Kane is the best of the first 1/2 of the 20th century, while Godfather is the best of the second half. As for omissions, I believe that the biggest snubs were Schindler's List and Ran, two films either which could have been the best film of the past 25 years. Other snubs, although not in the same category as Schindler and Ran, are Amadeus, the Deer Hunter, The Wings of Desire, and the Last Emperor. Saving Private Ryan was a good movie, but I wouldnt even put it on a top ten list of the 90's, nonetheless in a top ten list of the past 25 years. Also, I don't think that Blade Runner belongs on this list. Maybe top 20, but not in the top ten, and I dont see Blue Velvet or Chungking Express being top ten material. But then again, this list was compiled by a bunch of snobbish Euro types, so what do you expect.
     
  7. Luc D

    Luc D Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't think that Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan should be on that list, but I would have liked to have seen Eyes Wide Shut somewhere. Still, those are all fine films.
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    One other thing. I'll admit there's a couple of those films I haven't seen, so I might be wrong, but I don't think there's a single comedy in that list. I have a real problem with that, as I think comedy is routinely underrated on such lists. If this list were entitled the greatest 'dramatic' films of the last 25 years, it'd sit a lot better with me.
     
  9. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Ted I've seen seven of the eleven films listed, the other four don't interest me whatsoever. Yeah I would think Saving Private Ryan is absolutely, positively better than at least 6 of those films including the ones that don't interest me [much hair pulling and teeth grinding ensues].[​IMG]
    ps. What! No Titanic in the top 10? For shame![​IMG]
     
  10. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Well-Known Member

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  11. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Well-Known Member

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    Steve, while Titanic was a great movie and a great ride, I would not put it in the top 10 of the last twenty five years, hell it is even a movie that I wouldnt put into the top 10 of the last ten years. I think that certain movies, when put in polls or rankings, should be grouped into two different categories: Great Films and Great Cinematic Achievements. For example, of the last ten or fifteen years, I would rate (in no particular order) that some of the best films made were American Beauty, LA Confidential, Schindler's List, Goodfellas, Shawshank Redemption, The Insider, Fargo, Unforgiven, The Crying Game, etc. etc. As for Great Cinematic Achievments, I would group Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Amelie, Memento, Braveheart, Crouching Tiger, Dances With Wolves. The difference that I see between the two groups of movies is that the Film group are not exactly ground-breaking in narrative or visual style, but are more about refinement and fludity in the writing, directing and editing which ultimately lead to an engrossing and remarkable film. For example, LA Confidential was a true Hollywood Noir in every sense, but with sharp writing, great directing, and great performances, the movie unfolded and created an amazing climax and ending that no one would soon forget. With Great Cinematic Achievements, either through the sheer size and scope or the implementation of a thoroughly new narrative and/or visual style is how said film makes its mark. For an example of this, look at either the huge scale of Braveheart, or the harrowing opening 25 mins of SPR, or the backwards structure of Memento, etc. etc. Sometimes, a film can be included in both categories, but for the most part, I see a great film being either/or. So, is #1 in the Film category better than #1 in the Great Cinematic Achievement category? I am not to say. But for the most part, I can enjoy a great "Film" more, and more repeatedly, than a "Great Cinematic Achievement."
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

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    May I ask a dumb question? Which version of Apocalypse Now was chosen? And did the magazine make any comments on the relative merits of the two versions? Personally I would think that the original was Milius dominating, and the re-ducks was Coppola dominating, the scriptwriting.
     
  13. Thi Them

    Thi Them Well-Known Member

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    Steve, which four haven't you seen?

    ~T
     
  14. Tim RH

    Tim RH Well-Known Member

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    What, no Star Wars? There are obviously no fanboys in Britain. [​IMG]
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Chung: Steve was freaking kidding in his post. He wasn't seriously suggesting that Titanic would be ranked with so august a list of of films. No popcorn crap is acknowledged by Sight & Sound's editors. Steve's entire post was meant in jest. JB
     
  16. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Well-Known Member

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    Surprised to see Chungking Express and Yi Yi on the list representing the Asian cinema. I, too, thought if a Wong film would be on the list, it would be In the Mood For Love. Perhaps the voters felt that Chungking was more of an ambitious and groundbreaking work. Yi Yi is a fine film, but I wonder why they specifically choose it compared to the other films from Taiwan. And I also wonder, was the Decalogue one of the choices?
     
  17. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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  18. andrew markworthy

    andrew markworthy Well-Known Member

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    a good list - certainly all the movies on it are first rate. I think In the Mood For Love is better than Chungking Express (though the latter is a good movie).

    Sorry all those HTFers I know and love who are Spielberg fans, but I personally think he hit his peak with ET and everything since has been worth watching (with the exception of Hook, which is just embarrassing) but not 'great'. IMHO Private Ryan tails off after the (admittedly brilliant) first 20 minutes, and sorry,but whilst the story of Schindler deserves telling, I thought the stylistic moves got in the way of the story.
     
  19. Bill J

    Bill J Well-Known Member

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    I definitely agree with Apocalypse Now being voted number one. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Well-Known Member

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    I like the fact that two of Scorsese's greats are listed very high, and Apocalypse Now certainly is deserving of this kind of recognition as well.
    I would not have minded seeing Pulp Fiction on the list either!
     

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