BFI's Fifty Films a Child should see by Age 14

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brook K, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I don't have time to give my thoughts right now, but will do so later. My kids 6 & 4, have seen 9 of these films (and will see King Kong as soon as the DVD comes out). Not bad considering there are 13 I haven't seen. A number of the films on this list I don't think they're old enough to see yet:

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/education/events/watchthis/

    On 13 July 2005 the bfi (and the Barbican jointly hosted a debate called Watch This! to discuss whether there should be a list of films that all children should see by the age of 14. Participants at the debate, as well as a number of children's film organisations across Europe and individuals including bfi staff, filmmakers and teachers, were invited to submit nominations. The following is an alphabetical list of the ten most recommended films for children to see:

    * Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948, Italy)
    * ET The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982, USA)
    * Kes (Ken Loach, 1969, UK)
    * The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955, USA)
    * Les Quatre Cents Coups (François Truffaut, 1959, France)
    * Show Me Love (Lukas Moodysson, 1998, Sw/Dk)
    * Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001, Japan)
    * Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995, USA)
    * Where is the Friend's House? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987, Iran)
    * The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939, USA)

    Top fifty films for children up to the age of 14

    In alphabetical order:

    * A Day at the Races (Sam Wood, 1937, USA)
    * The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz/William Keighley, 1938, USA)
    * Au revoir les enfants (Louis Malle, 1987, France/W.Germany)
    * Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985, USA)
    * Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale/Kirk Wise, 1991, USA)
    * Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948, Italy)
    * Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry, 2000, UK/France)
    * E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982, USA)
    * Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, 1990, USA)
    * Etre et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002, France)
    * Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton/Lee Unkrich, 2003, USA)
    * It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946, USA)
    * Jason and the Argonauts (Don Chaffey, 1963, UK/USA)
    * Kes (Ken Loach, 1969, UK)
    * The Kid (Charles Chaplin, 1921, USA)
    * King Kong (Merian C.Cooper/Ernest B.Schoedsack, 1933, USA)
    * Kirikou et la sorcière (Michel Ocelot, 1998, France/Belgium/Luxembourg)
    * La Belle et la bête (Jean Cocteau, 1946, France / Luxembourg)
    * Le Voyage dans la lune (Georges Melies, 1902, France)
    * Les Quatre cents coups (Francois Truffaut, 1959, France)
    * Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (Jacques Tati, 1953, France)
    * My Life as a Dog (Lasse Halstrom, 1985, Sweden)
    * My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988, Japan/USA)
    * The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955, USA)
    * Oliver Twist (David Lean, 1948, UK)
    * The Outsiders (Francis Ford Coppola, 1983, USA)
    * Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955, India)
    * Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967, France/Italy)
    * The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987, USA)
    * Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002, Australia)
    * Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981, USA)
    * The Railway Children (Lionel Jeffries, 1970, UK)
    * The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse, 1956, France)
    * Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luhrman, 1996, USA)
    * The Secret Garden (Agnieszka Holland, 1993, UK/USA)
    * Show Me Love (Lukas Moodysson, 1998, Sweden/Denmark)
    * Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly, 1952, USA)
    * Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney, 1937, USA)
    * Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959, USA)
    * The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973, Spain)
    * Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001, Japan)
    * Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977, USA)
    * To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962, USA)
    * Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995, USA)
    * Walkabout (Nicholas Roeg, 1971, UK)
    * Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002, New Zealand)
    * Where is the Friend's House? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987, Iran)
    * Whistle Down the Wind (Bryan Forbes, 1961, UK)
    * The White Balloon (Jafar Panahi, 1995, Iran)
    * The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939, USA)

    This list is based on nominations and votes from those attending the Watch This! debate at the Barbican Cinema on 13 July 2005, from a wide range of individuals, including filmmakers and teachers, and from a number of children's film organisations across Europe.

    While most public debate about children's film viewing focuses on protection rather than entitlement, the Watch This! debate showed how passionately people care about children's film heritage. We know that the films on the list aren't just there because people think they'd be good for children: they're films that people have shown to their own families or to pupils and they know how much children have enjoyed them.

    Both the Top Ten and Top Fifty are surprising, thought-provoking lists and in no way final. Points of possible contention include the shortage of British films represented, the relative lack of cultural diversity and the preponderance of boys as central characters. We hope people will go on arguing about them so that the list can evolve.

    The list demonstrates just how diverse a range of classic and world cinema can be made available to children, and we hope that it will generate further action leading to more diverse and adventurous TV commissioning, DVD publishing, cinema distribution and programming.
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Not a bad list; seen many of them. However, I'm not sure that most kids would sit through most of those. Depends on how mature they are I guess.

    Some glaring omissions (IMO): John Huston's Moby Dick (rewatched this the other night, older kids might dig it), Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Treasure Island. Might add Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein too - my nephews loved that one. [​IMG]

    Walkabout? Ahem, maybe not. I think the pacing alone would kill it for most kids.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    There's a lot more than 13 I haven't seen myself. I'm with Steve on some of those choices. Walkabout seems like a particularly unsuitable one, not only for content but for the theme itself. Night of the Hunter is also a bit baffling to me. Just because it involves kids doesn't make it suitable, or desirable for kids.
     
  4. AlexCremers

    AlexCremers Second Unit

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    There is too much choice these days. Most kids are not educated in cinema. If they can choose between a film from 1955 called 'The Night Of The Hunter' OR ... the latest popcorn from Spielberg called 'War Of The Worlds', guess what they will want to see? And so they miss another opportunity to learn and make progress. In my day, there was only one film on the menu. It was either this film or nothing. How can you develop an appreciation for the finer things in life when you can eat popcorn every day?

    ------------
    Alex Cremers
     
  5. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Billy Wilder's "Some Like it Hot" now required viewing for children? Whaaat? [​IMG]

    I see the Lord of the Rings trilogy isn't up there, too intense? too long? too wordy? Books not famous enough? No men in drag? Not enough sexual innuendo? [​IMG]

    Btw Harry Potter seems to have been given the big heave ho too, what happened? Maybe it was pointless adding it to a list of films children should see...[​IMG]
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Harry Potter movies: Teaching children the magic of not reading. [​IMG]
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well my 5 year old son has seen 20 of those. I've seen 33. I can't judge the ones I haven't seen, but most of the ones I have that I haven't shown my son are ones that I certainly wouldn't do until he's much older, and maybe not even then. I certainly see no reason to try to introduce a child to films like My Life as a Dog, The Night of the Hunter or Walkabout. Maybe to a teenager showing a proclivity for those kinds of films (e.g., a teenage Brook), but certainly not before age 14. [​IMG]
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I agree with Brook in finding the choices interesting and thought-provoking.

    Of course, many of the films are either not suitable or mostly incomprehensible for younger children, but that does not mean that Where is my Friend's House, for example, would not be a very fine choice for all of the very many children who have felt it necessary to face the adult world on their own.

    While I realize that it (and many others) does not necessarily have the entertainment value of the Harry Potter series, it is far more thought-provoking (and I would submit, has a much greater, lasting value) than the cinematic mind candy emblmatic the first two Potter films.

    As for the content and darkness of movies like Night of the Hunter, I would suggest that it is no more unsuitble than Grimms' for children, especially older ones.

    Rather than being concerned about missing films like, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea , I'd opt for the missing Bambi, which for me has never lost its appeal.

    Both John and SteveGon, may have a point as to the pacing of some of the films, but I have found that many children have will give more attention to films with slow pacing than we might think--at least if they have not been overly exposed to TV and the editing of some of Michael Bay's films.

    Personally I think that Walkabout is a fine comming of age film, though I don't find it as compelling as do many. Young teens all struggle with their emerging sense of self, independence and sexuality and many feel the need to face the world on their own.

    To me at least, this subject matter is not unsuitable. It would not, even so make my list, but I can understand its inclusion.
     
  9. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    And therein lies the problem - kids that have grown up on blockbusters and simple children's fare aren't going to have the patience to sit through more slowly-paced films. Of course, I can only go by what my nephews (ages 10 & 13) enjoy...
     
  10. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    My son has seen, and loved Bambi. Of course, he also loves 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I guess my primary problem with this list is that is seems more like "films a 14 year old should see" than films that children should see by 14. Yes, there are films like Wizard of Oz and Snow White on the list, but frankly I think there are far too few films that children should see just because they're children, rather than to prepare them for handling adulthood. I love that my son has seen The Apartment, Rashomon, Bad Day at Black Rock, Casablanca, Gunga Din, and other 'adult' movies, but I'm just as happy to see him being a kid and watching The Parent Trap, Dumbo, The Brady Bunch, The Flintstones, etc.
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    lol, of the top 10, ive only seen one in its entirety, Toy Story :b

    ive had a deprived childhood [​IMG]
     
  12. BrettGallman

    BrettGallman Screenwriter

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    I'm quite surprised by the lack of "Superman." It seems to me that every kid should see that one, considering the iconic status of the character. I'm happy to see "Back to the Future" getting some respect though; I always loved that one as a kid.
     
  13. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Instead of "Spirited Away", I'd probably put "Totoro". It is shorter, and probably more kid friendly.

    Jason
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Everyone of course, has their own criteia; but for me, iconic status of the central character does not equal either well made or must see.

    None of the above means that I did not enjoy Superman, nor that me son did not enjoy it when he was young. Only that there are many more films deserving of 'must see' status than Superman.
     
  15. DonMac

    DonMac Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve Christou

    I personally would prefer that kids read Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books instead of see the movies. Kids don't read enough as is, so these books are at least a good start in getting them to read instead of watch everything as the movie-version.
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    That's the first one that popped up in my mind as "Eh?". I'm not even sure what the rationale is given the creepy ass preacher.
     
  17. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    BOTH of them are on the full list. Spirited Away is the movie I'd recommend kids see the first time they get high, personally. [​IMG]
     
  18. Geremia P.

    Geremia P. Stunt Coordinator

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    The movie's basically a fairy tale about a dysfunctional family with an abusive father figure. Kids could do worse than to learn from the two young protagonists who escape from the abuse and find refuge in a community of support.
     
  19. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    A good list, such as it is...

    If I were designing a list like this for an intelligent, well-rounded youth, in the hopes of instilling a love of good, classic cinema, helping to instill or reinforce certain core values, or even just to spark some needed dialogue, I'd toss in a few other gems (including a couple more modern offerings):

    The Day The Earth Stood Still

    12 Angry Men

    Magnificent Obsession

    Little Women (1949)

    Imitation Of Life (1959)

    Kramer vs Kramer

    Shenandoah

    Rocky

    Sounder

    The Yearling

    Village Of The Damned/Children Of The Damned (originals)

    The Good Son

    Black Beauty (1971)

    Melody

    Powder

    Gone With The Wind

    Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (haven't seen Charlie yet so can't comment, but from reviews I've read I think it'd probably be added as well)

    Midnight Cowboy (heh heh...just seeing if you were paying attention)

    At least one of the better-known Shirley Temple movies, one of the better Lassie movies, and at least one version of Heidi


    Some films obviously better suited to certain ages within the 14-and-under range. I'm sure that some will dispute some of my choices, but I personally feel that these could all be worthwhile and age-appropriate viewing experiences, if handled properly (and discussed afterwards, as needed).
     
  20. James Fucich

    James Fucich Agent

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    This list is flawed IMHO. Where is "The Black Stallion" 1979?
     

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