Distrurbing reading? (Empire Magazine's top 50 movies of all time readers poll)

SteveGon

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There's something wrong with any "greatest movies" list that doesn't include The Third Man...
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He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
-- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
 

Jeffrey Forner

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So, is this list meant to prove that people are idiots? I knew that long before I saw this list.
I suspect that most people responded to this poll by answering their favorite movies, i.e. the ones they like to watch the most. Hence a movie like Star Wars ends up at the top of the list.
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-J.Fo
"Why do I always get a warped one?"
 

Edwin-S

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So people are stupid because they voted for movies that gave them the most entertainment value? They would be more intelligent if they voted for films they didn't care for? As an example...if I voted for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as one of my top 50 movies (I found it entertaining), I'm an idiot but if I voted for "Magnolia" (even though I found it immensely boring), I would be a film connoisseur?
These "greatest of" and "tops of all time" lists are useless. What is the greatest movies of all time for one person is another persons crappiest films ever. A large group of people declare "Citizen Kane" to be the best film of all time and anyone who disagrees with them suddenly is ignorant of the "art" of film.....or in other words, idiots because they dare to disagree with the "knowledgeable connoisseur". BTW, I am using CK merely as an example.
I liked "Citizen Kane" but to declare it, out of the thousands and thousands of films made worldwide since the advent of cinema, the "greatest film of all time" is as absurd as making the same claim of "Star Wars". I think there should be less emphasis on ranking films because it reduces them from creative endeavors to bottom line commodities. I never hear of ranking classical artists work...such as...."Van Gogh's SUNFLOWERS is the greatest painting of all time".
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andrew markworthy

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If my memory isn't totally failing me, approximately half the movies on the list have appeared in more 'serious' recent lists, in *roughly* the order given below (please don't nit-pick over the ordering, I'm only doing this as an illustration!). The place in the Empire poll is given in parentheses:
28) Citizen Kane
38) Gone with the Wind
17) The Godfather: Part II
04) The Godfather
33) 2001: A Space Odyessy
36) Lawrence of Arabia
26) Apocalypse Now
15) Casablanca
24) Some Like it Hot
50) Vertigo
48) Dr Strangelove
41) Singin' in the Rain
47) Rear Window
44) The Searchers
30) It's a Wonderful Life
42) Raging Bull
01) Star Wars: A New Hope
22) Schindler's List
21) The Silence of the Lambs
08) Goodfellas
37) Taxi Driver
13) Jaws
16) Blade Runner
23) Alien
49) One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
[Edited last by andrew markworthy on October 15, 2001 at 03:08 AM]
 

Jin E

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I can not for the life of be belive that anyone would vote Big Lebowski as LOW as #35. Definitly should have been MUCH MUCH higher... even as high as #1. What a farce. You want a toe? I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock, with nail polish!
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-Jin
My Theater
 

paul o'donnell

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I liked "Citizen Kane" but to declare it, out of the thousands and thousands of films made worldwide since the advent of cinema, the "greatest film of all time" is as absurd as making the same claim of "Star Wars". I think there should be less emphasis on ranking films because it reduces them from creative endeavors to bottom line commodities. I never hear of ranking classical artists work...such as...."Van Gogh's SUNFLOWERS is the greatest painting of all time".
Indeed. Ranking my faves borders on impossibility.
 

Chuck Mayer

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This whole thing is ridiculous. I am not sure I understand your point, Dan. I think Dome said it best. Movies entertain. Sometimes they educate, sometimes they cause reflection, but I don't need them to grow as a person. I enjoy the "elitists," if only because their seriousness is high comedy. I am happy with who I am, and the movies I like. If they want to look down on me for my "layman's opinion," that is fine. Their opinion is meaningless. If they were TRULY intellectual, they would read books, but they are too lazy for the reading requirements of being an intellectual. So, the point is, "they" don't matter. My list of favorite/best movies looks nothing like Empire's or the Academy's, or the AFI's. Some people hate what I like, and like what I don't. So what?
I don't want everyone to like what I like and dislike what I dislike. I don't want to look down on someone for something as petty and meaningless as taste in movies. They are ALL movies. Not films, not art, MOVIES. Some are more well-made, some are better-written, and some are more fun. I like what I like, and F the rest. Rant over. I am sorry.
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He had a plan. Maybe you just didn't see it 'til it hit you between the eyes. But, it started to make sense... in a Tyler sort of way. No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.
 

Dan Brecher

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Ok, first thing I have to say: arggggggghhhhh
On with the show....
quote:
I see what your saying and I do agree with you for the most part. I tried having an conversation about the Matrix with a friend of mine, and he rated it as the best film he had ever seen. When I asked him why, he just commented on the fights and special effects and the "slow motion bullets".[/quote]
That's exactly my point, Simon. My rant here comes across as making (slightly) more sense if you're a Brit, I swear.
I've got Dome here taking what I've said the wrong way thinking I'm having a go at peoples personal tastes in movies, when I'm not, I'm really just highlighting changing attitudes and how British media is playing to that.
I'm not saying everyone who voted in that poll feels such a way, but my point was (and you now agree) that the general consensus would seem to be exactly that, and over the years I've seen the likes of Empire play to this crowd and its lost them sales because the general quality of the content and reviews has just dropped, and that's a shame to me because in its day it really was, in my eyes, a great publication up unto 1997.
quote: I guess I have a good amount of Joe 6 Pack in me as I find that I really, really rate movies the highest by how they affect me emotionally (as opposed to a film student or critic who will very methodically disect a movie to no end).[/quote]
I hate the film student/critic approach too. I dislike being so analytical, studying every frame, it's not what film is there for.
quote: I'll even be more frank, Dan. I don't care about people's negative criticism of movies and so forth. But what I do care about is when guys like you attack other people and their tastes in movies. Instead of trying to point people in a direction of opening up their experiences to other movies, you've instead decided to attack them for their tastes and what you call invalid reasoning in voting for their movies. That is clear snobbery and you oughta be ashamed of yourself.[/quote]
First thing I admitted my words were going to make me sound out to be a snob, unintentionally, and I knew my words, to an extent, would be misinterpreted. MANY of those movies on that list I love, I could not care less if someone hails Gladiator as one of the best movies they have seen. I liked it, i'ts fine and dandy if they adore every frame of it. Let me stress I am not low enough to argue with someone's opinion on a movie should it differ from that of my own.
What I am highlighting the list for is this, it's the sudden change in this country in how we take to movies that is somewhat frustrating to me.
I touched upon this above with Empire magazine. There's a general push to love and praise contemporary classics, and that's fine, that's absolutely great actually, but focus on classics pre-1990s is really fading here in what I read and what I see on television, so when you see things like this one has to consider how many people are aware of many of these classics of the past. Stands to reason if they love so many of those great movies listed above, they'd approach older films with open arms, but I'm not seeing it happen and I am scratching my head as to why.
A top 100 may have given a better insight, which is why I will be watching this televised top 100 poll of the nations favorite movies this winter with interest.
quote: So, is this list meant to prove that people are idiots?[/quote]
Not at all. You're not an idiot if you know what you like, and these people love the movies listed above. What it shows is the general shift in tastes in what people feel are likely to stand the test of time as all time classics, in their minds. Is THAT what bothers me? Sort of, interests me more then bothers me, but like I say above, peoples love for the listed movies here should in some respects open their eyes to classics that predate the 1970s but it's just not happening, and I don't want to see such greats forgotten by the general public because when it comes to rating movies, it's public opinion that matters most!
Gentlemen, what I seem to be ranting on about I have tried my best to once again reiterate in this post. This thread has got way out of hand, partly due to my inability to voice my thoughts in a manner that lacks snobbery and the general misunderstanding of much of what I'd stated in the said previous posts.
Dan (UK)
[Edited last by Dan Brecher on October 15, 2001 at 10:05 AM]
 

Chuck Mayer

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Dan,
From your other posts, I know the concept that you would be a "snob" is inaccurate. I take great pleasure in discussing movies on this forum, because I love movies, not HT (I am not a tech-head at all, but thank you to those that are - you make my movies better and more enjoyable). I understand your point somewhat, but you just tapped into that rage I feel against people whose lives are so small, they enjoy making fun of other people's choices on a SUBJECTIVE matter. I know this is not you, Dan. Sometimes, we all do it. But some thrive on it (it's basically our version of Comic-Book Guy). The point is, that Empire list is as good as any other. IMHO, at least it had Fight Club on it...no other "group" ever will, no matter how many of us love it. That's all...it was a rant, not directed at a person. Sorry, and take care.
Sincerely,
Chuck
 

Brad_W

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I think the whole arguement (in my opinion) is that the people of the poll were probably of a younger generation and probably have not seen many older classics from which to compare their "best of all time" consensis. I, myself, am only 25 and most of my movie/film experience has been of the late '80s and beyond, however, I have made a point to watch a lot of classics to better my judgment of what society thinks as "all time" best movies/films as opposed to my personal "all time" best movies/films (for comparison purposes and to know where good film originates). If the poll was taken by the late 20s/30-something crowd it may have been different. But then again, I may have no idea of what I'm talking about.
-Brad "no idea what I'm talking about" W.
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Allen Hirsch

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I THINK I "get" Dan's point.
He's not "attacking" anyone's tastes - on balance, the '90s films that rated so highly in that poll ARE good films. But, what's lacking, and so frustrating, is the lack of PERSPECTIVE. Most likely, these are younger viewers who voted who haven't even seen most of the "older" movies that many of us consider great. Or, if they have, they still didn't rate them as highly as the more accessible, popular films of the past 10 years or so. It's too bad, but it's not as disturbing to me as what passes for "taste" in the U.S., I'm afraid.
Here in the U.S., it's much worse, I think. The studios have resorted to the worst sort of "popularity pandering", IMO. I've now seen several of them gear their ad campaigns, proclaiming their most recently-released movie "the #1 movie in America" - based on - guess what - ONE WEEKEND's boxoffice that they happened to top. Not critical reviews or acclaim - just "we sold more tickets last weekend than anyone else - isn't our movie the best?" If that isn't the stupidest, most short-sighted, meaningless sort of promoting, I don't know what is. (And BTW, in every instance I've followed, that same film was NOT "#1" only a week later - so I don't see how that sort of ad campaign "works" - which may be the only encouraging sign, but the mentality behind it just fries me.)
 

David Oliver

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I am still waiting for the HTF post that is something to the effect of "Wow, this 100 Best _________ of all time list Is dead on right. An excellent compilation. I acnnot see how anyone can argue with it."
I am not saying folks shouldn't discuss these kinds of lists, they are interesting, I just don't understand why some seem to get so emotional about it?
 

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