Sunday, August 18, 2013

Image = My Top 100 Favorites

Over the years I've thought a lot about my favorite films but never made a list. This summer, Entertainment Weekly published their 100 Greatest Movies and their list was missing so many important films (in my not so humble opinion) that I was inspired to produce my own Top 100 List.  What frustrated me most about EW’s list is that they gave no explanation for the creation of it. Genre? Who voted? Why does 79 rank 1 higher than 80? Etc, etc… So, here’s the method to my madness for film. 

My list is based upon the impact films have always made on me. The Top 10 are to me THE BEST because I have watched them over & over and they never lose their effect, 10-20 were seminal to my film education and after that the list is in no real order. I did group indies and films that are similar (in tone or greatness) just for the sake of organization. Creating this list was no small feat and I am not even confident that it’s complete. It was very challenging to choose 100 - I've seen thousands of movies.  

My criteria for a great film:
  • Excellent writing, affecting drama/hysterical comedy and extraordinary acting.
  • Clever & innovative filmmaking or approach to telling the story.
  • I want to see it again & again and it gets better upon repeated viewings.  Funnier, more sad, or more brilliant.  {NOTE: There are movies that are a one hit wonder of viewing, like Beverly Hills Cop. The first time, I laughed my ass off but the second time just wasn’t the same}.
  • I forget I’m watching a movie. 

Some Like it Hot gets more & more hilarious and I have yet to see anything more unique, well-written & artfully executed, so it reigns supreme for me above all other films. The Color Purple is my favorite drama because in addition to brilliant performances and gorgeous cinematography, it is heart wrenching and I cry at the same parts every time. {NOTE: There are movies that are great but too emotional to ever see again like The Accused, Million Dollar Baby & Slumdog Millionaire so they are not on my list}.  

DISCLAIMER: I admit to an affinity for comedy, drama and yes, “chick flicks” and I do not watch much sci-fi or certain acclaimed filmmakers’ work – namely Kubrick, early Scorsese, Lynch, Tarantino, Rodriguez, etc. because I’m a wimp and can’t handle graphic violence. Being raised on Broadway, I feel there are countless great movie musicals, so I was rigorous about including only a few which blow me away. I’ve seen countless great films that are not on this list because despite their excellence, they didn’t stay with me (The King’s Speech, Slingblade). There are also many films with a great performance by the lead (Milk, The Queen, La Vie en Rose) that are not listed because that one performance was not enough to warrant my Top 100. Many indies made the cut because they are distinctive or groundbreaking, and again because of the experience I had seeing them for the first time in a theater.  

I hope this offers insight into my image, my theoretical orientation and why I write this blog.

My Top 100 All Time Favorite Films:

  1. Some Like it Hot 
  2. The Color Purple
  3. The Philadelphia Story
  4. What’s Up Doc?
  5. Annie Hall
  6. The Breakfast Club
  7. The Big Chill
  8. When Harry Met Sally
  9. Arthur
  10. Moonstruck
  11. Star Wars
  12. Grease
  13. On the Town
  14. Broadcast News
  15. The Goodbye Girl
  16. Terms of Endearment
  17. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
  18. Au Revoir Les Enfants
  19. Cinema Paradiso
  20. This is Spinal Tap
  21. On Golden Pond
  22. Stealing Home
  23. Tootsie
  24. Midnight Run
  25. Hannah & Her Sisters
  26. Manhattan
  27. It Happened One Night
  28. Lady & the Tramp
  29. The Purple Rose of Cairo
  30. Shakespeare in Love
  31. Forrest Gump
  32. Diner
  33. St. Elmo’s Fire
  34. Dead Poets Society
  35. Good Will Hunting
  36. The Fisher King
  37. Sideways
  38. Sex Lies & Videotape
  39. Swingers
  40. Clerks
  41. The Brothers McMullen
  42. Do the Right Thing
  43. Drugstore Cowboy
  44. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  45. Dirty Dancing
  46. The Shawshank Redemption
  47. Amadeus
  48. Shine
  49. Thelma & Louise
  50. Steel Magnolias 
  51. Parenthood
  52. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  53. Fearless (1993)
  54. Scent of a Woman
  55. Birdy
  56. La Vita e Bella
  57. Crash
  58. Brokeback Mountain
  59. Ma Vie en Rose
  60. Chocolat
  61. The Commitments
  62. Muriel’s Wedding
  63. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  64. Sliding Doors
  65. Home for the Holidays
  66. The Apartment
  67. Platoon
  68. Amelie
  69. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  70. High Fidelity
  71. Love Actually
  72. Auntie Mame
  73. The Aviator
  74. American Beauty
  75. The Hurricane
  76. The Station Agent
  77. Little Children
  78. A Home at the End of the World
  79. Chasing Amy
  80. Dogma
  81. Reality Bites
  82. Lars & the Real Girl
  83. Victor Victoria
  84. Yentl
  85. The Birdcage
  86. Airplane!
  87. Strangers on a Train
  88. Happythankyoumoreplease
  89. Mumford
  90. Something’s Gotta Give
  91. Juno
  92. L’Auberge Espagnole
  93. Run Lola Run
  94. Beginners
  95. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
  96. Lost in Translation
  97. (500) Days of Summer
  98. The Social Network
  99. The Artist 
  100. Argo