09 March 2008

How 'Bout a Top 100 List?

My Top 100 Best Movies of All Time that I Can Remember. These are only films I have seen and remember—thus many qualified candidates are probably out. I think the most important shared quality of films on this list is JOY (in the filmmaking, not the narrative, which will quickly become clear).

#1 Contempt
#2 The Godfather Epic

#3 The Thin Red Line

#4 The Philadelphia Story

#5 La Jetée

#6 Out of the Past

#7 The Rules of the Game

#8 2046

#9 Raging Bull

#10 L’Avventura

#11 Vertigo

#12 Breathless

#13 Persona

#14 Leaving Las Vegas

#15 The Night of the Hunter

#16 His Girl Friday

#17 Battle of Algiers

#18 Funny Games (Original)

#19 Casablanca

#20 Chinatown

#21 Five Easy Pieces

#22 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#23 The Conversation

#24 Talk to Her

La Notte


The Bicycle Thieves

Bob le Flambeur


Chungking Express

Cries and Whispers

Dancer in the Dark

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Elevator to the Gallows

Hiroshima Mon Amour

In the Mood for Love

Le Samourai


The Piano Teacher

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Pierrot le Fou


A Special Day

Time Out

That Obscure Object of Desire

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Wages of Fear

Y Tu Mamá También


The Age of Innocence

All that Heaven Allows

All the Real Girls

Annie Hall

Apocalypse Now Redux

Bonnie and Clyde


Bringing Up Baby


Citizen Kane

Days of Heaven

The Deer Hunter
Do the Right Thing

Double Indemnity

Far from Heaven


Glengarry Glen Ross

Hannah and Her Sisters


High Noon

Hoop Dreams

The Ice Storm

In the Bedroom

The King

L.A. Confidential

Lost in Translation

Malcolm X

Mulholland Dr.


No Country for Old Men

North by Northwest


Out of Sight

The Passenger

Rear Window

Red River

The Royal Tenenbaums



Sunset Blvd.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

To Have and Have Not


Usual Suspects

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Wild Bunch

You Can Count of Me


Miami Vice
(fuck the haters!)


Not quites:

All About Eve, All the Pretty Horses (my personally imagined 4 hour cut), The Anniversary Party, As Good as It Gets, Best of Youth, Best in Show, Best Years of Our Lives, Big Night, The Big Sleep, Boogie Nights, Breaking Away, Brief Encounter, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Conformist, Crossfire, The Country Girl, Day for Night, Devil in a Blue Dress, Eat Drink Man Woman, Election, The English Patient, The Fountain, From Here to Eternity, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, George Washington, The Getaway, Gladiator, Ghost World, Goldfinger, Gone with the Wind, The Great Escape, Grey Gardens, Grizzly Man, Groundhog Day, House of Games, The Hustler, Indiscreet, Klute, The Kid Stays in the Picture, The King of New York, Knocked Up, Lamerica, Le Cercle Rouge, Léon: the Professional, The Limey, M, Ma Mère, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Manhattan, My Best Friend’s Wedding, My Life to Live, The New World, Once, Ossessione, Patton, Pickpocket, Point Blank, Primer, The Proposition, Rebecca, Requiem for a Dream, Rififi, A River Runs through It, Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time, Rocco and His Brothers, Roman Holiday, Rosemary’s Baby, Run Lola Run, Sexy Beast, Shakespeare in Love, Shane, She’s the One, Shoot the Piano Player, Some Like It Hot, Spellbound, The Squid and the Whale, Straw Dogs, Suddenly, Last Summer, Suspicion, Swingers, Three Women, To Be and To Have, To Catch a Thief, Trainspotting, Truman Show, Umberto D, The Virgin Suicides, Wonder Boys.


Don’t cut it: Tarantino. P.T. Anderson. Most of Buñuel. Truffaut (though Shoot the Piano Player and Day for Night sniffed the top 100). Clint Eastwood. Stanley Kubrick. John Cassavetes. The films of James Dean (How long does the guy have to be dead before we can admit his movies blow? Why oh why can’t he just be canonically replaced by Montgomery Clift?).

Haven’t seen enough: Tarkovsky (I’m 0-2 on staying awake for the duration of his films). Eisenstein. Bergman (despite two films on the list). Japanese directors not named Kurosawa (I'm 0-1 on staying awake through Ozu). All the silent film masters.

Admitted blind eye: Musicals. Children’s films (Disney, Star Wars/Star Trek, Tim Burton). Amateur films (Steven Spielberg, Michael Moore).

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