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AlmostAGhost

End of Season Wrap-up Thread

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As Paul and Amy ended the series, they're asking us to cut the top-100 to 50. They also ask for our top-10 and bottom-10.

Share your ideas here! Discuss.

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I'm still finalizing my top-100, and want to re-watch 3-4 of the movies this week, but I will say, all along I've had a film that was sort of the demarcation point of "stays on the list / off the list" that helped me keep my list in order. Looking at it now, I've got 51 films above that point. So cutting it to 50 is fairly easy for me, lol

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I'm not sure I understand the purpose of cutting 50 movies if the point is to put on 50 different movies. If someone thinks 50 of the movies aren't top 100 material, then so be it. But just to shake things up or highlight lesser known great movies is something I don't get. You either think it's genuinely one of the 100 greatest movies or you don't (conceding that "greatest" is pretty nebulous a concept). I'm trying to keep my overall criticisms of the list (and probably criticisms of criticisms) until the wrap up episode proper.

I'll make my top 10 a list of personal favorites (in AFI list order, not my personal preference) instead of why I might demand stay on the list. I think a couple movies like Citizen Kane objectively belong on a list of greatest American movies, but it's not something I watch regularly.

The Godfather
Singin' In The Rain
The Wizard Of Oz
Star Wars
2001:  A Space Odyssey
It's A Wonderful Life
To Kill A Mockingbird
Jaws
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Do The Right Thing

Here's my list of 10 that I would be glad to kick off the list no question

Lawrence Of Arabia (not American in my mind)
Bridge On The River Kwai (not American in my mind)
Intolerance
Cabaret
Tootsie
Forrest Gump
Easy Rider
Sophie's Choice
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Ben-Hur

One topic that has come up multiple times and I want to ask again before we get into the actual wrap up is:  what movies created by people of color and women belong on the list? We've discussed that the directors are basically all straight white men multiple times, but no one has really put up what movies from women, LGBT+ directors, people of color should be on the list.

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 I'll make more of a list later in the week of things I think could be on there too, but to answer I'd say Moonlight and 12 Years A Slave would be shoo-ins for a new list. Could Spike Lee have another one? Not sure which of his others I'd raise that high though. Boyz In The Hood. Lady Bird maybe too. I'd be pro-Clueless and a modern rom-com or two directed by a woman (unsure which I'd pick right now). There's lots of ideas for this, I think, it wouldn't be hard. (Maybe not if you're bound to the 'must have won Oscars' rule though.)

 

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I agree with you that Moonlight and 12 Years A Slave would be pretty much guaranteed. I'm fine with all those movies being considered and maybe making the list. I haven't seen Clueless in a long time and I'm curious how well it holds up for me. I think Boyz In The Hood has more recognition and came first. So, it's a more likely choice, but I remember liking Menace II Society a bit more of the early 90s, black teens in south central movies.

Spike Lee is a tough one. I like him a lot but I think some of his best work are documentaries which AFI (foolishly) didn't allow. Of the rest of his work, I'm not sure what I'd really want to see on the list. I like Clockers a lot but seems like a real outside chance of making it. Malcolm X seems like his next best chance.

I think Brokeback Mountain is certainly a good contender as well although it might not have won an Oscar either? I know it lost best picture but maybe Ang Lee won?

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My whole list is here!

https://boxd.it/1YEKo

But in choosing movies to take off the list I'm kind of with @grudlian. here in that I wouldn't just take the Bottom 10, I would also add movies I feel are more culturally British than American: Lawrence and Kwai, and I'd also throw Clockwork Orange in there and maybe Lord of the Rings too (though that last one is an especially international production that could be claimed as equal parts American, British, and Kiwi/Aussie).

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13 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I agree with you that Moonlight and 12 Years A Slave would be pretty much guaranteed. I'm fine with all those movies being considered and maybe making the list. I haven't seen Clueless in a long time and I'm curious how well it holds up for me. I think Boyz In The Hood has more recognition and came first. So, it's a more likely choice, but I remember liking Menace II Society a bit more of the early 90s, black teens in south central movies.

Spike Lee is a tough one. I like him a lot but I think some of his best work are documentaries which AFI (foolishly) didn't allow. Of the rest of his work, I'm not sure what I'd really want to see on the list. I like Clockers a lot but seems like a real outside chance of making it. Malcolm X seems like his next best chance.

I think Brokeback Mountain is certainly a good contender as well although it might not have won an Oscar either? I know it lost best picture but maybe Ang Lee won?

I'd agree with Malcolm X being the next best Spike Lee option. Then maybe 25th Hour?

Ang Lee did win the Oscar for Brokeback. It also won for Adapted Screenplay, I believe.

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For movies made by POC, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep is a great candidate. It's very indie, though, and the AFI seems to prefer higher budget productions.

As I've said before, one of the major issues is that opportunities for women, LGBTQ, and POC directors were pretty few and far between until very recently.

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5 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

For movies made by POC, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep is a great candidate. It's very indie, though, and the AFI seems to prefer higher budget productions.

As I've said before, one of the major issues is that opportunities for women, LGBTQ, and POC directors were pretty few and far between until very recently.

In terms of LGBTQ representation, it'd be hysterically great to see Pink Flamingos on the type of list the AFI produces. 

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How many other Charles Burnett films have people seen besides Killer of Sheep? I caught up with To Sleep with Anger last year on criterion. Worth checking out. Probably not something that'd jump to mind for these type of lists, but, these type of lists aren't exhaustive of things worth checking out. 

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I’ve been looking at my Ranked Unspooled AFI list on Letterboxd and I kind of hate it. I think that’s because I ranked it more subjectively (How much I enjoyed watching a movie above its cultural, artistic, or historic merits.) Consequently, I have a few movies ranked highly that I think could honestly let go, and a few at the bottom that, while I didn’t personally enjoy them, recognize their technical greatness. 

The movies below are the ones I would remove because I legitimately don’t think they belong:

1) MASH

2) Tootsie

3) Yankee Doodle Dandy 

4) Annie Hall

5) The Searchers (Replace with either Stage Couch or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

6) Titanic 

7) Swing Time (Replace with Top Hat)

8 ) The French Connection (Maybe replace with The Conversation?) 

10) Wild Bunch

11) Intolerance 

12) Gone With the Wind

Below are movies that I personally enjoy, but wouldn’t mind if they were booted off:

1) Sixth Sense

2) Forest Gump

3) Bringing Up Baby

4) Duck Soup OR Opera (Keep just one)

5) Shawshank Redemption 

6) Sophie’s Choice

7) Shane

8 ) Sullivan’s Travels

9) Silence of the Lambs

10) African Queen

11) High Noon

12) Unforgiven

13) Goodfellas 

14) Philadelphia Story

15) ET (ouch!)

16) Godfather Part 2

17) Kwai

¬†I would probably keep everything else‚ÄĒeven if I don‚Äôt personally like them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

For movies made by POC, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep is a great candidate. It's very indie, though, and the AFI seems to prefer higher budget productions.

As I've said before, one of the major issues is that opportunities for women, LGBTQ, and POC directors were pretty few and far between until very recently.

For sure. I'm pretty sure I've made the argument here or Letterboxd that part of the reason the list has virtually no representation is people of color, women and LGBT+ directors weren't allowed to direct movies until basically the 1980s. Lists like this are very hesitant to put anything modern and all our suggestions, every time this comes up, are recent movies. The only real "guarantees" came out years after the anniversary edition. 

So, part of my reason for the question is: ok. We understand the list isn't representative of the diversity within America but is it even possible to do so given how racist, misogynist and homophobic Hollywood is? I realize that's getting into a very very problematic area of passing the buck by saying "it's not the list's or voters' fault the list is all white guys. White guys are the only ones making movies!"

My larger point is genuinely asking about the movies that go unrecognized because I know they have to be out there. Killer of Sheep gets brought up regularly. I'll continue pushing for Heartbreak Kid over The Graduate. But that can't be the only movies that are pre 1990s contenders for women and black men right? Maybe Within Our Gates for historical reasons but I don't think it's a great movie.

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I mean, the other issue is that this is a list of American movies specifically. If we could expand into world cinema there would be a lot more options.

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I think it is possible with American movies, but you would have to stop requiring the films to have won awards. I think AFI should adjust and the rule should just be "award-nominated," if not just strike it completely. 

Then you can get your top-100 list filled with Killer of Sheep and John Waters and I'm sure other Poitier films are great and comedies and heck, even Shaft could be considered.

You could get a diverse, representative list if the Oscars didn't exist!

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I thinkÔĽŅ it isÔĽŅ possible with American movies, but you would have to stop requiring the films to have won awards. I think AFI should adjust and the rule should just be "award-nominated," if not just strike it ÔĽŅcompletelyÔĽŅ.ÔĽŅ¬†

This is no hard and fast rule, only a guideline/suggestion for consideration.

Really the only requirement was to be on the ballot (and even then a person could write in 5 movies).

For deciding the ballot they wanted movies that were "considered good," so it's not surprise that winning an award would satisfy that criteria. But they also listed as a bullet point (paraphrasing) "or received critical praise in enough notable media circulation."

The people who put together the ballot overlapped pretty heavily with people who felt the Academy's short term opinion (i.e. the Oscar's), matter a lot. So, those heavily influenced what got put on the ballot. I suspect there's something on the ballot that didn't have any notable Oscar nominations. 

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Barbara Loden's Wanda has been getting a revival of recognition recently. It's in the category of Cassavetes in terms of tone - though I prefer Cassavetes.

Shirley Clarke's The Connection is also an odd, little film, possibly worth checking out (maybe depending on who you are) - though of we're just talking worth checking out, we can also expand to documentaries like her film, A Portrait of Jason (whose point eluded me when I watched, but left me feeling like I missed the transition/cues of what I was supposed to be paying attention to).

Elaine May was mentioned earlier - if you want large studio comedy, her and Penny Marshall seem like your best bets for pre-2000. From May, I've seen A New Leaf and Mikey and Nicky. A New Leaf is what you'd expect (enjoyable!). Mikey and Nicky is what you'd expect from an independent film starring Cassavetes and Faulk - but as a dry comedy.

In terms of possible Blacksploitation films (the ones actually made by African Americans). I've actually only seen some of the more obscure ones and haven't seen the well known ones. The one I'm really curious about is Superfly.

I did see Ganja & Hess. You definitely feel how rushed it was, but the cinematically interesting parts have stuck with me, so I do have the desire to see it again now, which is usually a good quality for film, IMO.

If we expanded to world cinema, Varda and Ackerman were the big names out of the French new wave. But if we're expanding to world cinema, that alters the dynamic of people of color since you now include countries where people of color aren't in the minority, so you'll get more choices (Japan becomes an easy country to pluck great movies from. And Satyajit Ray's early career alone from India yields more great movies from a person of color than what's currently on the AFI list (I've seen about 6 of his films and I could see myself arguing 5 of those are better than the majority of what's on the AFI list). Can't say I know much else about Indian cinema otherwise (other than, there's a lot of it).

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1 hour ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

In terms of possible Blacksploitation films (the ones actually made by African Americans). I've actually only seen some of the more obscure ones and haven't seen the well known ones. The one I'm really curious about is Superfly.

I've seen most of the big name blaxploitation movies. Superfly is probably the best of them and the most likely to get anywhere near this list. I used to really love the movie. I had a full size poster for it in my dorm (which I subsequently realize is not a great look for a 19 year old white guy in the midwest). But I'd have a hard time really pushing for it on this list. It's fine. It is better acted than most blaxploitation movies. It doesn't have any glaring flaws. The soundtrack is fantastic. Unless you're into the specific aesthetic, there's not a strong selling point that people need to see it.

The other one that I think could be considered would be Trouble Man. Like Superfly, it's good but nothing super special. Maybe Sweet Sweetback's Baadasss Song but that's purely for being first; it's a real mess as a movie. 

Unless the AFI tried to be more representative of every genre in American film instead of the 100 "greatest," I don't see any blaxploitation movie getting near the final list. 

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2 hours ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

This is no hard and fast rule, only a guideline/suggestion for consideration.

Right. Do the Right Thing and Blade Runner didn't win any Oscars, but both are on the list.

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10 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Right. Do the Right Thing and Blade Runner didn't win any Oscars, but both are on the list.

I still think my point stands: one needs to look past the awards to find more a diverse list of greatness.

The one black directed film and the one sci-fi on the list? That proves what you can find if you look further.

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3 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I still think my point stands: one needs to look past the awards to find more a diverse list of greatness.

The one black directed film and the one sci-fi on the list? That proves what you can find if you look further.

Well, we're about two years away from getting another BFI Sight & Sound list, which certainly isn't as influenced by films winning Oscars.

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3 hours ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

Well, we're about two years away from getting another BFI Sight & Sound list, which certainly isn't as influenced by films winning Oscars.

Oh ya, I honestly don't expect the AFI to update again. Can you imagine if they did, and it was again like 92 white men movies? Better to just not go there.

 

 

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These were my top-10

2001
Modern Times
Lord of the Rings
Vertigo
Do The Right Thing
The Silence of the Lambs
The Wizard of Oz
Double Indemnity
Duck Soup
Intolerance

I'll add that I ended up rating 20 of the 100 as five stars on Letterboxd; with 15 more at 4.5. 

and my bottom-10

The Searchers
Annie Hall
The Wild Bunch
The Graduate
The Deer Hunter
Saving Private Ryan
Tootsie
MASH
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Forrest Gump

 

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Oh also, if anyone wants... I thought it would be interesting to hear your picks from these 100 movies for

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Screenplay

(and if you want to do Razzie versions too, feel free!)

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On 7/17/2020 at 5:34 PM, Cameron H. said:

I’ve been looking at my Ranked Unspooled AFI list on Letterboxd and I kind of hate it. I think that’s because I ranked it more subjectively (How much I enjoyed watching a movie above its cultural, artistic, or historic merits.) Consequently, I have a few movies ranked highly that I think could honestly let go, and a few at the bottom that, while I didn’t personally enjoy them, recognize their technical greatness. 

I'm definitely feeling similar.  I decided not to fiddle with my rankings and just place each movie after I watched it and leave it there...which gave me some films in the middle that I'm a bit unsure about.  However, I feel pretty good about my top 10 and bottom 10, though my bottom 10 ended up being films I dislike more for personal or political reasons than craft.

Top 10:

1.  Casablanca
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. Citizen Kane
5. The Godfather
6. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
7. Sunset Boulevard
8. City Lights
9. It's a Wonderful Life
10. To Kill a Mockingbird

Bottom 10:

91. The Searchers
92. A Clockwork Orange
93. The Shawshank Redemption
94. American Graffiti
95. The African Queen
96. Intolerance
97. Forrest Gump
98. Ben-Hur
99. Swing Time
100. Yankee Doodle Dandy

Overall, I'd say there's about 60 that I think are definitely deserving of the list, 20 more that are good but I could take or leave, and 20 that I just don't think should be listed.

4 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Oh also, if anyone wants... I thought it would be interesting to hear your picks from these 100 movies for

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Screenplay

This would be fun, but I'd have to give it a lot of thought to it.  Can directors, actors, and actresses be given one award for the sum of their films on the list?  (That might narrow the director race down to Spielberg versus Kubrick though.)

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Just trying to bang out a top 50... unordered within tiers:

top 10

1-10 (attempted to order - ordering became unreliable after the second movie.)

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  2. Citizen Kane
  3. Apocalypse Now
  4. Dr. Strangelove
  5. Taxi Driver
  6. Raging Bull
  7. The Godfather
  8. The Godfather Part II
  9. Sunset Boulevard
  10. Nashville

favorite/definitely
11-17

  • Casablanca
  • Psycho
  • All About Eve
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • The Wild Bunch
  • The Apartment
  • Blade Runner


almost certainly
18-22

  • Vertigo
  • On the Waterfront
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Duck Soup
  • Do the Right Thing


probably
23-36

  • Singin' in the Rain
  • The Searchers
  • Chinatown
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • Annie Hall
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Jaws
  • All the President's Men
  • Modern Times
  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • The French Connection
  • The Last Picture Show

maybe
--37-50 (have to split between top 50 and not top 50)

  • Double Indemnity
  • High Noon
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Rear Window
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Network
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Pulp Fiction
  • 50. The General


The Silence of the Lambs
It's a Wonderful Life
Some Like It Hot
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Shane
American Graffiti

probably not
Lawrence of Arabia
City Lights
The Graduate
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The Maltese Falcon
King Kong
Bonnie and Clyde
The Philadelphia Story
It Happened One Night
MASH
North by Northwest
The Gold Rush
Unforgiven
In the Heat of the Night
Spartacus
The Sixth Sense
Goodfellas

no
Schindler's List
Star Wars
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
West Side Story
Rocky
The African Queen
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Tootsie
Forrest Gump
A Night at the Opera
Platoon
Swing Time
Sophie's Choice
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Toy Story

haven't seen
Gone with the Wind
The Wizard of Oz
The Grapes of Wrath (technically, I saw this 20 years ago.  need a revisit)
Intolerance
Sullivan's Travels
Cabaret
Easy Rider

no or very little interest in seeing
The Sound of Music
Saving Private Ryan
Titanic
Ben-Hur

-------------------------------------------------

Funny how The Deer Hunter still managed to end in probably despite not being nearly as big on in it for the rewatch.  I guess I was kind of underwhelmed with a lot of the other movies, and I could probably watch DeNiro and Walken chew scenery all day.

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