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Wrapping up the AFI 100

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It's the end of Season 1... welcome to the AFI Thunderdome! Amy and Paul discover which movies from the AFI 100 surprised and stuck with Unspooled listeners the most, reveal their top 10 and bottom 10 films from the list (along with Producer Josh and Engineer Devon) and make some hard decisions regarding which films deserve to stay in the 100, and which should get cut.

Stick around until the end for a big announcement about Season 2, which begins August 20th.

Go to unspooled.com to see Paul & Amy's ranked list of their top 40 films from the AFI 100!

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Glad to see at least one other person absolutely hates Forrest Gump. I've had the same take away as Robins when I saw it over 20 years ago. No sarcasm, it's a film with with an absolute hatred for the optimistic social movements of the 60s. Dan rails against the universe until he gives up in the storm to find peace. He surrenders. He gives up. Jenny tries new things and tries to find her own identity, her own place with participation and experimentation. Her reward is aids and death. Stop struggling to improve yourself or society is the message it expounds. 

On the other hand, for a film that despises baby boomers, I always found it interesting that contemporary baby boomers 25 years ago loved it. Weird.

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1 hour ago, Metaluna Mutant said:

On the other hand, for a film that despises baby boomers, I always found it interesting that contemporary baby boomers 25 years ago loved it. Weird.

It seems like a number of Boomers became a bit self-loathing about their own youths as they got older. Just think about how many of them must have experimented with recreational drugs in the 60s and 70s, but when they came of age politically they (as a group) favored harsh criminal punishments for drug use.

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The Facebook group did a poll much like the AFI did, where first nominees were selected based on films often discussed either on the podcast or within the group, then people voted on which should make the list. Here are the results, countdown style:

100. Children of Men (2006)
99. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
98. Boyz n the Hood (1991)
97. Fight Club (1999)
96. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
95. The Sound of Music (1965)
94. Halloween (1978)
93. Raging Bull (1980)
92. Boogie Nights (1997)
91. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
90. City Lights (1931)
89. Mary Poppins (1964)
88. Ghostbusters (1984)
87. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
86. It Happened One Night (1934)
85. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
84. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
83. No Country for Old Men (2007)
82. Amadeus (1984)
81. Duck Soup (1933)
80. A League of Their Own (1992)
79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
78. Modern Times (1936)
77. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
76. Airplane! (1980)
75. There will Be Blood (2007)
74. Gone with the Wind (1939)
73. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
72. Titanic (1997)
71. Young Frankenstein (1974)
70. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
69. Blazing Saddles (1974)
68. The Big Lebowski (1998)
67. Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
66. West Side Story (1961)
65. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
64. The Social Network (2010)
63. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
62. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
61. Annie Hall (1977)
60. The Graduate (1967)
59. Moonlight (2016)
58. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
57. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
56. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
55. Apocalypse Now (1979)
54. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
53. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
52. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
51. On the Waterfront (1954)
50. Blade Runner (1982)
49. Die Hard (1988)
48. Goodfellas (1990)
47. The Shining (1980)
46. Rocky (1976)
45. North by Northwest (1959)
44. The Exorcist (1973)
43. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
42. King Kong (1933)
41. The Godfather Part II (1974)
40. Taxi Driver (1976)
39. Double Indemnity (1944)
38. Some Like it Hot (1959)
37. Vertigo (1958)
36. Get Out (2017)
35. Groundhog Day (1993)
34. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
33. The Dark Knight (2008)
32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
31. Jurassic Park (1993)
30. Chinatown (1974)
29. The Matrix (1999)
28. Network(1976)
27. The Apartment (1960)
26. Toy Story (1995)
25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
24. The Princess Bride (1987)
23. Dr. Strangelove or: How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
22. All About Eve (1950)
21. 12 Angry Men (1957)
20. Fargo (1996)
19. Alien (1979)
18. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
17. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
16. Back to the Future (1985)
15. Rear Window (1954)
14. Schindler’s List (1993)
13. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
12. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
11. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
10. Pulp Fiction (1994)
9. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
8. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
7. Jaws (1975)
6. Do the Right Thing (1989)
5. Psycho (1960)
4. Star Wars (1977)
3. Godfather (1972)
2. Casablanca (1942)
1. Citizen Kane (1941)

Kane still can't be dethroned!

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I don't know how much the list being  dominated straight, white, cis-gendered men came up on the Facebook group, but this list only has six movies directed by people of color (Do The Right Thing, Moonlight, Get Out, Brokeback Mountain, Boyz N The Hood, and Children Of Men) and two by women (The Matrix and A League Of Their Own). They also didn't limit themselves to one film per director. There are also still some movies I question how American they are (including Children Of Men).

I like this list a lot more on a quick scan though than the AFI list.

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31 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I don't know how much the list being  dominated straight, white, cis-gendered men came up on the Facebook group, but this list only has six movies directed by people of color (Do The Right Thing, Moonlight, Get Out, Brokeback Mountain, Boyz N The Hood, and Children Of Men) and two by women (The Matrix and A League Of Their Own). They also didn't limit themselves to one film per director. There are also still some movies I question how American they are (including Children Of Men).

 

I saw this article last year and keep it bookmarked for easy reference. I'm def not saying it's the be all end all, especially with their number one choice, but it makes some excellent suggestions 

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20191125-the-100-greatest-films-directed-by-women-poll

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1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

I don't know how much the list being  dominated straight, white, cis-gendered men came up on the Facebook group, but this list only has six movies directed by people of color (Do The Right Thing, Moonlight, Get Out, Brokeback Mountain, Boyz N The Hood, and Children Of Men) and two by women (The Matrix and A League Of Their Own). They also didn't limit themselves to one film per director. There are also still some movies I question how American they are (including Children Of Men).

I like this list a lot more on a quick scan though than the AFI list.

No restrictions were placed on how many films could be nominated by director. And I would say that as a group the voters there are roughly as conscious of the issues of representation for women and POC on the list as people are here, though like most film discussion groups yes the majority are white and the majority are male. I don't think it's hugely majority male (like between 70-30, 60-40, something like that if I had to guess).

I think it just goes to show that when push comes to shove, yes you can improve the numbers somewhat (and some of this is helped by adding some very recent movies that wouldn't have been considered by the AFI at the time they did their poll), but the choices really are a bit thin if you're looking at a historical list of great films. And if I had to be honest, I think something like A League of Their Own is a bit of a stretch as one of the 100 best movies ever. I think it was helped by the voters wanting to get SOMETHING directed by a woman on there, and it's also a movie likely to have been widely seen. At the time The Matrix was made the Wachowskis were not yet identifying as women, at least not publicly.

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One thing that did come up was the generational distribution. The AFI list is pretty dominated by 1970s films, while this list is more dominated (not as much, but it is the clear plurality) by 1990s films. I think this reflects the likely average age of the voter bases more than anything else.

AFI: 1910s (1), 1920s (3), 1930s (12), 1940s (11), 1950s (16), 1960s (17), 1970s (20), 1980s (8), 1990s (11), 2000s (1)

Spoolers: 1920s (1), 1930s (9), 1940s (7), 1950s (10), 1960s (16), 1970s (16), 1980s (16), 1990s (18), 2000s (7), 2010s (3)

Also a big gain for 80s films on the Spoolers list, mostly at the expense of the 40s and 50s.

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10 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

One thing that did come up was the generational distribution. The AFI list is pretty dominated by 1970s films, while this list is more dominated (not as much, but it is the clear plurality) by 1990s films. I think this reflects the likely average age of the voter bases more than anything else.

AFI: 1910s (1), 1920s (3), 1930s (12), 1940s (11), 1950s (16), 1960s (17), 1970s (20), 1980s (8), 1990s (11), 2000s (1)

Spoolers: 1920s (1), 1930s (9), 1940s (7), 1950s (10), 1960s (16), 1970s (16), 1980s (16), 1990s (18), 2000s (7), 2010s (3)

Also a big gain for 80s films on the Spoolers list, mostly at the expense of the 40s and 50s.

The list skewing heavily more modern is not a surprise at all to me. Obviously, the original list couldn't include modern stuff since, you know, it came out a decade ago. But so many people bemoan wanting "modern (insert genre here)".

I like tons of modern movies. I've seen way more modern movies than older ones. But specifically wanting something modern feels like wanting familiarity over quality which is one of the main criticisms of this list.

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51 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

No restrictions were placed on how many films could be nominated by director. And I would say that as a group the voters there are roughly as conscious of the issues of representation for women and POC on the list as people are here, though like most film discussion groups yes the majority are white and the majority are male. I don't think it's hugely majority male (like between 70-30, 60-40, something like that if I had to guess).

I think it just goes to show that when push comes to shove, yes you can improve the numbers somewhat (and some of this is helped by adding some very recent movies that wouldn't have been considered by the AFI at the time they did their poll), but the choices really are a bit thin if you're looking at a historical list of great films. And if I had to be honest, I think something like A League of Their Own is a bit of a stretch as one of the 100 best movies ever. I think it was helped by the voters wanting to get SOMETHING directed by a woman on there, and it's also a movie likely to have been widely seen. At the time The Matrix was made the Wachowskis were not yet identifying as women, at least not publicly.

I like A League Of Their Own quite a bit but I'm not sure I'd put it in my top 100 American movies. For a Penny Marshall film, I'd probably put in Big or possibly maybe Awakenings. But I'd also like the list to ideally have women on screen not just behind the camera. So, having women direct make dominated stories is better than no representation, part of me thinks fuck it, put on A League Of Their Own over Big just because it's about women even if I may not like it aa much.

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12 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I like A League Of Their Own quite a bit but I'm not sure I'd put it in my top 100 American movies. For a Penny Marshall film, I'd probably put in Big or possibly maybe Awakenings. But I'd also like the list to ideally have women on screen not just behind the camera. So, having women direct make dominated stories is better than no representation, part of me thinks fuck it, put on A League Of Their Own over Big just because it's about women even if I may not like it aa much.

I think that was part of the logic behind people voting for it. Also, again, the average age range means that there are quite a few women in the group who grew up loving the movie, which is always a strong factor.

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12 hours ago, grudlian. said:

The list skewing heavily more modern is not a surprise at all to me. Obviously, the original list couldn't include modern stuff since, you know, it came out a decade ago. But so many people bemoan wanting "modern (insert genre here)".

Yes, and frankly even though the AFI could not possibly have included any movies post-2007 their inclusion of 80s movies is pretty poor. There certainly should have been enough time by '07 to find more from that decade to honor. I think part of the problem (at least for them) is that with a few exceptions, most of what endures from the 80s is not what won the big awards. It's genre stuff that the Academy has tended to ignore (sci-fi, action, horror, comedy, fantasy). The Spoolers' list definitely improves on the span of genres represented.

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On 7/23/2020 at 9:34 PM, sycasey 2.0 said:

No restrictions were placed on how many films could be nominated by director. And I would say that as a group the voters there are roughly as conscious of the issues of representation for women and POC on the list as people are here, though like most film discussion groups yes the majority are white and the majority are male. I don't think it's hugely majority male (like between 70-30, 60-40, something like that if I had to guess).

I think it just goes to show that when push comes to shove, yes you can improve the numbers somewhat (and some of this is helped by adding some very recent movies that wouldn't have been considered by the AFI at the time they did their poll), but the choices really are a bit thin if you're looking at a historical list of great films. And if I had to be honest, I think something like A League of Their Own is a bit of a stretch as one of the 100 best movies ever. I think it was helped by the voters wanting to get SOMETHING directed by a woman on there, and it's also a movie likely to have been widely seen. At the time The Matrix was made the Wachowskis were not yet identifying as women, at least not publicly.

One of the things that bothered me about this podcast was this discussion. I agree there is a definite lean towards the old white director part. But limiting the list to allow only two films for each director? How about limiting the top works of arts by artist? Yeah, that Davinci (or Michelangelo) was great, but let's not let him dominate the top 100 art works of all time. Or music - yeah, the Beatles were good, but they can only have two songs in the top 100.

WTF?!?!

That's why they take the labels off the bottles when they do wine tasting. And it probably pisses off the French winemakers when they do that. Because God forbid someone should choose a non-French wine as the top dog. I just wish they could do something like that for movies.

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