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mrbs

Mini-series are cool… but what about mini-lists?

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Now that the AFI list is complete, and the first mini-series is wrapping up, I wonder if it would be fun if Paul and Amy were able to make their own min-lists lists with 2 or 3 entries.  The big selling point is that this would open them up to discuss any movie they love for any reason, even if it wouldn't have any chance on a top-100 of all time, when you consider it across all the different dimensions.

The mini-lists could be fairly broad (Coming of age movies) or ultra-specific (consciousness time loop movies).  They could focus on an aspect of the movie (best portrayal of going insane), or how they effect the viewer (the movie that most made me re-examine a deeply held belief).  They could even focus on how they movies are consumed (best movie to see in a packed theater, or best movie to have on with friends half paying attention to and goofing on).  The one limitation I'd put is that the category needs to be open, meaning a future movie could aspire to take the top spot.  That means nothing specific to a person, you wouldn't have the best of director X or actor Y.  You couldn't do 'Best film from the 60s', but you COULD do 'Best film set in the 60s'.

One real fun aspect of this would be that the debate about what gets the top spot on each list would be more focused.  Instead of considering historic import, or influence on latter films, or box office success, the title of the list tells you EXACTLY what you should be judging the film on.  You'd get to hash out what you think the 'Best movie to watch wrapped up in a blanket on a rainy night' is, without getting caught up on any of the historic details not contained within the experience of you watching the movie, right now.

Paul and Amy have kind of circled around this idea with how they've added their own rules about limiting each director to one entry on a big, monolithic list.  But that's kind of a bummer for directors that have a wider range of films.  They debate which "flavor" should be represented in that director's singular spot on the big list…  but the better option is to just give each flavor its own mini-list, freeing them to talk about the movies they think are most interesting.

So Paul and Amy would just make a big list of movies they'd love to talk about and examine, and then make up superlatives for each.  "Best movie where cars get air", "Best movie to watch after a break up", "Most absolute ridiculous stunt".  They share the superlatives, see  where the other person can dream up a counter-example that fits the category, and then they do those two movies in back to back episodes.  Maybe they get feedback from the audience, to nominate a third movie (maybe that one's a bit delayed to allow for recording).  But after a few episodes, they'd have the official Unspooled mini-list for "Movie with the best training montage".  Maybe a couple years down the line, a new challenger comes for the top spot, and they review that movie.  Might be a great way to bring in an occasional guest, if they feel strongly about a published mini-list not having the correct entry at the top spot.

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Yea, I wouldn't be surprised if they use a very loose definition of 'theme' and come up with new ways to define the sets.

I've pretty much moved on from the list idea though, not just AFI, but even the space thing. To me it's more like, here's a possibly 'great' movie every week, let's think about it. It's nice to have them grouped somehow though, so whatever they come up with is fine with me, as long as it doesn't stray too far from 'great'. (It's a nice antidote to watching HDGTM movies or whatever to have a scheduled quality film every week to think about. Even if I don't necessarily agree or love everything as great, it's very welcome to watch these. I never bothered with like just pure fun side eps like House Party.)

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