Sunday, 24 January 2016

My Top 500 - The Process

I am a huge fan of lists. It doesn't have to be anything in particular, I just love making lists. But the ultimate list for me is a movie list containing all of my most loved films. The kind of films that I can quote line for line. The kind of films I have fond memories when watching them with important people in my life. The kind of films which exposed me to sub-genres I knew nothing about. I love film history, and I always have loved reading about peoples perspectives on film. Which is why I have bought many books on films, especially those books called '1001 Films You Must See Before You Die'. And while I was able to find films in this book that I had never heard of before, overall it was a bit of a let down. So many of the films included in the book were of the same things I had read in previous film lists. I have briefly spoken before about peoples top 10, top 100 etc, and I have more often than not, found the same recycled lists over and over. I can't count how many times I have seen 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Citizen Kane', 'The Dark Knight' and 'Godfather Part II' top peoples lists. And while these are critically acclaimed films, and in the eyes of a lot of people they are flawless in a technical aspect. But are these the films you can sit down  and watch over and over again? Are these the films you can quote line for line? Are these the films that you know every intricate detail because you have watched them so many times to the point you have multiple copies sitting on your shelf? There is nothing wrong with having these films topping your list, but are these the films you genuinely love, or are these the films that you put on your list because everyone else does, and you feel you will be judged for putting something on the top of your list because it's B-Grade. 

Everyone has different taste in film, and no one can be exactly the same. But I have a hard time believing that everyone thinks exactly the same on these films. Sure the internet is full of opinionated people, but when I see the same lists on many different sites, on personal blogs as well as social network platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; I just don't buy it. Yes, we can like a lot of the same films. But I am a firm believer you can tell a lot about a person's personality, by the films that they genuinely love. And I just feel that not a lot of people are not honest because of fear of scrutiny by the peers, as well as keyboard warriors. When I have had heated discussions with people on film, I will always give reasons as to why I am not a fan of a particular film, however when I ask what their reasons are for loving a film so much, I am often met with defensive and aggressive behaviour rather than actual reasons for loving something. If you love or hate something, the reasons usually are pretty clear cut and should be obvious to you, and should come naturally when discussing. 

A few months ago, a regular customer who I now consider a friend, would often come in and discuss movies with my partner and myself. One night we decided to write our top 50. When he read out his list, I wasn't surprised by his choices. Partially because I had heard him speak numerous times about them and also because I know what kind of personality he has, and his film taste coincides with that. When he explained some of his choices, I believed him. Sure at times he struggles in finding the right words to explain it however the emotion and passion for his choices are extremely visible. Since writing our top 50, I have thought often about writing a huge list of all of the films that I PERSONALLY hold in high regard. When I write a movie list, these are the films I truly love without caring about what others think. I have no shame with saying 'Deep Blue Sea' would be in my top 100. When telling my closest friends about writing my top 100 in an article on my blog page, it was suggested I do a top 500. And that is what I am going to do. Sure it may take a little time to choose in numerical order, but that's all in the fun of it. I can say without a doubt, what you will see
 in my list are films that I love. There will be no pretentious choices, so sorry Wes Anderson you are not included. that goes for you too Lars Von Trier. My list isn't about impressing people, my list is about the films that I love and how they have shaped my passion. Watching films for me are an experience, it's about creating memories, it's not about being privileged enough to see a technically 'perfect' film, with acting that just resonates with the colour grey. 

Here are a couple of questions that I pose to anyone who reads this article. If you decided to write your top films of all time, would it be for your own self satisfaction, knowing that you are a magnificent bastard for loving the films you do? Or are you writing what you think internet trolls, so-called friends and unpaid film 'critics' will approve of? 

3 comments:

  1. Tell you what man, when I tell people I like a film, its because I fucking like it, not because 1: I was told to like it or 2: its cool to like it. Top 500 is a hell of an undertaking. Now you got me wanting to do one. Probably take me a couple of years though. I'd be fussing over the top five still...

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    1. Oh dude, I know that when you say you like a movie, I know that you love the shit out of it. I would never doubt any of the mashers! I would be so interested to see your list, I think you would have a lot of awesome shit on there, and I think you would list a fair few I haven't seen. But you know what, I trust your judgement, probably more than anyone when it comes to movies.

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    2. AS DO I! But some people would probably look at our lists and barf. "Why the actual FUCK is Dune Warriors in your list? WHY" my answer would be simple: "Well you arrogant Nolan loving cockrocker, it is there because: David Carradine + Desert + Half Assed swordplay + The mother fucking DEATHSTALKER + squib city + motorbike jousting + Cirio H Santiago + Gratuitous bathing scenes = BETTER FILM THAN YOU ARE CURRENTLY MASTURBATING OVER!!! So suck it."

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