All-Time 100 Movies
Time presents its list of exemplary films. I don’t think it’d be particularly fruitful to discuss each selection, so let me just offer a few remarks:
- 2000s: Kudos to critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel for highlighting City of God, which I’m inclined to say is perhaps the best film of the past five years. But they lose points for including Finding Nemo. While I have great admiration for this animated feature, I just don’t think that it’s among the most noteworthy. For one thing, I can name at least five other movies from 2003 that are superior. More substantively, the Ellen DeGeneres character is less inspired than contrived. And, given her central role, I must temper my endorsement, which is enough to knock it off the list.
In general, though, I’m reluctant to include recent films: we need some time to revisit and reassess before assigning high praise.
- 1990s: These selections appear pretty weak. Where’s Hoop Dreams, the excellent basketball documentary, for instance? Shawshank Redemption is also conspicuously absent. It’s better than Unforgiven by Clint Eastwood, whose best works have been released this decade.
- 1980s: Spike Lee’s seminal work, Do the Right Thing, belongs here. His work fell off about twelve years ago, but that feature set the stage for Boyz N the Hood and other outstanding inner-city movies. Akira Kurosawa’s Ran would be among my foreign-language picks.
- Speaking of Kurosawa…: I’m somewhat amazed that Yojimbo and Ikiru make the list over Seven Samurai, since the latter is the most widely known of Kurosawa’s works. I suppose Corliss and Schickel deserve some props for bucking the general consensus, though I tend to prefer Samurai to Yojimbo.
- The Politics of War: Whither Apocalypse Now and The Battle of Algiers?
- Great Female Performances: Based on Gloria Swanson’s and Giulietta Masina’s lead roles alone, I would have chosen Sunset Boulevard and Nights of Cabiria.
- Best Ever Comedy? It’s debatable, but I would give serious thought to the overlooked The Producers.
(Thanks to Dan Drezner for the tip.)