Thursday, March 09, 2006

The magnificent 26

Have I already told you what I think of reviewers?
Well just in case, let me do it again. In my opinion, there's nothing worse than telling people what they should or should not watch, what is good and what is bad. Whenever I read a review that says: "this film is crap, don't go", I stand up and yell (except if I'm reading already standing and singing Barbra Streisand, in which case I seat down and shut up).

Of course, there are movies I love, and others I hate, but I know - from being French, from being Jewish, from my passion for Survivor - that different people have different taste (different strokes for different folks, right?).

That's the thing about art: you can always judge the technique, but you can never judge the impression it leaves on people. That's why there's a not so subtle line between saying "I hated it" and "It's not worth shit". For example, my least favorite movie of all time is Avalon, by Mamuro Oshii, a Japanese movie shot in Poland and in polish. I swear, It almost made me faint, I could not look at the screen, I was dizzy, sick... And yet, someone I know said watching this same movie changed his life forever - and yes, for the better. So who is anyone to say "Don't go see it!" ?

OK, I know, some reviewers are smarter than that. But the readers being usually even dumber, they're often ready to believe whatever Erbert, Roeper and Travers have to say.

Alright, now that half of the civilized world hates me, let's get to the point. During the next few weeks, I will slowly unveil my Top 26 list of movies of all time. The top 26 (or top 10, or top 5, or top 100) exercise has existed as long as there have been movies. It's a fun exercise to complete, and there's few easier ways to expose one's taste.

But if you've read the first part of this post correctly, you'll understand that I'm not telling you those are the best movies, ever. They're just the movies I personally enjoyed the most, or respect the most.

So, come back soon to know who made it and who did not. Let me just give you some clues:

- Out of the 26, there are 23 live action vs 3 animation, 20 american vs 6 foreign (but 3 americans have foreign-born directors), 3 Spielbergs, 2 Coppolas 2 Finchers, 2 Camerons, 2 Kubricks. 3 are sequels.
- About the titles: 4 have more than 4 words (not including the-and-of), 4 are the name of the film's hero, 6 are religion-inspired (titles, not movies!), 3 include numbers (but they're not all 3 sequels).
- 8 are from the 90s, 8 from the 80s, 7 from the 2000s, 3 from the 70s. The oldest is from 1972, the most recent from 2004. The only years with two movies are 86, 94, 99, 2000 and 2002
- 5 (including 3 of the foreign movies) are not in the IMDb top 250 , widely consider to represent the world's taste .

Start guessing!


jul said...

I have some ideas, but 26 is too much !
What do you think of people who tell you what to think about reviewers, wheter it's good or wrong ?

jul said...

"think of" -> think about (sorry for the mistake)

Adinaf said...

Does this mean I'm not allowed to review your blog?

Ben said...

Ok let's make things clear: yes I'm provoking, don't take everything I say to the letter. I don't mind an actual review, what I hate is a judgement where the reviewer knows what's best for the reader.

Check back later this week-end for No 26 and my idea of a real review.

Adinaf said...

The Magnificent Seven