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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Time Magazine's Top 100 Movies of All Time (pun intended)

Time Magazine, that bastion of trenchant artistic criticism, has come up with a list of what two of their critics consider the all time 100 Movies. The list should actually be called the "all time 100 Movies released in the United States" since it is filled with films that were available for viewing in the United States. Films that never made it here are nowhere to be found, though (to its credit) there are a sizable number of foreign films on the list.

The list is liable to be at least as well-known for what is left off of it than what is on it. Sure, CITIZEN KANE is there but no APOCALYPSE NOW. BARRY LYNDON is there, but not CLOCKWORK ORANGE or PATHS OF GLORY. BLADE RUNNER but no BRAZIL. PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO but not ANNIE HALL. And, as expected, the list is heavily weighted towards films of the last 20-30 years.

Still, it's pretty impressive. AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD and the APU TRILOGY share the list with STAR WARS and RAGING BULL. CITIZEN KANE and CITY LIGHTS inhabit the same list as the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. There's even the BBC series THE SINGING DETECTIVE (Dennis Potter's masterful trip through the mind).

No list of favorite films is going to have everything that each of us feel should be on it but it's a start. There's a movement afoot at USC to have incoming film students required to have viewed a number of specific works of moving images (that takes into account films, television, video games, commercials, and more). In terms of the first group of works, this isn't a bad list to start choosing from.