ahwell's Top 100 Movies - 2020

→ in
Tools    





I agree with Spauldingís comment about it being a tad early for a top 100 list. I thought that too. Looking at it, it seems to consist of a lot of great, well respected movies that youíve seen and been impressed with. But seeing a ďpatternĒ or a clear image of your taste in movies, is hard to find. Mainly because you only just started to dig into cinema.

As Spaulding, I certainly admire your drive and Iíve commented before on how impressive it is to see you explore so much of cinema so early. Huge points for that.

Drawing from your reply to Spaulding, I actually wish you would have been as creative with the idea behind the thread as with the write ups...

What I mean is that, as you said yourself, this might actually just be 100 movies you really love at the time. That couldíve been a cool no nonsense title for the list. ď100 movies I really like in no definitive orderĒ is not a bad title, or something like it. I think it would make more sense. Because a ďTop 100Ē kind of has me expecting a carefully constructed list with tons of rewatches that you moved up and down for a few years until you finally found a decent order.

But then again, I do agree with CR too, that one may never actually end up doing one because itís basically an impossible task. So Iím definitely happier to see you doing one than not. And while the title is basic your mindset seems to be actually what it should be. So itís all good.


Please continue. I will follow along no matter what.



Iím glad you all are brainstorming more about my top 100 than I did 😂

But for real, thank you all for your comments and theyíre all really valid... maybe I shouldnít have ranked them, but then again, it really just comes down to this-

1. I have a lot of time on my hands - I will likely never have this much time for the rest of my life due to my age and whatís going on in the world
2. I have a continuously changing top 100 on Letterboxd
3. Sure I havenít found out my taste yet but I also am not sure I ever will, and sadly I wonder if I have as unique taste as someone like Miss Vicky or Citizen Rules
4. I thought what the heck and did it for sh*ts and giggles

So yeah I really do appreciate these comments, Iím glad you all are enjoying the thread for the most part



Re: Your post comment

NO. This is far preferable. But that other movie better not show up further down the line.
It wonít dont worry



3. Sure I havenít found out my taste yet but I also am not sure I ever will, and sadly I wonder if I have as unique taste as someone like Miss Vicky or Citizen Rules
Watch the movies I recommended and maybe you'll get there.

J/K. You do you. Like whatever appeals to you - even if I'll be there telling you how much I think it sucks. Like this movie and that other horrid movie. But still watch those movies I recommended.



Watch the movies I recommended and maybe you'll get there.

J/K. You do you. Like whatever appeals to you - even if I'll be there telling you how much I think it sucks. Like this movie and that other horrid movie. But still watch those movies I recommended.
Oh **** yeah I will get on those, I think Iím going to do Eternal Sunshine first as that one looks really cool.



Part of me think it's too soon for you compile such a list. You've barely begun your journey as a budding young cinephile (though you're miles ahead of where most of us were at your age). I also know that you've only recently watched many of these for the first time and I think re-watches are an integral part of determining favorites. On the other hand, this list will serve as a nice time capsule for you to look back on in a few years. Plus these favorite movie threads are simply a lot of fun to follow.
I agree with Spauldingís comment about it being a tad early for a top 100 list. I thought that too. Looking at it, it seems to consist of a lot of great, well respected movies that youíve seen and been impressed with. But seeing a ďpatternĒ or a clear image of your taste in movies, is hard to find. Mainly because you only just started to dig into cinema.

@ahwell,
I disagree with the people who think it's too early for you to have a top 100 list. The fact that you're still young and you haven't seen as many movies as other people just means that it's not your last top 100 list. I think it's going to be interesting to see your future lists, and see how your taste in movies changes over time. I'm not only looking forward to the rest of this list, but also your future lists, 5, 10, and even 20 years from now.
__________________
.
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.





88. The Long Goodbye (1973)

I've recently been watching quite a few noirs, most of them early 40s/50s classics. Of course I did see the supernatural horror noirs from the 80s starring Robert DeNiro as... well... I won't spoil it. Basically himself. And then there was the 1999 L.A. Confidential, one of the great neo-noirs even though it does take place in the 50s. Spielberg ventured into the genre with 2001's sci-fi masterpiece Minority Report.

All examples of noir films that forge forwards while also sticking to their inner core and "themes". Robert Altman does something entirely different in the Long Goodbye. He takes a famous character, probably the most famous noir character, and makes a film that's entirely his own out of it.

Yes, this is a murder mystery. Yes, there is a femme fatale (sort of). Yes there are red herrings and yes it starts Phillip ****ing Marlowe. But to me, this feels exactly how McCabe and Mrs. Miller felt as a Western. Completely unique, completely bold, like Robert Altman is bathing in his own style.

And trust me, it's not fun to watch certain directors bathe in their own styles. But Altman is simply a master at his craft. Every scene, whether it be the flowing, never "stationary" cinematography or the murmuring conversations happening in the background. It's snappy and sharp at times, but also feels in a haze. Sort of a dream.

This is a feel-good noir. Not comedic, but light hearted almost. A noir where naked dancing ladies can ask you to pick up fudge brownie mix at 3 in the morning. A noir where Arnold Schwarzenegger - as a bodyguard - is told to strip all his clothes off along with the rest of the people in the room.

There is satire, and social/political commentary, and just an overall cheerful cynicism that just makes the Long Goodbye pop out. I can't wait to see what he does with Nashville, or MASH, or, um, even Popeye! Because Altman seems to be one of the most unique directors of his generation.

And plus, we get the best movie song in history, composed by the one and only John Williams.

THERE'S A LONG GOODBYE
AND IT HAPPENS EVERYDAY
WHEN SOME PASSERBY
INVITES YOUR EYE
TO COME HER WAY

So... noir is alive! Robert Altman is alive! Cinema is alive!!
__________________
Lists and Projects
Letterboxd



88. The Long Goodbye (1973)

I've never seen that one and I'm interested in it, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Good to see that you loved it so much, I think it might have a chance of being a favorite of mine.

90. Stand by Me(1986)
89. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Wow, you really went deep into the reflective qualities of these two movies. I like both films quite a bit but what impressed me is what you wrote. You just didn't critique the films or describe then technically... you voiced the underlying themes and then extrapolated them to your own inner thoughts. Nicely done.





87. Late Spring (1949)

I've only seen three of his films, but Ozu already seems to me sort of an anti-Kubrick. Kubrick is known for his more colder, distant, often cynical style - humans aren't role models in most of his films, like Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, or Barry Lyndon.

Ozu does just the opposite, he brings an incredible warmth to humanity, a hope and optimism for the good things we can do, and he just infuses love and passion into his work.

That comparison isn't an insult to either director; Kubrick is my favorite director of all time and Ozu is getting up there. And of course I'm hugely generalizing their respective styles, every great director has many many unique things about his/her/their work.

Late Spring seeps into a plot conflict; It's slice of life at its finest, yet also so tight and structured, with a very simple plot that it sticks to. Noriko wants to stay by her father's side, he's the person she loves most in the world. Shukichi, her father, loves her dearly and wants what's best for her, which in Japanese society must mean marriage.

While the end might leave a potentially sulfurous taste in the mouth for modern viewers - Noriko gets married against her own will? - it's important to remember that Ozu was well aware of the societal restrictions and norms for women at the time. He knew - like Noriko's father - that Noriko would unfortunately have no chance in life if she didn't get married. It's not fair, but it's a fact that Noriko has to deal with.

I always love the father-daughter relationship here. It's truly amazing comparing Western and Eastern cultures through film. None is superior to the other, but - I think - Eastern movies tend to prioritize family and community over Western independence and personal needs. In an American movie, Noriko may have been the independent girl who wants to get married already, but her father is holding her back. In Late Spring, it is just the opposite; a girl has grown up her whole life by her father's side, and now must leave him, for a man she has known only a couple weeks?

Shukichi feels the same pain, yet we never see it on the surface. He lies to his daughter in order to convince her to search for a husband. Does he want Noriko to marry? Not in his heart. But his sister - and eventually his head - tell him that Noriko will get too old to marry, and then will not succeed in Japanese life.

What struck me throughout was - along with the simplicity of the plot - how simple the rest of it was. The camera movement is very minimal (is there any true camera movement??). We get Ozu's famous technique of sitting the camera on the floor and letting the actors just... act. And that's another thing. The brilliance and the beauty of the dialogue. The characters have simple conversations about every day life, of course with the plot tied in. There are few cuts, we see the conversation as someone watching in real life would.

It's an incredible, still novel, style of film-making, and Ozu - who didn't quite impress me with the first movie I saw of his, A Hen in the Wind - just hits dynamite. I don't think I'm truly capable of appreciating this as much as a Japanese/Eastern audience might, but I can definitely call it a masterpiece and one of the best movies I've seen.



Guess what? Havenít seen this one either. Havenít seen a single Ozu yet.
Get on the train brother. Seen Late Spring. I would only put Tokyo Story above it right now. It was great and I need to see it again soon



Guess what? Havenít seen this one either. Havenít seen a single Ozu yet.
I haven't seen Late Spring either, think I've only seen 2 or 3 Ozu films. Now Ozu would be a good Director HoF choice.





86. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

I am greed. I exist in everyone, and I only come out when I'm hungry for gold, or lust, or power. I am a parasite - I take and give nothing in return. I grab the minds of people and twist it; they forget their personalities, forget their true morals and ambitions, so that I may survive. Sometimes, I kill my victims. But that's okay, since I am immortal and can jump from corpse to corpse.

Greed and distrust. Two of the fundamental human characteristics. There have been countless studies, from the cynical laughs in Amadeus, to the toxic madness of Raging Bull. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre rises up as one of the greats, as an exploration of our human instincts, and what really comes out of us when gold is at stake.

Gold is a symbol, at essence, for dream/purpose, and specifically in this case it can almost be interpreted as the American dream. Two homeless, penniless men in a Mexican town have nothing to do with their lives. They need money, and will do almost anything to get it. And then, one day, their lives are changed - they meet another man, Howard, who tells them the wonders of gold. All that it can do, but with a warning - beware of it corrupting your life. As Howard says, no man who struck gold has died rich.

Yet it's the temptation and lust that brings Dobbs, Curtin, and Howard himself to venture for gold. It starts out quite how you would expect - an almost feel good, jolly, naive, adventure story. We struck gold! Yippee! Let's camp out and dig!

But very, very, soon, things turned twisted. The interesting thing about the Treasure of the Sierra Madre is that, at least in my opinion, the true villains are the main characters themselves. Yes, there are the bandits who kill Dobbs's character at the end and earlier invaded the camp. But Dobbs himself is the one that goes insane with suspicion and greed. He is essentially already dead when the bandits brutally murder him.

How do things get there? The men try everything they can; splitting the provisions equally, taking turns to do night shifts, and so on. Nothing helps; greed once again rises to their top priority, and they dissolve into barbarians lusting after money. Dobbs himself being the one at the center of this; he is aggressive, angry, entitled. It's interesting for a star like Bogart to play a character who isn't redeemed at the end. He's not the tough guy with a soft inside in Casablanca. He drags himself deeper and deeper into a hole of insanity.

As for the other two, are they happier at the end? Who's to say. Howard seemed perfectly content before, although now he lives a life of luxury among the people of the Mexican village. Curtin is once again, penniless, and returns to look for Cody's widow. And speaking of that, it's a beautiful scene. We've barely known Cody for ten minutes, and when he dies, it seems to be nothing special. But reading the letter, there is immense sorrow to his death. Every person can be good at heart, everyone has a backstory. The worst of us comes out so often.

No other movie quite paints the irony of greed and distrust as the Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Toxic masculinity is at full power, yet the warm and intimate moments prove what sometimes lies at heart. It's a terribly depressing movie, come to think of it. I'm sure it wasn't what audiences were expecting going in. With a title as "naive" and "simplistic" sounding as The Treasure of Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart, one would simply expect an entertaining and slightly cheesy adventure movie.

But what it really is, is a demonstration of the dark folds of the human soul. And for that, it's a masterpiece.