Make Your Picks

What do you think about critical lists? It is subjective?

Tools    





Maybe I'm drawing wrong conclusions from this, but I do disagree with (my subjective understanding of) this. I don't think there can be an idealized form to movies or even to different building blocks of them. Not even to a degree to form a consensus for the so-called objective discussion.

We can, however, break movies (and art in general) apart from the technical point of view. There may not be a way to objectively measure (all of) these technical aspects, but they provide means to discuss and argue our subjective opinions in this more serious way. In other words, the standard, to me, is the terminology and its definitions; not a consensus of an idealized form, but a consensus of how each individual form is built.
I think we probably mostly agree (the terminology around this is pretty tricky to parse, so I might not be totally understanding you, either). If you're saying that nobody has the same idealized form, either, I'd agree with that, but I think there can be enough overlap to make productive discussion/analysis/comparison possible. For example, two people may not like all the same films or think of the same things when considering what an idealized film might look like, but they may both love a particular classic, which they can mutually use to judge other films that were influenced by it. Something like that.

But yeah, if nothing else we definitely agree that it's about trying to find ways to discuss those differences. When two people come to a full understanding about why they differ, that, to me, is more encouraging than people who come to agree without that same understanding.



Oh, I'll echo Takoma on unranked lists. Not always, I think there's sometimes value in having to make that choice, but most Best Of <Whatever Year> lists would be better unranked, to my mind. Specifically because those lists are comparing wildly different films. I like the idea of ranking more within a genre, or something like that, where meaningful comparison is possible.



intersubjective, statistical, tendency, expertise, favoritism, curation.

citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time =/= Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time according to [.........]
__________________
"Фильм призван вызвать духовную волну, а не взращивать идолопоклонников."



I like the idea of ranking more within a genre, or something like that, where meaningful comparison is possible.
I find the ranking element of lists to be distracting. My ideal list is an unranked group of films where the person (or people) who curated the list give a little blurb about what makes each film noteworthy.

I'm a big fan of lists that take more well-known films as their reference point and highlight lesser-known pictures. "If you like ABC you might like XYZ". I also love "Best _____ Films You've Never Seen" type lists. It's where you find films like Brother from Another Planet or Liquid Sky--the kind of movies that would never show up on an all-time list, and might not even make a "Top 100 Sci-Fi Films" list.



I'm a big fan of lists that take more well-known films as their reference point and highlight lesser-known pictures. "If you like ABC you might like XYZ". I also love "Best _____ Films You've Never Seen" type lists. It's where you find films like Brother from Another Planet or Liquid Sky--the kind of movies that would never show up on an all-time list, and might not even make a "Top 100 Sci-Fi Films" list.
These kinds of lists are the only ones I ever bother to check outside our own countdowns here. Also, for mentioning Liquid Sky. It's a surprisingly good film.
__________________



The trick is not minding
A mentioned before by others , I enjoy lists purely for the fact I may see something I had never heard of before.
But for that, I usually look up specialized lists.
For substance I found these on letterbox’s years ago:

Top 200 Italian Gialli
Top 100 Spaghetti Westerns
Top 100 Italian Eurocrime/Poliziotteschi
Top 100 Samurai Films
Top 100 Blaxploitation Movies
Top 200 80s Slashers
Top 100 Yakuza Films

And two others worth mentioning:
50 horror films you have never seen
BFI screen guide to top 100 European Horror films

I remember watching AFI top 100 series they released yearly starting in 1998. That was a great starting point for me when I first had started out, but they were too American centric, obviously.



Back when they were publishing film guides like videohound or Halliwell I read an article suggesting how to choose a review source for movies to watch. They named about a dozen books (been quite a while). The advice they gave was to look at as many sources as I reasonably could and go with the source that agrees with my taste. For me it was Halliwell, and it was very close to my taste in films. I don't think you need to limit yourself to films that are recommended by certain reviewers, but I think their are elements that can predict the quality of a film. Since I am suggesting that you choose your review source to agree with your taste, I am not suggesting that you claim ultimate authority for this source,, just a means to locate movies you will like.and at least some criteria of what makes a good film. I don't think that naming a good film is subjective. I think naming a film we like is subjective. But i think you can objectively argue that some films are better than other films.



I have a hard time ascribing any value to crazy lists like the "Top 200 Spaghetti-Western-Zombie Movies" or whatever, and a hard time acknowledging the authority of soooo many reviewers. As a person who has occasionally dipped my toe in that activity, and having met a couple of published local movie reviewers, I can't avoid the idea that someone is a movie expert mainly because they say so, like me, and because they are willing to do it with little or no pay.

If I have any belief in their "authority" it would be mainly because they have a lot of wide experience with lots of genres and movies and because they are willing to be honest about what could be referred to as a reviewing style or a preference or a prejudice.

In addition, really, who says? Like, why do movies have to be rated low if they are meant to be cheesy popular sltuff AND then, succeed at that and make lots of money? On the other hand, why is an indie flick that's only seen in an indie environment by people that believe in the innate superiority of indie flicks considered to be good? Can a movie that is NOT popular somehow be seen as better? I don't know. I'd bet that most people alive today have not seen Citizen Kane and only thing they know about Orson Welles, if they know anything at all, as a is guy who did a halloween radio show.

That said, I love movies, will see lots of them until I die, but I only acknowledge reviewers as people who can make educated suggestions about what's new this week.

I do like Citizen Kane, but I can't stand Tarantino's movies. Kane is a great confection, Tarantino is a waste of brain cells. So there, if you're asking my astute opinion on the next Tarantino movie, my review is already in and I haven't even seen it yet, just like a movie reviewer.



I have a hard time ascribing any value to crazy lists like the "Top 200 Spaghetti-Western-Zombie Movies" or whatever, and a hard time acknowledging the authority of soooo many reviewers.
I don't think that the authority/credentials are the point of finding value in a list like that. I think that the value is in being exposed to titles you might not otherwise hear about.

For me, I often judge a list more from how I relate to the titles I have seen. So if it is a "best thrillers" list and I have seen about half but consider many of them just okay, I might not put much stake in that list.

But if someone mentions a few films that I love, it makes me more inclined to check out other stuff they think is worth the time.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
The most useful lists for me have come from cinnemassacre on youtube. James explains why each movie is on the list, explains how he defines the genre, gives a few still shots or video clips to let you see what he's talking about, and then admits that the ranking is next to useless because even he will change his mind by the time he publishes the video.
Cinemassacre is an interesting choice, as the best, as he often reviews corny B movies, that are not always bad and some good, doesn't review a lot of really great movies in my opinion . However, we will say tell exactly what the movie is and what you are in for, for sure.