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The MoFo Top 100 of the 1970s: Countdown

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Yes, apparently a list which came from a major film company that was decided on by over 1,500 film critics, academics, etc. is a troll list. Sure, pretty much all the films on there are widely considered to be classics of their respective decade/country, including Jeanne Dielman, but nah, I'm sure that was all just an elaborate trolling attempt.
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Frankly it's a troll list...so many of those films are just unwatchable pretentious trash.
You know nothing of troll lists.

Have not seen the movie, but I trust Mofos judgment moreso than the BFI people. Sounds crazy but true.
It's made it onto two different countdowns, that's got to count for something as far as "MoFo judgment" goes. There's never going to be a truly satisfactory "best film ever" so I like that it's a genuine wildcard as opposed to one of the usual suspects.
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Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0



Great resource thanks. I am also appricate the community because of their good work.



Frankly it's a troll list...so many of those films are just unwatchable pretentious trash.
I think what Siddon is trying to say here is that there are so many different types of movies, and each of these types have critically-acclaimed movies of their own, and yet this list most focuses on the "film class necessities" or the more "artsy" movies which many movie buffs tell people they need to learn to love rather than movies most people love on the first go, as if that didn't count for anything. I'm not saying these movies aren't lovable, just that the majority of them share the "critic's choice" or "film class" reputation already, so with so many movies of that type thrown in there, replacing other types of essentials, like the relevancy and influence of the straight-up action flick such as Die Hard which would stick out like a sore thumb, even among Blade Runner. And there's the absence of Star Wars movies of any kind, as well as animation save two Ghibli movies, and Ghibli is about as "artsy" as animation gets save Don Hertzfeldt. Can the world really say that animation is that unimportant?

Basically, the list feels more like a chore than other lists, specifically choosing movies that critics would claim you would have to be advanced to love anyway, as if we action fans couldn't pick a few favorites in those lists, or as if the critic isn't supposed to like "simple" things like "cartoons." The list can actually be interpreted as insulting, especially since people who find those lists insulting would have predicted these types of results. Even among critics, A24 hasn't reached the heights of relevancy that Disney has, so the basic need herein is for the critics who take part in lists like this to, as the plebeians say, chill out.



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Yeah, but how much overlap is there between the best films and the most popular ones? Even something like Star Wars can feel marginal when you consider that its particular genres - sci-fi, fantasy, and also the samurai and Western influences it displays - are better represented by other titles as opposed to its comparatively simplistic hybrid (and sure, there's the technical achievements, but you can't get by on tech alone or else stuff like Avatar would crack the list). Something like Seven Samurai reads as the respectable representation for the action genre not just because of Kurosawa's influence across cinema but because it's a great film in its own right (and Mifune anticipates similarly wise-cracking anti-heroes). Having animation only be represented by two Ghibli is a problem not because it doesn't acknowledge Disney (which again, is that a matter of acknowledging the greatness of individual films or just their place in history, because in the latter case one could argue they're a little...problematic) but because Ghibli isn't even as artistic as animation gets - you can basically classify them as Japanese Pixar with their well-crafted fantasy adventures, but that not only leaves out Hertzfeldt but the likes of Son of the White Mare or Ghost in the Shell as well).

In any case, arguing for titles on the basis of cultural impact only matters so much - that list I linked to was a poll answered by the readers of Empire magazine, who placed Avengers: Infinity War over Raiders of the Lost Ark and A Quiet Place over In the Mood for Love. Maybe the Sight and Sound list reads like pretentious garbage (and I doubt Siddon means anything else by that post) but I'll take that over a list with as severe a case of bias towards the most recent of crowd-pleasers as Empire's.



But cultural impact goes hand in hand with popularity. You can even argue that it IS popularity. And can you think of a critically-acclaimed movie with a bigger impact than Star Wars? Let's not also forget that Star Wars turned the fantasy genre into a sci-fi world, which is something people couldn't do back then without feeling like an Italian B-movie. ILM also did things with special effects that nobody could do back then. Can we REALLY compare Star Wars to other sci-fi movies of the time save 2001 and The Wrath of Khan?



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Yeah, I think I was already conflating cultural impact with popularity all in service of the point that they only matter so much (if at all) when it comes to determining a film's overall quality as a work of art. Despite Star Wars being not only a cultural phenomenon and a technical achievement, I think you can still make a case for why it wouldn't end up on a "best films of all-time" list - you could take an especially wide and snobby view of how it's the progenitor of the modern blockbuster and has adversely affected the state of cinema as an art form in the decades since its release, but maybe it's because said art form arguably demands more than just a simplistic hero's journey buffed up by genre pastiche.



Here's a good article about all this "stuff". The quotes I want to focus on:

However, this time itís about a film whose merits are undeniable. If Jeanne Dielman had simply made the top 10, no serious critical consensus could deny it a place.
Everyone knows that there is no Greatest Film Ever Made, but itís that number-one designation that galls the listís critics. The S&S directorsí poll ranked Jeanne Dielman as number two, and nobody seems upset about that.
I think this is overstated, but it did give me a thought about the #1 spot, specifically, after I read this quote:

Everyone knows that there is no Greatest Film Ever Made
I think this is obviously true, and I think this also explains some of the consternation with this choice. If you can't choose a Greatest Film Ever Made, but you've decided to kinda do so anyway, I think there's a feeling (if not an understanding) that whatever comes out on top should represent the totality of the medium. In other words, something that utilizes all parts of the form and demonstrates what it's capable of. Something multi-faceted. Something that can make you laugh and make you cry, as the movie poster trope goes. Obviously, no experimental or avante-garde effort can satisfy this (if it could, it would not be worthy of either of those descriptors).

If the list is just what people happened to choose, then it is what it is and there's no use talking about it. But if it's meant to be emblematic of something...if it's meant to be what we'd show the aliens when they asked us for one film to show them what all films can be...then it makes sense for it to be something like Citizen Kane. Something expansive, something where technical and aesthetic artistry are working in concert, and so on.

I think the best argument here, then, is not "this film isn't good enough" (which may be true for most people but is kind of a non-starter), but that this kind of list making is inherently pointless and not worthy of much attention unless it's trying to choose an emblematic film, in which case this is a pretty odd choice.

Really though, this probably just suffers from the same issues as our countdowns here do: people use different criteria, and they mix together in odd and unpredictable ways.



Wrt Star Wars, if you Google BFI and a movie title you'll get the stats from the sight & sound poll on their page with the description.
It's still the 2012 poll results at the moment.


Star Wars:
10 critic's
3 directors
https://www2.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6b738e6



According to the spreadsheet I made of the critics poll I made last time that got it to position 174.


There is something psychological about different segments of where something ends up in the poll, the top 100 vs the top 250. Which is to say, those poll results, to me, kind of gives the message that, "it's somewhat important, but not as overblown as it is to the minds of the typical filmgoer."


Granted, on the flipside, something like A Clockwork Orange comes in at around 240 (which it did that decade) and I'm going, "while not the most critically important movie, it is a sign that even at spots 250 and below, you're going to find movies of notable artistic merit and just because something is low down on the list doesn't inherently mean it's lesser, all of these movies were loved by someone."



Here's a good article about all this "stuff". The quotes I want to focus on:



I think this is overstated, but it did give me a thought about the #1 spot, specifically, after I read this quote:



I think this is obviously true, and I think this also explains some of the consternation with this choice. If you can't choose a Greatest Film Ever Made, but you've decided to kinda do so anyway, I think there's a feeling (if not an understanding) that whatever comes out on top should represent the totality of the medium. In other words, something that utilizes all parts of the form and demonstrates what it's capable of. Something multi-faceted. Something that can make you laugh and make you cry, as the movie poster trope goes. Obviously, no experimental or avante-garde effort can satisfy this (if it could, it would not be worthy of either of those descriptors).

If the list is just what people happened to choose, then it is what it is and there's no use talking about it. But if it's meant to be emblematic of something...if it's meant to be what we'd show the aliens when they asked us for one film to show them what all films can be...then it makes sense for it to be something like Citizen Kane. Something expansive, something where technical and aesthetic artistry are working in concert, and so on.

I think the best argument here, then, is not "this film isn't good enough" (which may be true for most people but is kind of a non-starter), but that this kind of list making is inherently pointless and not worthy of much attention unless it's trying to choose an emblematic film, in which case this is a pretty odd choice.

Really though, this probably just suffers from the same issues as our countdowns here do: people use different criteria, and they mix together in odd and unpredictable ways.

I think I made my peace with the #1 spot not necessarily being a movie I'd consider to be the greatest movie of all time when Vertigo took it. I basically spent the last 10 years trying to figure out the appeal. Not even at the level of trying to get myself to like to it, but trying to get into the head space of why it has an appeal that strongly appeals to that many critics.


I think by the end, I finally got to that point. Still won't ever be in the consideration for my proverbial S&S ballot, but I think I at least understand that broad appeal now.


Just some reflections on the subject.



Yeah, I've made my peace with a lot of this stuff, regardless. And I'm someone who was underwhelmed by Vertigo when I first saw it, though I've been meaning to revisit it.

I'm really just trying to find an explanation here to bridge some of the gap in reactions. When people are this mad, and argue this much without seemingly reaching any kind of understanding, it's a strong indicator that they're talking past each other. And the idea that one group just sees this as "well, no accounting for taste!" and the other sees it as more than that is explained, I think, by all the unstated things a "greatest film of all time" can be, other than what it says on the tin.

The argument makes perfect sense if everybody involved KNOWS (consciously or otherwise) there's no such thing as a Greatest Film of All Time, but one group is carrying the assumption that the choice should therefore be emblematic of the medium, and the other group is not.



We already have lots of contenders in the "greatest" vein, anyway. Most places wouldn't even agree that Vertigo is the number 1 Hitchcock, as Psycho gets all the ladies to itself. But in turn, whatever "pretentious" or "politcal" mindset the number one hints at would have to be denoted not only by awareness of modern critical mentality but by many other choices in the list as a running theme. In this instance, speculation would be as justifiable as circumstantial evidence, though circumstantial is different from hard evidence (right, Arthur Leigh Allen?)



Yeah, I think I was already conflating cultural impact with popularity all in service of the point that they only matter so much (if at all) when it comes to determining a film's overall quality as a work of art. Despite Star Wars being not only a cultural phenomenon and a technical achievement, I think you can still make a case for why it wouldn't end up on a "best films of all-time" list - you could take an especially wide and snobby view of how it's the progenitor of the modern blockbuster and has adversely affected the state of cinema as an art form in the decades since its release, but maybe it's because said art form arguably demands more than just a simplistic hero's journey buffed up by genre pastiche.



At this same instance, it's odd to see that criticism for me because on the music forums the criticized albums would not be the albums that would gain many emulators, but the emulators themselves. And critical choices would often reflect that as well. Best example: Foo Fighters and the curse of post-grunge, a nonfiction work by Dr. Music History.