Saturday, November 29, 2008

As I Lay Thanking

I'm in an infinitely better place than these women—click on the photo if you want to know why—but still, it must be said: I've had a frustratingly flu-like cold since Tuesday, right through Thanksgiving, so at any given moment that I wasn't calling a family member or cooking a holiday dish, I've mostly been splayed out on my red futon, trying to let the seasonal tide of gratitude and life-loving overcome my incipient grouchiness about my raspy throat and my upset stomach. Unable to complete any professional tasks, I tried to think of something lovely I could produce for this site—often a delightful restorative when I'm in low spirits or ill health, even if this tends to make my sentences even longer and my number of typos even more disheartening. And I thought, while I'm feeling so thankful and full-stomached, why not revive my very favorite of my dormant writing projects? Why not seize upon this time to transcribe my feelings of gratitude toward movies I especially adore?

A few of you have noticed that, three years after I began the Favorites countdown, and almost two years after slamming into a brick wall at #34, I've gone back to clean up the graphics, fix some links, and most importantly, rearrange the lists to reflect that it's a new day. Cuz you know some movies I like a bit less than I did three years ago, and some a lot more (which I sometimes only realized by re-watching them for this feature), and some didn't even exist when I started this project, so ghastly has my procrastination been. Here are the old entries for the ten films that dropped off my list when I revised it two months ago. The recalibrated list still has some gaps where new movies will debut to replace the retired ones, or where movies scheduled to drop from my revised Top 100 list (coming in January!) are resurfacing instead on the mutually-exclusive Favorites listing, or where formerly high-ranked Favorites from '05 have slipped to lower rungs. The current and forthcoming #68, for example, would have been #33 when I last checked in, and my purely gratuitous list-maker's panic in the face of this obvious travesty ("But I don't like this more than Bram Stoker's Dracula, I don't!!!") partly explains why it took me so long to resume.

Anyway: such are the holes I'm filling now with new entries, and LOOK: I've got four of 'em already! And what a combo, right? Click on the images, please enjoy, and I hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving, whether or not you live someplace where it made any sense to celebrate it.

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Blogger Calum Reed said...

Lol! I know exactly what you mean. You go down the list and think, "Do I really like this more than this? Why? Is it more important?" etc. etc.

However, gaps do not look good Nick! Fill them. It's worth it, if just to make the list seem more focused and on-going. You know what I mean, right?

Thanks for posting in the midst of tissue and holiday illness (which seems to be the worst kind of illness, doesn't it?) because I imagine you just feel like shit and want to curl up and hibernate despite the nagging voice telling you to come online and be productive. You've definitely conquered that obstacle.

Get well soon :-)

9:41 PM, November 29, 2008  
Blogger Glenn Dunks said...

Glad to see you restarting/rejiggering/reimagining (as they say in the movies) this list. Also great to see Birth and Jackie Brown moving up. Two movies that to this day continue to firm in my mind as true masterpieces when I could gladly take or leave many of the films I am supposed to think are masterpieces. Can't wait, Nick!

11:15 PM, November 29, 2008  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Cal: Glad you get the spirit, and since you know this feels, I am going to take your anti-gap encouragement as a gentle instruction not to wait too long filling in the other holes before we push on up through the higher rungs. Loud and clear, Cal! Hard at work, etc.

@Glenn: Thanks for your enthusiasm! And I'm glad you're psyched about Birth and Jackie Brown. I wonder: is there anybody out there who is similarly excited about Sherman's March (#30)? Have I possibly convinced anyone to give it a whirl? It might be the funniest, most improbable heart-warmer that I can't get anyone in my own life to watch.

12:05 AM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

I have only seen Jackie Brown once (in the theater) and it's my least favorite (though I still enjoyed) Tarantino barring Death Proof (the only one I wholeheartedly don't like). So perhaps i should give it another go...

as for BIRTH: Love it.

greatly enjoyed the writeup on Block Party which really does age well in your head... like a concert that you're proud to say you were at...

glad to see this is in process again and I hope to get back to my personal canon too. (sigh)

7:37 AM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger Guy Lodge said...

I'm new to this list, so excuse me for bringing up an old entry. One word:

"Hyenas." Yay.

Well, that was two words. But as an African (albeit a very pale one), you have no idea how happy it makes me to see you celebrating the continent's cinema. So few do. Kudos.

Thrilled to see "Birth" bowing, too. That sustained Kidman close-up is one of the most extraordinary in all cinema.

7:53 AM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger Jarek said...

I'll echo the cheers for Birth and Jackie Brown, whilst heartily praising your inclusion of Sherman's March! I absolutely love it! It's terrificly funny and touching (not to mention squirm-inducing). Have you seen Bright Leaves? Also quite good.

Thanks for the fresh material!

9:19 AM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger Catherine said...

Wheee! The Favourites list is probably my favourite section on this blog, because it's so idiosyncratic that it could only have come from a lifetime of intense cinephilia. I use it for rental suggestions all the time, by the way.

Oh, question. You've put The Piano at numero uno on your Best Films list, does this really mean it'll be left off the Favourites list? You say in your introduction to the Favourites that there'll be no overlap, but surely you'll make an exception for that? Or is this classified information, haha?

11:34 AM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Nathaniel: Not to boss the Film Bitch around, but you gotta give Jackie Brown another whirl. I might well be wrong, but I suspect you'd love it.

@Guy: I'm as thrilled to get a Hyenas shout-out as you are to give it! I've never gotten a note back about that one before, but it's such a keeper. We've got a little East Africa going on, too, with These Hands and some North Africa in Chronicle of the Smoldering Years, and there's just a fraction more to come...

@Jarek: Huzzah! A Sherman's March fan! Thanks for piping up. Bright Leaves never opened where I was then living, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't yet caught up with it on DVD.

@Catherine: Much appreciated, as always. I am being firm about that Bests/Favorites split, just to spread the love beyond so many of the usual suspects. This list is more of a supplement to the other than a freestanding list of my absolute "most" favorites. Otherwise, there'd be no leaving out The Piano, Morvern Callar, Safe, Aliens, and several others.

As classified info goes, I'll be yanking five titles from the Top 100 and re-installing them here; These Hands was the first, one is coming up next at #77, one's in the 50s, and two are a lot higher than that. Hang in there, and thanks for continuing to read!

2:09 PM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger Dame James said...

I am just in awe in your ability to crank out these thoughtful and meaningful tributes to your favorite films so quickly. I think it's wonderful that you're continuing on with this list and highlighting such eclectic (and sometimes obscure) choices. I have been fooling around with my own Top 100 favorite films list for a few years now and I don't know if I'll ever be happy with it. Seeing you restart your list, though, has inspired me to re-do my list, throw out films I respect but don't love and not be afraid to add in silly films that aren't technically "good." Hopefully, one day I'll be able to do something like your project, but I know it won't be half as good.

11:34 PM, November 30, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's my least favorite (though I still enjoyed) Tarantino barring Death Proof (the only one I wholeheartedly don't like). So perhaps i should give it another go...
Neosporin Eye Ointment

6:17 PM, October 09, 2012  

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