Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top 100 Films, or Reasons To Be Thankful

I've been adding to my revised Top 100 Films list again, offering 100 words apiece about each of the entries. To give the list some added value, each entry also contains some suggestions about where interested readers might find a scholarly or film-critical response that's well worth your time.

The first ten listings in the new format have promised a place to leave comments, and though some early conversation began in this ribbon-cutting entry, you're welcome to revive the conversation here. If you've got feelings to share about Annie Hall, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Joyless Street, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Flesh, When Harry Met Sally..., In the Year of the Pig, Nostalghia, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Riddles of the Sphinx, have at it!

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Anonymous Evanderholy said...

So happy to see that you're resuming your Top 100 Films countdown, especially with two movies that I love so much. It's funny that these two entries are next to each other as they've always reminded me of the other. I think they'd make a pretty wonderful double bill.

Somehow despite both using countless techniques that stress the unreality of the specific movie, they end up giving us perhaps the two most convincing romances of the past 35 years. I'm always very upset to see Joel and Clementine/Alvy and Annie start to break-up as if they were close friends that I thought were good together. If it feels like we really know these couples and have been through a lot with them, I guess it's because we have. Both films fit an awful lot in their relatively short running times.

Woody has been on my mind lately because I just saw the documentary PBS aired on him as part of their American Masters series. It's worth checking out if you haven't yet seen it. Whatever you think of his recent work (I generally like it a little more than you, but badly long for his best work) it's pretty amazing to think of the sheer amount of writing he has done between his screenplays and plays and essays and jokes, etc. Here's hoping he has one last masterpiece in him!

5:32 PM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger Colin Low said...

I've had the Golden Age of remarriage comedies on my mind lately, wishing that it would resurface in today's movie landscape, and here you come reminding me that Eternal Sunshine went there, and without even needing to resort to period trappings. (Seriously, though, Meryl needs a remarriage comedy, stat, and one with rawer Crazy Stupid Love edges than It's Complicated deigned to offer. What I wouldn't give...)

What "pink tress," though? I don't recall any.

10:30 PM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Evanderholy: Nice to see you back, too! I feel the same way about the Annie/Eternal pairing, and with When Harry Met Sally... just a bit further down, it's like the holy trio of romantic comedies from my lifetime are all right here. I also get sad when Joel & Clementine and Annie & Alvy break up, even though I mostly think they should. Will keep an eye out for the PBS doc; I still love Barbara Kopple's doc on Woody Allen, Wild Man Blues, though I haven't seen it since it was in theaters.

@Colin: I think of her hair as pink during the scene where they're running through Grand Central and she's sort of sucked away from him while they're lying on the frozen pond. Is that wrong? That movie plays tricks on me sometime. Happily, with Clementine, I could change the word to "blue" or "green" or "scarlet," and the idea would still hold!

12:18 AM, November 27, 2011  
Blogger Colin Low said...

Huh, I'd never noticed that before! She's wearing a pink snow cap (and pants), but her hair's still tangerine. I'm usually more entranced by the bold use of spotlight in that first escape scene, but I love your point about the movie's splotches of color:

10:48 AM, November 27, 2011  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Colin: Have made craven change, to avoid confusion, but thanks for catching me out on my hallucinated pink! Must have been thinking of the snow hat.

11:07 AM, November 27, 2011  
Anonymous Steve said...

This is only tangentially related to the Top 100 list, but have you heard the great news about The Piano being released on Blu Ray this January? (Hopefully, this also means a DVD re-release for those without Blu Ray players.)

Loving this list so far, by the way. You've already inspired me to track down some of the lesser-known titles on the list, and I've added a couple new books to my wish list. Thanks for the suggestions... keep 'em coming!

7:14 PM, November 27, 2011  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Steve: Oh, it's related! I did hear about this. I'm still a no-Blu man myself, but maybe by the time this disc drops. I hope they haven't just xeroxed their substandard DVD print, though, and thrown it onto a BluRay disc. Given the number of Miramax back-catalog titles that are all coming out at the same time, I'm worried about this... and with such an immaculate, feature-filled R2/PAL DVD available in the UK and elsewhere, there's no excuse not to work out whatever rights/initiative/market issue has held The Piano to a badly designed, badly transferred, recently-out-of-print DVD for all these years. Do the right thing, Blu-Ray producers!

So glad you're enjoying the feature.

7:48 PM, November 27, 2011  

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