Monday, 13 July 2015

What's in a Top 10 List?

What is in a top 10 list? Have you read those Empire Magazine lists of top 100 films of all time which keep getting recycled every few years? Did you agree with what was chosen? Or perhaps you may have bought those 1001 Films to See Before You Die books? Either way I am sure you film buffs out there are familiar with them. Do you agree with these lists? Or do you think maybe it's time certain publications branched out a little bit and thought outside the box? I have always been very intrigued by what film journalists categorise as 'the best' films. What does it take to be the best?

I used to buy into this notion that Empire Magazine was right and everything they said was gospel. But hey I was 18 and I thought I knew everything, I had no idea. I can't even count the lists I have read where Shawshank RedemptionGodfather Part IICitizen Kane or Star Wars have topped the list; but I am done with accepting this. Sure those films are all wonderfully crafted, no doubt. But I truly believe these lists are making people believe these films are the be all and end all of film, and they just aren't. You can view films in so many different ways, and your current mood can definitely affect how you view them too, but even so, you don't have to agree with the majority. I am not saying be different for the sake of it, but if you genuinely believe there are better films out there, then you should be able to speak your mind without being chastised for it.

At my current place of work, my partner, myself and one of our regulars discuss film quite frequently. The other night we decided to discuss what would be in our top 50. I wasn't entirely surprised by his top 50 list which consisted of a lot of Christopher Nolan, and Cohen Bros films. But as I read my top 50 I could feel a weird energy. A lot of what I had wrote was B Grade, some of which they knew, and some they didn't. As I read certain titles such as Breakin' and Masters of the Universe, I could hear slight giggles as if my list was a bit of a joke. Afterwards I explained my choices. To sum it up; movies are an experience, and if you can quote a film and every time you watch it you get the same excitement and if it makes you feel something then that should be a film considered in your own personal list. I can appreciate well made film, with beautiful cinematography however just because a film is well shot doesn't mean it's my favourite.

No one should ever be ashamed to say that they like a film just because everyone else see's it as a joke. I really dislike people who say things such as "I will only watch a film such as Sharknado to be ironic"; fuck you. And for the record I have heard someone say that to me. Those are the types of film fence sitters that I dislike. They bend the rules to suit them because they don't want to 'lose face' in front of their so called cultured friends; but deep down, they enjoy these films. There is nothing wrong with liking or even loving B grade. Why do we all want to be cultured?

This entry isn't meant to chastise people who love critically acclaimed films, all I am saying, don't fall for the bullshit lists that are made. If you were to google top 50, top 100, top 500 lists from publications, I can guarantee you will find the same recycled titles in each list. Film buffs take hold of your own film journey, watch what you want to watch and don't be ashamed to rate that B grade title a 10. Life is too short to watch films purely based on what some film journalists wanked over, and thought everyone else would too.

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