Friday, April 21, 2006

Other People's Lists

Jim Emerson, who blogs over at Roger Ebert's website (and is way cooler than Ebert, cuz he disliked Crash), posted a list of the "101 Movies You Must See Before You Die", which he describes as :
"This isn't like Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" series. It's not my idea of The Best Movies Ever Made (that would be a different list, though there's some overlap here), or that they were my favorites or the most important or influential films, but that they were the movies you just kind of figure everybody ought to have seen in order to have any sort of informed discussion about movies. They're the common cultural currency of our time, the basic cinematic texts that everyone should know, at minimum, to be somewhat "movie-literate."
It's pretty much the usual suspects, from Citizen Kane, to Fargo, to Gone With The Wind, to Taxi Driver. I counted 54 of the 101 that I've seen, which probably isn't the percentile I'd like to pretend I'm in, alas...

Hitchcock films? Not that I could choose between any of them. I might even add Notorious to the list, since it's the Most Romantic Film Ever Made (says me).

Fight Club
is the most recent film listed. Anybody able to think of anything he's missing? Or that just should not be there at all?

And since no post I do would apparently be complete without some scariness injected, director Christopher Gans, of the opening-today film Silent Hill, listed his top seven horror movies in the L.A. Times, and they are as follows:
1 - The Haunting, Robert Wise
2 - Deep Red, Dario Argento
3 - The Innocents, Jack Clayton
4 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper
5 - Dawn of the Dead, George Romero
6 - Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter
7 - Ringu, Hideo Nakata
I've never seen Prince of Darkness; John Carpenter is so terribly hit- or- miss- but- usually-miss, it depresses me when I catch something like Ghosts of Mars or Village of the Damned, so I haven't checked out a lot of his work. I will make this terribly dubious claim, though - his remake of The Thing is a better film than Halloween. Anyway, onto the queue with you, then, Prince of Darkness!

The other film of those seven I've never seen is Deep Red; I was on a brief Argento kick about a year ago (Suspiria is still my favorite) and watched several of his films, but there are only so many screaming girls in dormitories you can take before you really need a long break.

Otherwise it's a great list (big yes to Ringu!), though I could make a list of about 100 more horror films one needs to see...

No Rosemary's Baby, for one, is blasphemy.

(Tannis, anyone?)


Brian Darr said...

Only six left for me, and I plan to tackle The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie next month when a mini-fest of Bunuel/Carrere films plays near me. I'd better ration the rest if I want to keep the Grim Reaper at bay. I guess I won't be seeing a Star is Born anytime soon.

tim r said...

I'm sorry, but no. Christophe Gans's selection of the tragic Prince of Darkness as his favourite John Carpenter movie is a clear clue to why Silent Hill is such an unutterable crock of shite. I've seen virtually all Carpenter's films, and I way prefer Vampires. Or even Ghosts of Mars. (And I agree with you, JA, about his Thing, so to speak.)

Anonymous said...

Ooh, brian beat my by one. I've got 7 left.

People always give me a funny look when I tell them I haven't seen Carrie.

Anonymous said...

I have nine left to watch from Emerson's list. Gans makes a good list, aside from the big stinkiness of Prince of Darkness (which was, eerily, the 666th film I reviewed on my site, completely by accident). I don't think The Thing is a better film than Halloween, but they're so close that I wouldn't look askance at anyone who thought so. I just wish Carpenter hadn't included that first shot of the spacecraft zooming in toward earth. It would have made for a great shock later in the film if we didn't already know what they were going to find.

Anonymous said...

I also recommend Deep Red as a long-time Argento fan. There are some remarkable images, especially the killer doll that appears out of nowhere.

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