I've been in list mode recently. It's a good way to stave off blogger guilt ("you're only as good as your last post," "people are drifting away") during a busy summer.
Recently a friend pointed me at Ymdb.com, a fun site where you can maintain a list of your 20 all-time favorite movies and view other users' lists. The site can even calculate how much affinity your list has with someone else's.
Here's my current list (circa June 2004), followed by some commentary:
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)
The Kid (Chaplin)
Rear Window (Hitchcock)
Late Spring (Ozu)
Good Men, Good Women (Hou)
The Man with the Suitcase (Akerman)
The Dekalog (Kieslowski)
The Bicycle Thief (De Sica)
The Son (Dardenne & Dardenne)
The King of Comedy (Scorsese)
Sans Soleil (Marker)
The Conversation (Coppola)
Toby Dammit (Fellini)
Dead Man (Jarmusch)
Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control (Morris)
And now a few notes:
I forgot about Toby Dammit. I'm going out to rent it tonight here: http://www.vidiotsvideo.com/default.html
which seems like a great movie rental find, especially since it's around the corner.
Great list, Rob! And I liked your commentary almost as much as the list itself. :)
I'm glad to see you appreciated "Nightjohn"--it's my favorite Burnett of the three or four of his I've seen.
Very interesting list. Sans Soleil has been one of my must see movies for years, but I never seem to get around to it. Hopefully this will be the year. And I agree completely about The Conversation.
Here's my list: http://www.ymdb.com/user_top20_view.asp?usersid=13088
Nothing by Antonioni? My God, nothing by Antonioni!
Heather, that does look like a good find. A few searches of their database turned up a lot of good stuff. Hope you like Toby Dammit. I seem to recall that you're a Fellini fan, so it should be up your alley.
Doug, thanks. And thanks for the pointer to the ymdb. Nightjohn is the kind of movie I wanted to tell everyone to see, which is of course hard to do. Did you happen to see Burnett's short, "When it Rains"? It's great, with a quick rhythm and a kind of effervescent community spirit. It was over so quickly that I really need to see it again, but I believe Rosenbaum listed it as one of his 10 faves in the most recent Sight & Sound poll. And Armond White calls it, "a masterpiece about the disparate elements of a modern American community and the humane art?the good humor?that binds it" (according to the PFA notes).
Donald, I hope you enjoy Sans Soleil. I find it very inspiring. The content is fascinating, but also the form appeals to my sense of collage... I always enjoy connecting disparate things, and Marker does that very, very well. By the way, unless you speak French, I suggest watching the UK version, if you have the choice. Marker does both English and French versions of his films, so it's fully blessed and easier to follow because you don't have to read subtitles. Also: our ymdb lists have 9.36% affinity. :-) Nice list. Lots of great Hollywood classics.
Antonioni! I can't believe I forgot L'Avventura. What can be done to remedy this, now that the list is set in stone? Hmm.
Actually, I would love to see Antonioni's movies on a large screen, which I've never been able to do. That imposing architecture wasn't meant for television at all.