Of course any post on the top 10 films in history is basically trolling for comments. But they were interesting comments. And here’s a few additional thoughts based upon them:
1. I recognize that there are good movies from the 1980s. But I would say that there are less good movies from that decade than any other. If I counted The Decalogue as a movie, it would be in my top 10 of all time, but it’s really more of a miniseries, as is Scenes from a Marriage, another clear top 10 contender. As is, Raging Bull is probably the decade’s best film.
2. I simply don’t get the love for Fight Club. It’s a good solid movie, but a total cop-out in the end with the two guys being the same person. I guess it serves as a touchstone for modern discussions of masculinity and I think that’s why people love it so much, even if they don’t think of it in those terms. But it’s really not that great. And neither is Children of Men, another recent film that people love more than is justified. Nothing against that film either, which I also liked a good bit. But really.
3. I’m interested, both in the original Sight and Sound list and in comments, of the increasing respect for Mulholland Drive. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a David Lynch fan. But there’s no question it’s his best movie. His aesthetic is not really for me. But the key to reaching the S&S Top 10 is not to have your votes divided among multiple films. I think Lynch’s are coalescing around Mulholland.
4. I liked SEK bringing up Sunshine. Although I don’t much care for science fiction, the first 2/3 of that were really good. And then it was a complete meltdown. God the last third was garbage. But then I am also not a Danny Boyle fan. I think he jumps from genre to genre without really developing his craft around particular types of storytelling in a way that would deepen his films over time. I also thought Slumdog Millionaire was irritating poverty porn and it reinforced how stupid Oscar voters are.
5. Finally, just to throw another 10 films out that could easily have made my top 10 on a different day, think Wild Strawberries, The Godfather Part I, Pather Panchali, Kings of the Road, The Big Sleep, Raging Bull, The Gold Rush, A Generation, Army of Shadows, and All About Eve.
And just to troll a bit, and because I truly love this film, I’ll add an 11th: The Last Temptation of Christ.
Also, Moonrise Kingdom was really, really great.