I watched the AFI's latest subjective trek through movie history last night. This year is was the "One Hundred Most Inspirational Movies", called One Hundred Years, One Hundred Cheers. You can read their rankings here. I continue to find these annual specials inspired; they're clearly not meant to be taken seriously as rankings but rather as commercials for movies that are older than whatever's on the "New Releases" section at Blockbuster.
So some random quibbles, in the spirit of not taking the thing too seriously:
:: Sorry, I don't find Saving Private Ryan, Gone With the Wind, or It's A Wonderful Life particularly inspirational at all. In fact, I think that all three are stunningly overrated. I've never understood the classic status afforded to any of these films.
:: I can never remember if these lists are geared toward specifically American films, so that would partially explain it, but I find the Lord of the Rings films to be one inspiration after another -- especially Samwise Gamgee's two great moments (his wonderful speech at the end of The Two Towers, and when he picks up Frodo whilst climbing Mount Doom -- "I can't carry it [the Ring] for you...but I can carry you!").
:: I know, I know. I said I'm not taking this too seriously. And I'm really not. Really.
So why in the hell is The Shawshank Redemption only 23rd???
:: What the hell does the AFI have against Cameron Crowe, anyway? They left Say Anything... off their list of the 100 most romantic movies, and I would have included either Jerry Maguire or Almost Famous on the "100 Cheers" list. (Elizabethtown, not so much. I liked that movie, but damn, did Crowe flirt with utter disaster all through that thing....)
:: Yup, there's Dead Poets Society, which ends with the most falsely-uplifting gesture in movie history. And yet, Mel Gibson's far superior film on a similar theme, The Man Without a Face, languishes in relative obscurity.
:: Superman. My Fair Lady. Witness. The American President. Contact. I could go on.
:: Two of the top ten feature scores by John Williams. Cool.
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