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Time’s Quirky 100 Best Movies

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Time Magazine has posted it’s “ALL-TIME 100 Movies” list, and the best thing that can be said about it is it’s not entirely predictable.

Yes, Citizen Kane and The Godfather are on it, but for anyone who regularly follows these things, Time critics Richard Schickel and Richaerd Corliss throw a few curveballs.

*Biggest omissions: First of all, the big “news,” so to speak, is that it doesn’t include Gone With the Wind, but that’s really not a surprise; a lot of critics dislike that movie, although I don’t. The real news is that there’s no Birth of a Nation, no Potemkin, no Jean Renoir — not even Rules of the Game — no Antonioni, and no Robert Altman, not even Nashville. Perhaps Altman isn’t a surprise; he goes in and out of favor. But the others pop up so frequently on so many top ten lists — including the Big Kahuna of them all — or at least hover near the top, that they seem permanently glued there.

*Most interesting choices: Fassbinder’s great Berlin Alexanderplatz, Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Bresson’s Mouchette, and Resnais’s blissful (and I think largely unseen) Mon Oncle d’Amerique.

*Questionable choices: Blade Runner, Brazil, Charade, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Notorious, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Talk to Her. With the exception of Purple Rose, I generally like all these movies, just not that much.

*Unquestionably Bad Choice: The Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing. Long talky bore.

*Weirdest choice: Dr. Strangelove I can see, but Barry Lyndon? Ranks with Eyes Wide Shut as the lamest movie Kubrick ever made.

*What I would have included: definitely Rules of the Game, as well as Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Lina Wertmuller’s masterpiece Seven Beauties, Wim Wenders In the Course of Time, Woody Allen’s Manhattan, Bunuel’s Viridiana, Mike Leigh’s Life is Sweet, and Fellini’s I vitelloni.

Confession Time: I’ve shamefully managed to avoid seeing a full fifth of the movies listed, including most of The Apu Trilogy as well as The Awful Truth, Baby Face, Camille, Chungking Express, City of God, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, The Crowd, The Decalogue, Drunken Master II, Finding Nemo, Kandahar, The Last Command, Leolo, Metropolis, Nayakan, Once Upon a Time in the West, Pyaasa, Sherlock, Jr., Swing Time, Tokyo Story, Ulysses’ Gaze, Wings of Desire and A Touch of Zen. I’ve never even heard of the last one.

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  • TylerNewton

    Most of the films on your “confession time” are good ones. Seriously

    I think a few films missing are:

    MEMENTO (definitely OVER Finding Nemo any day of the millenium)

    and of course,

    CLERKS

  • Sean

    Any list that does not include both ‘Car Wash’ and ‘Pumping Iron’ is just critics gazing at their navels.

  • wvmcl

    “Charade” is on the list but not “North by Northwest.”

    Gimme a break!

  • John Danzer

    I guess you have to find a film reviewer with similar tastes. No Vertigo?

  • ne

    You definitely should see some of the ones you avoided. Chungking Express is a very quirky, lovable, and delightful film with the best actors of the day.