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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

AFI 100 Years, 100 Cheers

I will post tomorrow on my first week at the OOLD (Office of the Living Dead). For now, however, let me tell you why I'm up at 2:40 am, blogging when I should be sleeping.

Simple. I got hooked into watching the American Film Institute's tribute to the "100 most inspirational American Films." I was dreading the top spot revelation, but was delighted: Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" (see video clip and earlier post).

There were, however, other surprises and disappointments. Why, for example, should a movie such as "Breaking Away" (1979) make it to #8 (!) when movies such as "The Natural," "Good Will Hunting," "Pleasantville," and "Gattaca" did not even make the list — someone please explain to me how "Breaking Away" gets to spot 8???

It also seemed to me that every Spielberg movie ever made got up there on the list (with proud papa Spielberg schmaltzing away with comments like, "who would have thought a nice jewish boy to make so many movies about resurrection, he he he"). I do agree that "Schindler's List" and "Close Encounters" should be somewhere on the list, but 3 in the TOP 10?? I don't think "Saving Private Ryan" should get to #10 out of #100, overshadowing infinitely better movies like "The Shawshank Redemption" (#23), "Gandhi" (#29) and "Star Wars: A New Hope" (#39)! Okay, show me ONE PERSON under the age of 60 in this country who can say in all sincerity that he was more inspired by "Saving Private Ryan" than he was by "Star Wars" and I'll show you a bigtime blockhead.

As much as Spielberg was stroked on this list, fabulous moviemakers such as Martin Scorcese were dissed. What... "Kundun" wasn't inspiring? It was a splendidly filmed movie on the Dalai Frigging Lama - how much more inspiring does it get? Or Scorcese's "Last Temptation of Christ" — now there was a movie which inspired all kinds of reactions: I personally loved the movie, and felt Scorcese got to the heart of what it means to be a human questioning the existence of God, and I felt that I'd like a lot more Scorcese-type Christians, instead of the Looney-Gibson kind.

There were other outrageously strange omissions, like "The Fisher King" being in absentia. Hello??? It's only one of the most amazing movies script, acting, and direction-wise, but hey, what do I know. I mean, they included "FAME" and the little-known (rightly so, IMHO) "Madame Curie." These guys are insane. Include "The Tale of Two Cities" over "Fame," for heaven's sake! Or "Roman Holiday," or "Rebel Without a Cause."

Furthermore, I thought the clip selections were just plain poor. And here's the final omission, at which I take umbrage:

WHERE WAS "HARVEY"?????????????

Alright. I'm off to bed. Gonna see Madeline tomorrow, yay :)

Tags: Movies



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