Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bluffers guide

Much debate and response to the Andrew Collin's bluffer's list of films from this week's Radio Times over at Fisking Central.

Of course, all lists are silly, but still we love doing them and criticising them.

9 comments:

The Moy said...

Well, this list is especially silly. No silent films and no evidence that the person who compiled it actually knows anything about film. Just a few of the glaring omissions include:

Citizen Kane
The Godfather (I and II)
Greed
The Crowd

And ARMAGEDDON? Is he kidding?

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Oh please. Actually LOOK at the bloody list will you...

Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. THe clue is in the clearly listed date of 1919. Not a lot of talkie films in 1919...

And it's fine to say that Citizen Kane could be there, and much the same for G1 and G2 even though you could make all kinds of arguments about Greed and The Crowd (excellent films though they both are). But the point is that that is a silly list about silly one up man ship in making out that you know about film when most of us are just faking it or getting by. I mean, truly could any of us profess to be expert? Would that stop us contributing to a discussion? Should it stop us?

There are perhaps BETTER examples of blockbusters that could be on such a list, but the point is surely more key that blockbusters should be on a list at all a for 'how to bluff about movies' guide...

The Moy said...

You're right. I missed Dr. Caligari.

And for the record, while I can't claim to be an expert, I do know quite a few people who can since I know people who make films and have dedicated their lives to writing about and critiquing them. No, it's not only these folks who should be participating in discussion about films, but being aware of film history and knowing about which films have been extensively written about and admired and imitated by other filmmakers does give any list you compile of film canon a bit more weight.

JoeinVegas said...

Hmm, I've seen 16 out of 25, not too awfully bad.

Reidski said...

Yes, Lisa,all lists are silly. But they can also be fun, as you suggest.

As for The Moy, calm down, it's not important. Yes, I would have put those Godfather films in my personal top 25 but Andrew Collins didn't - end of story. Who cares? It's a little thing called opinion. It doesn't rely on "knowledge" - whatever the hell that is - but does rely on what you like or don't like. It certainly doesn't rely on "someone I know knows someone who has made a bloody film"!! And why should any silent films be in anyone's list - sounds like you are a bit of a cultural snob! Silent films are pish - you can't hear the fucking dialogue!!

Lisa - I trust you will have the bullshit detector on when you read my comments!

The Moy said...

Reidski: I'm not angry. In fact, I enjoy these kind of discussions. I write about film. So does my husband. Writing about film, in fact, is a big part of his income. Both of us sometimes write for film festivals and sit on festival juries. We take film a bit more seriously than other people because it's part of how our household stays afloat and how many of our friends make a living.

"Why should any silent films be in anyone's list?" Well, a few are on mine because they are great films. No, you can't hear the dialogue -- that's what title cards were for -- but the acting and cinematography can tell the story deftly and movingly. I guess I'm a bit of "cultural snob" in that I do prefer, say, THE CROWD to AMERICAN GRAFITTI, but I like both films, and I think no less of anyone who prefers Lucas to Von Stroheim.

I'm not sure why my saying the list is silly has kicked up such a hornet's nest, especially when one of the heated replies tells me that the list is silly.

Moo said...

Blah, I cant see the list, its blocked from work, pants! Lisa, I have finally managed to finish my life experience thingy!

stu_n said...

Regardless of film quality — which isn't what this list is about — can you bluff as a film expert if you haven't seen Citizen Kane? There's so much in it that's been reused, referenced and recycled.

Paul Fuzz said...

I'm sorry, but...I think Citizen Kane is a vastly overrated, bloated, self-important movie, I've watched it a bunch of times and never seen what everybody else sees in it...it just leaves me very cold, despite three years of the Warwick Univerity's Film dept trying to get me on board. I guess I'm missing something. Anyway, for what it's worth I woulda liked to have seen The Searchers, Rio Bravo, The Wild Bunch, Apocolypse Now or Vertigo make the list. And I woulda replaced Armageddon (which does seem an odd, arbitary example of blockbuster cinema) with Die Hard, which tells you everything you need to know about The Action Cinema.