Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to Hollywood

My plan yesterday was to watch a couple of holiday classics with my kids, but the day got away from us. Ultimately, we decided that we'd rather go to a candlelit church service than watch a movie, sacrilege of one sort to prevent sacrilege of another.

Today, I thought I'd revive something I did last year. Periodically over the last 12 months, I'd jot down a note to myself of a film that I thought belonged on the list that wasn't on it. Last year, I came up with 25 films that should be in the 1001 Movies list. This year, I'm limiting myself to nominating 10 films that should be added to future editions. While I'd love to repeat from last year, I won't; these 10 are ones I didn't suggest 12 months ago. Presented in no order...

10 movies that should be added to the 1001 Movies list

1. Amelie: I'm cheating a little here because Amelie was on the list and was removed this year. I find that decision depressing. There are so many lesser movies still on the list, and Amelie is a really special film. Put it back on.

2. Jason and the Argonauts: There are plenty of movies on the list that are there specifically because of their special effects. Ray Harryhausen was and should be a Hollywood icon no less revered than Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, or Audrey Hepburn. This is his best work. It deserves to be seen, remembered, and cherished.

3. Wait Until Dark: This is without question one of the scariest movies ever made, and there's not a touch of the supernatural in it. The ending is one of the greats in Hollywood history. So why the snub?

4. The Prisoner: There's precedent for made-for-television films on the list like Riget and Dekalog. So is that reserved only for television made for non-English speaking countries? The Prisoner is arguably the most ambitious television production ever made. The whole series is worth watching.

5. Thriller: Yes, Thriller. Again, there is precedent for short films, and Thriller changed the music video game.

6. Either Chicken Run or Wallace and Grommit in The Wrong Trousers: As with special effects, there is some effort on the list to include a variety of animation styles, and no one has ever done claymation like Aardman Studios. Either of these would be an excellent and worthwhile choice.

7. Quadrophenia: The best example of a rock musical, including Pink Floyd's The Wall. This film is an excellent and compelling coming-of-age story and has a fantastic soundtrack to boot. Plus it's got Sting before anyone really knew who he was.

8. Talk Radio: I'm not a big Oliver Stone/conspiracy guy, but it occurs to me that Talk Radio gets more and more relevant every year. Show this film to a political polemicist in your life and see the reaction. I'd rather watch this than most of Stone's other films.

9. The Grifters: I don't know how this was left off. John Cusack grew up in this film and proved he could act. This is a gripping and involved tale all the way through with one of the greatest endings ever pulled. The first time I watched it, it took me five minutes to reel my jaw back in. Masterful.

and finally,

10. Iron Man: There has been a resurgence of superhero movies in the last few years, and Iron Man represents the best of them. It's fun, exciting, and intelligently made, and features a real, flawed human being at its center. Plus, there's lots of stuff blowing up.

There were others on my list. I guess that means I've got the start of a list for next year.


  1. Two words...

    "Lonesome Dove"

    The greatest TV movie ever made by man or woman, American or foreigner.

  2. Perhaps, sir, perhaps. I still stick with The Prisoner as the greatest experiment in television history.