Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (Full Version)

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giggity -> Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (21/8/2012 9:39:28 PM)

With the Sight and Sound list barely containing any films from the past twenty years, I was wondering if anyone here felt that there should be a certain amount of time to pass before allowing a film to be in your greatest or favourite film list? Or do you feel as soon as you've seen a film, you can judge it fairly and can place it along with other films in your list?

edit: if the mods feel this should be in favourite film thread rather than musings then feel free to move it.




elab49 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (21/8/2012 9:44:46 PM)

I think given how often we see the latest 'big' film drop down lists in subsequent polls that there might be a time gap needed for full appraisal. The HoF used to have, I think, a 5 year time limit in nomination so people could really decide whether a newer film deserved nomination. It's down to 1-2 now though and part of the argument was, I think, that this isn't just an issue for a new film but, as you say,  a period from when you first watch any film. Which makes it a bit more complex.

Perhaps it depends on how the film impressed you and, if nothing else, on that current iteration of your list (which will be far from static anyway) you're recognising that impact?




MB2 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (21/8/2012 9:54:54 PM)

I think there's a middle ground, when Empire last did a poll The Dark Knight was still in cinemas yet made the top 20, at the same time there's something frustrating about Sight & Sound's reluctance to accept the idea that cinema is constantly evolving. In ten years time maybe currently beloved films like Drive or most genre films that go unnoticed will be more consistently on these all-time lists. It does take time for them to achieve mainstream acceptance as 'classics' though. What bugs me is the disregard shown for the 90s, in my opinion one of the most important time for cinema.




chris kilby -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:14:58 AM)

You should give it a year, certainly. Much as I love The Dark Knight, it was a tad premature when it appeared in EMPIRE's last Top 100 list (at, like, #10, or something) while it was still on release! Thus proving that these things are generally Top 100 lists of the last film everyone just saw.

I remember when Pulp Fiction used to be everybody's favourite film of all time. Everybody who hadn't seen anything else, that is. A good (if grotesquely overrated) film, I doubt it would top many Best Ever lists now.

Take the first time Radio One polled listeners for The Greatest Singles OF ALL TIME back in the 1980s. They dedicated an entire Easter week-end playing them all in a MASSIVE chart countdown - The Beatles, The Stones, you name it. And I will never forget the sheer shoot-me-now mortification in Mark Goodier's voice when he announced The Greatest Single OF ALL TIME was... Bros' latest release! Whoops. [:D]




Prophet_of_Doom -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:21:59 AM)

I tend to avoid these lists because they always annoy me! Because there is no set criteria, films are judged differently by different people. So while one person will cite Citizen Kane because of its impact on cinema, another will cite Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, because of its impact upon them at a certain stage in their life. And then you have the debate over whether or not something which is brilliant but hard work (Requiem for a Dream, for instance) and which you are likely to watch once but never again (not saying this is the case for everyone, this is just my example) can be compared to something like The Shawshank Redemption which is a lot more palatable and easier to watch on numerous occasions.

It might be that the fact that everyone uses their own criteria, it all balances out. But I don't believe that, that would just be far too easy and neat!




chris kilby -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:22:46 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: MB2

I think there's a middle ground, when Empire last did a poll The Dark Knight was still in cinemas yet made the top 20, at the same time there's something frustrating about Sight & Sound's reluctance to accept the idea that cinema is constantly evolving. In ten years time maybe currently beloved films like Drive or most genre films that go unnoticed will be more consistently on these all-time lists. It does take time for them to achieve mainstream acceptance as 'classics' though. What bugs me is the disregard shown for the 90s, in my opinion one of the most important time for cinema.


You're right about the 90s. I thought 1995 was a particularly classic year - Heat, Se7en, Nixon, Trainspotting, Twelve Monkeys, The Usual Suspects. Give them time though. It's always posterity which decides these things. The good stuff always endures in the long run. Look at Blade Runner...




MB2 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:43:22 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby


quote:

ORIGINAL: MB2

I think there's a middle ground, when Empire last did a poll The Dark Knight was still in cinemas yet made the top 20, at the same time there's something frustrating about Sight & Sound's reluctance to accept the idea that cinema is constantly evolving. In ten years time maybe currently beloved films like Drive or most genre films that go unnoticed will be more consistently on these all-time lists. It does take time for them to achieve mainstream acceptance as 'classics' though. What bugs me is the disregard shown for the 90s, in my opinion one of the most important time for cinema.


You're right about the 90s. I thought 1995 was a particularly classic year - Heat, Se7en, Nixon, Trainspotting, Twelve Monkeys, The Usual Suspects. Give them time though. It's always posterity which decides these things. The good stuff always endures in the long run. Look at Blade Runner...



I agree 95 was an excellent vintage, but can't believe you can be so blase' about Pulp Fiction. That stands head and shoulders above the rest as a modern classic




chris kilby -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:46:47 AM)

Oh no, it is good. But nothing's that good. Pulp Fiction IS hideously overrated, if you ask me. And - whisper it - it's not as good as Reservoir Dogs...

I'll get me coat. And shades. And a place on the fanboy protection programme...




MB2 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:50:22 AM)

I dunno, Reservoir Dogs feels like Tarantino holding back, which for some improves him, and I think when he has no limitations we get the turdish mess that was Death Proof. But Pulp Fiction felt like a real passion project, like it was every movie he'd ever wanted to see, and it comes through in terms of how perfectly put together every single moment feels. There are no accidents in that film.




chris kilby -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 2:18:48 AM)

I haven't watched it in a while, actually. Didn't think much of Inglourious Basterds at the time but it's a real grower and I love the two Fassbender scenes. I might stick Pulp Fiction on at some point and do my review-it-like-I've-never-seen-it-before trick. Oh, and I think Jackie Brown's underrated.




UTB -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 8:11:41 AM)

According to the Favourite Films forum a film needs to be seen only once and then WRITTEN IN CAPITALS




st3veebee -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 10:38:18 AM)

I was thinking about this topic after the Sight and Sound Poll myself. I think it boils down to that stupid word "classic" which goes hand in hand with age. Older films get forgiven for being slower paced, worse FX (obviously) and a different approach to acting simply because they go under the genre "classic".

I'm not sure how genre-defying, revolutionary and damn-near perfect films like Pan's Labyrinth aren't instantly on the best of lists.




Prophet_of_Doom -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 11:06:02 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: st3veebee

I was thinking about this topic after the Sight and Sound Poll myself. I think it boils down to that stupid word "classic" which goes hand in hand with age. Older films get forgiven for being slower paced, worse FX (obviously) and a different approach to acting simply because they go under the genre "classic".

I'm not sure how genre-defying, revolutionary and damn-near perfect films like Pan's Labyrinth aren't instantly on the best of lists.


That's actually a good point (well, half a good point, because I don't necessarily agree with all of it!)

A lot of older films are slower paced. And have a different style of acting. (Although you're suggesting they're weaker for it in both instances, which is unfair - it's just that they were different and from different eras where what was considered the peak of art was radically different to today). It's like trying to decide who was the best football team, the Manchester United of the 60s or the Manchester United of the 90s. Football was so different that it's an unfair comparison - can we say that Pele was the greatest player of all time if he'd struggle to get into the Wigan side because he couldn't cope with the strength and athleticism of the modern footballer? I think it's similar with film. Thus it does make these polls pretty impossible to take seriously.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 11:39:28 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

I haven't watched it in a while, actually. Didn't think much of Inglourious Basterds at the time but it's a real grower and I love the two Fassbender scenes. I might stick Pulp Fiction on at some point and do my review-it-like-I've-never-seen-it-before trick. Oh, and I think Jackie Brown's underrated.


All his movies are great, but Pulp Fiction shines the brightest. It is one of those flicks that if I catch on TV, no matter what point it is at, I will watch it till the end. Like Goodfellas, or Jaws.

Give it another shot!




Rhubarb -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:13:39 PM)

Dear The Internet

Can we stop suggesting that Citizen Kane only does well on these lists because of its influence on cinema and not because its actually a really entertaining movie?

Yours etc


PS Res Dogs is better than Pulp Fiction.




jcthefirst -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:19:41 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

According to the Favourite Films forum a film needs to be seen only once and then WRITTEN IN CAPITALS


[:D]

It's six of one really though.

I mean, if you look at online polls on the best film ever and there isn't a time limit depending on where the polls held either Serneity or Twlight will top it.




superdan -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:23:02 PM)

I think a time limit is sensible. There are films I loved on first viewing that time and subsequent re-watches significantly lowered my appreciation of (and vice versa).

Oh, and Pulp Fiction is Tarantino's masterpiece. It feels as fresh now as it did at the time, and he will never make a better film.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:24:10 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

Dear The Internet

Can we stop suggesting that Citizen Kane only does well on these lists because of its influence on cinema and not because its actually a really entertaining movie?

Yours etc


PS Res Dogs is better than Pulp Fiction.


Exactly - Kane is really, really entertaining.

I disagree with your PS but not to a point where I would argue it.




AxlReznor -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:25:58 PM)

If it were a personal list, I wouldn't bother with a time limit. I'd accept that my opinion of a film could change over time, but as it's one of my favourites at that moment, I'll include it.

A more "professional" list should probably wait a little while to see if the film stands the test of time, though. Although, wasn't the Empire Top 500 mainly a reader poll and not put together by the magazine on their own?




Rhubarb -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:27:15 PM)

Well yeah, I like Pulp Fiction as well, Dogs just feels like it has a bit more punch to it.




MB2 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:29:49 PM)

I always thought Dogs would make a wonderful piece of theatre, but Pulp Fiction has more scope and depth. I love them both though, for me it's like comparing a shot of tequila to a martini.




Rhubarb -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:31:05 PM)

Easy, tequila.




Deviation -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:36:21 PM)

I tend to find Citizen Kane more entertaining than the first Star Wars, which feels more like the low-key opening of a saga than the epic masterpiece that came after it.

Does Pulp Fiction really have more depth, at least more than Dogs? I always found some things about Pulp rather empty, and as much as I try I can't love it, I can't. I even much prefer Basterds over it.




Rhubarb -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:40:13 PM)

I think Kane suffers from winning all these lists all the time, it has a weird aura around it, the suggestion that it is something important rather than something enjoyable, which isn't true. It wouldn't have its staying power if it was important but boring. Which is one of the reasons why I'm ok with it not winning the S&S poll, even though its better than Vertigo for me.




matty_b -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:41:45 PM)

I blame Friends.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:42:52 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I tend to find Citizen Kane more entertaining than the first Star Wars, which feels more like the low-key opening of a saga than the epic masterpiece that came after it.

Does Pulp Fiction really have more depth, at least more than Dogs? I always found some things about Pulp rather empty, and as much as I try I can't love it. I even much prefer Basterds over it.



Pulp Fiction has depth - about the choices people make, and the knock on effects that they have on others. It more than just "cool scenes" stringed together.




SwozTheRevenge -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 12:58:57 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

If it were a personal list, I wouldn't bother with a time limit. I'd accept that my opinion of a film could change over time, but as it's one of my favourites at that moment, I'll include it.


Absolutely




great_badir -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 1:40:32 PM)

None of the following is news to many of you, but...

I hate Citizen Kane AND Reservoir Dogs, and Pulp Fiction is Tarantino's only GREAT film.


As for the original question - interesting point.

For example, my favourite film of all time is Blade Runner. I decided that the first time I ever watched it on ITV (actually, recorded it - it was on after my bed time, after all) in the late 80s as a ten-ish year old (I was already a film geek at that point, thanks to my dad). And all I knew at that point was that it was a sci-fi film with Harrison Ford, so it's not as if I had years of it being built up as a masterpiece (as it happened, of course, the rise to its current prominence was only after the Director's Cut was released in the early 90s, and back then it was just a slow and confusing sci-fi film with Harrison Ford).

But then, to use The Dark Knight as another example, whilst I thought it was a great film when I saw it at the cinema, it's only now with a re-watch, the lack of Ledger's-death hype, Dark Knight Rises, and re-watches of the previous Batman films (i.e. the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher ones) that I realise just how good both The Dark Knight is and how good Heath Ledger was in it.

So I guess my answer is "it depends".





st3veebee -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 3:45:27 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prophet_of_Doom


quote:

ORIGINAL: st3veebee

I was thinking about this topic after the Sight and Sound Poll myself. I think it boils down to that stupid word "classic" which goes hand in hand with age. Older films get forgiven for being slower paced, worse FX (obviously) and a different approach to acting simply because they go under the genre "classic".

I'm not sure how genre-defying, revolutionary and damn-near perfect films like Pan's Labyrinth aren't instantly on the best of lists.


That's actually a good point (well, half a good point, because I don't necessarily agree with all of it!)

A lot of older films are slower paced. And have a different style of acting. (Although you're suggesting they're weaker for it in both instances, which is unfair - it's just that they were different and from different eras where what was considered the peak of art was radically different to today). It's like trying to decide who was the best football team, the Manchester United of the 60s or the Manchester United of the 90s. Football was so different that it's an unfair comparison - can we say that Pele was the greatest player of all time if he'd struggle to get into the Wigan side because he couldn't cope with the strength and athleticism of the modern footballer? I think it's similar with film. Thus it does make these polls pretty impossible to take seriously.


That's a fair point, and it does look like I was giving out about older films but rather it was just a different time.


However...considering how much films have evolved, surely the modern films are...better? Great stories are always at the heart of a film , but everything else has pretty much evolved. If you showed a group of  people, who had never seen any film or televsion, 2 films: An older classic such as Vertigo/Kane/Tokyo Story and then showed them a modern classic such as There will be blood/Hugo/Pan's Labyrinth...which would have the greater impact on them?





Prophet_of_Doom -> RE: Should there be a certain amount of time before putting a film into a greatest/favourites list? (22/8/2012 4:05:31 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: st3veebee

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prophet_of_Doom


quote:

ORIGINAL: st3veebee

I was thinking about this topic after the Sight and Sound Poll myself. I think it boils down to that stupid word "classic" which goes hand in hand with age. Older films get forgiven for being slower paced, worse FX (obviously) and a different approach to acting simply because they go under the genre "classic".

I'm not sure how genre-defying, revolutionary and damn-near perfect films like Pan's Labyrinth aren't instantly on the best of lists.


That's actually a good point (well, half a good point, because I don't necessarily agree with all of it!)

A lot of older films are slower paced. And have a different style of acting. (Although you're suggesting they're weaker for it in both instances, which is unfair - it's just that they were different and from different eras where what was considered the peak of art was radically different to today). It's like trying to decide who was the best football team, the Manchester United of the 60s or the Manchester United of the 90s. Football was so different that it's an unfair comparison - can we say that Pele was the greatest player of all time if he'd struggle to get into the Wigan side because he couldn't cope with the strength and athleticism of the modern footballer? I think it's similar with film. Thus it does make these polls pretty impossible to take seriously.


That's a fair point, and it does look like I was giving out about older films but rather it was just a different time.


However...considering how much films have evolved, surely the modern films are...better? Great stories are always at the heart of a film , but everything else has pretty much evolved. If you showed a group of  people, who had never seen any film or televsion, 2 films: An older classic such as Vertigo/Kane/Tokyo Story and then showed them a modern classic such as There will be blood/Hugo/Pan's Labyrinth...which would have the greater impact on them?




Good argument! I think your comparisons are a little unfair though. Comparing Vertigo (for instance) to Pan's Labyrinth and asking "which has the most impact" to someone who has never seen film, well it would definitely be the latter because it would just make them go "woooooah" like the little green guys from Toy Story! But that's just because it has more bells and whistles, not because it's a better film. It would be like showing them a torch and a firework. The latter would definitely impress them more! What would have the greater impact if you showed them Kane or The Squid and the Whale, for instance? I think if you show comparable movies then they each hold up. There is greater sophistication in every element of film making now (both in front of and behind the camera, in screenwriting etc) but then again you can look back at something like Chinatown which still holds up in every respect. There Will Be Blood is actually an interesting one, because it's almost structured like a classic film. So I'd be interested to know what they thought if you compared TWBL with The African Queen, for instance.




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