Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time to Rebel

Empire magazine released their 500 Greatest Movies of All Time list past week and, as you can probably already assume, it is a bit of a mixed bag. The list is after all 500 titles long so they were bound to hit a few snags along the way, and being voted for in the majority by Empire readers (as well as a handful of critics) there were also bound to be major fuck-ups. But, honestly, when clicking on to the first page (positions #500-#491) we are greeted with such illustrious titles as Saw and Superman Returns sitting next to bonafide classics Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Ben-Hur. It's all very frustrating. So much good yet so much bad. Are we truly going to believe that The Dark Knight is one of the twenty best movies ever made? It's only been out for three months.

I haven't gone through the entire list yet, I'm not sure my brain (and heart) can withstand such idiocy (example: #188 Ghostbusters, #187 School of Rock) and such flagrant blockbuster wanking and agism. If you're going to name your list the "500 Greatest Movies of All Time" then, I dunno, stuff like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (#113) shouldn't be able to rank higher than The Red Shoes (#149) and Notorious (#147). It just shouldn't. And that's from somebody who is a big advocate of populist work getting the same respect as smaller fare.

One of my five favourite films is Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause, which sits in the countdown at #477 between Andy Warhol's Flesh and Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Strange, which itself sits behind - of all things - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Yikes. Thankfully they made up for this egregious mistake by giving the James Dean-starrer a beautiful special edition cover. It's gorgeous, no?


For what it's worth, my favourite ever film - Bob Fosse's All That Jazz - places at #247 my other favourites are Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho ranking at #45, The Breakfast Club #364 while David Lynch's Mulholland Drive lands at number #391 (just three spots higher than Cloverfield and two higher than Garden State, yikes.)

It all just... aaagh! How can they get so much right and then so much completely wrong? Oh well, there'll be another one of these lists in a few months and we'll do this all over again, won't we?

5 comments:

Joel said...

Was it voted by readers of by Empire staff? It's understandable if it's the former, and unforgivable if it's the latter.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yeah, the majority were readers, but there were other industry people plus Empire staff I assume.

Dame James Henry said...

How can Rebel Without a Cause be so fucking low? It's not exactly the forgotten classic of the 50's that was only rediscovered recently. It seems to me that everyone should have seen it by the time you're in your 20's.

outlandinstitute said...

Is this UK Empire voters or Aus voters? Not that it makes much difference, I guess - it just means The Italian Job and The Wicker Man will turn up if it's a UK vote... I thought Anchorman was pleasant enough, but I'm not sure it would appear in my top 500 (mind you, that's a lot... who knows?). Did Brazil, or anything by Almodovar make it in? The idea that Anchorman is better than anything by Almodovar makes the red mists descend...

John

Slayton said...

Whoever compiled this list deserves to NEVER WRITE AGAIN.