Saturday, May 10, 2008

Re-post: Best of Lists

In response to the exhaustive postings of lists from The Listening Ear, my own list-making instincts kicked in. We've been trading lists like this for a long time, so it's always fun to dust out the archives and bring these films back into the light of day. Whereas Sam has the guts to go back into the 70's (which if pressed, I suppose I could make those lists) mine starts at 1990 when my film-viewing habits really kicked into gear. Looking over them, its pretty amazing that I wouldn't change any of them. Granted, I could make a few adjustments to what's already there (on any given day, for example, P.T. Anderson's "Boogie Nights" and "Hard Eight" could be interchanged), but the core of films have held up for me over time. Enjoy.

1. Goodfellas (Scorsese)
2. King of New York (Ferrera)
3. Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore)
4. Twin Peaks (TV- Lynch)
5. Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (McNaughton)
6. Miller’s Crossing (Coens)
7. Edward Scissorhands (Burton)
8. State of Grace (Joanau)
9. The Godfather Part 3 (Coppola)
10. Wild at Heart (Lynch)

1. The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski)
2. The Indian Runner (Penn)
3. JFK (Stone)
4. Zentropa (vonTrier)
5. Grand Canyon (Kasdan)
6. Homicide (Mamet)
7. Ju Dou (Yimou)
8. Bullet in the Head (Woo)
9. Barton Fink (Coens)
10. City of Hope (Sayles)

1. Laws of Gravity (Gomez)
2. Glengary Glen Ross (Mamet)
3. Bad Lieutenant (Ferrera)
4. The Player (Altman)
5. Bob Roberts (Robbins)
6. Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino)
7. All the Vermeers in New York (Jost)
8. A River Runs Through It (Redford)
9. Raise the Red Lantern (Yimou)
10. Last of the Mohicans (Mann)

1. Schindler’s List (Spielberg)
2. Short Cuts (Altman)
3. True Romance (Scott)
4. Fearless (Weir)
5. Age of Innocence (Scorsese)
6. Faraway, So Close (Wenders)
7. A Perfect World (Eastwood)
8. In the Name of the Father (Sheridan)
9. The Puppet Master (Hsiou-Hsien)
10. In the Line of Fire (Peterson)

1. Imaginary Crimes (Drazan)
2. To Live (Yimou)
3. Trois Colors Trilogy (Kieslowski)
4. Forrest Gump (Zemeckis)
5. Last Seduction (Dahl)
6. Dangerous Game (Ferrera)
7. Clean, Shaven (Kerrigan)
8. Red Rock West (Dahl)
9. Quiz Show (Redford)
10. Hudsucker Proxy (Coens)

1. Casino (Scorsese)
2. Heat (Mann)
3. Seven (Fincher)
4. Smoke/Blue In the Face (Auster/Wang)
5. The Kingdom (vonTrier)
6. Funny Bones (Chelsom)
7. Kicking and Screaming (Baumbach)
8. Shanghai Triad (Yimou)
9. Sonatine (Kitano)
10. Little Odessa (Gray)
11. The Day the Sun Turned Cold (Yim)
12. Clockers (Lee)

1. Breaking the Waves (vonTrier)
2. Swingers (Liman)
3. The English Patient (Minghella)
4. The Whole Wide World (Ireland)
5. Lone Star (Sayles)
6. Fargo (Coens)
7. The Funeral (Ferrera)
8. Irma Vep (Assayas)
9. Bottle Rocket (Anderson)
10. Basquiat (Schnabel)
11. Beautiful Girls (demme)
12. He Got Game (Lee)
13. Sleepers (Levinson)

1. Boogie Nights (Anderson)
2. Hard Eight (Anderson)
3. Kundun (Scorsese)
4. Eve’s Bayou (Lemmons)
5. Fireworks (Kitano)
6. La Scorta (Tognazzi)
7. Gattaca (Niccol)
8. Sweet Hereafter (Egoyan)
9. L.A. Confidential (Hanson)
10. Daytrippers (Mottola)

1. The Thin Red Line (Malick)
2. The Big Lebowski (Coens)
3. Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg)
4. The Truman Show (Weir)
5. Out of Sight (Soderbergh)
6. Zero Effect (Kasdan)
7. Chinese Box (Wang)
8. Pi (Aronofsky)
9. The Game (Fincher)
10. A Simple Plan (Raimi)

1. Magnolia (Anderson)
2. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Medem)
3. The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (Williams)
4. The Insider (Mann)
5. Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick)
6. Limbo (Sayles)
7. Three Kings (Russell)
8. Talented Mr. Ripley (Minghella)
9. The Messenger (Besson)
10. The Iron Giant (Bird)

1. Almost Famous (Crowe)
2. Traffic (Soderbergh)
3. Kikujiro (Kitano)
4. Requiem For a Dream (Aronofsky)
5. Wonderland (Winterbottom)
6. Late August, Early September (Assayas)
7. Way of the Gun (McQuarrie)
8. Keeping the Faith (Norton)
9. L’Humanite (Dumont)
10. Legend of Bagger Vance (Redford)

1. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Coens)
2. The Yards (Gray)
3. Mulholland Drive (Lynch)
4. Memento (Nolan)
5. The Royal Tenebaums (Anderson)
6. The Claim (Winterbottom)
7. Made (Favreau)
8. Chopper (Dominik)
9. Ali (Mann)
10. Eureka (Aoyama)

1. Gangs of New York (Scorsese)
2. The Bed You Sleep In (Jost)
3. Minority Report (Spielberg)
4. Punch Drunk Love (Anderson)
5. 25th Hour (Lee)
6. Insomnia (Nolan)
7. Sex and Lucia (Medem)
8. Narc (Carnahan)
9. Last Orders (Schepsi)
10. The Son’s Room (Moretti)

1. Mystic River (Eastwood)
2. Lost In Translation (Coppola)
3. Return of the King (Jackson)
4. demonlover (Assayas)
5. All the Real Girls (Green)
6. Irreversible (Noe)
7. The Dancer Upstairs (Malkovich)
8. In America (Sheridan)
9. Purple Butterfly (Le)
10. Cold Mountain (Minghella)

1. The Aviator (Scorsese)
2. House of Flying Daggers (Yimou)
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry)
4. Spartan (Mamet)
5. Garden State (Braff)
6. Code 46 (Winterbottom)
7. The Life Aquatic (Anderson)
8. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (Hodges)
9. Crimson Gold (Pahar)
10. Collateral (Mann)

2005, aka a great year for Asian cinema:
1. Oldboy (Chan-Wook)
2. Memories of Murder (Ho-Bong)
3. Munich (Speilberg)
4. A History of Violence (Cronenberg)
5. Head-On (Akin)
6. Capote (Miller)
7. Kings and Queens (Desplechin)
8. Throwdown (To)
9. Syriana (Gaghan)
10. Funny Ha Ha (Bujalski)
11. Nobody Knows (Koreda)
12. Kung Fu Hustle (Chow)
13. Layer Cake (Vaughn)
14. 2046 (Kar Wai)
15. Hustle and Flow (Brewer)

1. The Departed (Scorsese)
2. The New World (Malick)
3. A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints (Montiel)
4. Children of Men (Curaon)
5. Cache (Haneke)
6. Miami Vice (Mann)
7. Clean (Assayas)
8. The Death of Mr. Lazarascu (Puiu)
9. A Scanner Darkly (Linklater)
10. The Three Burials of Melquidas Estrada (Jones)
11. Half Nelson (Fleck)
12. Fast Food Nation (Linklater)
13. Breaking News (To)
14. Devil and Daniel Johnston (Feuerzeig)
15. Tristram Shandy (Winterbottom)

1. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (Dominik)
2. There Will Be Blood (Anderson)
3. Zodiac (Fincher)
4. Day Night Day Night (Loktev)
5. Once (Carney)
6. No Country For Old Men (Coens)
7. Sunshine (Boyle)
8. After the Wedding (Bier)
9. Wind That Shakes the Barley (Loach)
10. Knocked Up (Apatow)


weepingsam said...

Wait - have I actually posted yearly top tens back to the 70s? I might have - I can't remember. I've thought about it, threatened it... This time, I only did it for the 00s - but it might be time to add a decade or two of lists. (Steve Carlson has the really impressive set of lists - back to 1959, plus!)

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph B. said...


I thought at one point you'd done a 70's year by year, but I may be getting the decades list mixed up!

Moviezzz, corrected. Damn Baumbach and Stillman should be twin brothers for the way they think alike and work in the same milieu.

Fletch said...

Great, fun post. I ought to do the same, and I'd start at the same period as you, as my moviebuffness (that's a word, right?) kicked in around the same time.

Liking the love for a couple underseen (and therefore underrated) movies: Red Rock West, one of the last times Nic Cage could be considered a good actor, and Code 46, one of my favorite quasi-sci-fi, futuristic movies. Also nice to see someone else that appreciates Casino (I even place it above GoodFellas, but I know I'm in the minority on that one).

There seem to be a few errors, though:

* No Pulp Fiction yet Gump made it, as did True Romance? Don't get me wrong, I love TR and Gump is well-made, but this seems wrong.

* Bottle Rocket (good) and Tenenbaums (great) and Life Aquatic (decent) make it, but Rushmore (awesome) doesn't?

* No Fight Club yet Zodiac makes it? Blasphemy.

All in all, I like your tastes. They mesh well with mine, straddling indieland and Hollywoodland.

Joseph B. said...


"Casino" is pretty close to my favorite film of all time. I've seen it over 100 times and it gets richer with each viewing (if that's possible). As far as "Code 46", I'm a Michael Winterbottom nut, so pretty much anything he does usually lands a solid spot somewhere on the list.

As for the errors, there aren't any! :)

I marginally liked "Pulp Fiction", but when I saw it, I couldn't shake the outright thievery performed by Tarantino from Godard, all the French New Wave, Robert Aldrich etc. Every Tarantino film since then I've liked less and less. I hate his psuedo-hip dialogue, pretentious soundtracks and grab-bag 'homages' from so many other films. And don't even get me started on "Death Proof"- sheer torture. Now "Reservoir Dogs" is another story. And as for "True Romance", the success of that film lies more in the competent hands of director Tony Scott.

"Rushmore" failed to grab me. Don't know why. I've given it repeat viewings, but just doesn't do it for me.

And for the past 10 years or so, I've routinely published best of lists with 15-20 titles. "Fight Club" is at number 12 that year. I kept it to ten in 1999 for this post. ASnd yea, you really should post yours. We're a bunch of list fiends around here.