Monday, October 18, 2010

A Response to Empire's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema"

Empire's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema"

While there are some great films on this list (I mean, with 100 slots they were bound to be right at some point), it is - overall - a travesty.

Indispensable directors like Max Ophuls, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Dziga Vertov, Josef Von Sternberg, Marcel Carne, Robert Bresson, Kenji Mizoguchi, Louis Malle, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alain Resnais, Ermanno Olmi, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Eric Rohmer, Dusan Makavejev, Volker Schlondorff, Shohei Imamura, Edward Yang, and Bela Tarr do not have a single film on this hackneyed list.

Even when they have great directors, they are the most obvious film from their filmmographies. Bergman = The Seventh Seal. Godard = Breathless, Band of Outsiders. Bunuel = Un Chien Andalou, Belle de Jour. Kurosawa - Seven Samurai, Ikiru, Rashomon. Eisenstein = Battleship Potemkin. De Sica = Bicycle Theives. Clouzot = Wages of Fear. Fellini = La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2. Etc., etc.

There are one or two positives. Good to see that The Spirit of the Beehive and Come and See are in the Top 25. But Oldboy? Let the Right One in? Y Tu Mama Tambien? Gimme a fuckin' break, here!

You can tell these are pretentious pricks since they use the foreign title when an English one is known. Les Quatres Cent Coups? No jerkoff, The 400 Blows. Jules et Jim? No douchebag, Jules and Jim. À bout de souffle? No asswipe, Breathless. Do you speak French? Then stop acting like it.

Ordering is, of course, a major problem, but it would be so even if a sensible person compiled a list. Nevertheless, L'Avventura number 40? Andrei Rublev number 87? Rififi number 90? And no Robert Bresson? No Au Hazard Balthazar, A Man Escaped, Mouchette, Diary of a Country Priest, or L'Argent? Empire should be stripped of any credibility it was clinging to.

There are WAY too many films from the past 20 years. In fact, that tandem of decades likely outweighs any other. A disturbing oversight, indicative of individuals lacking an encyclopedic knowledge of film history. The fact that Amelie, Pan's Labyrinth, and City of God occupy 3 of the top 10 slots is just laughable. Outright absurd. This list caters to the 19-year-old asshole film buff who thinks he's discovered the secrets of the Earth because he's heard of Bergman, Kurosawa, and Godard - but probably only seen the films of theirs on this list. Here's an idea - see Smiles of a Summer Night, Winter's Light, or Hour of the Wolf. See Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, The Bad Sleep Well, or Stray Dog. See A Woman is a Woman, Masculin Feminin, Weekend, Alphaville, Vivre sa Vie, or Pierrot le Fou. See Viridiana, The Exterminating Angel, Simon of the Desert, The Milky Way, or The Phantom of Liberty. See the movies that true fans of these filmmakers cherish most rather than the soulless, thoughtlessly glib, shallow assholes who compiled this list.

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