AFI has released the latest best-of list of films we've previously seen in other best-of lists. But now they're in a different order! And there are awkward genre categories! (Ganster, Mystery, and Western are a little too similar to me to completely omit a Horror/Suspense category, of which Hollywood is a big fan, and I don't know why Courtroom Drama is a category. Isn't that part of TNT's "We Know Drama" campaign? I swear, one undersexed male created this list...) So here's my list of what they got right and what they got wrong:
What They Got Right:
* Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as top Animation works. It's kind of like the Citizen Kane of Animation, since it created an entirely new way of approaching storylines, characters, and basic cinematic techniques. And yay for recognizing Toy Story!
* I love that Big and Groundhog Day are included in the Fantasy section. Bill Murray annoys me beyond belief, but I will watch GD whenever it's on. Even in July.
* Vertigo, Vertigo, Vertigo as #1 Mystery. 2001: A Space Odyssey as #1 for Science-Fiction was a no-brainer, but when I think that Star Warscould have stolen the spot, well, I realized that not all people listen to their brains.
* Epic. That's an interesting category. (And it would be very easy to put 2001 in that list, yes?) But is Saving Private Ryan epic? And did they leave Citizen Kane out (epic narrative) because people are tired of hearing how great it is? And I might include Brokeback Mountain in this list. The characters may have been relatively simple (translation: small), but the score, the cinematography, and the story were epic. Forrest Gump is also pretty epic... but, despite my suggestions, AFI did well to create this category.
What They Got Wrong:
* I feel as though the Animation list is out of nostalgia... or worse, homage. Certainly any of Pixar's movies are better than Pinocchio (at #2!!), Bambi, or Cinderella. And how is Shrek on this list? That movie had every ingredient of obnoxious in it.
* I think Back to the Future should be in the Fantasy section because, really now, how much science is actually in the movie? (Ultimately, it gets time traveling wrong because you can't change the past... but luckily the movie is amazing in all other aspects so the plot hiccup doesn't get in the way.) And how is It's a Wonderful Life fantasy? It's basic straight-up drama. I wouldn't consider A Christmas Carol to be Fantasy... or perhaps I would, but the Ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future allow for out-of-body time travel, so... at any rate, It's a Wonderful Life and Harvey are not fantasy. And why is A Clockwork Orange Science-Fiction? Perhaps because it's set in the future and in it's in the same subgenre for futuristic-political-mindfrak (now that would have been an interesting genre), but I don't think there's enough actual science for it to be considered science-fiction (and no, the classical-music mind-alteration does not count as science).
* Seven should be on this list SOMEWHERE. But alas, no Mystery/Suspense category. Also, surely some Zombie films should be somewhere? And what about All the President's Men?
* E.T. as #3 in Science-Fiction? Umm... maybe #3 in Children's Films (which also would have been a good category!). E.T. is creepy and it's not a particularly inspired movie. Loved by many, sure, but great? In the Top 3 when you have The Day the Earth Stood Still, Blade Runner (umm, this should be #2), Alien and Terminator 2 behind it? I don't think so. This category has good titles, but the arrangement is all wrong. It should be 1.2001, 2.Blade Runner, 3.Alien, etc.
* Why is Western even a category? This genre is limited to a couple of decades and to a handful of actors. The themes of the frontier, manifest destiny, and historical outlaws pop up from time to time, but it's not exactly a solidified genre worthy of a Top 10 list.
* The Sports category should really be called "Films that Actually Make Men Cry..."
* The Courtroom Drama category was conceived out of the sentence, "Hey, here's a bunch of good movies, but where can we put them? I know! Let's start a new masculine genre and put some other so-so films in the list to complete it!"
* Gone with the Wind? That movie is outdated and misogynistic. It is an epic film (which simply refers to costumes and length of showing), but it's not a good movie. And any woman who says it is obviously wasn't paying attention.
* Where is the Best Foreign Language category? I refuse to believe The Lives of Others, Funny Games, and Amelie are absent from any list...