Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): These are a Few of My Favorite Films

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Films


Every week,I will explore a new title on my "100 of My Favorite Films" list, starting at #100 and working my way up.

These are the films I love. Some of the films I love, anyway. Qualifications abound: this list was true as of December 31, 2011 and immediately out-of-date thereafter (nonetheless, I ain't starting from scratch so whim of 12/31/11 it is); these are not necessarily the films I consider "greatest of all time" - the criterion is more subjective, more personal than that; at the same time, these are sustained favorites, not guilty pleasures or movies I want to see on a whim but movies that over the months and years stick with me, that remain perpetual touchstones for my cinematic sensibility. These are kind of a hybrid great/favorite, and the ranking is - let's admit it - really, really arbitrary. I just went with my gut while shuffling titles around, and I preserved the numerical format only for kicks, to make the series more fun as a "countdown." Don't take the numbers any more seriously than that.

All kinds of movies are featured: all genres, shorts as well as features, animated and live-action, old and new (though my natural inclination is towards the past; only six films from the twenty-first century made the cut). There are very obscure titles and films that are probably among the ten or so most popular of all time. Documentaries, experimental films, blockbusters, silents, even music videos; I have broad taste and this list will reflect that.

Finally, since I'm working off a list already published, there won't be an element of suspense. I even plan on announcing the next film at the end of each review. If you really want to cultivate suspense for yourself, don't scroll below the "What do you think?" question. But I don't see suspense as the point, so much as explanation.

And this is where the series excites me most...

I am trying a very new approach (for me) with this exercise. Instead of just allowing myself to ramble on, which can be fun and illuminating at times, I'm imposing self-discipline. Each entry will contain four categories in the interest of making my pieces as reader-friendly as possible; point being to attract even the casual peruser toward seeking our this movie (unfortunately, some titles are not easily available, but most are out there). Often our inclination, mine included, is to read reviews of films we've already seen over the ones we haven't. I hope this series will make you want to discuss films you love, and re-examine ones you don't or have forgotten, but most of all I hope it encourages you to seek out the unfamiliar.

Here are my categories:

What it is • I will synopsize the story (if there is one) without spoilers of course, talk a bit about how the film works, and probably discuss its legacy; basically I'll try to help you conjure it in your head.

Why I like it • This is the heart of the matter. Not what is admirable about the movie, or what its reputation consists of, but why I personally am in love with it. Why, when making a list, this film subjectively leapt to the front of the pack. I hope I'll communicate some of my passion and elaborate on the brief capsules I included on the top 100 list.

How you can see it • As I noted, some films are difficult to track down; when I composed the list, I didn't have this exercise in mind, and I'm not going to go back now and revise it. Luckily, the great majority of these films are available (fair warning to international readers: I'll be focusing on American availability), on streaming video if nothing else. I'll also include links to my previous pieces on the movie: including essays, screen-caps, or even clips from the film in question.

What do you think? • Very important to me, especially if you seek the film out as a result of my review. I want you to come back and share your thoughts. Although traffic has grown on this site over the years, comments have generally decreased. That's okay; some sites are more discussion-oriented, some aren't. But in this case, I really am hoping for comments on each film. I'll ask questions to start the ball rolling.

That's it. See you next Wednesday, and every Wednesday thereafter for quite a while...

2 comments:

Mike said...

Cool, I'll def check out some of the titles on your list. I like the format too, makes it more accessible for a film novice like myself. I can't say I'll like all the movies I see though; if I were to make a top 100 it would be very different from yours, not only becuase I haven't seen nearly as many movies but on my list there would be alot more Coen brothers and a lot less Bergman. But there is a lot of variety on your list so I'm sure I'll see something I like.

Joel Bocko said...

Great Mike, I look forward to hearing more from you! I hope you & others will take the opportunity to share your thoughts on the films you've seen, and maybe view some of the ones you haven't & return to discuss it. (One thing I always try to stress is that there's no time limitations on comments as far as I'm concerned.)

I've often found that the lists I enjoy most are the ones that don't really reflect my sensibility; usually these series not only give me an interesting view into someone else's perspective, they can also help me appreciate movies I might not have liked so much before, giving me a way "in" to respect/admiration and sometimes even personal enthusiasm that hadn't been conjured before.

Should be fun...