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Title Comment Comment Date Comment Link
0034: The 100 Best Films (81-90)

Good comments. I like constructive arguments or trying to figure stuff out amongst one another.

So, why is "The Jerk" not a masterpiece then? It's a comedy and it leaves you in stitches. It sounds like you love it. Based on that, the film seems like it is directed, acted and paced in a way where you respond very well to it-with hilarious results infact. As comedic entertainment, that is it's job. It seems that, for you, it does this very well.

There is no reason whatsoever I can see that you shouldn't give The Jerk a very high rating and consider it a great film.

It's important to realize that the purpose of art is communication and if it does this-no matter how crude a form it comes in, it is art. The degree that it communicates monitors it's brilliance.

I find the album "Astral Weeks" to be gut-wrenchingly dramatic, sometimes even tear-jerking. I could practically fall in love with Van Morrison for making the album. I could say the same thing of "Blue" by Joni Mitchell (of which I find to be somewhat similar in structure and feel).

I also know of girls who have gone to concerts and watched the Backstreet Boys/N' Sync (I hardly know the difference), and practically fainted, cried-whatever.

I may get asassinated soon for saying this but, in this instance the art of the Backstreet Boys is absolutely comparable to that of Van Morrison, as the effect created by each was similar as regards to communication from one human being to another. Whether I want to agree with it or not, they are each capable of the same effect.

About "The Jerk": Here is a film that was one of the worst reviewed films of the year of its release (2002? 2003?) yet you find it great. This, in itself is proof that there is no "best" over "favorite". Don't fool yourself into thinking "The Jerk" is not a great film. You find it great. Is there another criteria?

If so, please delineate your criteria for choosing a "best film" versus a "favorite film".

1/24/2004 View
0034: The 100 Best Films (81-90)

I saw the argument above on "best" vs. "favorite". Let me give this a try...

I'll keep it simple:

"Best" is simply the highest degree of likeness or affection towards something.

"Favorite" is simply the highest degree of likeness or affection towards somthing.

Both are based on opinion.

It takes an opinion to make judgements on things. NOT FACTS. Facts are inarguable. FACTS ARE FACTS. Best and Favorite are degrees, opinions. FACTS are absolutes. Absolutes, authority, the like, have no place in the world of art, as the field, and judgements upon it are entirely cultured from one's emotional response, affection, feelings, etc. one gets out of it. Therefore "best" and "favorite" are simply how one feels about a certain work or something, anything. There truly is no one all-encompassing "best film" or "best album", etc. Personally I'd probably rank "Citizen Kane" and "Pet Sounds" #1 respectively. But another guy I know wouldn't consider either. We're both right. To him, such and such is #1. To me, "Citizen Kane" and "Pet Sounds" are. My selections aren't BETTER, except to me and those who may agree with me.

Since judging art is solely and utterly a matter of opinion there is no actual difference between
"best" and "favorite" and those who suggest there is are merely attempting to find organization and authority in a field that is entirely open to personal interpretation to determine it's value.

Break down why you like a certain film. It will never be anything other than opinion, no matter how scientific you attempt to be with it. Your degree of affection towards camera work, acting, whatever, is solely being judged by you and is opinion. Great camera work, art direction, no matter how technical, is still based on opinion when critiqued. That is: purely emotional likeness or affection towards something. You see, there is no "right" or "wrong" here, except within you and you're personal integrity and certainty upon which you base your opinion. Try it: think about your favorite film: You like the actors? Yes. Why? Because I thought he really made it seem real the way he acted like..." Opinion. How about the camera work? "Oh yes, the movement of the camera was quick and really relayed each scene..." Opinion. The only fact is that it is a FILM. That is all. Anything past that is an alteration, addition (great film), subtraction (bad film) and therefore is open to interpretation since it is only supported by interpretation. I could tell you Citizen Kane is a film. Inalterable. FACT. I could tell you Citizen Kane is the greatest film. Opinion.

Conclusion: "best" and "favorite" are absolutely the same thing, so arguments over "which one" are pointless. One's best film is also his favorite film and if one alters one or the other he is just not being self-determined in his viewpoint. If one feels, say "Titanic" is the film he enjoyed most, yet "Children Of Paradise" is "better" because he finds it more artistically accomplished, he is just kidding himself. He is simply in agreement with a separate person or source who said something convincing about it. This particular thing or things (whether art direction, acting, or anything) that was said to make "Children Of Paradise" so great is not actually evident to this person who says "Children Of Paradise" is the "better" film or he would actually find it more enjoyable than "Titanic" as well. The truth is that if this person saw each, one after the other, without having ever heard any so-called "authority" on the merits of either, he would judge solely on his view of the films and in his case "Titanic" would be his "favorite" and the "best" film, as they are the same darn thing!

I'm tired and hope I've made a point, even if I did just repeat myself over and over in more dissecting ways. Thanks for giving my mind a twist. It needed the work out.

Any questions? Comments?

1/23/2004 View
0014: Top Ten Films of the 1930's

I really like the diversity of your picks! Picking King Kong & Bride Of Frankenstein were
especially brave (but accurate).

Ever try "L'Atalante"?

Truly among the greatest films ever made (watch it on DVD as a decent VHS copy is impossible to find)

The film has few "bells and whistles" but is so realistic in its depiction of human nature that you could forget you're watching a film and may think it's a reel to reel navigation of the simple, honest tale of a couple. It's because of this that its few breathtaking moments spring to life magically and grant the film a special sort of elementary sadness not before or since duplicated by any director. Jean Vigo was certainly in his own league, if only for a short time.

1/3/2004 View
0013: Top Five Silent Films

Great picks! Here's my picks:

1. Sunrise-Murneau
2. Battleship Potemkin-Eisenstein
3. The Passion Of Joan Arc-Dreyer
4. The General-Keaton
5. City Lights-Chaplin

Ah well, I was hoping to be more original. I guess the best ARE the best, regardless of how rarely they're overlooked.

1/3/2004 View
Best Album of 1971

I think "What's Going On" tops this list fairly easily, with only "Blue" a legitimate challenger. "Sticky Fingers" and "Hunky Dory" are the only other mentions that are in the same room as these. "Led Zep IV", "There's A Riot Goin' On" and "Who's Next?" are a couple echelon's lower and on the outside looking in. "Surf's Up" and "Tupelo Honey" are up there too. Everything else, while great, are mere novelties compared to the epic, soaring, prophetic masterwork that is Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On".

9/3/2003 View
Post Here: Which Movies Should've Made The Sight & Sound List?

whoops! I picked The Bicycle Theif when I wasn't supposed to...

In that case (if you're still tracking point standings), move all titles below it up one spot and insert "Rear Window-Alfred Hitchcock" at number 20.

Thank you.

9/25/2002 View
Post Here: Which Movies Should've Made The Sight & Sound List?

Alright, a bit late to this post, but here's my picks anyway. I was a bit surprised at how many of these were left off so many lists, especially my #1 (which somehow scored 0 points)...

Here goes:

1. Greed-Erich Von Stroheim
2. The Passion of Joan Arc-Carl Theodore-Dreyer
3. Ugetsu Monogatari-Kenji Mizoguchi
4. The General-Buster Keaton
5. The Searchers-John Ford
6. L'Atlante-Jean Vigo
7. Pather Panchali-Satyajit Ray
8. L'Avventura-Michelangelo Antonioni
9. The Third Man-Carol Reed
10. The Bicycle Thief-Vittorio De Sica
11. Chinatown-Roman Polanski
12. Andrei Rublev-Andrei Tarkovsky
13. Ran-Akira Kurosawa
14. The Magnificent Ambersons-Orson Welles
15. Magnolia-Paul Thomas Anderson
16. Modern Times-Chaplin
17. Metropolis-Fritz Lang
18. Touch of Evil-Orson Welles
19. Psycho-Alfred Hitchcock
20. Schindler's List-Steven Speilberg

9/24/2002 View