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I can't believe anyone has the inclination to put together a list of 1,000 films.

I can't believe that Leapster can remember as much as he does, and that he can comment so relentlessly trooly. And the whole excercise was made worthwhile for me by a) his Tati comments, and b) a truly spit-yer-coffee type of shellacking for this one:

"“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” – Yes, I had one with the insides of my eyelids. Portentous, ominous, voluminous sleepwear."

Interesting you mentioned the Tati paragraph, VC, but for reasons that I will elaborate on later I won't preempt a response just yet.

Leapster's the business. I just recommended his blog to Troppo's Missing Link.

And as for the NYT 1000, I'm frankly staggered the absolutely dreadful Hair made the cut:

Hair – I’m presuming that while everyone was on a toilet break, someone slipped this in as a joke. One of the worst movies ever made – musical or viewable – worth seeing as inadvertent comedy now, with a resoundingly salami-like lead performance by Treat Williams that will leave no thigh unslapped. Even his name is funny.

Leapster's right. It MUST be a joke. Surely. Had to be. It's mere inclusion drags the list kicking and biting and sipping decaf cinnamon latte from pretentious waste of paper to complete fiasco.

The NYT list deserves a decent pasting, although you would think there is a fair sight less than 863 calamities and great to see Payday, Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song, The Cranes Are Flying and Charley Varrick on such a list. I'm suprised to see Smash Palace in there too, not that it should be, but didn't know it was held in such international regard. Leapster and the NYT's call on The King Of Marvin Gardens is pleasing to read as well.

The Leapster's list of What Are You Insane makes for shake your head continuously in agreed horror zone. I think he's being harsh on Blue Velvet, Quadrophenia, The Fortune Cookie (Walter Matthau supreme) and perhaps Repo Man however.

Expected to see Blade Runner on the NYT list. Everyone drools about that one.

"Interesting you mentioned the Tati paragraph, VC, but for reasons that I will elaborate on later I won't preempt a response just yet."

I think I know what you're thinking there. Just remember an ridiculous yet charming tennis serve needs an equally ineffable return.

And yes, this post is a timely reminder of why the people who read the Leapster tend to be funnier, and possibly better informed, about everything than the people who read the NYT. "All The News That Comes In Fits We Print".

And yes, where is on the NYT list - Bladerunner, Oh yes, Charley Varrick ( the only CIA agent I ever went drinking with reminded me more of Matthau than any other filmic portral I've seen of that agency's operatives), Kiss Me Deadly (as seen on After Grog Blog!), Highlander V: The Quickening Of Chris Lambert's Legs and...y'know I couldn't be arsed reading through the NYT list.

Larry's list is better. Not least because its much shorter and a lot funnier -which also equals more acute in my book. However I do take exception here and there to some of his calls. Why not both Animal House and Caddyshack? This should not be an either/or situation. Actually quite a few of those early 80s Landis and Co comedies still hold up quite well - like Trading Places, Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters. Familiarity has not yet bred contempt for me. Punch lines are still pefectly timed and delivered even though you've heard them a dozen times before.

Unlike Ivan Reitman. Just watched Stripes for the first time in two decades and it is crap. Really crap. Even Bill Murray, someone noted for having a legendarily thick skin, looks embarrassed being in it. And Harold Ramis looks really embarrassed, not least 'cos he's nailed with a screenwriting credit too. However a very young Sean Young making hrscreen debut does make up for much. However it's still crap as a film.

And speaking of crap films, I'm also glad the Leapster said it loud and proud - "The Best Years of Our Lives" is a plodding boring feel-good cold pudding. As is "It's A Wonderful Life". Brilliant plot concept but directed, acted and lensed like everyone's trying not fart during a wedding.

Fuck this, I'm going off now to irreverently alter James Stewart's wikipedia entry (FX Holden came up with that blogmeme) and then order from Pacific DVD, Laughton and Mitchum's 'Night of The Hunter'.

Love. Hate.

And tattooed on my toes "Review" and "Snarky Bastard Welcomes You Aboard For An Action Packed Ride". Wait...wrong appendage.

As you were sailor.


I can feel my life slipping away slowly as I wait Tony's follow-up on Tati. Just between the three of us, cause no-one else seems to give a brass razoo, "Playtime" has a very firm grip in my fave 10 films. But I don't write lists for anyone so it doesn't matter.

Props to the Leapster for actually making distinctions b/w Tati films - he's necessarily tough on Playtime. It's okay, but...

Further shuffling through his notes brings me to his sharp analysis on the entire Charlie Kaufman output:

"Charlie Kaufman’s pictures are fun, gimmicked up, rollercoasters for smarter children in the class, (well “Malkovich” was fun) but for me right now, that’s about the extent of the sandwich. I’d like to see who’s talking about them in 20 years’ time. "

Adaptation sits cheerily in my 10 Films that Shit Me to Death from opening to closing title. I too though Malkovich had some good laffs. One nervously awaits Where the Wild Things Are, and hopes its charme remains intact. I can't feel it in me waters somehow....

I've been holding off on Playtime because it is close to Boynton's favourite fillum and I wanted to give her time to slot in a reply. She ranks it higher than Huloday and Monocle.

But since she hasn't... I really like Playtime. Not so much because "I just like it", which is my usual boofheaded reason for liking a film, but because of its structure, visuals, music, sound, look, sets, its feel. I'd love to see it on a big screen.

Hope Boynton will weigh in soon.

If you haven't seen Payday, a film RT mentioned above, you really should. Rip Torn, sans scruples, as a touring C&W singer. It's a little ripper.

Outta left field Tony, that's a superb red herring! Must admit I've not seen Playtime in yonks, and have memories of lots of glass.

Payday is on the list, have you seen Hard Eight, the Paul Thomas Anderson debut film. Oh momma that's a good fillum.

This seems as good a bloggish place as any to register an odd sense of loss at the death of Richard Widmark. Odd because I had no idea he was still here - 94 years old, and it still took an accident to fell him!

Leapster referred to Night & the City, I assume in a positive light, I can't see any other. Widmark was truly in a place of his own, and they won't be replacing him again in a hurry.

And on the bizarre age subject, go see Before the Devil Knows you're Dead, and reel as it connects mid-way through that the director is 84 years old. And that he's gotten a good performance out of Ethan Hawke. Like, a really good one.

It's been an odd week.

Yep - I'm with the Adrian Martin school on Playtime
= masterpiece.

However, I do recall that when you and I - and Nabs- last saw it, on the biggish screen chez nous, it was hard going. But it was the 3rd film of the night on a 35 degree day. I think that any Tati works best as a single feature event.

I take issue with The Graduate (it's more than the Mrs Robinson scenario?) and especially The Best Years of Our Lives which if it is soap, it's soap that works for me. I've always found it unsentimental (for the times) and moving. It's been a while since I saw it though, so maybe there's one for the next film night?

As pointed out above, there's too many to look through in a list of 1,000. I was glad that Midnight Cowboy is listed.
A bit surprised that Forrest Gump and Shimmyshanks Redemption were not included, as the latter often shows up in top 10 best films ever. However, the Redemption is tediously long, and the cons are too neatly dressed, pressed and unstressed for my liking. Forrest Gump is interesting only as an indicator of America's Americo-centric view of 20th century pop culture.
Surprised to see The Piano in the list, as it is a latterday Picnic at Hanging Rock. Nice camera work, too bad about the plotline and acting (although Harvey Keitel is always impressive). I have always hypothesized that if New Zealand had been colonised 100 years before, the film would have been called The Harpsichord.
I didn't check for Star Wars, but let's hope it didn't make it.
Really, my top 1,000 would operate by a few simple rules of exclusion: is it directed by George Lucas or Steven Spielberg? If so, it's out.
Does it star Robin Williams, Steve Martin or Merryl Streep? If so, it's out. Steve Martin has committed many celluloid sins, but can never be forgiven for Sergeant Bilko. Robin Williams has a unique talent, but it's not acting, as is shown clearly in his maudlin schtick in Dead Poets' Society, and irritating roles in Patch Adams and Mrs Doubtfire.
Speaking of Merryl Streep, did anyone see the Australian telemovie, "Emerald Falls" recently? Georgie Parker looked like she had been to the Merryl Streep school of acting. She looked vague, disengaged, and any internal feelings were translated for viewers by Georgie's refusal to look at her fellow actors, along with a Helen Mirrenesque sweep of the hair. A sure sign that the actor/actress is not sure what he or she is supposed to be conveying. Her speech was delivered at an impressive rate -- for a race caller - and she cut off all her fellow actors and actresses. Those killed in this feeble murder mystery were the lucky ones, as they did not have to put up Georgie as long as those who survived.

I'm not sure that I would have seen 1,000 fillums in total. So I'm reluctant to comment. I rarely can watch a movie more than once but have seen a few films a lot less than once.

Films I have seen more than once: Bladerunner, Ghostbusters, Blues Bros, The Producers, most vampire films, Rocky Horror, most or any or all musicals except Grease and Hair, Shaggy Dog (original, er - possibly thats it.

Yes, F.X. Holden, it's good to see some musicals in the list. My favourite, The King and I is there, as is Oklahoma. So is Singin' in the Rain, a crappy film which is nowhere near as good a film as 42nd Street or Golddiggers of 1929 (or 1930 or whatever), which provide a sinister edge not normally seen in feelgood musicals.
Unbelievably, Showboat, which has been filmed several times, is not there. This essential piece of Americana must be included (I would choose the colour-drenched 1950s version) for its use of a musical to examine the deepest parts of the American psyche on segregation.
Death of a Salesman (1950, not Dustin Hoffmann's version) is there, possibly as a tribute to Arthur Miller -- certainly not as a movie, as it was almost universally condemned -- not least by Miller. Tennessee Williams has been better adapted to film in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (which makes it) and Streetcar named Desire (which doesn't).
In the Heat of the Night is still brilliant, with Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier vying with a cast of southern miscreants for acting honours in a brilliant script.
One of my favourite films would never make it because of Victor Manure's presence, but he and Hedi Lamarr are magnificent in Samson and Delilah -- especially when Samson is blinded, and Delilah exclaims, "That poor man, now he'll never be able to look at me again". The Boston Strangler with Tony Curtis as a crazed psychopath should be on the list ; if you haven't seen this, check it out, as it is revelation of Curtis' acting skills for those of us who are used to Tony Curtis as a pretty boy. He was not even nominated for an academy award.

I've seen both Singin' in the Rain and 42nd Street in the last couple of months and still rate the latter better. Like you say, Prof, SITR is good, but not that good. And yes, I'm aware film-fossil David Stratton rates it as his Desert Island Movie. Some of those other pre-Hayes musicals were top notch, too, because they were afforded a bit of adult raunch... raunch as far as the 1930's mainstream was concerned, anyway.

Apropos FX's remark about not having seen 1000 fillums, I don't reckon I could find 1000 GREAT fillums to list; be lucky to find 100.

Note: It appears the Times has selected from their own film reviews over the last however-many years.

I also have the criteria that if Robin Williams, Steve Martin or Merryl Streep is in it, I ain't watchin' it. Except I like Jumanji. Hated Deer Hunter. Hated Dirty Rotten Scoundrels more. Fvck off, LA Story. Fvcketty fvck off Good Morning Vietnam.

Frederick March (and Myrna) was the standout in BYOOL and it's a pity there was not more of him and less Dana Andrews and Harold Russell. Harold won TWO Oscars for his role as Homer Handless: a true-to-form charity award for Best Supporting Actor, and also an official charity Honorary Oscar (for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in the film). Naive me says: guess there can't have been much competition that year. Cynical me says: well... you know what cynical me says.

Haven't seen Hard Eight, but I've just chalked it up for viewing.

Vale Widmark, indeed. Naturally I remember him best from National Lampoon Goes to the Movies. Or maybe Coma. Or Rollercoaster. Or Hanky Panky. Whatever happened to Gene Wilder? Still, despite those to-kill-for-roles, he never really recaptured that uber-cad vibe of Kiss of Death. Maybe him and Dan Duryea diluted the cad brand.

Tony Curtis is also fantastic as slimey Sidney in The Sweet Smell of Success. Less fantastic in The Persuaders, despite the great theme track.

Ethan Hawke is a strange actor; flitting around the filmic firmament, supposedly delivering serious, well received performances, but I never seem to bother watching his movies.

Just printed out the Times list and I'm going to fine-tooth-comb it with a variety of coloured highlighter pens - because I know you're interested, red and blue - in front of this arvo's footy. Bet you didn't know you could fine tooth comb with highlighter pens.

Tony T., Does that mean you can delouse hair with highlighter pens?
As an aside the Leapster certainly has a way with words, which goes straight to the heart of the stench in many fillums.
I heard a brilliant description of the Heath Ledger painting in this year's Archibald prize -- it was a favourite to win amongst many, and I thought it was good, but wasn't sure why I had doubts about it, until I heard an art critic say, in bitchiest fashion on the radio, "The Heath Ledger portrait would be an excellent painting -- for the side of a panel van".
I have not seen the remake of St Trinian's, but will make a bold prediction that it is odious crap, and nowhere near as good as ye olde Englishe versions with Alistair Sims and "Arfur Daley".

Prof - funnily I do have happened to have seen the Goldigger of Broadway 1933 and bits of the 1929 film. Maybe I was infested with newly minted po-mo de-con lice (hand me that comb and kerosene Tones) but I thought they were "subversive" and sly. Great.

I know its fashionable to sink the slipper into Singing In The Rain but I've always had a soft spot for musicals that at least have a few hummable tappable moments and SITR works ok. (Maybe I've watched too much Goodies replays and am confused)

I'd agree that St Trinians can be confidently predicted to be crap - like a possible "modern" remake of Carry On.....

The idea that 14-16 year old school girls might be naughty, knowing and sexual and that this might be funny, doesn't seem all that interesting in these days of phys ed teachers shagging 15 year old boys and girls and then texting them up.

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