Every decade the British Film Institute publish a curated list of the Greatest Movies of All Time. It is, of course, wrong because everyone has a different list and everyone’s list is right but it’s a lovely exercise. There’s a quote from Guillermo del Toro about these lists and what they do, which speaks viscerally to my approach to culture.
Top tens are not all pageants- they (at best) declare versions of Cinema that express self… and they don’t close a door- they open ten.
Massive thanks to Aza for helping me find that.
That willingness to be open to new ideas, that sense of welcoming? I aspire to that and reading this helped close a circuit. I think in threes. The first side was last year’s November Blogs and how much fun I had doing super short, punchy work. The second was the BFI list and the third was that quote. The BFI list opens 100 doors. I’m going to walk through them all and write about what I see. Here are the rules:
- No more than 500 words. That’s about a page.
- I have to be able to watch the movie legally and in turn show readers where they can watch it legally.
- There’s no timetable on this. It’d be super easy to commit to once a month and then see the feature disappear for months at a time and I don’t want that. So, instead, I’m giving myself, and it, room. It’ll probably be monthly. In quiet months it might be weekly. I’m adapting the work to fit me, not vice versa and that feels both important and necessary.
- I don’t pick the movie. The dice do. A D100 will get me a result and, crucially, get me clear of my own biases which is fundamentally what this is all about.
Red is tens, white is digits. So our first movie is…
There’s a tie for 31st place so 31, 32 and 33 are all the same. They’re also all really big names!
- 8 1/2 directed by Federico Fellini
- Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock
- Mirror directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
I haven’t seen any of them either so this is a great start! We’ll kick off with 8 1/2 next time. Join me, and let’s open the first of those hundred doors.