And so……to give a sense of things, here’s a list of what I, at least today, would consider to be my top quarter century of movies.
They’re not the best I’ve ever seen, although some are, because the best films don’t vary a great deal from person to person: who cares if someone else thinks that ‘Citizen Kane’ is pretty damn great? I’ve tried not to include non-English language films/old films/black and white films just for the sake of contending how ‘clever’ and esoteric I can be, although some contain one or two of these elements. Part of what makes me have a soft spot for a work is that it wasn’t a great success and/or isn’t widely known (many would say ‘Pulp Fiction’ is their top movie but is it easy to have a liking for something that everyone else likes too? Yes, for most people evidently) but some are widely known and/or successful.
It doesn’t actually include two films that might fall into both ‘best’ and ‘favourite’ categories – Joshua Oppenheimer’s mind-bending masterworks ‘The Act of Killing‘ and ‘The Look of Silence‘ – because part of the idea of ‘favourite’, for me, connotes something that you’d always want to do: in this context, meaning something that you’d always want to watch but since ‘The Act of Killing’ and ‘The Look of Silence’ dealt with such psyche-scrambling subject matter, I can’t say that I’d forever be prepared to watch them, as magnificent as they both are.
So, all as clear as mud then, I know, but just go with it. Any list of films, albums, songs, books is always like trying to nail jelly to a wall yet people take it so seriously and chin-strokingly, like it’s a science.
Like ‘Sight & Sound’ in their yearly round-up, ‘The Guardian’ once tried to encompass films that hadn’t yet reached cinemas on general release in their review of the 12 previous months. This seemed valid to me as all of these lists are actually acting as a signal to you to check something out, under the guise of ‘wasn’t this good?’, as few are in the position of having seen every good film in a year but people reacted to the inclusion of films still to hit general release as if their pitchforks and flaming torches were to the side of their laptops.
Any hyperlinks will go from left to the right in the order of ‘IMDb’, ‘Wikipedia’ and the trailer, if I can find one. If it’s a one word title, I’ll lose the IMDb link. Oh, and I wonder what just misses the cut with these kind of things so, here, it would have been Vincent Gallo’s ‘Buffalo ’66‘ (1998) at number 26, probably, (I hate trailers – as a personal rule, I’d beseech anyone to not watch them but people seem to value them – yet this is an example of a great trailer):