Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could stall me
And then came the rush of the flood
The stars at night turned deep to dust
- Cat Power
That quote has nothing to do with this post. I just dig the song and the artist, so there ya go. Nope, I'm talking the greatest movie of all-time! Sorry, let me repeat....THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL-TIME!!! And genuflect when you read that if you will, dear readers. No, I'm not talking about Roadhouse, although it is a perfect film (except or Patrick Swayze's silly dancing martial arts kicks). I'm talking about the new king on Sight and Sound's annual survey of critics, academics and distributors. And for the first time in 50 years, it isn't Citizen Kane.
- Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock) - I'm a fan of Hitchcock. Not a die-hard fan, but I generally enjoy his films. Mostly because I generally enjoy suspense, and Hitchcock loved him some suspense. It might not be my favorite Hitchcock film, that's probably North by Northwest, Rear Window or Dial M for Murder, but Vertigo is a fantastic film. Certainly deserving of the top spot on many critic's lists.
- Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles) - Or Second-Citizen Kane, amirite? Feh. So I remember the first time I saw this film. It was in a High School film class in 10th grade. After the credits rolled, our teacher jokingly asked the class what Rosebud was. I wasn't quick to answer simpleton questions, so I looked around the class and saw 25 or so completely blank faces. The teacher started to look worried, so he asked again. Finally, I raised my hand and answered the question. At which point he started to freak out that so many kids couldn't answer the most obvious question about something that they had seen 5 minutes previously. I hate people.
- Tokyo Story (1953, Ozu Yasujiro) - I love foreign films. Even more specifically, I love Japanese cinema. But I have to admit that this film never came close to making it onto my radar. Probably because my Japanese cinema phase came in my early 20's, and I wasn't really into dramas about family and loss back then. I'm still not really into those kind of films, so it may be a while before I check this one out.
- La Règle du jeu (1939, Jean Renoir) - I've seen several Renoir films, and I honestly couldn't tell you if this was one of them. I just wasn't into French cinema from that period. I dig the current Horror flicks coming out of France, but that's because I'm a child. So there.
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, F.W. Murnau) - Going back to me being a child, how does one select a Murnau flick and it isn't Nosferatu? I'm beginning to think this list sucks balls.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick) - OK, I get it. I understand why so many people would pick this film over so many other masterpieces that Kubrick produced. It was ground-breaking and it actually still holds up pretty well as a science-fiction piece. And of all of his films, it probably is his greatest technical achievement. But is it as good as Dr. Strangelove or A Clockwork Orange? I dunno about that.
- The Searchers (1956, John Ford) - Here is one that would probably be a bit higher on my personal list, but I ain't complaining. John Ford's greatest film and John Wayne's greatest performance. How could you go wrong with that? Maybe I'm just a silly fan of Westerns and John Ford, but for me it doesn't get any better than this.
- Man with a Movie Camera (1929, Dziga Vertov) - Honestly, I've never heard of this film before. Never. Ever. I have absolutely nothing to say about it. Moving on.
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (1927, Carl Dreyer) - What's with all of these films from the 1920's? I call bullshit. I'm sorry. Sure, I'd love to see me some baseball from the 1920's, but cinema? Not my bag, man. Not my bag at all.
- 8 1/2 (1963, Federico Fellini) - Here's a little Verdant Dude trivia for ya. For the longest time, probably until 1 minute ago, I thought the dude's first name was Fredirico. Ahem. So yeah, this was a good one. I think I've realized the greatness of just about every Fellini film I've ever seen. Satryicon freaked me out a little, but then again I think it was supposed to do just that. So I get why it's on this list. It just wouldn't be on MY list.
My two favorite lists in that article? South Korean director Boon Joon-Ho and Quentin Tarantino. Their lists, while they wouldn't match mine, are at least reflective of my tastes. Sean Durkin, Edgar Wright and David O. Russell have some fun lists as well. I was going to say Michael Mann too, but he picked Avatar and that calls for immediate ridicule. Great achievement? Sure. Great film? I don't think so.