Sunday, October 19, 2008


Looking over my semi-official list of favorite movies, I'm surprised. Sometimes by what I included (There's no way I like A Shot In The Dark more than Annie Hall or there?), but mostly by what's missing.

I already mentioned my confusion over the inexplicable absence of The Long Goodbye and Gremlins 2, easily among my most beloved. And geez, where the heck is The Adventures Of Robin Hood, a long-time favorite around here? Or Harry And Tonto? Or Hour Of The Wolf, the Ingmar Bergman film that seems most like it could have been directed by David Lynch? For that matter, why no David Lynch?

I'm very surprised Dumbo was the only animated film on the list. Pretty much anything by Hayao Miyazaki should have been there (but in particular My Neighbor Totoro and Princess fact, just go ahead and feel free to replace any movie outside the Top Ten with Mononoke), and Brad Bird's The Incredibles (which was slotted in at one point, and I have no idea what happened). I debated whether or not to include Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, one of my favorite movies for years and years, and one for which I still have a sentimental attachment, but which doesn't quite hold up as well as I'd like. Then again, isn't a list like this all about sentimental attachment?

Wizards would have been an excellent choice for a potentially far more interesting list, of disreputable movies that may not be Great Art but which are a lot of fun, and infinitely rewatchable. I suppose The Howling might have been more correctly slotted onto such a list (I'll stand by it as Great Art, though, dammit!), but it would certainly include, say, Foxy Brown or Shock Treatment, the shockingly underappreciated follow-up to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a movie I find myself liking more and more with each viewing.

The point, I guess, is that my list is anything but definitive. It's what I came up with as I wrote, but on any other day, any of the movies mentioned above might have been on it instead. The four at the top are pretty much firmly in place, and the following six would certainly remain near the top, but it's all fluid, really. I love all movies, even the bad ones, and can take something from everything I see.

Oh, except Xanadu, of course.