Roger Ebert weighs in on the AFI's new 100 Years... 100 Movies list here, and he's much more eloquent and insightful than I could be because -- well, because he's Roger Freakin' Ebert. My favorite passage (because it rings so true for me as a college professor as well as a film critic):
"New films become old films so fast. Raging Bull came out 27 years ago. It's older than Casablanca (No. 3) was when I became a film critic. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, more than 50 percent of moviegoers are under 27. They are going to find movies on this list that were made before their grandparents were born -- and, if judging by the kids I saw Buster Keaton's The General (No. 18) with, they might love them.
"Ah, but there's the problem: Will they find out about them? Too many younger moviegoers are wasting their precious adolescence frying their brains with vomitoriums posing as slasher movies. A list like the AFI's can do some good... To take a hypothetical possibility, if you were to see all 100 films on the AFI list, by the end of that experience, you would no longer desire to see a Dead Teenager Movie."
The Associated Press offers some interesting factoids about the new list here, and recalls the original 1998 line-up here.
As for me, I'm still mulling over something M. Night Shyamalan said about The Sixth Sense (No. 89 on the new AFI list) during Wednesday's telecast countdown. Specifically, Shyamalan noted that his movie benefited from great timing, in that it was released before the proliferation of movie blogs on the Internet. If it were released today, he said, Sixth Sense (and, I would add, The Crying Game) likely would suffer because too many blockheads would be posting spoilers on websites. Well, OK, he didn't use the word "blockheads." But I would.
And speaking of spoilers: Didn't the AFI do its own sort of spoiling by airing clips that revealed the climaxes of The Searchers and Citizen Kane?
Agree entirely on the spoiling -- plus the final lines of Some Like It Hot, Chinatown -- like it was the '100 Greatest Quotes' instead of trying to give a better sense of why the film might be considered "great."
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