Lately Empire magazine produced a listing of the top 100 films as voted for by their readers. All the usual suspects were in there, because you can’t have a listing with anything interesting, diverse, or too different in there.
A lot of film mags do this, as it’s a great way to fill out 10 pages with piccies and the odd comment from some director saying, “I likes Star Wars because it made the snail in my pants feel funny!!” If it’s not ‘best films’ it’s ‘sexiest stars’ or ‘best scenes’ or ‘most tedious listings’. So, let’s have a look at what’s on offer with:
!!SORTITAHT TOP FILMS OF SOMETHING OR BLAH!!
Star Wars: Got to have Star Wars in any listing. It’s the law, or every 40 – 60 years old virgin will explode in apoplectic rage, even if the listing is something like ’50 best financial adjusters’. I loved it when I was a kid, but I’m almost 50 now! I couldn’t give a fuck if Greedo shot first – I just want some comfy fucking slippers!
Jaws: Also, every listing must have Jaws. Dum dum, dum dum – ooh, big sharky. For some people, these two films sum up everything about the power of cinema. Go and see ‘Come and See’ by Elem Klimov. That’ll blow your fucking socks off!
The Godfather: Also in every top poll, just to show that film fans can sit through boring talky stuff, as long as some fucker gets a bullet up the jacksey at the end of it.
Citizen Kane: Usually down the lower end of the listing; usually voted for by people who can cram Empire AND Sight and Sound into their eyeball space. It says, ‘Yes, I spunked a big wadge of man-love over Fast and Furious, but I still have time to stroke my chin and nod knowingly at them black and white fillums’.
Some Shit By Richard Curtis: Always a few of these bastards in there. Simpering, upper-middle class toss, the lot of them, exemplified by the attitude to the disabled woman at the end of Notting Hill, where they leave her in the road as they all bog off in a taxi. “Yeah, fuck off, wheelie – thanks for providing us with the right-on credentials for the Hooray crowd – now try not to get hit by a truck as we piss off to the fucking airport and get emetic.”
Institute Benjamenta: Hah! Good luck seeing THAT bastard in any list! Actually, it’s a pretty average film, but the point is films which are different or experimental or just brilliantly interesting don’t even make it into the bloody Sight and Sound charts! And those ponces breathe pretension! Empire probably send a hitman around to your house if you sneak one of these bastards in.
It must be hell being a film fan with a wide-range of interests, and knowing that every time – EVERY TIME – there’s a film poll the usual suspects will turn up in the listing. Including The Usual Suspects. I don’t dislike these films – Jaws IS a freakin’ classic, along with Godfather and Kane, but it would be nice to see something with a little bit of individuality.
So, here’s my very short listing of bonkers madcap nutty films you should see:
Hausu – Nobuhiko Obayashi – Weird Japanese ghost story – in one scene a piano eats someone. And then the severed fingers play the piano. And that’s not the weirdest part.
Faust – Jan Svankmajer – Re-telling of the Faust legend with puppets and people. Normal in intent, but strange in execution. They used life-size puppets for this one, and the effect is BLOODY MAD!
Endless Poetry – Alejandro Jodorowsky – Not his weirdest film, but fuck me, is it inspiring. An autobiographical look at Jodorowsky’s first stabs at creativity – Quote from a friend I watched it with: “Well, I didn’t think I’d end the day watching a poet make love to a menstruating dwarf.”
The Hourglass Sanatorium – Wojciech Jerzy Has – No idea where to start with this one. There’s one scene where a man crawls under a bed and ends up in a swamp, next to a beached showboat. Why not, eh?
A Town Called Panic – Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar – Mental animation about a cowboy, a native American, and a horse and their undersea adventures. Massively funny and hugely barmy.
If you want something a tad different (and barmy) then have a peek at these.