Movie lists are fun, if more than slightly moronic. They essentially try and take an artistic medium that is unquantifiable in terms of quality and then prove, definitively, which ones are the “greatest of all time”. Every list is completely subjective (obviously), so it’s futile to read any of them and say “yep…that’s the one. They nailed it 100%.”
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t read a list (particularly a “reader’s poll”) and make deductions about the cross-section surveyed. For the first time in six years, Empire Magazine polled its readers and came up with the “301 Greatest Movies of All Time”. There are a fair amount of surprises (Klimov’s Come and See made the cut!), but the Top 10 reads not too differently from the average IMDB ranking — a collection of nerdy genre pictures with a few revered ’70s “classics” peppered in.
For those interested (and I’m guessing you are if you’ve made it this far into the article), here are the Top 10 “Greatest Movies of All Time”, as decided by Empire Readers:
9. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
7. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
6. Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope
5. Pulp Fiction
4. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Dark Knight
2. The Godfather
1. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
This grouping has led me to come to a few conclusions:
1. Nerds Like What They Like
2. Nerds Are Willing to Vote in Order to Validate Their Interests
3. Nerds Need to See More Movies
Now, I know some are going to take issue with these three suppositions, but hear me out. None of them are meant as an insult (like some have taken my deductions before), but merely moments of educated hypothesis paired with a suggestion of cultural broadening inside of a medium nerds obviously love. Out of the Top 10, the directorial breakdown of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Christopher Nolan accounts for six slots. Peter Jackson takes up a seventh. That means filmmakers who specialized (at one point in their career or another) in movies that appeal to the “nerd” audience make up 70% of the top slots. This isn’t so much a catalog of the “Greatest Films Ever Made” as much as it is an inventory of the “Movies Nerds Love the Most”.
When I say that nerds should “see more movies”, it isn’t me throwing shade. It’s simply a reminder that there are literally THOUSANDS of films out there to explore — a sprawling, artistic history that will blow your mind and make you look at life and the world in different ways you probably never imagined possible. That’s what art is all about. Everybody has their favorites, but don’t let those nearest and dearest to your heart limit you from exploring the rest of the medium that allowed your Top 10 to even exist. In short — instead of holding trenchant beliefs as to “what will appeal to you” (i.e. the nerdy bits), get out of your comfort zone. Don’t just pop in that blu-ray of The Dark Knight for the 200th time. Maybe try Kubrick’s The Killing or Mann’s Heat? Or maybe don’t watch anything related to The Dark Knight at all and explore the vast, varied filmography of Rainer Werner Fassbinder? Who knows? Maybe one of these will punch you in the gut so hard that you’ll have to change your Top 10 entirely?
And since we’re making silly lists, here’s how mine would read:
10. White (dir.Krzysztof Kieslowski)
9. Rolling Thunder (dir. John Flynn)
8. Phantom of the Paradise (dir. Brian De Palma)
7. Thief (dir. Michael Mann)
6. Paris, Texas (dir. Wim Wenders)
5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (dir. Sam Peckinpah)
4. Halloween (dir. John Carpenter)
3. Blow Out (dir. Brian De Palma)
2. Videodrome (dir. David Cronenberg)
1. Jaws (dir. Steven Spielberg)
Like I said — everything’s subjective. Share your own list below and we can compare notes.
Via: The Mary Sue