Sunday, June 22, 2008

AFI's 10 Top 10: Results

The AFI's special on the "top ten genres" was a little on the weak-side content-wise and contained such unforgivable gaffes as misspelling Steven Spielberg's name on-screen (it was spelled "Speilberg!), but the lists themselves turned out OK and the clips, as usual, were well-chosen.

The genres:

Animation. This was the first category up and when AFI rattled off the bottom five I was very worried for the whole special-- it seemed that box office was the rule-of-thumb. Then the top five were normal thankfully (and the rest of the special did not seem box office based). I was very pleased to not only see Bambi in the rankings, but at #3.

Fantasy. This was a weird category, i.e. Lord of the Rings alongside Miracle on 34th Street? So there is very little to say about it. I was glad to see Big though-- a terrific little movie.

Gangster. This list was about right. I think that even though the old and new Scarface films are about the same quality-wise (meaning not-that-great), we could have lost the pretentious 1930s one-- but I could see everyone "worried" about being criticized for not including them both. They should have put in The Untouchables instead. But the other nine were pretty much the ones. Even though I correctly predicted that the original Godfather would be #1, it's actually a little surprising that they didn't put Part 2 as #1.

Sci-Fi. I wish this would have been it's own special. Again, having A Clockwork Orange and Back to the Future on the list with 2001 and Star Wars is odd. And, of course, Close Encounters can't get no respect!

Sports. I thought this genre was a wash when I saw the nominees but I must say they really came up with a decent top ten. Certainly though Field of Dreams (which was "used up" in the bizarre-o fantasy genre list) deserved to make it (instead of say, National Velvet). Happy that Caddyshack was on there.

Western. Some odd ones, but about right. I wish they had put Stagecoach at #10 (instead of 9)-- would have been good as the "anchor." Pleased that The Wild Bunch made it (even if it was only at #6).

Mystery. Another "weird" genre but I like what they came up with, and I'm glad Hitchcock dominated what was essentially subbing for the suspense genre list.

Romantic Comedy. This was the only category for which I did not predict the #1 film correctly. And when my guess, The Philadelphia Story, clocked in at #5 I thought to myself-- good, they had the guts to go with the one that deserves it-- Annie Hall. So imagine my surprise when Annie Hall came in second... to City Lights? Are they kidding? City Lights' appearing on the nominee list was a "cheat." Its comedy mostly comes from Chaplin's usual sight gags, not the romance. If they went this route then, I'm sorry, Blazing Saddles should have made their westerns list.

Courtroom Drama. This was the list.

Epic. Not great. Surely, Gone With the Wind should have been #2 on this list. And Schindler's List really should not have been on it. And Reds-- hmm, do you think this was related to AFI's giving Warren Beatty the lifetime achievement award this year? Bridge on the River Kwai, easily, should have been on it-- this was my only personal top choice that didn't rank, but despite that, c'mon!

My scorecard was pretty high: I guessed 9 out of 10 #1's correctly. And I've seen 99 of the 100 films (only one I haven't seen is In Cold Blood). See you next June AFI!

Link to winners at AFI's site.

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