Friday, October 17, 2008

Empire's Top 500 Films Issue (Nov. 2008) on the Stands

Empire magazine's poll is (finally!) on the stands in the U.S. I was tempted to just go to the website, but I held out. The list is really interesting... I was pretty surprised (there are at least a dozen films on it I've never even heard of!). I've been looking it over endlessly. I won't reveal #1 (it's not La Dolce Vita-- this is just 1 of the 100 covers issued by Empire [and the one I picked up]), but here are some thoughts (look at the magazine first, though or here's the link).

Empire's first poll was in 1996, and of the 100 films on that list, eleven didn't make the 500, 12 years later: Thelma and Louise (#29), Dead Poet's Society (#34), The Piano (#48), Witness (#54), A Few Good Men (#66), Dangerous Liaisons (#61), Jean de Florette (#72), Ghost (#75), A Room with a View (#88), Dr. Zhivago (#92), and Highlander (#100).

Of the films that made it, the most surprisingly highest ranked for me is Andrei Rublev (at #36, it's the highest ranked foreign language film). [I own Rublev on DVD, and its surely great, but still a surprise.] Was also shocked that, for a British publication, Lawrence of Arabia clocked in at #57 (maybe everyone thought the other guy would put it on their list).

FIlms I was surprised did not make the top 100 of the 500: Touch of Evil, The Silence of the Lambs, Pan's Labyrinth, The Wizard of Oz, It's a Wonderful Life, Forrest Gump, The Terminator, The Sixth Sense, The Seventh Seal, and All About Eve.

Films I was most surprised didn't make the top 500 at all: The General, Metropolis, Swing Time, Grand Illusion, Children of Paradise, The Lavender Hill Mob, High Noon, Shane, The African Queen, West Side Story, The Birds, Belle de Jour, Amarcord, Swingers, Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Oscar's Best Pictures did OK: nearly half of them made the list (and just about all from 1990s Dances With Wolves to present).

Directors score-card: Spielberg (11, way out in front), Scorsese (8), and Hitchcock and Kubrick (7). Considering their comparative outputs, Kubrick did best.

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