I know this post isn’t very Christmassy but bear with me. There may be a very tenuous link. I sometimes feel a bit of a secular heathen ( if such a term is possible) when it comes to culture and the things I am expected to have seen and read by this age. People talk about the classics almost as if they are a checklist handed to you along with your umbilical cord. I feel a little as if I am lacking in life experience not having viewed or read these classics!
I am a huge film fan. Going to the cinema and settling down in the dark with one of my friends or family is one of my most favourite ways to pass the time. I don’t get to go as often as I would like but that makes it more special when it does happen. As long as the people behind are considerate and don’t let their kids spend the whole time kicking the back of my chair or talking through it. Why bother going if all you are going to do is chat the whole time?
I searched on Google for a definitive list of the top ten films of all time and was led to IMDB’s list of the top 100 films of all time which in itself is a bit of a misnomer because time hasn’t finished yet but hey ho, lets not be pedantic. Out of IMDB’s top ten I had seen 7. These were :-
The GodFather, The Shawshank Redemption, Schindler’s List, One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Titanic. So I was fairly relieved that I wasn’t as much of an ignoramus as I’d previously thought. Where I would like your help is opinions on the following.
Raging Bull – I’m assuming this is about something other than a rampaging bull in a china shop given the cover shown on IMDB and has something to do with boxing. It was made in 1980, directed by Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro amongst others. It ranks at number four on the top 10 but what I want to know is is it worth seeing and why? I have quite varied taste and don’t mind watching something other than a chick flick!
Casablanca – I’m cheating slightly here because I have watched part of this on the tv but keep getting to the same point and no further. Is life conspiring to keep me away from it? I know this is about Rick and Elsa and some guy called Sam who keeps being asked to play it again but that’s about it! Is it worth watching in its entirety? Will I fall in love with it? Or could I miss it and not be any the poorer. ? It was made in 1942 several years before my birth but I do like that genre of older films.
The last out of the top 10 I haven’t seen is Citizen Kane. This ranks at number 7 on IMDB. It was made in 1941 and seems to have been a labour of love for Orson Welles. The IMDB cover shows a man with 2 women . The man appears to be looking down one of the ladies tops but we’ll gloss over it. I know it’s about the death of a publishing tycoon but is it worth seeing?
Most of the films I haven’t seen were made before my time so it’s perhaps not a surprise I haven’t seen them. The fact I have 4 children who normally argue over the tv remote would be another reason! The films from the top 20 I haven’t seen are Lawrence of Arabia, Sunset Boulevard, Vertigo, On the Waterfront, and West Side Story. Again these are all older films. The fact they are still in the top 20 would indicate their enduring appeal. What do you think? Any of those worth seeing?
It’s worth remembering that taste is individual and men and women sometimes like different genres. Most men I asked about films cited Star Wars which is ok but I can take it or leave it.
I am not convinced there are many classic films being made today and one thing I detest is all the remakes of films. Does no one in Hollywood have an original idea any more? I know they say that all stories originate from one of 7 plots and “there is nothing new under the sun” but it’s frustrating. Why not give other writers a chance instead of all these endless remakes, most of which cost horrendous amounts and are not worth watching anyway? Perhaps we as viewers need to be more discerning and vote with our feet?
If I could only recommend one film to you it would be “To kill A Mockingbird”. Starring the gorgeous Gregory Peck it tells the story of the lawyer Atticus Finch who is appointed by a court to defend a man accused of a very serious crime. Given the fact the man is black and the girl involved is white it deals with racial prejudice amongst other things. It is a powerful film based on the book by Harper Lee and is one of the few book to film adaptations I am happy with. Recommended.
I’ll leave you now with an image from Pinterest that sums up how I feel about most book adaptations.
There wasn’t a tenuous Christmas link sorry.