Wednesday, October 20, 2004

UK Writer (Top 10 Films)

More feedback from the first issue of the Writers' Guild magazine, UK Writer. This time on the subject of Members' Top 10 films, which were:
1. Citizen Kane
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Some Like It Hot
4. Lawrence of Arabia
5. The Ladykillers (original version)
6. Witness
7. Memento
8. Apocalypse Now
9. The Searchers
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Ian Craine writes:
Oh dear dear. Do I really belong to an organisation whose members think that Pulp Fiction is the second best movie of all time. I almost choked on my porridge. The best thing about Pulp Fiction is that it gave a very good actor, Samuel L. Jackson, the opportunity to produce and star in that wonderful and neglected little masterpiece Eve's Bayou.

Apart from Pulp Fiction I can respect (in some cases grudgingly) the entries though I think there are better films that have been neglected. Memento and Witness but no Vertigo? Oh dear again.

Is this restricted to English language films? I don't expect readers to nominate my favourite "foreign" film ( Jean Pierre Melville's reverie on the Resistance L'Armee des Ombres with a bravura performance from Lino Ventura) but I do question a list that omits Tokyo Story.

I have paid my dues and watched Citizen Kane- I don't intend to see it again. Touch of Evil is a more rewarding film. For a British film I would choose Kes over Lawrence of Arabia or The Ladykillers though both are excellent films. I have a lot of time for Apocalypse Now and 2001 but these days I find The Conversation and Bladerunner more interesting. To me Memento hoists itself on the petard of its limiting givens and I much prefer Mulholland Drive, which I think may be a modern masterpiece.

I love Westerns but I no longer buy The Searchers being the best of the genre. Ford and Wayne had to me a limited view of the world and were incapable of making truly great work. Once Upon a Time in the West raised the bar, Leone's vision, Morricone's haunting score, wonderful performances particularly from Cardinale and Robards. And I was deeply impressed by a very late addition to the canon- Ang Lee's superb Ride with the Devil.

But I do agree on Some Like it Hot.
Comments? Your own top 10?

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