Lists are subjective and almost always widely criticized, argued, and debated — which is the whole point. This is especially true for movie lists. Nevertheless, the top 100 movie list released by the BBC back in 2015 is one of the most derided in recent memory. The BBC polled 62 international film critics and asked them to choose the 100 greatest American films of all time. About half the list is little different from the one compiled and updated by the American Film Institute every decade. The other half is full of surprises. There is no right or wrong answer to listing your favorite films. It is all subjective. Regardless, it is still a shock to see 62 film critics choose a bunch of films everyone has written off as, at best, marginal: Spike Lee’s forgettable 25th Hour (2002) at #94; Michael Cimino’s infamous 1980 debacle Heaven’s Gate at #98; Hitchcock’s swing-and-a-miss Marnie at #47, etc. You can see the full list here . The BBC’s surprising omissions, however, … [Read more...] about Countdown: The 165 Greatest American Movies Ever Made (165-141)
Unforgettable ending scene
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) Sal, Wyoming’s not a country. Director Sidney Lumet takes the true story of one of the most inept bank robberies in history and makes it better, much better , into something sublime and urgent and hilarious and unforgettable. Lumet makes you feel like a fly on the wall as a bizarrely entertaining life-moment unfurls in early-seventies Brooklyn. Warner Bros. No one famous is involved. Nothing of any consequence happened. Life happened, and life is always so much more fascinating than anything else. Dazed and Confused (1993) Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. The best movies transport you someplace else, into deep space or medieval times or Kypton. In Dazed and Confused , writer/director Richard Linklater transports you to a simpler place: a small Texas town in 1976 where we join a group of suburban high school kids on their last day of school. … [Read more...] about Countdown: The 165 Greatest American Movies Ever Made (16-40)
Earlier this month I was self-isolating in my room — PMS’ing, cranky, hitting the same pandemic wall we all are — when a scene from the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race shook me out of my funk with a moment of ascendant joy. By Episode 13 of what’s been, by this point, an unusually long season (no complaints here — I’ve loved every minute), we were finally down to the top five. On Friday night, the hilarious and enigmatic Kandy Muse and sweet, smiley Olivia Lux found themselves at risk of elimination. Neither their relatively one-note performances in the acting challenge nor their looks for a “Haute Pocket”–themed runway impressed the judges; Olivia’s minidress was kind of boring, and Kandy’s fit, god love her, was just a big old mess . But they both had the chance to redeem themselves with the traditional tiebreaker — a lip sync for their lives. It immediately became clear that Bronx-bred Kandy, who had a panic attack while filming the gossipy backstage bonus show … [Read more...] about “Drag Race” Was A Drag For A While. Now It’s Better Than Ever.