One of my goals this summer was to finish watching all of AFI’s Top 100 movies (the 10th Anniversary edition, not the original list). As a film major, and one who naturally gravitates more toward foreign and independent film rather than classic Hollywood cinema, I felt it was my responsibility to finally catch up on a large part of American cinematic culture that I’ve been missing.
Additionally, I’m a firm believer in allocating my downtime wisely. I love to have book lists and movie lists to work through at all times so that there is some kind of purpose and direction given to my entertainment consumption.
The AFI list was selected from a list of 400 nominated films by 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry. The criteria for the selections were:
- Feature-length: Narrative format, at least 40 minutes long.
- American film: English language, with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. (Certain films, notably The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, were British-made but funded and distributed by American studios.)
- Critical Recognition: Formal commendation in print.
- Major Award Winner: Recognition from competitive events including awards from organizations in the film community and major film festivals.
- Popularity Over Time: Including figures for box office adjusted for inflation, television broadcasts and syndication, and home video sales and rentals.
- Historical Significance: A film’s mark on the history of the moving image through technical innovation, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.
- Cultural Impact: A film’s mark on American society in matters of style and substance.
Some of the films I saw when I was younger, but I’m not letting myself cross them off unless I can recall the plot, characters, themes, etc. clearly enough to describe the film well to someone else. Here’s the complete list of the films, annotated with my viewing history:
What’s next up on my Netflix queue?
43. Midnight Cowboy
6. Gone with the Wind
84. Easy Rider
75. In the Heat of the Night
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Which films do you think should have made the list? Which films do you think shouldn’t have? Write your thoughts in the comments below.
Sometimes we need to seek out the little joys in life, to focus on the small pleasures that make our day a little brighter. ”Wake Up Happy,” a weekly installment, catalogues the things, people, activities, and events that make me excited to get out of bed in the morning.
The Buddha Walks Into a Bar. I just finished this book this morning and I’ve got to say, Lodro Rinzler provides hundreds of insightful and simple tips to help you live a more peaceful, more intelligent life. I’ll write a post on this book sometime soon, but generally speaking, the book aims to apply ancient Buddhist wisdom to the modern, busy person’s everyday life, and I believe it does so surprisingly well.
Working on my friend’s film set. I feel blessed to have such talented, hardworking friends. A good friend of mine from high school who is now at USC is producing his own student film, and I had the opportunity to P.A. on set over the weekend. I was blown away by the professionalism of the students and the quality of their work. Major props to him and the crew.
SelfControl. This productivity app is largely responsible for saving my summer days from being squandered into oblivion. Simply add websites you’d like to resist going on to your “blacklist,” then set a time limit. SelfControl will block your IP address from accessing those sites for that amount of time, so even restarting your computer won’t shake it. In the morning, after a quick perusal of all my favorite time-wasting websites, I open up this app and set it for a good eight hours. That way, even if the temptation arises to click over to another website to distract myself from my work, I am physically prevented from doing so. Genius!
Bill Cunningham New York. For those who haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend this charming documentary. Bill Cunningham is a man unlike any other – infinitely generous, a tad neurotic, endearingly innocent – and with the memory of an elephant to boot. The film paints a tantalizing portrait of New York and the endless parade of characters who inhabit it. Even though it centers around Cunningham and his fashion photography, there are still plenty of things in this film for a non-fashionista to love.