Establishing Habits for a Productive Life

Posts tagged “film

Conquering AFI’s Top 100 Movies List

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:

  1. Feature-length: Narrative format, at least 40 minutes long.
  2. American filmEnglish 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.)
  3. Critical Recognition: Formal commendation in print.
  4. Major Award Winner: Recognition from competitive events including awards from organizations in the film community and major film festivals.
  5. Popularity Over Time: Including figures for box office adjusted for inflation, television broadcasts and syndication, and home video sales and rentals.
  6. Historical Significance: A film’s mark on the history of the moving image through technical innovation, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.
  7. 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:

 
1 CITIZEN KANE 1941
2 THE GODFATHER 1972
3  CASABLANCA  1942 
4  RAGING BULL  1980 
5  SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN  1952
6 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
7  LAWRENCE OF ARABIA  1962 
8  SCHINDLER’S LIST  1993 
9  VERTIGO  1958 
10  THE WIZARD OF OZ  1939 
11 CITY LIGHTS 1931
12  THE SEARCHERS  1956 
13  STAR WARS  1977 
14  PSYCHO  1960 
15  2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY  1968 
16  SUNSET BLVD.  1950 
17  THE GRADUATE
1967 
18 THE GENERAL 1927
19  ON THE WATERFRONT  1954 
20  IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE  1946 
21  CHINATOWN  1974 
22  SOME LIKE IT HOT  1959 
23 THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940
24  E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL  1982 
25  TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  1962 
26  MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON  1939 
27  HIGH NOON  1952 
28 ALL ABOUT EVE 1950
29  DOUBLE INDEMNITY  1944 
30  APOCALYPSE NOW  1979 
31 THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
32  THE GODFATHER PART II  1974 
33  ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST  1975 
34 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937
35  ANNIE HALL  1977 
36  THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI  1957 
37  THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES  1946 
38 THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948
39  DR. STRANGELOVE  1964 
40  THE SOUND OF MUSIC  1965 
41 KING KONG 1933
42  BONNIE AND CLYDE  1967 
43 MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969
44 THE PHILADELPHIA STORY 1940
45  SHANE  1953 
46  IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT  1934 
47  A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE  1951 
48  REAR WINDOW  1954 
49 INTOLERANCE 1916
50  THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING  2001 
51  WEST SIDE STORY  1961 
52  TAXI DRIVER  1976 
53 THE DEER HUNTER 1978
54  M*A*S*H  1970 
55  NORTH BY NORTHWEST  1959 
56 JAWS 1975
57 ROCKY 1976
58 THE GOLD RUSH 1925
59 NASHVILLE 1975
60 DUCK SOUP 1933
61 SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS 1941
62 AMERICAN GRAFFITI 1973
63 CABARET 1972
64 NETWORK 1976
65 THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951
66 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 1981
67 WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? 1966
68 UNFORGIVEN 1992
69 TOOTSIE 1982
70  A CLOCKWORK ORANGE  1971 
71 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998
72  THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION  1994 
73  BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID  1969 
74  THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS  1991 
75 IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967
76  FORREST GUMP  1994 
77 ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN 1976
78 MODERN TIMES 1936
79 THE WILD BUNCH 1969
80 THE APARTMENT 1960
81 SPARTACUS 1960
82  SUNRISE  1927 
83  TITANIC  1997 
84 EASY RIDER 1969
85 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA 1935
86 PLATOON 1986
87 12 ANGRY MEN 1957
88  BRINGING UP BABY  1938 
89  THE SIXTH SENSE  1999 
90 SWING TIME 1936
91 SOPHIE’S CHOICE 1982
92  GOODFELLAS  1990 
93  THE FRENCH CONNECTION  1971 
94  PULP FICTION  1994 
95 THE LAST PICTURE SHOW 1971
96  DO THE RIGHT THING  1989 
97 BLADE RUNNER 1982
98  YANKEE DOODLE DANDY  1942 
99 TOY STORY 1995
100 BEN-HUR

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.

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Wake Up Happy (Sept. 9, 2012)

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.