27 January 2009

A World of Film

I have a little bit of OCD in me -- obsessive compulsive disorder (although I do not think of it as a disorder). I am compulsively organized and LOVE it. [Other opinions may vary (Hi, Matt!).]

Ever since Matt and I met in 1994 I have kept a list of the movies we have seen together. Right now that list totals 1,297 films.

The Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB, a great resource for information on films) allows you to rank a film on a scale of 1 - 10. Since 1999 I have been keeping such a list of the films. The total number of films ranked is 1094.

I was perusing that list today and noticed how few films I ranked with a "10." I believe the highest ranking should be reserved for the very best examples of filmmaking; everything is perfect: the cast, the script, the cinematography, the sets, the costumes, etc. (I know: a lot of people give a "10" to any movie they "enjoy." I am much more selective than that. I enjoy a LOT of movies, but only a small number of them are worthy of a "10.") (For the sake of comparison, my IMDB list includes 25 films that earned a "9," 169 that earned an "8" and 32 that earned a "1.")

For no reason in particular, I made a list of those films that have earned a "10." That list will be found below. There are a few interesting facts about the list:

There are 26 films on the list. This represents 2.37% of the total number of films listed.
There are eight foreign films on the list.
There are five animated films on the list.
There are three documentary films on the list.
There are no silent films on the list.

I am surprised there are no silent films. We watch a lot of silent movies. There are a lot of classic silents, but, apparently, none that I have considered perfect. We watch a lot of foreign films (at least a third of the films each year are foreign, i.e. not made in America), a lot of animated films and a lot of animated films from foreign countries. We also watch a lot of documentaries. So, there you are.

Here is the list, in chronological order, of the 26 perfect films I have seen since 1999 (the best of the best are marked with an asterisk):

The Olympiad (Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker) (documentary) (1938)
Rebecca (1940)
*Bambi (1942)
*Mildred Pierce (1945)
*All About Eve (1950)
*Sunset Blvd (1950)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
*Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
*Original Cast Album "Company" (documentary) (1970)
Jaws (1975)
All the President's Men (1976)
Network (1976)
The Last Emperor (1987)
Toy Story (1995)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
*Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime) (1997)
*Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long) (2000)
*In the Mood for Love (Fa yeung nin wa) (2000)
Iris (2001)
Winged Migration (Peuple migrateur, Le) (documentary) (2001)
Vera Drake (2004)
Capote (2005)
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
*The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) (2006)
WALL-E (2008)

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