This week the NY Times ran a blog post by Stanley Fish entitled The 10 Best American Movies. To date, seven hundred thirty three people took the time to comment.
Some web readers agreed with Mr. Fish but most chided him for his selections. His absence of Citizen Kane and the The Godfather movies coupled with his inclusion of Groundhog Day was a blow too deep for many to keep silent.
These types of Best Ever lists are always subjective. You can't fault Mr. Fish for thinking the best movies were made in that golden yesteryear of his youth. Eight of his films were made in the 40's and 50's. Movies may have the most impact on us when we are young...
But what I object to most is his explanations for liking these films are almost exclusively based on plot and the screen performance of the actors.
Everyone likes a good yarn and a truthful performance... The art of film, though, is in the hands of the director and how he or she employs the tools of cinema: composition, camera movement, editing, music...
In the coming year I hope to share more about the formal side of film and how our video marketing work can benefit from the tools of cinema.
In the meantime, rent or buy the two films mentioned above and tell me what you think about them - but tell me how you think the form is working in concert with the content.