Ever since I became a proper movie-buff a couple of years back, one of my goals has always been to witness the transformation the film industry has undergone. How it evolved from silent films to the sound era with black & white to Technicolor films and so on? These topics – and the general history of cinema – have always fascinated me, and I’ve read a lot about them thanks to the Internet. However, trying to watch the transformation by viewing the classics of each era is a more tedious process for many untold reasons. Simply put, I’ve never been able to come across a list that documented all the best films in the entire history of cinema from all over the world. Until now.
Being a regular of James Berardinelli’s ReelViews, I have often used his Top 100 as a base list to start with when talking about some of the classics. In addition to that, I often peruse the AFI Top 100 list to see what I’ve missed. Although both lists are by no means the be all and end all of classic cinema, they give me something to work with. I also recently signed up to the Reelviews forums and came across this wonderful thread of discussion – The Great Movies. And, thanks to that thread, this wonderful site – They Shoot Pictures.
The people on that amazing website have practically made it their life’s purpose to compile a list of the Top 1000 films from all across the globe. When it comes to cinema, everyone’s got an opinion. What they’ve done is quite simple: By polling some 2000 of the world’s top critics and people in the film industry, they’ve taken the general consensus into account. Obviously, no list will be definitive and, as such, this one is not going to satisfy everybody.
But, truth be told, it has a lot more value to it than either of the two lists I mentioned above. For example, I’ve only seen about a tenth of all the films on the Top 100. Sure, I’ve still not gone through a lot of the well-known classics, but the list has some complete surprises within that small subset of 100 itself. There are lots of films some of us may have never even heard of but that are popular with the crème de la crème of cinema. And that is exactly what I’m looking for.
I have undertaken this as my new project. Starting this week, I am going to be taking it one film at a time and trying to watch these classics one by one. There are films among the list that about 99% of the people who consider themselves to be film-buffs would’ve seen that I haven’t yet. Therefore, it gives me a lot to work with. In addition to that, I am also planning to provide my own thoughts on these films. I wouldn’t call them reviews as such because I don’t think I’m qualified enough to critique such classics. They will be more of a general discussion on what I gleaned from the film and whether I liked it or not.
Of course, as is true with any such undertaking, I cannot make guarantees. I am also a known procrastinator which makes things a bit more difficult. Nevertheless, I will try to keep them coming as talking about them is a great incentive to continue watching the great pictures and is one of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place.