Friday, February 16, 2007

The Greatness Squad

“These are the films you must see if you want to know how to write or make a great film.”

Says who?

Well, everybody, right?

Really? Is it the same everybody who said the world was flat? Or the everybody who believed that the Earth was the center of the solar system?

Okay, okay, so I’m being dramatic. Hell, I even like most of the movies that seem to make “everybody’s” great movie list.

But I gotta wonder, if the complaint is the lack of originality in movies today, why do schools, books, and critics keep forcing aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers to emulate the same top 10/20/50/100 films?

It also makes me wonder if I think something is great because I’ve been told a thousand times by “experts” that it’s GREAT.

What about those “guilty pleasures”? Just the word guilt should inform us that outside influences are creeping in on a very personal moment. What happens when we don’t like a top 100 greatest film/screenplay? Will we be stoned by the masses? Considered a quack? Banished from “everybody”?

There should be no guilt in pleasure. For the freaks and homicidal maniacs, this does NOT apply to you.

Can somebody - or better yet, EVERYBODY define greatness? From which pool did these great films get plucked?

No, I’m not denying the extreme value in these films. But I can’t help to think that by giving me the same great films to emulate, I’m being steered into a particular direction. Do all these films share a common denominator?

Yeah, stupid - GREATNESS.

Okay, okay, I can see I’m not going to win this argument, not even with myself...


Let the “everybodys” have their greatest list. I like to keep my list open, adding and subtracting from the list as I see fit. One man’s greatness can be another’s pile of poop.

What film is on your great list that didn’t make “everybodys”?

Mine - Five Deadly Venoms, Finding Nemo.

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