This past Monday I posted about the Online Top 100 Movies at Cinema Fusion. A lot of people have commented on it. SLIFR, The Bleeding Tree, DVD Panache, Moviezzz, and Edward Copeland On Film. Some are okay with it and some are not. I myself am not. It's not a good list. It's not a thorough list. It's a list that can easily be dismissed. The surprises, and there are some, are not pleasant ones. I have read a lot in the comment sections of blogs that have posted about the Online Top 100 Movies. Some praise it for not being "stuffy", others call it "a list made up of a group of white Fanboy's under the age of 30." And probably the most disturbing comment was made on Dennis' blog from Flickhead who wrote "After nine years of writing about film online, following two decades of publishing film fanzines, I was more than a little hurt when this organization passed me over in assembling the list."
I am not a Fanboy, and I am not under the age of 30. I am a lover of film and not a new one at that. Yet I am not qualified to have done what I have done. I don't mean to elevate this moment to a place it shouldn't be or doesn't deserve to be, but I do so love film and it matters to me that these lists get put together. At first, I was honored and excited about being included. I got invited to the party and once there, I drank a lot of wine. But then next day came the hangover and it has lasted more than a week now. I didn't think about what I was doing. I was just caught up in the moment and now I am paying the price.
When I put together my own list, it was fun and I put a lot of thought into it because it reflected my own thoughts and tastes. You could take it or leave it. If you didn't like it, so be it, it was just my opinion. It was not meant to be a definitive list, it was just my 100 favorite movies. But when you gather the opinions of 50 people and you name the list the Online Film Communities Top 100 List, you make it definitive. It becomes much bigger than one person's opinion. So when you have entries like Ghostbusters and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and American History X and when Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Blade Runner crack the top 10, you can't ignore that any more than I can't ignore Titanic on the AFI's Top 100. The difference is, my name isn't attached to the AFI's Top 100 list. I don't have to look at comments about the AFI's list and second guess my decisions or my involvement. The truth is, I shouldn't have been involved because I'm not qualified to be involved. There are so many movies I have yet to see and so many bloggers more deserving of this task, Flickhead being one of them.
I have said and I will continue to say that what Jonathan, Andrew and Domenic have done is great. It's a wonderful experiment. At the very least, it has caused a lot of people to discuss film. Films that got included or films that should have been included. But to be a part of a list that is so quickly dismissed by the people I respect in the blogging universe is not where I want to be. It's not what I want this blog to be.
Richard Schickel took a lot of heat from bloggers for his comments regarding online film criticism saying that it is not a "democratic activity." I did not completely agree with his comments, but there is some truth in what he wrote. At some point in what we do and especially if it is in a group atmosphere, there comes some responsibility. If you are true lover of film, you don't want to take film lightly or be so quick to dismiss work that deserves to be noticed. Yes it is an entertainment medium, but if you truly hold it in high regard a list such as the OFC's Top 100 Movies should mean something. And it doesn't.
I will not be so quick to rush in again.