Fred and Yasser’s Film Club: The End

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The time has come for parting…

… but Fred and Yasser got together one last time to look back at the lists as a whole and how they fared. Did either man make any mistakes in they scores? Did they feel hard done by? And have they learned anything at all from the experience?

Here’s your answers…

You can read the entires from previous week by checking out the archives on the left of the screen.

You can also access the complete lists by clicking here for Fred’s and here for Yasser’s.

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Fred: Did you enjoy ‘Film Club’?

Yasser: I loved it, even when it made me hate you

FS: (laughs) I can guess when that might have been. Did you enjoy it more or less than you thought you would at the outset?

YA: I didn’t think it was going to be as fun as it has been

FS: Me either. I knew I’d enjoy my own choices, but I was worried about yours. It’s been great. It opened my eyes. We discussed in the last two posts how it has made us watch films differently

YA: Yeah, but I think I’m safe. Yesterday I watched the new ‘G.I. Joe‘ movie. I don’t want movies to constantly mentally stimulate me. Sometimes I just wanna watch shit get blown up

'Film Club' is over with 'North by Northwest' and 'The Dark Knight' topping the two lists. Both films come from the eras that proved most popular for each man.
‘Film Club’ is over with Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest’ and Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ topping the two lists.

FS: My first question about the lists themselves is to ask if there are any on my list that you think you would never have watched if you hadn’t been forced to?

YA: Honestly? (laughs)

FS: Be brutal…

YA: All the President’s Men‘, ‘Bad Day at Black Rock‘, ‘Inherit the Wind‘, ‘Cinema Paradiso‘, ‘Wild Strawberries‘, ‘Topsy-Turvy‘, ‘High Noon‘, ‘Breathless‘ and ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors‘. Would never have watched any of those

FS: A lot of the straight dramas, and all of my foreign choices. Interesting

YA: You?

FS:Fearless‘, ‘The Last Samurai‘ and ‘13 Assassins‘. Maybe the first two of the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ trilogy too. I’d already seen the third one

YA: Anything set in the far east or middle earth then

FS: (laughs) Yep! I’m not a lover of martial arts films. Now, ‘Breathless’, ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘Cinema Paradiso’ all scored fairly well. Do you think you’d be more inclined to give things a chance in future?

YA: Well, I would say I watch more variety than most people. I dislike westerns and ‘Bollywood’, but I try to give everything a chance

FS: Musicals…?

YA: I like ‘Oliver!, and many of the Disney films I grew up watching had lots of songs in them. I used to sing along. I would never watch ‘Mamma Mia‘, though

FS: With your list, I’m not sure I’d go for martial arts movies, but you did help to remind me that I like a good action movie now and again. Things like ‘Batman Begins‘, ‘The Dark Knight‘ and ‘Casino Royale

The controversial film-maker Roman Polanski was the only director to appear on both lists. (FS: 'Chinatown', YA: 'The Pianist'
The controversial film-maker Roman Polanski was the only director to appear on both lists. (FS: ‘Chinatown’; YA: ‘The Pianist’)

FS: Big question now. We have watched the 25. We have rated. Do you think there were any films on my list that you rated too harshly? And are there any you look at and think ‘that was generous‘?

YA: ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ was rated harshly. When I read the review we did I was bigging it up at times, talking about the imagery and irony, but there were some elements that I still didn’t like so it probably would’ve gotten a 6/10

FS: That’s good. Anything else?

YA: ‘High Noon’ was generous. Should’ve been a 5/10. ‘Wild Strawberries’ – I was being nice giving it 4/10

FS: No way! Fucking hell! (laughs)

YA: No lie. (laughs) That should be a 3/10. ‘City Lights‘ – Oh my gosh! If the girl was better that would’ve been a 10/10, but it’s still a 9/10

FS: Bastard

YA: Everything else would be the same.

Michael Caine and Liam Neeson are the only actors to appear in three films scross both lists. Caine pops up on each (FS: 'Sleuth'; YA: 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight') whilst all of Neeson's are on Yasser's list ('Kingdom of Heaven', 'Schindler's List' and 'Batman Begins')
Michael Caine and Liam Neeson are the only actors to appear in three of the 50 films. Caine pops up on both lists (FS: ‘Sleuth’; YA: ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’) whilst all of Neeson’s are on Yasser’s list (‘Kingdom of Heaven’, ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Batman Begins’)

YA: Your turn!

FS: Okay. ‘Fearless’ got 7/10. I think that was too high. It was a 6/10, mainly because I gave ’13 Assassins’ 6/10, but liked it better. I’d bump ’13 Assassins’ up to a 7/10

YA: Interesting

FS:Meet Joe Black‘…

YA: Emotional connection. Tricky

FS: I think the emotional connection I have with the film meant I was wildly generous. Taken on its own standing, it’s a 4/10. However, I’ll make it a 5/10 because I do like it even though it’s pretty dull

YA: Okay

FS:Amelie‘ would go up to 9/10

YA: I’m glad

FS: ‘Casino Royale’ is an interesting case

YA: Oh?

FS: I almost swayed towards making it a 9/10, but then I saw the superior ‘Skyfall and that cemented the 8/10 in my head

YA: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! ‘Casino Royale’ is better than ‘Skyfall’

FS: No it’s not. ‘Skyfall had a better villain, the characters were more rounded, and it was just generally more enjoyable

YA: The villain was a rip-off of Ledger’s ‘Joker’. The director said that himself

FS: We could argue about this all day. It’s staying as an 8/10. The rest of your top ten is spot on, except ‘The Dark Knight’

YA: Did you over-mark it?

FS: I didn’t think so when we were discussing it, but looking back I do feel the whole climax with the ferries and the ‘Bat-Sonar’ was well done, but a bit lacklustre. Neither part worked for me so maybe 8/10 was more realistic. It was really good, but the climactic confrontation between Batman and ‘The Joker’ should have been one of the main talking points and we barely mentioned it

YA: The initial plans were to continue ‘The Joker’s’ story in the third film, but with Ledger dying, Nolan couldn’t find it within himself to recast the role

FS: What lesson do we learn from this? Never do anything with eyes on a sequel

YA: Like ‘Back to the Future‘? “FS: touche”

FS: No, not at all

YA: ‘Back to the Future Part II’, man! It sets up ‘Part III’

FS: Yes, but they were filmed back-to-back which is different to making one and thinking ‘in four years time we can make a third‘. If Nolan had filmed ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ back-to-back and Ledger had died during filming then I would take your point, but it didn’t happen that way

At 64 minutes, 'Way Out West' was the shortest film we watched. The 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy was by far the longest, clocking in at a mammoth 682 minutes. All in all, it would take just over five days to watch all 50 films back-to-back.
At 64 minutes, ‘Way Out West’ was the shortest film we watched. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was by far the longest, clocking in at over 11 hours. All in all, it would take just over five days to watch all 50 films back-to-back.

FS: The next question I have is would any of my choices threaten to break into your top 25?

YA:It’s a Wonderful Life‘ could threaten to enter my list, but nothing else. I should have picked a Hitchcock movie but I would have gone for ‘Vertigo

FS:Casablanca‘ should have been on mine. I think part of me didn’t choose it as it felt too obvious but that was a mistake. ‘The Godfather‘ is the big one, though. I don’t think it would make it into the top 10 but we would be looking at somewhere from 11-15

YA: I’m glad about that

FS: Maybe I’d have dropped ‘High Noon’ for ‘Casablanca’. I think if I was to include ‘The Godfather’ then ‘Breathless’ would drop out. I’d struggle to relegate any of the others though

YA: I’m curious. ‘Beauty and the Beast‘…

FS: Yes?

YA: … would that now be your top animation?

FS: Spirited Away‘ is the best animated film I’ve ever seen followed by ‘Up‘. After that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ might be number three

YA: ‘Spirited Away’ is awful. Awful, awful. I think you took more films from me, but your list opened my eyes

Steven Spielberg (top) is the only director to have had three films on the lists - all of them on Yasser's ('War Horse', 'Schindler's List' and 'Saving Private Ryan'). Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott both appeared twice on Yasser's list, whilst Billy Wilder (bottom) was the only man to direct two of Fred's choices ('Sunset Boulevard' and 'Some Like It Hot').
Steven Spielberg (top) is the only director to have had three films on the lists – all of them on Yasser’s (‘War Horse’, ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’). In addition, Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott both appeared twice on Yasser’s list, but Billy Wilder (bottom) was the only man to direct two of Fred’s choices (‘Sunset Boulevard’ and ‘Some Like It Hot’).

FS: That brings me on to my last point which is about what the main criticisms of each others list would be. For me, your list was limited in its scope both in terms of when the films were made and what genres they crossed

YA: Huh? My list is awesome

FS: I’m not talking about the quality of the films. I’m saying that your 25 is a narrow representation of cinema as a whole

YA: Oh yeah? (laughs) What am I missing?

FS: If we take ‘Birth of a Nation‘ as the first feature-length movie with a plot, that was made 100 years ago, give or take a year. You had 100 years of films to choose from yet 22 or your 25 were made since 1991. That’s nearly 90% of your list

YA: That’s what I grew up watching. You grew up watching things made from the 1950s-70s

FS: Yes, but your parents stop choosing what films you watch when you are how old? I’m not having a go. I’m just saying that whilst your list demonstrates that modern cinema is alive and thriving, there’s not much from before the 1990s

YA: I think my movie taste only improved, like, 5-7 years ago. That’s when I started watching things like ‘Casablanca’ or ‘Gone With the Wind‘. All I watched before that was things like ‘Con Air‘ or ‘Bad Boys

FS: So the majority of the older films you’ve seen just don’t do it for you like modern movies do?

YA: They do but, for both of us, film watching is a labour of love

The average age of Fred's choices is 50 years whilst Yasser's is 16 years. There were 10 films from the 1950s in Fred's list. Yasser chose 12 from the 2000s
The average age of Fred’s choices is 50 years whilst Yasser’s is 16 years. There were 10 films from the 1950s in Fred’s list. Yasser chose 12 from the 2000s making it the most represented decade.

FS: What about the style of films on your list? There isn’t much to smile about on your list, especially towards the very top

YA: Why don’t you just say it? The majority of my films have violence in them

FS: There is that

YA: Your list has lots of nostalgia in it. ‘Breathless’, ‘Singin’ in the Rain‘, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘Sunset Boulevard‘ all nod to the old days of Hollywood

FS: That’s true

YA: I like violence in films as it’s an escape but I don’t choose movies because they are violent. In my top 10 we have ancient Rome, superheroes, World War II, the mafia, fantasy, espionage, cops and robbers. I think that’s pretty normal

FS: Do you not agree that the films are all the same kind of movie?

YA: (laughs) No, I really don’t

FS: Gangsters, gladiators, soldiers and spies… There is a lot of fighting – big battles or shootouts

YA: Maybe, but my films are based on my interests. I’m very defensive here because I know what people think

Of the seven 'Best Picture' Oscar winners we watched, six were on Yasser's list, including 'Gladiator' (right). 'The Sting' (left) is was the only film on Fred's list to win the big one.
Of the seven ‘Best Picture’ Oscar winners we watched, six were on Yasser’s list, including ‘Gladiator’ (right). ‘The Sting’ (left) is was the only film on Fred’s list to win the big one.

FS: What about my list? What would you say about it?

YA: Some are thought-provoking and the majority have of the films have messages behind them. ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ and ‘Wild Strawberries’ in particular are movies where the writers and directors are telling the audience a life lesson they should learn and it felt very pretentious

FS: Interesting

YA: Your comedies were the highlight

FS: I was particularly pleased that my three 1930s comedies scored 27/30 all together

YA: Somehow, I dunno why, I don’t think comedies are as worthy to be in my high estimations as more serious movies

FS: That shows. It’s an attitude I have never, and will never, understand

Thanks to all our ‘Film Club’ followers.

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