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.
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
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: 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: 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‘
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
YA: Everything else would be the same.
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
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
FS: ‘Amelie‘ would go up to 9/10
YA: I’m glad
FS: ‘Casino Royale’ is an interesting case
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
FS: The next question I have is would any of my choices threaten to break into your top 25?
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‘…
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
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
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
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
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: 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.