Thursday, November 10, 2005

MOVIES: The Indy Top 50

Empire Magazine's 50 Greatest Independent Films. GO, MEME, GO!!

Bold the ones you've seen and liked.
Strike the ones you've seen and which you didn't like or which are just plain overrated.
Italicize the ones you haven't seen but want to.
Underline the ones you haven't seen and don't want to.
Don't do anything to the ones you've never heard of.

1. Reservoir Dogs: Damn fine, if obvious, choice.
2. Donnie Darko: I liked it enough that I can't bring myself to call it overrated, but there's no way it should be #2.
3. The Terminator: Unexpected, but I can't fault it one bit.
4. Clerks: I've seen bits and pieces, but unbelievably enough, I've never seen the whole thing.
5. Monty Python's Life of Brian: I'd actually rate The Holy Grail before this one, but I'm certainly not going to call it overrated.
6. Night of the Living Dead
7. Sex, Lies, and Videotape
8. The Usual Suspects
9. Sideways: A little too recent to rank quite so high (though I do love it). A few other films further down on the list are also a little too current to really be immortalizing them like this just yet.
10. Mean Streets
11. Bad Taste: I wouldn't rank it quite so high, and I'd certainly put DeadAlive ahead of it (assuming it also could be called "independent"), but this is one crazy bit of filmmaking.
12. Eraserhead
13. Memento
14. Stranger Than Paradise
15. Blood Simple
16. She's Gotta Have It
17. City of God
18. Withnail and I: I've heard so much good about this film, but have never felt the urge to see it. I think I'm ready to see it now.
19. Lone Star: Love this film. So criminally underseen.
20. Slacker
21. Roger and Me
22. Nosferatu
23. The Evil Dead
24. Happiness
25. Drugstore Cowboy
26. Lost in Translation
27. Dark Star: I love John Carpenter, but just have never seen this one.
28. In the Company of Men: Brutal, brutal stuff. Made me feel like I'd been punched in the gut.
29. Bad Lieutenant: Harvey Keitel is a freak.
30. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song: I'd also like to see Baadasssss! (which is wrongly listed as How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass on IMDb), Mario Van Peebles' biopic about his father Melvin's breakthrough film.
31. Pink Flamingos: Never quite been in the right frame of mind to rent it, but I'm sure I will someday.
32. Two Lane Blacktop
33. Shallow Grave: I've always meant to rent this, but have just never gotten around to it.
34. The Blair Witch Project: I liked it, but it was way overrated. If you ever believed, even for a second, that it was actually a true story... you are quite the gullible one.
35. THX-1138: I rented the DVD and couldn't finish it. I don't think I'll be giving it a second chance.
36. Buffalo '66: Vincent Gallo is a freak. But not in a cool way, like Keitel.
37. Being John Malkovich
38. Grosse Point Blank: I kinda liked it, but I wouldn't rank it as a great independent film by any stretch. In fact, I'm surprised it's classified as "independent" to begin with.
39. The Passion of the Christ: Before the film opened, when it seemed destined to flop in a big way, I was interested in it from an objective standpoint: I don't embrace its religion, but I wanted to judge how well it told the story. After its release, when it became a litmus test for proving your faith, I lost any urge to see it.
40. The Descent: British horror from 2005. Sounds interesting. But again, it seems like Empire is stacking the list with a few too many too-recent movies.
41. Dead Man's Shoes: A British revenge flick from 2004 -- also too recent.
42. Swingers
43. Shadows: I don't think I've ever seen a John Cassavetes film, and I've never even heard of this one.
44. Amores Perros
45. Mad Max
46. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
47. Blood Feast: I have no specific memory of this, oddly, but I know I've seen it.
48. Cube
49. Run Lola Run
50. El Mariachi

Pretty good list. I disagree with some of the rankings and some of the choices, but it's not some crazy, out-of-left-field kind of list (like the ones Spin Magazine tends to put together). Gave me a couple ideas for rentals at the very least, both of films I've never seen and ones I need to see again. And I can't think of any glaring omissions. I mean, I can, but I'm not sure if they count as "independent" or not. Like Pulp Fiction, or This Is Spinal Tap -- not including Tap is a truly heinous mistake, assuming it qualifies under whatever terms Empire used to define "independent".

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