Unforgiven the movie that shouldnt be in the top 100 greatest movie list
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So maybe a gradual slippage in our understanding of what is and isn't American is part of the trouble. Unforgiven is one gem of Clint Eastwood Westerns. For my own list, I've grappled long and hard with the existential issue of national identity posed by such ambiguous masterpieces as F. Is the list simply a brute commercial ploy dreamed up by a consortium of marketers to repackage familiar goods, or is it a legitimate cultural intervention that's somehow supposed to improve the quality of our lives?
The differences between Americans and non-Americans in judging American movies are basically matters of access and cultural conditioning—not taste or intelligence in isolation from these factors—and the consequences of these differences can be staggering.
Given the stringent limitations placed on what kind of American movies can be financed, made, exhibited, and marketed today, it's especially poignant that a brilliant industry aberration like Citizen Kane should head the AFI list, just as it's headed every comparable list over the past odd years—a movie that clearly couldn't get bankrolled today it's in black and whitemuch less survive test-marketing previews, and which failed to turn a profit when it came out.
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Let me hasten to add that if I were drawing up my own list of the greatest American movies from scratch, roughly a quarter of the AFI's list would be on it. For my own list, I've grappled long and hard with the existential issue of national identity posed by such ambiguous masterpieces as F. Arguably, there is reasonable consensus by most film historians, critics and reviewers that these selections are among cinema's most critically-acclaimed, significant "must-see" films of predominantly Hollywood-American production. III a work of critical historiography as well as an excellent compilation that was rudely dumped by its distributor in Is the list simply a brute commercial ploy dreamed up by a consortium of marketers to repackage familiar goods, or is it a legitimate cultural intervention that's somehow supposed to improve the quality of our lives? It's one of my three selections that both incorporate and critically analyze other films, along with the otherwise quite different Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer a superb hour-long essay film by Thom Andersen, made in and narrated by Dean Stockwell and That's Entertainment! Am I saying that the 50s were the most plentiful decade in American movies? The differences between Americans and non-Americans in judging American movies are basically matters of access and cultural conditioning—not taste or intelligence in isolation from these factors—and the consequences of these differences can be staggering.
Reason for being so unfair? That means foreign-language films, documentaries, TV movies and mini-series, and short films were not considered.
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Shane to my taste is already bad enough, but why did Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid have to make the cut as well, along with choke Dances With Wolves? Constructive arguments may still be generated about what should and should not be in these alternative lists. But since I've already stressed the significance of access and cultural conditioning in forming tastes, I should clarify the nature of my own background, which inevitably slants my list in a particular direction. It has nothing to do with either the art of cinema or the reality of America—check out The Phenix City Story if you want to learn something about Alabama, as opposed to Gregory Peck's virtue—but a great deal to do with the industry's guilty conscience. The first came from being the grandson of a man who ran a chain of movie theaters in Alabama and the son of a man who worked for the chain, which meant that I had virtually unlimited access to Hollywood movies throughout most of the 50s, seeing practically everything that came out without having to pay admission. Hopefully, however, younger audiences and others new to film will be encouraged or directed to discover the combined power of these film lists from the cinematic past: to determine for themselves what a 'great movie' is, and to discuss the merits of each one. Why are so many of the entries aesthetically bland or worse while recapitulating all the worst habits of Hollywood self-infatuation, liberal Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? And given the force and complexity of what Fuller's films had to say about American racism from the early 50s onwards, it was more than a little disconcerting to fly back to Chicago, turn on the TV, and hear Jack Valenti praise the mediocre and relatively gutless To Kill a Mockingbird —number 34 on the AFI list—as the first Hollywood film to deal honestly with racial issues. Last summer, for a retrospective of "neglected" American movies selected by American directors held at the Locarno film festival, Steven Spielberg had either the cheek or the innocence to select Lawrence of Arabia —a neglected American movie if there ever was one. As an academic friend points out, it's almost as if most of the masterpieces in the Louvre were cleared out to make room for the work of Sunday painters. Part of this is the lackluster list itself and part is the absolute failure of the show to offer anything resembling an interesting justification of any of the titles that got picked. Discoveries of this kind are still going on across the world, illuminating certain aspects of American film history that we're still catching up on—though we might never pick up on the signals if all we're listening to is the American film industry and its deputies. Unforgiven reveals soft sides of their characters very candidly.
based on 76 review