The new 1000 Greatest Films: statistics and opinions

Taking a cursory look at the revised list, I noticed a number of trends, many of which are listed below. The most significant shift I detected was an uptick in silent era films, mostly from Weimar Germany. As Bill noted in his own introductory remarks, he received a large number of ballots from Europe, so it is unsurprising that the list would emphasize a greater number of European films.

This has me wondering about how demographics (national, ethnic, gender) impact the results of this poll. Personally, I've long been frustrated with the dominance of American and European participation in these polls, which naturally result in American and European dominance of these lists. We can all recognize that the United States and Europe have long dominated the medium throughout the 20th century. But when 889 of the top 1000 films are from those two regions, and the remaining 111 are from Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, you kind of have to wonder if the perspective of the list is a little skewed. It may not be merely that the U.S. and Europe simply make the best films, but that we've been pooling a predominantly American and European base of experts on what they think constitutes the best of cinema. I've long wondered if there needs to be a greater effort to reach out to cinephiles of different cultural orientations to get as much of their perspectives accounted for as possible.

Along these lines, I am thinking of embarking on a list collection campaign which will reach out to filmmakers, critics and academics from underrepresented areas around the world. The aim is to solicit a large number of ballots from those who share my concern for a truly global cinema that reflects the full range of humanity and the full possibility of cinematic expression. Hopefully by the time the next version of the list rolls out, we will have an ample representation of globally informed cinephiles to see what kind of impact they might have on the list as it now stands. This is certainly something worth anticipating.

In the meantime, here are some breakdowns of the current list:

By decade:

Decade: titles gained - titles lost

pre-1930: 17-4 (all 1920s except for one from 1890s) 1930s: 13-9 1940s: 10-7 1950s: 16-17 1960s: 29-20 1970s: 19-28 1980s: 21-26 1990s: 10-26 2000s: 4-2

A sampling of countries:

Country: titles gained-lost

Brazil: 3-1 China: 2-0 Czechoslovakia: 0- 4 Germany: 12-1(mostly Weimar) Italy: 5-8 Japan: 5-8 Mexico: 2-0 Poland: 3-1 Spain: 6-2 UK: 8-12 US: 69-63 USSR: 4-0

By director

John Ford was the big gainer in this version of the list, with four new titles, making him the director with the most films in the TSP 1000 with 18. If I'm not mistaken the previous leader was Jean-Luc Godard with 16 (now 14).

Behind Ford, the following directors gained three titles each: Paul Thomas Anderson Luis Garcia Berlanga Bernardo Bertolucci Fritz Lang Paul Schrader Billy Wilder

The following directors each lost two titles in the revision:

Mel Brooks Jean Luc Godard (gained 1 lost 3) Mile Leigh Barry Levinson David Lynch Pier Paolo Pasolini Steven Spielberg (gained 1 lost 3) Oliver Stone Zhang Yimou

Enough with stats, let's hear some opinions. Here are what I think are the most deserving and undeserving inclusions and exclusions from the new revised list. What do you think? Take a look at the ins and outs and let me know in the comments.


Most deserving:

Army of Shadows (Melville, Jean-Pierre; 1969; France-Italy) •669 Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat, L' (Lumière, August & Louis Lumière; 1895; France) •825 Ballad of Narayama (Imamura, Shohei; 1983; US) •949 Chloe in the Afternoon (Rohmer, Eric; 1972; France) •943 Hallelujah! (Vidor, King; 1929; US) •558 Lady with the Little Dog, The (Kheifits, Iosif; 1959; Russia) •994 Shanghai Express (von Sternberg, Josef; 1932; US) •809 Simon of the Desert (Buñuel, Luis; 1965; Mexico) •872 Wanda (Loden, Barbara; 1970; US) •718 When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, Mikio; 1960; Japan) •739

Most undeserving:

American Gigolo (Schrader, Paul; 1980; US) •873 Moulin Rouge! (Luhrmann, Baz; 2001; US-Australia) •973 New York, New York (Scorsese, Martin; 1977; US) •835 Night Porter, The (Cavani, Liliana; 1973; Italy) •992 Party, The (Edwards, Blake; 1968; US) •671 Royal Tenenbaums, The (Anderson, Wes; 2001; US) •962 Ryan's Daughter (Lean, David; 1970; UK) •915 Talk to Her (Almodóvar, Pedro; 2002; Spain) •907 Unbearable Lightness of Being, The (Kaufman, Philip; 1988; US) •944 Wings of Eagles, The (Ford, John; 1957; US) •894


Most deserving:

Bad Lieutenant (Ferrara, Abel; 1992; US) Europa/Zentropa (von Trier, Lars; 1991; Denmark) Fortune, The (Nichols, Mike; 1974; US) Jurassic Park (Spielberg, Steven; 1993; US) Matrix, The (Wachowski, Andy & Larry Wachowski; 1999; US-Australia) Nightmare on Elm Street, A (Craven, Wes; 1984; US) Thing, The [1982] (Carpenter, John; 1982; US) Trainspotting (Boyle, Danny; 1995; UK) Vanishing, The/Spoorloos (Sluizer, George; 1988; Netherlands-France) Wicker Man, The (Hardy, Robin; 1973; UK)

Most undeserving:

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Spielberg, Steven; 2001; US) Enfance nue, L'/Naked Childhood (Pialat, Maurice; 1968; France) Floating Weeds/Ukigusa (Ozu, Yasujiro; 1959; Japan) Hail Mary/Je Vous salue, Marie (Godard, Jean-Luc; 1985; France-Switzerland) Hawks and the Sparrows, The (Pasolini, Pier Paolo; 1966; Italy) King Size Canary (Avery, Tex; 1947; US) Menilmontant (Kirsanoff, Dimitri; 1926; France) Quadrophenia (Roddam, Franc; 1979; UK) Still (Gehr, Ernie; 1969; US) To Sleep with Anger (Burnett, Charles; 1990; US)