Great Films

August 28, 2007

Today we talked about what makes a “great film”  I passed around the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 films of all time, and we tried to figure out why in the world “Titanic” and “Citizen Kane” were on there.  It turns out there are a few reasons.

Some films are Aesthetically innovative.  This means they have a unique style or vision, they were really well made, they influenced the look and style of later films.  This would apply to “Citizen Kane” and “2001” and “Raging Bull.”  Those films don’t look like anything else and have a unique feel to them.

Other films are Technologically important.  “King Kong” was one of the first to combine animation with live action.  “Toy Story” was the first computer animated feature.

Some deal with important social or political issues.  “Do the Right Thing” deals with race relations in New York and America.  “The Shawshank Redemption” deals with issues of poverty, corruption, and criminal justice.

Others are historically important, such as “Schindler’s List” or “Saving Private Ryan” that portray historical events that we need to remember.

We also find movies that are culturally significant.  When “Gone with the Wind” came out, nearly everyone in America saw it.  Likewise with “Star Wars” and “Titanic.”  These films were such a phenomenon at the time they were released that they had a huge impact on the culture.

So, the assignment is to take a look at the list, and think of five films you think should be on there, and give some reasons why, how they pertain to these five categories.

Downloads: AFI top 100 films


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