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19 August, 2014

Greatest Films of All Time

What is a good film?
What is the greatest film?
Who is to judge?

There are many films throughout the decades since people started using cameras to film pictures that move but how many will be remembered? How many films can you remember watching in the cinema, at home or anywhere else that somehow set a standard in which you use to judge what is a good film? Of course with the internet, everyone has easy assess to every film in existence, some way back to the silent era of film. Let's recount some of those films people consider the greatest and why...

CITIZEN KANE
Nowadays most people are so used to colour films that black and white films are just dismissed. Sadly at some point, I was one of those people. I admit I had this film in my library for a long time but did not consider watching it. But now I know that there were many films without colour that were great, this one in particular is still considered by many, and now me, as one of the greatest film of all time.
Citizen Kane tells about a news reporter who is trying to find out the meaning of the word 'Rosebud', the last word uttered by a tycoon, Charles Foster Kane. Throughout the film, the reporter interviews many people closely associated with him, giving audience a flashback of his life. Kane is a man who has all the money, the women and everything else he could buy but had no happiness. Similar to other 'greatest films', this film was relatively successful but did not get the recognition it deserved until many years later. This is a film with deep meaning that was expressed perfectly through excellent cinematography and directing. Give it a watch!

VERTIGO
You know that plump bald guy who made himself a celebrity by appearing behind the camera, his name was Alfred Hitchcock a.k.a. the Master of Suspense. Even people who have not heard of this person definitely know at least one of his films. Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window and North by Northwest are some of his most famous works. But recently Vertigo is the one that took the spotlight for being the film that dethroned Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time in the Sight & Sound poll.
Vertigo is a tragic story of a middle aged detective Scottie who is forced to retire due to acrophobia and is hired by an old acquaintance Gavin as a private investigator to follow his wife Judy. However this relatively simple task became complicated when he starts to fall for her, leading to multiple twists in the plot. Obviously I am not going to spoil the experience here, you have to watch the film to appreciate the twists that make this film a masterpiece.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
I have always been a geek who loves everything sci-fi. However I'll admit this movie made me fall asleep twice before. But that was long before I learnt to appreciate the epic cinematography and story telling by Stanley Kubrick. Sci-fi films set in space I am used to have always included exciting battles, exotic aliens and lots of loud explosions (that not supposed to be heard in space), so at some point watching the camera shooting a spaceship flying for several minutes accompanied with classical music was boring to me then. The film defines the word epic and watching it is an experience of a lifetime.
2001 has a bizarre plot that follows the novel of the same name quite closely. The plot surrounds a black monolith that appeared millions of years ago to man-apes, then later in the 'future' being studied in secret by Dr Floyd in the second act of the film. The third act is the part most people know about the film when two astronauts on their mission to Jupiter have to deal with problems with their sentient computer controlling their spacecraft. Then the story wraps up in the forth act that I won't spoil here. This is a stylish film that takes its time to bring audience into Kubrick's world of the 'future'.

Those I mentioned above are regarded to be the greatest of their respective genres, Citizen Kane being the greatest biography drama, Vertigo being the greatest psychological mystery and 2001 being the greatest sci-fi. How about other genres?
  • Greatest Sports Film
ROCKY (1976)
  • Greatest Action Film
DIE HARD (1988)
  • Greatest Fantasy Film
LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
  • Greatest Sequel Film
THE EMPIRE STIKES BACK (1980)
  • Greatest Horror Film
ALIEN (1979)
  • Greatest Animated Film
THE LION KING (1994)
  • Greatest Adventure Film
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
  • Greatest Comedy Film
GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)

I am sure there are many other genres and films I have left out. I highly recommend watching all these films as they represent their individual genres perfectly. As a film buff and collector, I am certain there is no such thing as a single Greatest Film of all time, nor are there any particular greatest films of any genre. It all comes to the appreciation of film as an art and how it entertains us as viewers. Everyone will have their own personal list and those above are mine. Please note that this is my list, I have not watched every single film in the world, so if you think there are better film in each genre, do recommend them to me!

lalanandaFRY
19/8/2014

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