In reverse order…
100. The Guardian’s 100 Best Films of all time. Possibly the most definitive list for middle class people to either crawl out from under some amazingly heavy rock to discover the work of The Coen Brothers or to be reminded how much they like the work of The Coen Brothers. Although Buena Vista Social Club was made within ‘all time’, the ‘critics’ who assembled this list have forgotten how they spent three years feigning shock and disgust at anybody who hadn’t seen it and have given it’s number 12 slot to In The Loop – which they saw last week. They also forgot to include Betty Blue – which they REALLY liked when they were students and have cheekily inserted a silly film from the 80’s in at number 34 as a ‘guilty pleasure’ (but only because Patrick Swayze died a few weeks ago)
99. Empire Magazine’s 100 Best Films. Until Empire came along, nobody liked films like Star Wars, Jaws and anything by Martin Scorsese in the 70’s (and Goodfellas). Luckily for us, four times a year, Empire devotes an entire issue to the 100 Best Films* (*= your choice of: ‘ever’ ‘ever made’ ‘according to you!’ ‘according to us!’ ‘according to some other people!’ ‘!’). These are mainly of the Star Wars, Spielberg or Scorsese in the 70’s (and Goodfellas) variety. Because the best films don’t have subtitles, do have monsters or posturing with guns and can be found in every HMV sale for £2.99 because how the hell are there still people who don’t fucking own them. It has been rumoured that film companies pay their way on to Empire’s best lists – the same way that they kind of might bribe Empire into giving shitty films good reviews in exchange for an exclusive interview with Tom Hanks – but that’s all hearsay. Also, the annual Sony-Ericsson Empire Awards are not just a hastily-thrown together list of celebrities who are currently in town, available for an award and prepared to hold the sponsor’s product for a prolonged period of time.
98. Channel Four’s 100 Films You Must Watch Before You Die. Essentially a televisual combination of The Guardian and Empire lists with added reactions from Justin Lee Collins, some bloke from Heat magazine and someone you’ve never heard of who is apparently a ‘comedian’ and will say something like ‘I mean, really, how did Darth Vader have a wee?’ Avoiding these films will, disappointingly, not prolong your life.
97. I can’t think of any more, have I made my point yet? There is little so dull as a bunch of this new breed of film critics (they don’t know much, but they know what they like!) who are either ex-indie kids or dependable geekish cheap labour who have blagged jobs writing hip ‘opinion’ pieces or glib retrospective pieces assembling their collective talents to tell us nothing new about films we’ve already seen.
This also applies to 100 best albums lists.
And 100 best TV show lists.
But not to 100 Best shitty critics lists – which I would like to read.