Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

I’ll tell you what the best horror film ever made is.

God, lists are irritating, aren’t they? Every time you open the stupid paper there’s a “Best This” or a “Worst That” chart taking up space that should be devoted to analysing the decline of the public library or bemoaning the …

Sun, Oct 11, 2009, 19:32

   

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God, lists are irritating, aren’t they? Every time you open the stupid paper there’s a “Best This” or a “Worst That” chart taking up space that should be devoted to analysing the decline of the public library or bemoaning the unstable situation in Kyrgyzstan. Once you’ve pondered every entry, drawn up your own list, phoned all your friends to complain, posted the results on your blog, written an angry letter to the paper and boned up on the entries you’ve never heard of, you’ve used up half the bleeding day. Stupid lists.

Where was this going? Oh, yeah. The RTÉ Guide is currently running a competition to find “the nation’s favourite films“. Last week, Redframewhitelight posted a comment here in which he suggested some glaring omissions from the magazine’s proposed top 100. Fair enough. Where, indeed, are Don’t Look Now, Barry Lyndon, The Appartment and All the President’s Men? (Mind you, Amelie, Redframe. Really? Eugh!) I whined about the, to my mind, unnecessary inclusion of an Irish section and the fact that Adam and Paul — arguably, after Hunger, the second-best domestic film of the decade — was not within that corral. I now also note that Taxi Driver is, apparently, an “action film” All those moans noted, I think that the magazine’s Michael Doherty — a genuinely committed and very well-informed film fanatic — has done a pretty good job here. Okay, we can all bemoan the outrageous lack of foreign-language films, but, remember, this is the RTÉ Guide. A list dominated by Bela Tarr and Carl Theodor Dreyer was never going to play between the recipes and knitting patterns.

At any rate, here’s is my rapid jog through the categories. Of course, this is a meaningless exercise. It is to film criticism what speed dating is to marriage. But it helped kill a few empty minutes. It hardly needs to be said that, if not confined to the RTÉ list and its eccentric genre rules, I would choose entirely differently. Feel free to contribute your own preferences. We must unite to ensure that Titanic does not triumph.

COMEDY: Duck Soup (1933)

DRAMA: All About Eve (1950)

WAR: The Great Escape (1963)

ROMANCE: Now Voyager (1942)

CULT: Freaks (1932)

HORROR: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

SCIENCE FICTION: Brazil (1985)

ACTION: Taxi Driver (1976)

ANIMATION: Spirited Away (2001)

MUSICAL: A Star is Born (1954)

IRELAND: Hunger (2008)

WESTERN: The Searchers (1956)