CINEMA

My one hundred favorite movies of all time.

*** I made this list in 2012. I’ve been adding more movies once in a while.

The reason I don’t have a list of my favorite movies on my Facebook page, it’s because just like in the subjects of religion and politics, no one agrees. It’s just a matter of taste and preference. In the subject of movies, everybody is an expert and a critic. But we all agree on one thing . . .  nobody’s right. I know my list could be absurd and even ridiculous to everyone else.

Each magazine picks different movies. Each critic has different choices. It’s the same thing with every person. My favorite movies might be dumb choices to everyone else. If I see your list, I might disagree with some of your favorites. That’s why we call ourselves individuals. In the end, all lists are useless because every single mind is different. 

The best thing on this Earth might be the individual mind and the assertion that no two minds are alike.

The bible of universal films is the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences or Oscars. (What an arrogant and inflated title) Most people don’t agree with many of their choices. If you are going to trash the ‘experts’, I can’t imagine what you would do with my list. (But I can guess.)

I saw my first movie when I was seven years old, and I was hooked forever. I still remember many details about the movie and even the surroundings of the ‘movie theater’. (The exterior wall of a church was the screen.)

For many years, one of my favorite programs was Siskel and Ebert at the Movies, they later renamed it, Ebert and Roeper. I watched it religiously every Sunday. I thought they were very smart, so smart, that even when one had a thumbs down and the other a thumbs up, I would agree with both of them after they gave their reasons. They made me love the movies even more. And I also enjoyed the end-of-the-year program dedicated to the worst movies of the year. It always gave me great pleasure the fact that I never saw any of the worst films they listed.

Sight and Sound, a respected and revered British film monthly prints every ten years the list of the ten best films of all time, chosen by hundreds of critics from all over the world. It is as close as you can get to fairness and perfection, and still, half the world wouldn’t agree. The 2012 list includes one Japanese film, one Italian, one from Russia, two are French, and five from the USA. Of the ten, three are silent films. The list of the top fifty films from the same magazine shows a universal choice of languages and genres. Out of the top ten movies, I’ve seen eight.

I don’t like Musicals, where everybody is dancing and singing and jumping around and fighting with fake knives. Or when a lady is singing on top of a grassy mountain, followed by a bunch of nerdy, rich kids. That’s not my choice of a good movie. I would not pay to see that. To me, Lawrence of Arabia was a four-hour documentary about sand. I love England but not their movies about kings and queens and boring things. I didn’t like The English Patient or Chariots of Fire that much. Also, if it’s too romantic, I’ll skip it.

So there you have it, now that you know what I don’t like, you can slaughter my choices, you can mock my list and ignore and condemn my preferences.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could retire the great movies to a “Movie Hall of Fame”? For example, pick the ten best of every decade and put them in the Hall of Fame, and do the same every ten years.

On another subject, I wouldn’t feel so sad when finally Blockbuster disappears. How can they have fifty copies of Eat Pray Love and only one of City of God?

I can easily add another hundred movies to my list of favorite films. I can put them all in random play and be happy for the rest of my life, and I wouldn’t feel like I’m wasting my time. The common denominator in all these films is a great story. The story is the heart of the movie.  First of all, we should thank the writers.

These movies shaped my life and inspired me to be a good person. (I’d like to think I am.) I love and enjoy life because of these movies. By the way, probably half of them had made me cry.

Without any order or preference, here’s my list:

  • THE GRADUATE
  • PULP FICTION
  • CITY OF GOD
  • ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
  • THE GODFATHER
  • THE GODFATHER II
  • FOREST GUMP
  • SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
  • APOCALYPSE NOW
  • TAXI DRIVER
  • A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
  • THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
  • CINEMA PARADISO
  • BABEL
  • THE BICYCLE THIEF
  • 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
  • AMORES PERROS
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
  • THE GRAPES OF WRATH
  • GONE WITH THE WIND
  • THERE WILL BE BLOOD
  • Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN
  • LA STRADA
  • RAGING BULL
  • TRAFFIC
  • CRASH
  • GIANT
  • REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
  • PANS LABYRINTH
  • GLADIATOR
  • THE WIZARD OF OZ
  • THE EXORCIST
  • SCHINDLER’S LIST
  • MILLION DOLLAR BABY
  • THE DEPARTED
  • MYSTIC RIVER
  • AMERICAN BEAUTY
  • LOS OLVIDADOS
  • AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD
  • BLADE RUNNER
  • CITY LIGHTS
  • DAY FOR NIGHT
  • DRUNKEN MASTER II
  • THE 400 BLOWS
  • GOODFELLAS
  • MONSTER
  • LITTLE BIG MAN
  • BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
  • CRIES AND WHISPERS
  • BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
  • PONETTE
  • A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
  • TALK TO HER
  • HUMBERTO D
  • IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT
  • EL NORTE
  • UNFORGIVEN
  • M
  • THE VIRGIN SPRING
  • MARCELINO PAN Y VINO 
  • IKIRU 
  • APU TRILOGY
  • METROPOLIS 
  • JEAN DE FLORETTE
  • MANON OF THE SPRING
  • FISH STORY 
  • TOKYO STORY 
  •  I SAW THE DEVIL
  • RASHOMON
  • RAN 
  • SEVEN SAMURAI
  • DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER 
  •  A WOMAN WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
  • SUNSET BOULEVARD 
  • CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 
  • THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 
  • THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
  • BARRY LYNDON
  •  MULHOLLAND DRIVE
  •  ALMOST FAMOUS
  • PARASITE 
  • SOCIAL NETWORK
  • CROUCHING TIGER 
  •  4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS
  • ONCE 
  • LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
  •  TANGERINE
  • MUSTANG
  • GET OUT 
  • LADY BIRD 
  • BABADOOK
  • MOONLIGHT
  • HELL OR HIGH WATER 
  • PHANTOM THREAD
  • BABY DRIVER 
  • OLDBOY
  •  ROMA 
  • AMELIE
  • KILL BILL
  • ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
  • MAD MAX: FURY ROAD 

 When they ask me, “If you were alone on a deserted island, what movie (or book, or album) would you take?” I’d answer, “None.” I need at least a hundred. Not just one. It’s like asking a mother which of her two children she prefers. (Oh, I forgot about Sophie’s Choice!)

You might say, “oh, but you missed this one, or that one” And I’ll respond, “Yeah, I know, but they belong in your list.”

So, why put a shortlist of my favorite movies on my Facebook page, if all my friends are going to disagree with my choices. So why not put a longer list on my blog, and let the entire world (ha, the entire world) know about my disparate preferences. 

EDMUNDO BARRAZAVisalia, CA. 08-14-2012

Author: Edmundo Barraza

I was born in Mexico. I moved to L.A. in 1978. I became a USA Citizen a few years later. At the citizenship ceremony, I had to swear that I would fight against all foreign enemies (including Mexico) in favor of my new country. I beg God that never happens. I love music, Rock, funk, punk, soul, pop. Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, The Clash, The Temptations, and all you can fit in between. Playing pool, listening to rock, and having a beer is great, but reading a book, writing a story, or watching a good film is even better. I hate guns, bad people, and evil leaders. I thank God I'm not a racist person. I hate all kinds of injustices. I love good people. I would give my life in a second to save any child. Children are the most precious thing in the world. My ultimate goal is to shoot a feature film based on one of my stories. Every day I work a little more to be able to reach that goal.

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