Thoughts on AFI’s 10 Top 10

Purely by chance, I came across last night’s airing on CBS of AFI’s 10 Top 10, aka Summer’s Here and This Oughta Kill Time Until Survivor Starts Up Again.  The gimmick here was that rather than lumping the so-called greatest movies into one list, they were broken into genres.  The categories for this list of lists were animation, fantasy, science fiction, sports, westerns, gangsters, mystery, romantic comedies, courtroom dramas, and epics.  And I got some problems here.

First, notice anything missing?  I’ll give you a hint – it rhymes with COMEDY.  So right away, I have a major issue with AFI.  I mean, did courtroom drama really merit its own category?  There are a lot of great movies that got overlooked because they aren’t romantic comedies and they couldn’t shoehorn them into another genre (Caddyshack as a sports movie?  Really?!?).

Second problem – once again AFI reveals its disdain for modern filmmaking.  There are way too many ancient movies represented for my tastes (“Dear AFI – There are too many old movies nowadays.  Please eliminate three.  P.S. I am not a crackpot”).  The years of the #1 movie in each genre are, respectively, 1937, 1939, 1968, 1980, 1956, 1972, 1958, 1931, 1962, and 1962.  Are we seriously to believe that no romantic comedy in the last 77 years has surpassed City Lights?

Another problem – no way should the animation list include CGI movies.  Let them have their own category if you want, but in my mind it’s just not the same thing.  It would be like compiling a list of the best photographs ever and throwing 3-D ones in.  Yeah yeah, I know that it takes a lot of skill to make a computer-animated movie, but I’ll always consider it cheating.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll think of more.  And get off my damn lawn!

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8 Comments

  • I just checked the lists now to see if Moonstruck was on the RomCom list (we were watching “I love the 80’s vol N+1”). Checking the SciFi list was just as annoying. Back to the Future is on it, but Tron is not.

  • I just checked the lists now to see if Moonstruck was on the RomCom list (we were watching “I love the 80’s vol N+1”). Checking the SciFi list was just as annoying. Back to the Future is on it, but Tron is not.

  • I really enjoyed Greek Wedding and As Good As It Gets, but don’t think they are nearly as good as classics like Roman Holiday, Sabrina, It Happened One Night, etc. I honestly can’t think of anything from the 90s or beyond that I would put on the same level as those. Although I did just fire up my old Netflix account to give City Lights a try.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on animation, but trust me that pretty much any of them made since ’90 have been much more than just computer assisted.

  • I really enjoyed Greek Wedding and As Good As It Gets, but don’t think they are nearly as good as classics like Roman Holiday, Sabrina, It Happened One Night, etc. I honestly can’t think of anything from the 90s or beyond that I would put on the same level as those. Although I did just fire up my old Netflix account to give City Lights a try.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on animation, but trust me that pretty much any of them made since ’90 have been much more than just computer assisted.

  • As for RomComs, When Harry Met Sally easily warrants #1 or #2 (next to Annie Hall). There are other worthy ones from 1990 onward (just a few that come to mind are My Big Fat Greek Wedding and As Good As It Gets).

    As for the animation category, there are still traditionally animated movies coming out (they do have computer assistance, but I’m OK with that). In any case, look at their Western and Mystery lists and you’ll see that the tilt towards long ago decades anyway, so Animation wouldn’t be an anomaly.

  • As for RomComs, When Harry Met Sally easily warrants #1 or #2 (next to Annie Hall). There are other worthy ones from 1990 onward (just a few that come to mind are My Big Fat Greek Wedding and As Good As It Gets).

    As for the animation category, there are still traditionally animated movies coming out (they do have computer assistance, but I’m OK with that). In any case, look at their Western and Mystery lists and you’ll see that the tilt towards long ago decades anyway, so Animation wouldn’t be an anomaly.

  • I think they skipped the BIG genres because they already did top 100 lists for some of them (100 laughs, 100 romances, etc.). That’s all I could figure out, because otherwise “courtroom drama” is a tad too specific for my tastes.

    As far as age goes, The Greatest Films actually complains that they list too many recent movies. Personally, Annie Hall is the only “recent” RomCom I would argue should be #1 and that’s from ’77. All of my other choices are from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

    And I already know we disagree on CG movies, but think of it this way: if you want to ditch them from that category, you have to ignore every animated movie from around 1990 on. In other words, half of their top 10 would disappear.

  • I think they skipped the BIG genres because they already did top 100 lists for some of them (100 laughs, 100 romances, etc.). That’s all I could figure out, because otherwise “courtroom drama” is a tad too specific for my tastes.

    As far as age goes, The Greatest Films actually complains that they list too many recent movies. Personally, Annie Hall is the only “recent” RomCom I would argue should be #1 and that’s from ’77. All of my other choices are from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

    And I already know we disagree on CG movies, but think of it this way: if you want to ditch them from that category, you have to ignore every animated movie from around 1990 on. In other words, half of their top 10 would disappear.

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