Lists of the greatest this or the best that are provocations and nothing more.
Whether it’s a critic offering his 10-best list of films (or books or TV shows or albums) for a given year or decade or an organization or website doing the same thing, it’s always a matter of opinion. It’s meant to say, “Here’s my hierarchy – agree with me!” Or the opposite, as is often the case.
I came across a list of the supposed 100 greatest films of the 1970s, through a friend’s link on Facebook. Mostly it was a tally: How many of these have you seen? As it turned out, I’d seen 99 of the 100 – the only one I’d missed being “Fiddler on the Roof,” which I skipped at the time (1971, the year of “Carnal Knowledge” and “Taking Off,” neither of which is on this list). (More…)