Monday, February 1, 2010


The Film Tome's second poll question is up and counting! The survey asks all who enter, "What is your most anticipated movie of 2010?" If you haven't answered yet, please do. (FYI: This particular poll will end February 14th at midnight.)

The first poll asked for your opinion of the best film of 2009. It featured ten popular films that were released last year. I didn't intend or even expect everyones' chosen to fall into one of these ten slots, thus an eleventh option, "*Other," was available for choosing. I freely admit that I have not yet viewed a lot (at least for me) of 2009 films. In fact, as of this writing I still haven't seen two of the films featured on said poll. Whether you find yourself in a similar situation or have seen these ten and several more, I hope you took part in this poll and will continue to take part in future polls with all truthfulness.

Last month, my Father and I were having a conversation on the phone. He asked me a question in regards to Film Tome's first poll, a question I find deserving of careful consideration. He was trying to distinguish between what the poll was asking: "what do you feel is the best movie...?," and which movie was his favorite. He even expressed to me that his favorite movie of 2009 was not the same as what he thought the best movie was. Would your answer to these two criteria (favorite and best) be the same? Is the movie you truly feel is best also happen to be your favorite? It is interesting indeed what a slight change of words can evoke in us. Let me illustrate this principle with an example: 1993 was an exceptional year for films. "Schindler's List" was widely considered the best movie released that year, I tend to agree. However, I would say my favorite film of that year was "Jurassic Park". Both, interestingly enough, Spielberg-products in their own right.

I favor the podcast Filmspotting, a talk-radio program based in Chicago. The content? Entirely devoted to film. The two co-hosts, Adam and Matty, produce a weekly show (usually 60+ minutes) where they articulately review movies, play "massacre theatre", conduct interviews, hold "movie marathons", address listener feedback, construct a "Top 5" list, and so on. A lot of their show's format inspires me for some of what I do here in The Film Tome.

Now, for the reason I brought up Filmspotting... In episode #239 Adam and Matty were respectively revealing their "Top 10 Films of 2008". Film lovers such as I get absolutely giddy when compiling such lists! However, it is usually not an easy task. It requires much pondering and ultimately several bold decisions. In this particular episode, right before they began announcing their lists (starting with their number 10s), Adam gave valuable comments about how he forms his lists. A friend of his had the idea of asking two questions when facing the task of ranking: #1. "If I had two hours to kill, which movie would I watch first?" #2. "Which movie would I urge others to watch first?" Adam then explained another method which further helps him: "Imagine that every movie of 2008 is going to be destroyed except for the 10 I choose to survive." These questions and scenario can be applied to any year, all-time, or whatever you want for your initial pool of choices (they can also be applied to other things besides just movies). Perhaps question #1 would reflect what your favorite movie is, while #2 would be the one you deem "best." Employing the scenario of the "mass-movie-destruction," and determining which one(s) should remain will force you to think long and hard about films and questions of your own will arise.

Some of you may not struggle in the slightest when choosing your favorite thing. Whether you are choosing a single film (which will usually be the case in polls) or are compiling a ranked list, I feel the afore mentioned items are all good to keep in mind. Will you choose your favorite movie or the best movie? It might be the same! Whatever the case, stay true to the way you feel. Do not be swayed by popular opinion and strive to remove any biased notions you may have. It is important to be informed and significant to not be malicious (these are a couple of characteristics I've learned about in my TMA 102 course this semester, I will address them more fully in an upcoming post, "Playing Critic").

Isn't it strange how it seems to always boil down to a matter of personal opinion?

No, actually.

Updated 8.24.12

1 comment:

Bryson and Tara said...

I really did enjoy listening to the podcast. I can't wait to hear yours in the future...

And, I agree with Dad. Often, the best movies are not movies I want to see over and over. I recognize they are amazing, but that doesn't mean they're my favs.

Now it's your turn to post on my blog! :)