The Film Gourmand Posted by FilmGourmand 2 years ago in 11:50 am Updated:6 months ago in 12:27 am
There is a vast number of various lists of the best films ever made all over the world, the greatest movies of all times, films must-see before death, etc. The most known among them are IMDB’s Top 250, Kinopoisk’s Top 250, Empire’s the 500 Greatest movies of all times, NYT’s the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made etc., etc.
Certainly, all these lists deserve the close attention as they give to experts and fans of cinema possibility to be guided in a World of Cinema. However, in my opinion, all the aforementioned lists, like many others which are not mentioned here, have one lack which I would name subjectivity.
What do I mean? Well, IMDB and Kinopoisk form the lists on the basis of spectator voting. It is great! But is there anybody who thinks that the high spectators’ rating always testifies the presence of conclusive art advantages in a film? In all honesty, we have to admit that no means always. This is why practically in each film festival along with the prize awarded by the professional jury there is also an award of audience. And, as a rule, the winners of these awards do not coincide. Differently, these lists reflect the subjective point of view of the SPECTATORS, but do not consider opinion of the EXPERTS. Probably, there are also other points of view? I will be very grateful, if you share them.
At the same time lists of Empire (UK), New York Times and others are made on the basis of opinions of more or less limited number of film experts (journalists, critics and so on). The range of these experts can be wide enough, but in any case it is limited. And, as consequence, we can qualify these lists as subjective too. And again I’m ready to admit possibility of existence of other points of view. I would be glad to familiarize with them myself and all users of my site.
And it wanted to create the MOST OBJECTIVE list of the best films.
First of all I want to remark that I have decided to include into my list only feature films. It means that I did not include into my list animation and documentary films, as animation and documentary, in my opinion, are rather special genres that they could be compared with feature films. Not casually «Oscar» uses separate nominations for these films.
Besides, I have excluded silent movies. Too specific genre as well. As it is very difficult to compare the films made by means of the modern technics and the very first films of Lumiere Brothers, like «L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de la Ciotat» or «L’Arroseur arrosé». Yes, they were primitive. But they were the FIRST!
I also did not include in the list short (lasting less than one hour) films to create equal conditions.
After some considerations I decided to exclude television films from my list. Only because of in-comparability of spectator audiences of feature films - and television movies. In summary, as a rule, even the rather average television movie can receive more an appreciation of spectators, than a feature film masterpiece. Probably in future I’ll create the special list of television films.
Well, after the made assumptions I have established the first criterion for film inclusion in my list. As films anyway are produced first of all for spectators, the film should have certain, high enough spectators’ rating. The most authoritative system for estimation of a spectator rating, in my opinion, is system IMDB. And for Russian-speaking films – in addition also the Kinopoisk’s rating. Probably somebody has another opinion? I will be glad and rather grateful, if you share this opinion.
I wish to specify that I took into consideration concerning Russian-speaking films rating of IMDB and Kinopoisk because I know only Russian and English languages. If I could read also other languages, I would do the same with films in other languages, besides Russian and English. (Thus an indispensable condition to provide sufficient representativeness of voting on a film, I have established that the total number of voters should be not less than 400.) I will be grateful, if someone gives the necessary information on ratings of non-English and non-Russian-language films on a national resources similar IMDB.
Preliminary studying of aforementioned and many other ratings led me to conclusion that for inclusion in a rating the film should have spectators’ rating not less than 7,8.
But, as I’ve already mentioned, to create the OBJECTIVE rating, being based only on votes of cinema-goers, I consider not absolutely correctly. Therefore I have decided to set the system of the bonuses reflecting an experts’ evaluation of movies. Well, and who can be considered as the most authoritative film experts, as not film makers? And where this film expert evaluation is in the best way expressed, as not on various film festivals? However, currently there are some tens thousands film festivals in the world. Whether all of them have the same significance and prestige? To anybody who has just a slightest familiarity with cinema is absolutely clear that not. Therefore I decide to make ranking of film awards and film prizes.
Which film award is the most prestigious in the world of cinema? Seemingly many people will answer – American Academy Award or simply Oscar. And again: whether all Oscar’s nominations have the same significance and prestige? I think that I will not be mistaken, if I will tell that many of us know and remember winners in nominations «Best motion picture» or «Best Director», but winners in nominations Best Achievement in Makeup or Best Achievement in Sound Editing, with all respect for masters in these areas, are known and remembered at the best by experts only. And that not all. Everybody knows that the nomination «Best film» exists in two versions: one – for English-language films, another – for films in a foreign language. We will ask a question: in which of these two nominations a competition is more stronger? It is not necessary to be the expert on political geography to answer: in the second. There are immeasurably less English-speaking countries, than the countries speaking in all other languages. Arguing thus, I have come to a conclusion that the most honourable prize in a Cinema World is American Academy Award in a nomination «Best Foreign Language Film». Probably, someone has other opinion. I will be grateful, if you share it. But while, the films, awarded this rank, have received in my rating a bonus 0,8.
But the prize to the best films on a foreign language is awarded not only by the American film academy. Such nomination exists also at some other film forums. The most prestigious among them are Golden Globes (USA), BAFTA Awards (UK), César Awards (France), David di Donatello Awards (Italy). Probably, someone will ask, why only these? And what objectivity can be spoken about if from a large number of film forums only five are selected? All the matter is that as I already spoke above, in the beginning I have selected and have analysed films with a rating 7,8 and above. The overwhelming part of these films has been made in one of five countries: the USA, the USSR, France, UK, Italy. For this reason, i.e. on the basis of absolutely objective criteria, I allocate the film awards awarded at the basic film forums of these countries. Besides, I will be glad to get acquainted with the others points of view, distinct from mine. Accordingly, to the films which have won at these film awards in a nomination the Best foreign film, I add in the rating a bonus 0,7 points.
However along with aforementioned national film awards there are the prizes awarded in the international film festivals. There is a huge number of such festivals. But only 14 of them have an internationally recognized category A. Actually the prestige of the festivals in frames of this category A is inadequate. Really, unless somebody will assert, that the festival in Cairo is so well-known and representative, like the Berlin film festival, and the Karlovy Vary festival does not concede in prestigiousness Cannes? Here therefore the victory on the Cannes, Venetian and Berlin film festivals I evaluated in 0,6 points. About the others – I will tell more a little bit later.
The next step in my system of bonuses is occupied by the European Film Awards – 0,5 points.
And the next step with the bonus 0,4 points I gave to winners of all the rest festivals of the category A.
Till now we spoke about winners. But after all to be included to the number of nominees in categories the Best foreign film is also rather honourable. Therefore to nominees in this nomination of Oscar, or Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards, or César Awards, or David di Donatello Awards I add a bonus 0,3 points.
Till now we spoke about «the international» recognition of films. I.e., about winners in a nomination «Best foreign film», or about winners of the international film festivals. But in no way, in my opinion, it is impossible to forget about national film awards in the countries which can be considered as the «cinema empires». Considering the obvious leadership of the USA in film production and the highest prestige of the award Oscar among all film awards of the world I have decided to appropriate a bonus 0,2 points for films - winners in a nomination the Best motion picture, or the Best achievement in directing, or winners of any five other nominations. To winners in similar nominations of film awards Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards, César Awards (France), David di Donatello Awards, and also the All-Union film festival (USSR) I appropriated a bonus 0,1.
It is necessary to make one reservation. As I have already told, I consider in an estimation of films dominating an estimation of the mass, ordinary cinema-goer. Meanwhile, there are situations when any film passes in so called «a victorious march» on all film festivals and collects all possible film awards. Therefore I have established restriction that the total sum of the bonus points received according to estimations of professional juries cannot exceed 3.
Quite probably that someone has other, distinct from my consideration about the importance of film festivals and film awards. I will be grateful, if you share them.
The second criterion. To begin with, to create a certain starting point, I have established time frameworks: the films made during the period from 1930 till 2005 . 1930 was the year of starting sound cinema all over the world. 2005 – because I consider that the good cinema, as well as good wine, demands endurance. Very often happens that high rating of the film is created by prepremier agiotage, advertising, the sensation in a press, the scandals happening on film festivals etc. Time passes, and film rating, high at the moment of release, starts to decrease and falls to an average level. Therefore I consider as the most adequate a rating received by a film in 5 and more years after its premiere. Anyway the 75-year period  is very attractive to start with.
So, taking into account all criteria set forth above, estimations and approaches, I have formed the list of 1000 feature sound films with the highest complex spectator-experts rating. Or, how I call it «Golden 1,000» which would be correct to name: 1,000 the best sound feature films ever and where ever made.
It is natural that the structure of the FG «1,000 Greatest films» will not remain invariable. First, ratings of films vary depending on spectators’ voting, and secondly, every year we add new films of «5-year-old endurance» which supersede the films occupying the bottom lines in our rating. So, for example, in the near future we will include in the base the films which have received an appreciation of film experts and cinema-goers, made in 2006. Next year we will include worthy films released in 2007. And so on.
I wish to underline once again, this rating is not reflexion of my subjective opinion about art advantages of this or that film at all. But if my subjective preferences are interesting to someone, you can get acquainted with My TOP 250 Favorite Movies of all time.
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