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Classic film

Related: classic - film

Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

List of films that have been considered the greatest ever

This is a partial list of films that have been regarded as the greatest ever. The objective is not to resolve the question of the greatest ever movie - the one thing that film commentators do agree on is that it is impossible to have a single answer to that question. The important criteria for inclusion in this list is that the film is the "greatest" by some specific measure - be it a critics poll, popular poll, box office receipts or awards. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_movies_that_have_been_considered_the_greatest_ever [Sept 2004]

Films acclaimed by critics and filmmakers

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_movies_that_have_been_considered_the_greatest_ever#Films_acclaimed_by_critics_and_filmmakers [Apr 2005]

Top 25 Imdb [Oct 2004]

Top 25 movies as voted by our users

For this top 250, only votes from regular voters are considered.

--http://www.imdb.com/chart/top [Oct 2004]

List of films preserved in the United States National Film Registry [...]

Classic film vs cult film [...]

Certain films which today are regarded as classics of American cinema -- John Ford's The Searchers (1956), Orson Welles'; Citizen Kane (1941), the Judy Garland musical The Wizard Of Oz (1939), Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life (1946), Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940) -- are, or at least used to be, cult films. Box-office disappointments when they were released, these films were kept alive over the decades not by reviewers or studios or theaters, but by filmgoers who loved them. This devotion eventually attracted the critical re-evaluations, revival-house screenings, video and laserdisc releases, and so on, which have brought these films the success that eluded them in their day, and moved them beyond their cult audiences and into the mainstream of film history. The true cult film, however, never entirely loses its outsider status; something about it remains too weird or disturbing or juvenile or absurd or specialized or otherwise indigestible to enable the film to be embraced by the masses. --Cole Gagne, http://www.e-filmmusic.de/article2.htm [Oct 2004]

When discussing what is classic, we tend to use words such as 'timeless', and 'great' and think of the films in question as 'old' or being in black and white. Certainly these sorts of stereotypes are true, but we have to consider how they relate to the notions of canons, modes of representation and historical periods. We need to be able to define 'Classic', and understand what is meant by the term when writing about film.

The naming of a film as 'Classic' is a fairly modern concept and as such tends to be attributed to old films. It conveys the sense that the film which is under discussion is a masterpiece: an influential and powerful piece of film-making which will last and be recognised as important and perhaps even be seen as ground-breaking in years to come. Films which now seem to display these qualities are grouped together, somewhat clumsily, and so we appear to have a genre of classic film (in a very loose sense of the word), or rather, a repeated mode of representation: the main aspect that nearly all classic films share is the 'auteur' , that is, the artist who is deemed to have created the film, be it the director, cameraman, the editor, or the screenplay writer. A visual signature is placed on the film: the cinematography is usually very innovative, for example, "Citizen Kane" has an inverted narrative structure, beginning with the death of the main protagonist. It also employs radical techniques such as deep-focus photography to make sure that everything in the shot is in focus, and there is elaborate Mise-en-Scene in order to allow us the audience to observe all that happens in the shot. The bravura use of lighting is just another way in which Orson Welles (in this case) shows us what he can do with cinema. --Ben Moore-Bridger, http://www.vanguardonline.f9.co.uk/030615.htm

What Makes a Cult Film?

What Makes a Cult Film? Once a cult is established, it can often sustain itself by means of its own inertia. After becoming a camp item in the 1960s, Casablanca attained the status of a classic by an alternative system of canon- building. Usually, a work of art finds its validation in the academy. Even though popular film is currently an accepted subject of university study, films like Casablanca need not establish their importance by impressing faculty committees as masterpieces. Although it existed briefly as a television series during the 1955-56 season,[50] Casablanca did not become a fetish object until the Rick/ Bogie poster became popular and Woody Allen subsequently wrote the play (and movie) Play It Again, Sam.[51] During the weeks in which this paper was written, allusions to the film have twice appeared in popular TV shows: a full-dress, five-minute parody of Casablanca was the dream of Bert Viola (Curtis Armstrong) in an episode of Moonlighting; and on Miami Vice, a lovable crook attempted to corrupt Detective Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) by telling him that a suitcase full of contraband was their "letters of transit," but Crockett replied, "this is not the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Now that it has been canonized, Casablanca is sure to continue as a universal signifier of romantic love, doing the right thing, and painful sacrifice.[52] As for the qualities that made Casablanca a cult film and have made its appeal "never out of date," we can point to all the psychologically resonant aspects of the film discussed in this paper. Probably the most crucial ingredients in the film's success are (1) the star presence of Bogie and Bergman[53]; (2) the subliminal but nostalgically potent music, both diegetic and extradiegetic; (3) the satisfyingly resolved Oedipal material; and (4) the reassuring message that the American outlaw hero (and by extension, all Americans) can be true to his instincts even in a world war. This last message may seem specific to the 1943 audience, but movies have been quite successful in keeping old myths alive, and when reconfigured for the Era of Reagan and Bush, these myths can be more vital than ever. Star Wars was the first in a cycle of "disguised Westerns" that has achieved extraordinary popularity by reviving the outlaw hero/official hero plot. Since then, Beverly Hills Cop I and II, Top Gun, Rambo III, and Lethal Weapon I and II have recycled the same basic myth with enormous success. As for the audience today, Casablanca has an extra level of appeal, offering a sense of control to repeat viewers. Just as "As Time Goes By" eased the 1943 viewer into a nostalgic imaginary, the film itself now grants the viewer benign regression to a lost moment when right and wrong were clear cut and going off to war could be a deeply romantic gesture. --http://www.vincasa.com/indexsigmund1.html [Oct 2004]

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