Monday, March 27, 2006

Overlooked and Under-Appreciated

No, I'm not referring to myself. I get a fair bit of appreciation from my peers and professors, actually. Sure, it's rarely of the simple eyebrows-up, dude, I'm impressed variety; what I get is more frequently of the head-shaking, I'm being understanding of your specialness right now variety; or the you sure have guts, kid, but why do you have to make it so tough on yourself? variety.

...And of course, to the latter I can only respond with a shrug and a look that says, because I'm a good cop, dammit, and this city has seen enough compromise! Now are you going to take away my badge, or should I get back to doing my job? And then, after a tense five-second staring contest, I stride back out into the squadroom while the Chief slumps in his chair and knocks back a slug of Pepto-Bismol. Maybe he yells after me about how someday (I'm) going to stick my neck out so far not even (he) can stop the axe, and maybe not.

No, wait. Was that me? Hm. Anyway, I'm not under-appreciated, really. But at least 100 movies are. The Online Film Critics' Society has compiled a list; these are, one is given to understand, the Top 100 Overlooked Films of the 1990's.

Thanks to Girl D for making me aware of this -- I learned the phrase "Cheese Sandwich Blog" from Diablo C earlier today, and if there's a phrase or a vocab word for I read this on someone else's blog and thought it was so cool I just nakedly stole it to recycle for my own purposes, then this would be a shining example of that.

(If there isn't already a word, I'd like to nominate "yoink!," for reasons that are obvious to Simpsons fans.)

Things that impress me about this list include, of course, how many of the 100 I have seen (31, which I assume to mean I'm approximately 31% cooler than the hypothetical person or people who could have made it through the 90's easily without seeing any of these films). Also the fact that it includes movies I've championed in movie-nerd discussions before. If the Interweb is for nothing else, it's for hollow validation from random strangers! Plus, the vast majority of the list is films I have been intending to see for... well, I guess the aughts are over half done with, so six to 16 years, with a median of 11. (Yeah, I took Stats and liked it.)

I know you're dying to know some of my faves when it comes to movies. I'm technically a playwright (in much the same way people are "technically a virgin"). You're especially dying to know if you've ever asked me, and received that weaselly answer of mine, which requires a genre or a time period to even get close and -- okay, nobody really cares that much. Suffice to say, the OFCS gets my appreciation for including, among others, such films as...

16) That Thing You Do
18) Sneakers
19) Zero Effect
21) Truly, Madly, Deeply
32) Defending Your Life
34) Bringing Out the Dead
39) Beautiful Girls
42) Richard III
45) My Neighbor Totoro
59) Joe Versus the Volcano
63) Croupier
74) Flirting With Disaster

Whoa. And that's just the ones I was really excited about. Who wants to argue? Who wants to agree? Who's got something that shoulda been on that list?


Jon Busey-Hunt said...


We were just talking about that the other day -- that's a terribly underrated movie! Hated at the time, but aged VERY VERY well in retrospect.

Viking Zen said...

Totally off topic- just found your site via my referrer logs and read your post about being ZenViking. It's funny because I remember signing up for AOL in the mid 90s and discovering that my first choice, ZenViking, was already taken...and thus I chose VikingZen. So maybe that was you?? Anyway, it used to be my nickname when I was a fencer in college. I thought it worked well because it contains two extremes that together form a new concept...being half Brazilian and half American I thought that was quite poetic!
Take care!

Teslagrl said...

Welcome to the Dollhouse
The Sweet Hereafter

Glad these two are on the list. I have vivid memories of seeing both. Probably because they capture their subjects so well it really affected me. Dollhouse because you remember your adolescence being just like that (if you're a dork like me) and Hereafter because it just reaches in and rips your heart out.

Glad Priscilla is on the list too. One of my faves. Gotta love the Hugo!

Diablo said...

"Jesus' Son"! I love that movie! Billy Crudup was great! I remember being shocked that it didn't get more attention.

I liked "Bringing Out The Dead" as well. I guess I like movies about weird hospitals (see above.)

Trash said...

I bet you were thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to see Joe Vs the Volcano on that list -- I think it's the only time (I can remember, anyway) that we totally disagreed on a movie -- which really made me WANT to like it.

I was happy to see so many movies on the list, but especially Sneakers, The Red Violin, and The Ref. I am guess that M. Giant will cry happy tears about Cannibal! The Musical.