I have generally not been a fan of the American Film Institute’s 100 Years 100 Movies series because they a) honor boring mainstream triumphs, b) act as if Samuel Fuller never existed and c) seem more interested in selling DVDs than sparking an interest in genuinely great movies. Point blank: I think their lists are worthless.
That said… I’m going to be watching tonight’s re-ranking of the top 100 American movies of all time, and not just because I’m optimistic that Freebie and the Bean will finally receive the canonization it so richly deserves. No, there are other reasons to tune in. And they might not have to do with the actual broadcast itself. I mean, the show will feature great filmmakers and critics and movie stars extolling the virtues of The Godfather for the umpteenth time, while Citizen Kane might finally get bumped from the top ten because America hates a loser. Still, there’s something else… something lingering in the margins… things you people wouldn’t believe.
Yeah, I’m going to be watching tonight. In fact, I’m going batty over the thought of it. And because I hold the broadcast television experience sacred, I AM GOING TO WATCH EVERY SECOND OF EVERY COMMERCIAL BREAK. Frankly, I don’t know what’s come over me. Actually, I do. And if you can’t figure out by now why I’m demanding you tune in tonight… just don’t watch.
The AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies airs tomorrow at 8 PM Eastern/Pacific on CBS.