Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#98 – Rear Window
Why is it here:
This is a no-brainer. Hitchcock is a guarantee for any list like this and it’s tough to find one or even a few to narrow it down to. Rear Window is not considered his greatest film by many. That distinction often goes to Vertigo or Psycho. This is safer choice, a more mainstream choice which is fine since there’s a reason. This film is a cornerstone of the thriller genre. An impossible perfection. There are methods developed here that are still being used, and it goes to prove that the rules can be damned if the vision is pure.
This one hit me at about age eight. Then again at fifteen. Then many times in my twenties. Then recently. Time has a way with it. It’s a slow movie. It’s a really measured, stagey thing, but it’s so engrossing and rich that it’s impossible not to ride out to the end. You haven’t lived a life until you’ve seen it.
Moments to savor:
When Raymond Burr notices us. The quiet moments with Jimmy Stewart and his binoculars. Falling in love with the little rituals of the neighbors. Grace Kelly being luminous.
Ridiculous. This is a great movie for Thanksgiving after the feast and with loved ones around. Talkative loved ones you want to shut the fuck up and enjoy a movie with.
I’ll take this over It’s a Wonderful Life every day.