A different approach to a greatest films list

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topherH
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A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by topherH » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:38 pm

And I need your assistance. I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with Bill Simmons Hall of Fame pyramid but it's his attempt at ranking the greatest NBA players of all time that are divided up into a different system using tiers or levels (1-5). The greater you are the higher levels you ascend to. I've made movie lists in the past but this feels like it could be different and more interesting for selecting films. I'm feeling stuck on the criteria as to what would constitute certain movies being selected for certain tiers/levels based on personal opinion. I'm guessing the list would be around 100 picks to be divided up. How would divide the picks and what would be your criteria for each level.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
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Takoma1
Posts: 3373
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:48 pm

topherH wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:38 pm
And I need your assistance. I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with Bill Simmons Hall of Fame pyramid but it's his attempt at ranking the greatest NBA players of all time that are divided up into a different system using tiers or levels (1-5). The greater you are the higher levels you ascend to. I've made movie lists in the past but this feels like it could be different and more interesting for selecting films. I'm feeling stuck on the criteria as to what would constitute certain movies being selected for certain tiers/levels based on personal opinion. I'm guessing the list would be around 100 picks to be divided up. How would divide the picks and what would be your criteria for each level.
I mean, film is art and art is subjective. I'm sure you aren't wanting to look at things like box office earnings or rating/ranking on IMDb, right? So at a certain point you are applying a point system to a personal experience, and often there's something lost in the translation when you try to quantify art.

If it were me, I'd probably have 4-5 categories and then rank each film on a scale from 1-5 for each, then put the highest scoring 20 in the first tier and so on. My personal categories (ie the things that matter TO ME when I watch a film) would include things like "I can image at least one image from it as something I would frame and hang in my house," and "I go back to watch certain sequences" and "How compelled was I to share this film with others?".

I guess my suggestion would be to make an honest list of 4-5 things that you most value in a film. Not things that you're *supposed* to value, but the things that actually make a movie great for you. Then you can give each film a score on a scale for each category and take a total point score. You could also rank your categories in terms of order of importance (ie "Amazing dialogue" is more important to you than "Satisfying final act"), and then use that to break any ties. (So two movies score a 23, the one with a higher dialogue score wins).

I think that the most benefit you'd get from this exercise would be an honest reflection about what you actually value in art.
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topherH
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Re: A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by topherH » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:21 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:48 pm
I mean, film is art and art is subjective. I'm sure you aren't wanting to look at things like box office earnings or rating/ranking on IMDb, right? So at a certain point you are applying a point system to a personal experience, and often there's something lost in the translation when you try to quantify art.

If it were me, I'd probably have 4-5 categories and then rank each film on a scale from 1-5 for each, then put the highest scoring 20 in the first tier and so on. My personal categories (ie the things that matter TO ME when I watch a film) would include things like "I can image at least one image from it as something I would frame and hang in my house," and "I go back to watch certain sequences" and "How compelled was I to share this film with others?".

I guess my suggestion would be to make an honest list of 4-5 things that you most value in a film. Not things that you're *supposed* to value, but the things that actually make a movie great for you. Then you can give each film a score on a scale for each category and take a total point score. You could also rank your categories in terms of order of importance (ie "Amazing dialogue" is more important to you than "Satisfying final act"), and then use that to break any ties. (So two movies score a 23, the one with a higher dialogue score wins).

I think that the most benefit you'd get from this exercise would be an honest reflection about what you actually value in art.
These are some good examples, how would you base choices between a movie that you watched once and was completely immersed in but never went back to watch it again opposed to a movie you find infinitely rewatchable but doesn't quite reach the heights of the one and done movie?
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
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Death Proof
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Location: South Jersey

Re: A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by Death Proof » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:45 pm

When I've done top movie lists in the past I made a list of all the ones I like, then put them into Excel. I made categories like writing, acting, directing, cinematography, soundtrack, etc. and made ratings in each from 1 - 10. Then totaled each movie up and sorted by score. In the case of ties, I chose the movie I liked best, then the next, and so forth.

It's not a perfect system, but got the job done.


Edit: whoops - looks like Takoma had the same idea. Smart lady. :)
Ain't no grave gonna hold this body down
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Takoma1
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Re: A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:38 pm

topherH wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:21 pm
These are some good examples, how would you base choices between a movie that you watched once and was completely immersed in but never went back to watch it again opposed to a movie you find infinitely rewatchable but doesn't quite reach the heights of the one and done movie?
That's where you would have to decide what you personally value more.

For example, Gravity was a really great movie in my opinion. You know what is probably by any metric a worse movie than Gravity? Predators. But you know what movie I watch probably 4 or 5 times a year? Predators. So in my *personal* top 50 favorite movies, Predators probably makes the cut and Gravity doesn't. There is a value to me in a film like Predators that I can put on at the end of a long week, and yet it's well-made and more than just mindless entertainment.

When I think of making a personal top 50, I imagine that I get to fill a 50-slot DVD shelf and those are the only movies I can watch for the next 10 years. It's the only way that I can think about quantifying my love for films.

Because the truth is that my personal top 5 or top 10 probably changes about every year or two. There are some mainstays, but as I get older and as I have different experiences, certain films mean more or less to me.

You can try and make the process as scientific as you like. You can limit your categories to more "objective" things like quality of acting or cinematography, but at the end of the day you can't escape the subjectivity, so I say juts embrace it. Make your criteria deeply personal. I personally don't have much interest in a "mathematical" best films list. It would probably just end up trotting out the same titles we've all seen over and over.

For me, the main value in having a good understanding of what someone else loves in a movie is that it helps me compare my sensibilities to theirs and decide how much I can trust their opinion of a film, and also helps me to recommend things to them.

What, for you, is the value in making your list? This is 100% not a snarky question. I think that having a clear purpose for your list might help you to clarify what you want your categories/criteria to be.
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topherH
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Re: A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by topherH » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:09 pm

Death Proof wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:45 pm
When I've done top movie lists in the past I made a list of all the ones I like, then put them into Excel. I made categories like writing, acting, directing, cinematography, soundtrack, etc. and made ratings in each from 1 - 10. Then totaled each movie up and sorted by score. In the case of ties, I chose the movie I liked best, then the next, and so forth.

It's not a perfect system, but got the job done.


Edit: whoops - looks like Takoma had the same idea. Smart lady. :)
Damn, I never even thought about it like this.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
User avatar
topherH
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:05 pm

Re: A different approach to a greatest films list

Post by topherH » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:14 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:38 pm
What, for you, is the value in making your list? This is 100% not a snarky question. I think that having a clear purpose for your list might help you to clarify what you want your categories/criteria to be.
It was an attempt to try something new, I've kept lists constantly for different things. I started reading about that pyramid formula and thought about what a movie version could be based on the criteria. I also rotate favorite movies every few years with the top 5-10 moving back and forth.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
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