What is the shame list?
I know a fair bit about films, but I also know that I don’t know everything. I’ve seen a lot of films but I know that there are a lot that I haven’t seen that I really should, films that I am embarrassed or ashamed that I’ve never seen. I decided to change that, and that’s how I came up with the idea of a list. A list of shame.
The shame list is a countdown of all the films that I need to see before I die, preferably long before. Although no list could ever be truly definitive, I have tried to get as broad and thorough a list as possible. I’ve done this by going through a number of other lists of top films as I could find.
Any film that appears in more than one list will obviously only appear on my list once, but their frequency on other lists determines how important they are to watch.
It’s not enough, either, just to watch them. This blog is intended to chart my progress through the best films of all time, according to those in the know. I vow to review every film I watch, including non-list films. Revisits, however, will not necessarily be reviewed.
If I’m to be taken seriously as a film geek, I need to see every last one of these films. And probably more.
The shame list is made up of the following lists:
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2007 edition) (ed. Steven Jay Schneider) – compiled by 65 critics, this was originally the entire focus of the shame list until I realised that there were probably a lot of other important films that had to be jettisoned from the book. The list is unranked.
The Guardian’s 1000 films to see before you die – one week in June 2007, The Guardian published their list in five daily excerpts. It is remarkably dissimilar to the book with inclusions ranging from the highbrow to the trashy. The list is unranked.
The Times top 100 films of all time – compiled by six critics and published in booklet form in April 2008. The number one film is Casablanca.
AFI’s 100 years… 100 movies – first compiled in 1998 on the 100th anniversary of American film, but I’ve used the 10th anniversary 2007 list. The number one film is Citizen Kane.
BFI’s top 100 British films – compiled in 1999 from a survey of 1,000 people from the world of UK film and television to produce a list of the 100 greatest British films of the 20th century. The number one film is The Third Man.
Channel 4’s 100 greatest films – compiled by Channel 4 in 2001. The number one film is Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back (a bit of a cheat really as that’s two films).
Time magazine’s all-time top 100 movies – In 2005, Time’s film critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schinkel compiled a list comprising what they considered the 100 most influential films since the magazine launched in 1923. The list is unranked.
Empire magazine’s 500 greatest films of all time – For their November 2008 edition, Empire published their 500 greatest films of all time from a poll of 1,000 readers, 150 of Hollywood’s finest and 50 key film critics. The number one film is The Godfather.