#95: The Last Picture Show vs. Metropolis
(Each week I’m comparing the American Film Institute’s (“The Scholar’s”) Top 100 films against the Internet Movie Database’s (“The Masses’”) Top 100 films)
I’m not going to spend too much time on this discussion mostly because the Oscars are on tonight and I need to finish watching Moneyball before then. But also because this week’s showdown was a no-brainer for me.
Metropolis wins. Hands down. (If you haven’t seen it, just know it’s a silent film, about man vs. machine/elite class vs. working class, made in 1927, and has a highly stylized, surrealist feel. You probably have seen at least parts of it. Here’s the trailer:
Metropolis was visionary, it was amazing, it influenced motion pictures in general, and science fiction movies in particular, for the last… well, it’s still influencing them. Not to mention pop culture: Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Lady Gaga…
Let’s all just agree the movie is iconic. The fact that it’s not on the AFI list at all honestly makes me skeptical of the entire American Film Institute.
The Last Picture Show was just… okay in comparison. I thought the film did a great job of using landscape and camera angles to echo the bleakness of a dying Texas town in the 1950s. The movie was shot in black and white, which fits the mood but pretty much annoyed me. Acting was good, story was gloomy – there was nothing wrong with the film, just nothing to suggest why it would be on the top 100.
So this week, IMDb finally makes a bit of a comeback:
AFI’s Top 100
IMDB’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Next week, Pulp Fiction vs. Gran Torino. I love Gran Torino but seriously does anything beat “Royale with Cheese”?