Monday, August 6, 2012

AFI vs IMDb Showdown: #70

The battle between the AFI & IMDb Top 100 lists continues.  This week - #70: AFI’s  A Clockwork Orange vs. IMDb’s Life is Beautiful

A Clockwork Orange just reaffirms my general loathing for Kubrick.  It’s shocking, violent, disturbing – but I really don’t have a problem with those things in and of themselves.  It’s the fact that the movie pretends to be an ode to rebellion, to fighting off Big Brother and the restraints he places, but really it’s just a celebration of sadism and violence. 

Not to mention the narrative is a mess; the film sacrifices any possibility of good story-telling just get in as much graphic violence as possible.  I’ve seen Clockwork Orange twice now in my life. I don’t plan to ever see it again.

It’s ironic that it’s up against Life is Beautiful – a film set in perhaps the most graphically violent background of modern history (a concentration camp) but is about a man determined to protect his son from witnessing that violence. 

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Life is Beautiful , I felt like it kind of got lucky in terms of its popularity and awards. I definitely don’t think it belongs on a Top 100 list.  For me, it’s a bit schmaltzy, but then again:  yay for triumph of the human spirit!

I definitely give Life is Beautiful my vote this week. But I would pretty much give even Spiderman 3 my vote over A Clockwork Orange.

AFI’s Top 100
IMDB’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)

The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)

Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

So the score is AFI -18, IMDb - 17. It has become quite the tight race.  Next week: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? vs. Chinatown.

1 comment:

  1. This one is hard... Clockwork is actually one of the few Kubrick movies that I really like. Well, one of the only I like (much less with some emphasis). I love LiB but I totally agree it was "lucky" to come along when it did (when, somehow, romantic, comedic Holocaust movies were not yet all the rage).

    I think you have this one wrong though. Clockwork takes it. Not just at the film level, but in terms of iconic imagery, acting (everyone thought Benigni was great until you realized that was the only schtick he knew), etc.