This time of year there are tons of best and worst of lists for the year (I will help in this effort later in the week). There are periodically best of lists such as the recent Rolling Stones 100 Best Guitarists list. I think the main reason for lists rather than to do lists or shopping lists is to spark conversation. I know I immediately started reviewing my copy of Rolling Stone and looked to see where certain people showed up. I still think Muddy Waters should be higher on the list
Sometimes these lists give us false beliefs about books, films and music because some august group of people said a book, film or album is the best of all time. This is the 70th anniversary of Citizen Kane. The American Film Institute or AFI has issued two lists of the 100 best films, and Citizen Kane was at the top of both lists. When iTunes had it on sale, I immediately bought it.
Halfway through the movie, I told someone that it was good, but I wasn’t sure if it was the best movie I ever saw. Then I read a review on Amazon where someone said rating the movie so high was a disservice to the film. What other film has anyone ever watched that the expectation is that it has to be the best film of all time? Suddenly, I realized I was being unfair to a great movie. Is it my top film? No, but it is an amazing movie that is 70 years old, starred and directed by a 26 year old.
The next few posts are going to be about some of my favorite books, films and music of the year. The posts reflect only my opinion, and I hope they elicit discussion.