In 1997, when the American Film Institute released their initial list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, I decided (at the age of 11) to watch them all. By the time I finished checking off that initial list years later, I’d located a number of others through books, websites and other resources compiled by critics, historians, and film fanatics like myself. Although my cynicism grew as I passed from my teen years into adulthood, and I realized that no single list could accurately judge the history of individual films from the first century of international cinema, I did recognize that, starting with the lists, I was gaining knowledge about a number of exceptional movies.
MOVIES AND DIRECTORS
Along the way, I began writing a brief synopsis of each film as I checked them off the list which included basic information about the production, reception, and historical significance of motion pictures spawning from the dawn of the industry until after the turn of the twenty first century. I also became interested in the role directors play in the making of each film, which prompted me to research individual filmmakers and develop brief profiles focused on their careers. For years I wrote these synopsis and director profiles to keep track of the information, although recently my friends have convinced me to upload my writings in the hopes it will provide a useful online resource.
Films and directors can be located using the search bar to the right. After each film review, there are shorthand tags indicating which list(s) the film is on–a key is located under “The Lists” with links provided where available. For the director biographies, I’ve indented the feature length films (or most important shorts) made by individual filmmakers; their short films, in addition to pictures they worked on (as an actor, writer, producer, etc) but did not direct, are in quotes. I will try to provide updates for those biographies as they occur, but since I’m running this blog alone at the moment it may take a while for some updates.
Since I initially wrote these without any intention of publishing, there are no citations to go along with the information—if anything I’ve written is erroneous or inadvertently copied from someone else, please inform me and I’ll be sure to change/alter/credit the info. Among the sources used to verify information: Allmovie.com, Film Reference, Senses of Cinema, IMDB, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, Mick Mason and Marsha Porter’s DVD & Video Guide, VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever, Variety Magazine, the New York Time reviews, Blockbuster’s Movie Guide, TV Guide, Maltin’s book of film biographies, Wikipedia (the external sources), and the profiles found through Yahoo, Google, and the Turner Classic Movies database.
The primary purpose of this website is to provide a quick, easy reference for information about notable filmmakers and their films—and also to indicate which movies have been placed on what ‘greatest movies’ lists. I haven’t reviewed every film I’ve seen, and while I try to place my opinion in each individual entry I’ve also attempted to remain objective; even for films I didn’t personally like, I’ve tried to indicate why it’s important given a particular historical, cultural, or sociological context. I hope you enjoy/find this helpful; please leave any comments or suggestions on the articles.