backstreetsbackalright wrote:The list seems a strange hybrid of cinefilia and parenting advice. Is there much of a point to composing such a list?
Considering how ill-nurtured moving image art is in the UK, I'd say there was a benevolent motivation behind the production of the list. Besides, no child is going to be held to watching the listed films - it's just another BFI initiative (without government support or funding, naturally) that will probably peter out within six months.
Having said that, it's high time that a cultural body here, in the UK, started to readopt the 'mother knows best' policy of cultural and artistic education, and I'm pleased to see that the BFI had the gall to go forward first. Yes, it's quite a high-minded list of films for children, but I'd go so far as to say that anyone who scoffs at the list for being intellectual ego-abatement on the part of the BFI is a cretin.
As for the films on the list itself, well it's a mixed bag from where I'm standing. My Neighbour Totoro
and The Princess Bride
are outstanding, inspired choices due to their relative obscurity in the UK, but the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast
and Kirikou et la sorciÃ¨re
are so unspeakably awful they shouldn't be watched by anyone, let alone children.
Also, I can think of a good number of what I would consider to be notable absentees such as Metropolis
, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
, Grave of the Fireflies
, Forbidden Planet
, Kind Hearts and Coronets
, The Third Man
, Seven Samurai
, and so on and so forth. Oh, and lets not forget those genres criminally under-represented on the list, such as the western, melodramas, crime thrillers, film noirs, horror, action movies and historical epics, not to mention the ridiculous near-complete absence of silent cinema.
It's a pretty good list overall, but it needs to be expanded by at least four times its present size for it to lay any claim to being a substantive representation of films every child should try to see. Still, it's the first step...
Oh, and where the merry hell is Hitchcock?