Film Thought: No List Is Ever Complete

Posted on July 2, 2012


Wayne's World (NBC)

I recall once that Roger Ebert tweeted a link and added to it something to the extent of “See this is why I don’t do lists.” I got his point. It was a completist’s one, meaning how can you legitimately make such and such a list claiming it’s ever or all-time when you haven’t, you couldn’t possibly, have seen every qualifying film. Fair enough.

However, it was only recently that I followed this line of thought out further when thinking of my own lists. If I say these are the 10 Best Examples of This I Ever saw, am I disingenuous? No, if I haven’t seen something or disagree, that film, performance or whatever else isn’t on the list. Surely, there are year-end best film lists made by people who saw less than every film released that year. How do those lists differ? They don’t.

Therefore, what I resolved is that if I make a list, barring year-end ones which are time sensitive, that for all intents and purposes it is perpetually a work in progress. Why should it not be? Do I anticipate never hearing another new voice actor (referring to an older not re-posted here list)? I’m preparing a Spielberg ranking, will it not automatically re-shift when Lincoln comes out? I will also no longer be married to round numbers. If something should demand 11 choices, there will be 11. Much in the way my best films of last year lists were assembled, I felt there were 25 films worthy of being cited. Clearly there were still only 10 in the top 10.

The important thing is to do these things in order to express oneself, create discussions and learn. I may be pointed towards a film I have not yet seen or heard of through a list or a post, and why shouldn’t I?

Similarly, I plan to continue to write on the new releases I see but in ways I find enriching, which will not always mean a standard review. I did as such for The Dictator and I think that Brave and Madagascar 3 should be treated in a unique fashion also.

These new precepts I feel will encourage me to re-post more, to write on films more quickly and to avoid procrastinating, and ultimately I believe they will make my content more interesting and dynamic. I hope you do too.

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