Oli Davis presents an alternative to the usual year end Top 10 with ‘The Top 20 – YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, A WHOLE TWENTY – of Films That Weren’t Released In 2011, But Which I Had Never Seen Before’…
I’m in a bit of a difficult position. I wrote my last review, of Raging Bull, at 4pm, Saturday 31st December. I’d seen it back in November, but backlogs have a habit of creeping up on you. It was my final review of 2011, having set myself the challenge to watch 100 films I’d never seen before, and write an article on each one.
However, there was a different backlog creeping up on that backlog. A sizable chunk of reviews still fester in the editor of Flickering Myth’s inbox – not because he’s negligent, far from it, but because my planning was poor. I’d been writing reviews at a leisurely pace from January to October, forgetting there were only two months left. I thought there were three. Sometimes I confuse calendar months with lunar ones. I could’ve sworn there was a Smarch last year.
So I ended up doing what anybody would do when tackling grand goals over lengthy periods of time – I did it all in the last five weeks. That’s what the backlog is, and why ‘365 Days, 100 Films’ reviews are still appearing on the site every now and again. As though they’ll. Never. End.
It means I’ve sort of missed the chance for a parade in my honour. Imagine if I had planned it so review 100 was put up on Flickering Myth on December 31st, 2011. Passers-by would insist on shaking my hand. People would have been partying in the streets. Women-folk would be offering me their bodies. I could have been the guy that won 2011.
But I didn’t, so here’s a half-hearted attempt at closure – my Alternative Top 20 of Films That Weren’t Released In 2011, But Which I Had Never Seen Before…
20. Miracle on 34th Street
-best served originally and on Christmas day.
19. Bride of Frankenstein
-an exploration of the monster’s more human aspects, with an incredibly enchanting score.
18. Harry Brown
-foreshadowed last year’s Summer riots, as sponsored by JD Sports, by two years. Also a very accomplished and mature revenge film.
17. The Unforgiven
-a dark Western, where the heroes are forever tainted by their long-dead father’s actions.
16. Bad Lieutenant
-batshit crazy Nicolas Cage having iguanas sing Release Me by Engelbert Humperdinck to him with Werner Herzog, and other, more ludicrous happenings.
15. Lethal Weapon
-the ultimate buddy-cop movie.
14. The Warriors
-a remarkably self-contained mythology, where rival teenage gangs roam across an urban sprawl.
13. Red River
-John Wayne’s second best film. A lot like uncle Ethan from The Searchers, but mean rather than racist.
12. My Neighbor Totoro
11. Event Horizon
-a film with the power to induce paralysing terror. The same sci-fi/horror blend as Alien, but far more cerebral.
10. Top Gun
-Baby, baby, I’d get down on my knees for you (the best homoerotic film for men ever made).
09. The Tin Star
-Henry Fonda starring as such a classic, blue-eyed good guy that you forget he was ever in Once Upon A Time In The West.
-a heartbreaking tragedy.
07. Rio Bravo
-Dean Martin’s best film. He plays a drunkard, ex-deputy to John Wayne’s sheriff. Manly stuff, yet also endearingly fragile.
06. The Proposition
-a poetically nightmarish Western set in the Australian outback.
05. A Night at the Opera
-the Marx brothers’ best, most anarchic and structured film. Contains some of the funniest set pieces ever committed to screen.
04. Raging Bull
-an incredibly expressive character study of the boxer Jake LaMotta, with a perfect fusion of substance and style.
03. Night of the Hunter
-a very dark fairytale in the tone of the Brothers Grimm. Robert Mitchum plays one of the most complex and frightening bad guys in cinema history.
-a completely overwhelming experience of pure awesomeness.
01. Stand By Me
-because nobody has friends like they do when they’re 12.
I watched Return to Oz on New Year’s Day. It’s the first film I’ve seen since December 2010 that wasn’t accompanied by a notebook. It felt good. Hopefully now I should have considerably more free time to pursue my other interests. Predominantly, the career of the late professional wrestler, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, from the late 80s to early 90s, and obscure branches of Japanese Hentai pornography.