The Most Important Movies

I’ve just posted a (partial, growing) list of the movies that are important to me.  Please note that I distinguish between the following categories of movies in terms of personal taste:

  • Movies that are important to me
  • My favorite movies
  • The best movies I’ve ever seen
  • Movies that I’ve rewatched the most

In my reckoning, these are separate lists and separate metrics with which one may evaluate the movies in one’s life.  Of course, there are movies that exist in multiple lists (Sling Blade is both one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and a movie that is important to me; Apocalypse Now exists on all four lists), but it is via these overlaps that one may fully grasp the “largeness” of a movie within one’s live.

Yes, no matter how many individual metrics one has for movies (or books or anything) I believe there is an implicit meta-category, what I think of as “size”, that culls the sub-lists for similarities.  A person’s taste is like a solar system, and by considering the size and relative placement of the constituent members, one may understand the patterns of motion, the “true nature”, of the system as a whole.

I recommend that anyone who is serious about movies (or TV shows or whatever) give a good think about the ones that are “important”, as distinct from the proletarian “favorite movies” discussion, or the self-important “best movies” list.

“Important” movies are films that if they did not exist, you would be a different person.  This is not a causality inference.  These need not strictly be movies “that made you who you are” (if there even are such movies (which there are in my case)).  It’s more like, if this world were not one which was conducive to the creation of these movies, it would similarly not be conducive to the creation of you.  You and these movies are connected; you are “of the same stuff”. 

This is the list of such movies for me.  I’m tempted to say something bold like “If you don’t know these movies, then you really don’t know me”, but that would imply that the only way to get to know me is by watching movies made by other people, and that’s just silly.  I will say that if showing you movies was the only way I could communicate with you, I’d show you these.

I Give Up: What I really need from managers

What Will I Do When You’re Dead, Woody Allen