Overlooked Films

The cinetrix has linked to a list of the “Top 100 Overlooked Films of the 1990s” compiled by the Online Film Critics Society. While I’ve seen many of the films on the list, and have at least vaguely heard of all the others, I’m somewhat surprised and dismayed to see that only a small number of the films listed are from Europe (and most of those are from Great Britain or Ireland). None are from Africa. Overlooking an entire continent would seem to defy the spirit of the list.

Inspired by this “film review” website, with its list of “Movies I Almost Saw,” the cinetrix lists a few of the “overlooked” films that she hasn’t seen. I won’t try to count all of the films on the list that I haven’t seen simply because I’m too lazy, but like the cinetrix (and at the risk of losing my street cred), I’ll disclose a few of the films on the list that I haven’t seen:

  • 16. I can’t say it any better than the cinetrix: “Three words: Fucking Tom Hanks. Alternately, Tom Fucking Hanks. Hate the smug bastard.”
  • 20. I’ve picked up the cassette several times. I have no good reason for not watching it, even if it’s not on DVD.
  • 26. Somewhere along the way, Kenneth Branagh lost me. A four-hour film version of Hamlet seems a little too self-indulgent. Watching it on video would probably take me two weeks.
  • 59. See 16. above. Add Meg Ryan. Stir.
  • 83. I put off seeing this film because I thought the film might be exploiting the concept of conjoined twins, but the Polish brothers’ other film is great. I really don’t have a good excuse here.
  • 87. I like Toni Morrison’s novel far too much to see the film.

In other news, the “Overlooked” list comes from a website called Lists of Bests, which seems to offer the same service as all consuming, except it allows you to compile lists of films and music, too. So, now that we’ve tackled the “Overlooked” list, isn’t it time to move on to the Bad Cinema Society’s “100 Worst Films of the 20th Century” list?


  1. profgrrrrl Said,

    December 11, 2004 @ 9:44 pm

    Oooh. The Lists of Bests may be just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks for the link!

  2. Chris Said,

    December 12, 2004 @ 12:14 pm

    I’m not that impressed by the list. Miller’s Crossing? Overlooked by whom? Every film nerd in every college dorm in the country must have the complete works of the Coens sitting proudly on his shelf. Oh wait, said film nerds made the list!

    More seriously, I second your dismay at Africa not being on the list. Ditto Latin America, where multiple rich traditions of filmmaking just don’t get seen here or talked about much.

  3. jimbo Said,

    December 12, 2004 @ 1:28 pm

    I rather liked Hamlet. Branaugh is sort of obsessed by continually moving the camera in this one, especially slowly tracking in a circle about the actors. It has the effect of putting us off balance: there seems to be no center, the world seems awry. I found it effective, if a little wearying over 4 hours.


  4. chuck Said,

    December 12, 2004 @ 1:31 pm

    Yes, the list is rather self-cogratulatory, and I forgot to mention Central and South America (also failed to mention Bollywood, but that’s another story). I had the same question you did: overlooked by whom?

  5. chuck Said,

    December 12, 2004 @ 11:57 pm

    Jimbo, I missed your comment before. You do make the film sound more interesting than I would have expected. Not sure where the anti-Branagh bias comes from. I used to like his adaptations quite a bit.

  6. Scrivener Said,

    December 13, 2004 @ 1:27 am

    I kind of liked Branaugh’s Hamlet too. It is somewhat self-indulgent and too long, but it’s worth watching. Some good cameos, and some very pretty shots. We saw it in a free preview screening in NY and it was lots of fun. I don’t know if I’d watch it again, but it’s good once. And certainly better than Mel’s action-adventure Hamlet.

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