This month’s Empire Magazine has published the results of there 301 Greatest Movies of All Time as voted for by their readership, in honour of their 301st issue. I am a loyal Empire reader and subscriber and have been since 1998 and enjoy their take on movies as well as their general geek driven attitudes in general.
The Empire team are very much in touch with the film fan on the street, certainly in here in the U.K. and this will lead to a more populist view of films but with the subject being so vast and all-encompassing, there is surly room for all tastes.
In response to this poll, in the with the top ten included films such as Inception (2010) and was won by Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), a writer for a site called the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, Greg Cwik, wrote a piece, see here.
It is worth a read but the general conclusions are that in a world where every thinks that they are a critic, this list and its mainstream results are typical of Empire and “Their readership” and that critiquing should be left to the professionals who take the time to learn about what is good and what is not.
Whilst I don’t entirely disagree with his conclusions, namely that the Empire’s list’s results are mainstream and not necessarily reflecting film on the whole, I feel that the list should not have been named the Greatest Movies of All Time for a start, rather something that reflects the popularity contest that it was, I am offended by the notion that a paying audience is not qualified to like what we like or not.
Taste is taste and you do not need a degree to have it, feel it or express it and the internet has opened up a whole new world or critiquing where it is no longer the preserve of the elite who have a platform to express views which reflect their group. Films which are popular are not cheap or bad, they are pleasing and entertaining to many people. Art House films have their audience and so do blockbusters but neither genre nor audience should be derided and the attitude of Mr. Cwik who seems to be threatened by free criticism, is narrow-minded and his extreme take has, to me at least, destroyed his own argument which in many ways, made some sense.
I am disappointed in the Empire poll, as it is just a list of popular favourites and offers nothing to inspire new viewing and allowing new films such as Catching Fire, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Wolf Of Wall Street to be voted upon was clearly a mistake. They have had not time to qualify as cinema greats, surely?
But in the end, the poll is just a bit of fun and should be seen as such, but Greg is right about the lack of diversity but wrong in his view that only those educated to a degree level in film should be allowed to vote or have opinions. Films are good across the board and no genre is superior to another. It’s all a matter of taste. Please respect other people’s Mr Cwik.