Monday, August 17, 2009

The Fifty Year Test

I was looking round the internet the other day, and I began thinking, how many films made fifty years ago are still remembered today?

There are countless films made long ago that were both critical and commercial hits, but if you mentioned them to people nowadays they'd have no clue what you're talking about. The Wizard of Oz was panned by critics upon release and wasn't all too successful either, and it's gone on to become one of the most popular films of all-time. Even the Academy has gotten it wrong on many accounts looking back through the looking glass. Such timeless classics like It's a Wonderful Life and Citizen Kane were overlooked for the top prize both in their respective years, beaten by films that I've never even heard of. All of this got me wondering, fifty years from now, what are the films from this past decade that will be remembered?

I've decided to try and use some foresight here and predict the ten films that I think are most likely to be remembered fifty years from now. My choices range from films that were both well received and successful, to films that were not so lucky. Without further ado, here it goes (in no particular order):

* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Eternal Sunshine is a really terrific film and was well received upon its release, growing in popularity to become a cult classic. I feel that in fifty years time this film will be considered one of the best films from this decade and will be remembered as a genuine classic. It's a film that gets better each time you watch it, and I feel it captures the spirit of this generation perfectly. Besides, who knows, fifty years from now the premise of the film could be for real.

* Once - A delicate love story that flew under the radar of many. It was an all digital production about two musicians falling in love through their music. It went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song and it has a sense of timelessness about it that will allow it to transcend generations.

* The Dark Knight - I'm going ahead and getting one of the more obvious ones out of the way. Not only is The Dark Knight a Batman film, it's a modern day Western that echoes the chaos of the times so perfectly. It's a film that is timeless in its story, but will also be seen as a time capsule of what the new millenium decade was like.

* Brokeback Mountain - While I'm not the biggest fan of this film, there is no denying that it was well made. This was a film that was covered in controversy upon its release, but in fifty years time I think it will be seen in a far better light by future generations.

* Up - The most recent film on this list has easily earned its place as an instant animated classic. Not only is the film probably one of the funniest I have seen in the longest of time, it also happens to one of the most touching I have seen in a while. It will be remembered for years to come.

* Big Fish - I'm not the biggest fan of Tim Burton, but Big Fish is one of his few films that I enjoy a great deal. It's an odd fairy tale that is anchored with a genuine heart. I think it is Tim Burton's best film he's ever made, and I think it is a timeless story that many will continue to enjoy for years to come.

* Stranger than Fiction - A highly enjoyable film featuring a terrific performance from Will Ferrel. The film was not a big hit upon its release, but the few that did see the film have morphed it into a cult classic, one that I think future generations will catch on to and love.

* Elf - Spreading a bit of pre-seasonal cheer, I've decided to include the only Christmas film from this past decade that I think will be remembered fifty years from now. Elf is a funny, heartwarming film about a human who was raised by Santa's elves. It's a film that is smart, witty, and highly enjoyable. A true holiday classic.

* Minority Report - Spielberg's best film of the past decade manages to make the list. Minority Report was a very fresh take on the science fiction genre upon its release. While the film didn't perform up to Spielberg's usual standards at the box office, the film went on to inspire countless sci-fi films and not to mention it's a highly entertaining thrill ride to boot. Minority Report has all the makings of a science fiction classic.

* Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Saving this one for last, I strongly believe that this film will go on to become the Wizard of Oz of its time. This first Harry Potter film is a genuine children's classic, filled with tons of laughs, adventure, and heart. It's already got a huge following, one that I think will only increase through the years.

Sound off in the comment section to display your thoughts on my list and perhaps post a list of your own.

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