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What are those old-timers ranting about when
they say that "They don't make 'em like they used to?" Not all
of these are old, of course. There are future classics being made today,
movies that are really breakthroughs or the peak of their genre, movies that
changed the scope of moviedom from that point forward. Flicks like Raiders
of the Lost Ark, Star Wars. They're here, too. But many
of the breakthroughs -- inventing a new type of movie or setting a new standard
for epic scope, vision, violence, ordering, symbolism, evil, humor, slapstick,
parody, dystopia, and such -- many breakthroughs happen early in the life of a
medium. Sure, new ones are happening now, especially with respect to computer
graphics and "photographing" scenes that can't really be seen.
But, well, for example, even the new style of action flicks, where everything
goes fast and then blows up, started decades ago with films like Bullitt,
which I think invented the insane city car chase, and the early James Bond films
that blew up everything.
And there are a number of cases where the same plot gets recycled into
another movie a decade or two later. And we won't even mention the remakes
of older movies, very few of which come near the standard of the
Please remember that this is not intended as a "best of" list, but
as a list of, well, hard to say, sort of milestones, cultural shared
experiences, cinemahhhhh vocabulary. Like Joe Bob's list but with a
scope. And I'm sure I have erred in not including a couple of his
in there, because he really was going for the
high spots. Saturday reaction: "Jesus H! How
could they do that? In public!" Monday reaction: "But, C.
B., our next project has to leap over that new bar!"
Your help is requested in editing it into a saner format, with perhaps more
clear distinction between cinema history and "cultural
literacy." Currently, they are divided into three