Nick's Flick Picks: 100 Personal Favorites
One of the first features on this site was my list of Top 100 Films, which I supply
and periodically revise as a way of stating loyalties, admitting biases, and letting readers know how well my tastes match
or oppose your own. These, I think, are the "best" films I have seen, never minding that "best" is a ludicrous and misleading
word to apply to works of art, cohering to no one's criteria but your own.
Here, though, is an altogether different conversation, a loopier sidebar, a weirder wormhole into my likes and dislikessince, even
within the Top 100's obvious mix of aesthetic admiration and personal prejudice, it's always been hard to interject movies that, for whatever eccentric
reason, I love out of all proportion to their aesthetic merits... which, as it happens, are sometimes
sublimely high and sometimes appallingly low. Where do you fit those films by your favorite directors that aren't their most
polished but still feel indispensable, sometimes more so than their masterpieces? How about the flicks that made you laugh
and rail and cry, as much from personal associations or bald manipulation as from artistic dexterity? The movies you quote incessantly, or that you
find yourself thinking about, embarrassingly, in the very midst of intense or intimate real-life experiences? The movies you've seen 20 times, when you still
haven't seen Rio Bravo or Ugetsu even once? These titles still shape
my habits of viewing, writing, feeling, and thinking about movies just as much as "better" or more "classic" films do.
Thus, this list of favorites that purposely excludes all titles on my Top 100 list. I love
many of those films at least as much as I do these, but I want to share with my readers something new about my
tastes and critical contexts. Whenever a pair of films have locked themselves into close reciprocal memory, I've allowed them to
share a slot, just like A-side/B-side pop singles used to do. I hope you'll enjoy what follows, that you might recognize
some of your own pets, and that either way you'll let me know!