Sunday, 19 August 2012

Top 5


 Fellow list-lovers.

The words of a friend of mine from a piece he wrote a while ago:

"....every list has to be preceded with a disclaimer that the list is only valid for the period of your life up until now. you cannot claim that x will definitely be your favourite film of all time ever. that just cheapens the value of the list.
I'm looking forwards to day when the man visits me on my deathbed with the reel-to-reel to record my definitive lists. Be prepared."

Brilliantly put.

I want to address something that I’ve been experiencing over the past year or so. I’m finding it easier to make definitive lists.

For as long as we’ve been doing Top 5s and Top 10s, it’s always been quite scatological, determined by your mood and experiences at the time. The lists have come with an unspoken caveat that this is transient. In the moment. Likely to change.

But recently I have found that I can more easily slot a song choice into a list and say – that’s it.
With films, I’ve never been able to answer the question – “What’s your favourite film?” We’ve always had to categorise. Top 5 Action, Horror, Romance, Comedies and so on. But I was watching Casablanca sometime last year (something I do every couple of months) and as I half-mimed along with the words coming out of the TV, I was struck with a thought: This is it. This is my one. Casablanca is my one. My favourite, my be-all-and-end-all.

You might argue that I was just in the moment and enjoying the film to the point that all others felt inferior. But the thought has stayed with me. Casablanca stands firm. My number one, with a bullet.

How did this happen? Why is it that I can now say that Elvis Presley’s “American Trilogy” and “If I Can Dream” are in my Top 10 songs along with “All My Loving” by The Beatles and, dare I say it, my FAVOURITE song, “One Fine Day” by The Chiffons?

Is anyone else experiencing this? And what does it mean?

I fear it has something to do with age. Have we reached the point for the first time, where we have seen enough films, read enough books, listened to enough songs to be able to make more informed and concrete decisions?

What is going on?

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