‘Must-see-top-ten’ - Oh, really?



‘Must See’, 'Top Ten', ‘Oscar awarded’ and so forth lists contribute little or nothing at all to understanding and appreciation of the movie art. Not that I suggest quit nominating for Oscars or stop creating lists at all. I simply say that these types of lists have very little value for the audience. The ‘Top Ten’ bring to mind competitiveness and biased opinions as well as subjective and prejudice judging. These lists are more in line with the male paradigm where competition takes the prominent place. The ‘Must See’ lists are no better. They are mostly favoured by lifestyle magazines and blogs, and have rather patronising aura about them. Why someone else should be the authority in deciding what one likes and what one doesn't? What for Oscars, it seems to be a tightly knit gentlemen’s club for the few. One cannot really make decisions on what to watch based on their lists for they do not refer to any of the likes or preference of the audience.

Really, I do not fancy the 'must-see-top-ten-oscar-awarded' lists. What is more, I find them rather passé. Especially, considering the changes that have taken place in the past decade and more similar changes coming in the next one. The changes of the digital democracy. Nowadays, one cannot put a movie on to ‘must-see-top-ten-oscar-awarded’ lists and then expect everyone to comply with one’s vision and opinion.

Movies are like perfumes that have scents which evoke sensations, memories, ideas, fantasies. Similarly, each movie evokes something particular in the person who watches it. What exactly knows only the person himself/herself. Sometime, they can verbalise it and sometimes not. Those who can, do so, especially that digital platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Adobe Spark allow people to express themselves and share their expressions and creations with others. The beauty of the movie lists created by the 'audiences' with the help of these platforms is in the appeal to their own emotions, past experience, likes, preference, moods, emotions, feelings, interests, hobbies. Such lists are created by the audiences for the audiences and contribute more to the promotion of movie art than any ‘must-see-top-ten-oscar-awarded’ ones.

For example, ‘100 Historical Movies under R – for Middle and High School’ appeals a specific segment and age groups. It also has an educational connotation. ‘The Biggest Books to Movies of 2019’ list calls for the book lovers and enthusiasts who are interested in seeing movies based on the books they love. ‘The Top 30 Period Drama to Satisfy Your Poldark Addiction’ and ‘10 Period Dramas to Watch If You Love Downton Abbey’ rings true if one has a strong inclination towards the British TV series Poldrak and Downton Abbey and is willing to explore more of the same theme. ‘9 Movies to Watch When You Want to Laugh Out Loud’ clearly appeals to your emotions.

And so, I believe that when it comes to the ‘by the audiences for the audiences’ lists, we will see a real expansion of independent opinions, suggestions, and references to individual preferences, and the shrinking of opinions provided by the privileged few, especially when it comes to what one chooses, likes, and favours.


Seraphima Bogomolova

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Copyright 2018 -2020  

Seraphima Bogomolova

cinematographer, screenwriter, author

10711 Berlin, Germany 

seraphima@seraphimabogomolova.com