Devotees may remember that I have a history of releasing a "Personal Canon," where I rank my favorite films from 1-250. It's a project I started in 2008 and did annually through 2012. I took a break because I wasn't watching as many new movies as I did through undergrad, and I was really busy working on a Masters degree. I'm still really busy (busier, even), but it felt important to return to this idea, to mark in some way the films that are most important to me right now, in the Summer of 2014. I just turned 25, and for some reason that's made me particularly contemplative and had me rethinking a lot of experiences over the last ten years of my life.
So I've done something different this time. To paraphrase from High Fidelity, I've arranged these somewhat autobiographically. You could still say these are my favorite movies, but I've tried to take time and think about what they mean to me and why I love them. I've tried to begin to express that in the small caption accompanying each film. If it seems rambling or lacks the finesse of my other writing, again, I'm really busy. This seemed, however, as good a way as any to try and convey what these fragments of cinema have meant to me over the years. I could write lengthy essays on each, but I've tried to limit it to a handful of sentences. If the choices seem obvious, I've tried to explain how they're not really obvious. This isn't a list that's trying to conform to a standard, but if the standard has meant something important to me, then so be it. These are, to borrow from Truffaut, a stab at identifying the Films of My Life
Thanks for taking the time to skim it and read it. I hope it inspires you to reflect on what cinema means to you.