Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Wit, n. The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out

Mojo Magazine, that paragon of hipness that wastes space in your local Barnesandborders has come out with its idea of the Top 10 Rock Films, which I present for your edification:

1. This Is Spinal Tap
2. The Last Waltz
3. A Hard Day's Night
4. Gimme Shelter
5. The Wall
6. Ray
7. The Filth And The Fury
8. Quadrophenia
9. Westway To The World
10. Help!

Of course, any such "Best Of" or"Top Ten" list is an incredibly subjective affair, with of course Von Finnagle's Corollary being applied, to wit, "The are at least n+1 opinions for every n lower digestive orifices in any given discussion"), therefore a touch of observation is in order.

I don't suppose that any rock fan could or would quibble with the top four films being in those slots, although of course their relative rankings would differ given preferences (obviously in my case AHDN is #1, and to be brutally honest about it, I haven't listened to or seen "The Last Waltz" in ages, as there's a lot of soporific stuff in it to counterbalance the great moments). I still haven't gotten around to seeing "Ray" yet; I saw the man himself in Las Vegas about 12 years ago and still marvel at the performance, so any biopic might be a letdown, yet my cognoscenti friends tell me I'll enjoy it, so it gets a tentative OK from me. The Sex Pistols and Clash films are curious entries, and I'd probably drop them from this list. I'd probably replace them with "The Kids Are Alright" and the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense".

"The Wall" probably wouldn't be included, as it's not my favorite Pink Floyd album, I find Geldof annoying, and it's just too contrived. If "The Kids Are Alright" replaced one of the other films, I'd drop "Quadrophenia" (not because I don't like the film, it's just that I'd probably consider the overview provided by "Kids" to be a better inclusion). "Help!" is problematic, in that as much as I love it, and it is really the prototype for every music video ever seen, it's just not as good as AHDN as a film. I would probably replace that with "The Concert For George" if I had to keep to a top 10 format.

But then, some of the more egregious omissions really invalidate using a Top 10 format - consider the following, all very likely candidates for any such list:


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