A Massive List
You think I’m a nut job. While I continue ranking my favorite 100 movies on this site, consider Brad Bourland, 58, of Austin, Texas. His list, called “The Best, Most Important and the Most Beloved English Language Films of the 20th Century” ranks 9,331 movies. But these aren't his favorites; it's an attempt at an objective list of collective wisdom. Salon caught up with him to discuss the project, and I found these two questions and answers to be the most illuminating/scariest:
What was your method for ordering such a massive list?
I strived to find a consensus between what fans, critics and the movie industry thought — I attempted to synthesize all those opinions. There are people who will look at my list and see their favorite movie is No. 784. I want people to understand that I haven't judged these films. It's not a personal Brad Bourland list. This is what Brad Bourland believes the number has proven to be, and that includes hundreds and hundreds of hours reading critiques from professional film critics, trying to understand how they saw things the way they did, what they're looking for, what they're hoping not to see, and so on.
Did you agonize over placing, for example, No. 7501, Lord of the Flies, above No. 7502, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit?
Somewhere between 2,500 to 3,500 it becomes somewhat subjective, but I kept applying the same exact rule that helped me put the first 3,000 together, and I think it worked. As long as I stuck to my method, I stayed on track. If it's an important movie, you can bet I listened to what 200 people had to say about it. In the end, I had to make the decision, but it was with lots of input from people who know movies. If a film's in the top 500, I've probably seen it 10 times because I wanted to be sure.