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Thursday, June 05, 2003  

Abunch of Friggin Idiots
The scholars over at VH1 AFI have compiled another top 100 list, this time the 100 best heros and villains in American movies. Julie and I watched the last hour of the 3 hour(!) show on Tuesday and were pretty put-off by the results. Matt, of I Fought The Law fame, was also compelled to blog about the poor quality of the list, saying "Atticus isn't a movie hero. He's a literary hero. Has anyone born after 1975 actually *seen* To Kill a Mockingbird apart from watching it in your eighth grade English class after reading the book?" And I agree with him fully and would like to add: Darth Vader only #3? What the Hell?

Now, I may be a Star Wars geek, but lets see here: Hannibal Lector vs a representation of archetypical evil. There is a reason why Star Wars has impaced so many people for so long, and it is the power of myth. Lucas, evidently stoned off his ass, wrote a story that interfaced with a thousand years of human mythology. He created characters that drew on archetypes that crossed cultural borders and spoke directly to us as humans. Luke, Leia, and Vader are characters that have been around SO long they our built into our very humanity. And yet Norman Bates and Hanibal Lechter get higher spots on the AFI list? Two friggin serial killers. Crazy and villainous are two different things. I know someone (Matt perhaps? Or will it be the always disagreeable Pauly-T?) will mention that Vader was just a henchman for the Emperor, and it is the Emperor that was the bigger villain. Well, while that is true, the narrative of the trilogy is more focused on Vader. The Emperor is there to motivate Vader and though his presents, give Vader more depth. And as a final argument let me say that Vader cut off his own son's hand! That is just fuckin COLD.

I just saw this on the list: Mahatma Gandhi is listed as the 21st best Hero in American cinema. What the HELL. It reminds me of the story of the Author who tired to sell a script about Elliot Ness and the Studio passed because they didn't want to deal with securing the rights to "the character from the Untouchables" and they refused to believe the author when he told them that Ness was a REAL PERSON and thus not subject to Copyright...

posted by JMV | 6/05/2003 10:33:00 AM
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