The most important thing about art

“Art is only valuable if it means something to you. Right?”

Daniel Thomas MacInnes

I think about this quote a lot. I was watching Doug Walker’s top twenty favorite films list, mainly because a lot of his faves were already favorites of mine (The Secret of NIMH, Fantasia, Amadeus, etc.) and others have quickly become favorites of my own (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, etc.), so it’s nice to get new watch-list ideas from it– anyways, back to my point. I know I should avoid comments sections, but like an idiot, I read them against my better judgement. While most of this comments section was pleasant, with people sharing their own favorite movies, some people were like. “What? No Casablanca or The Shawshank Redemption? What sane person wouldn’t have those as a favorite!” or “If you like Kubrick so much, why isn’t 2001: A Space Odyssey on the list??”

Now there’s nothing wrong with any of those films listed, but the reason I love reading about people’s personal favorites is that I feel it shows a part of who they are; not just their tastes, but the kind of stories and characters which make them think, make them feel, make them thrilled out of their minds, make them happy when they’re feeling blue, make them cry when they need a good cry. Only on a personal favorites list could Tim Burton’s Batman and Citizen Kane amiably sit side by side with no worries as to which one is “objectively” the “better” work. It’s all about how the individual responds. And the response to every movie will be different. No matter how acclaimed or beloved one film is, there will always be a person left cold or annoyed by it. On the flip side, no matter how derided a film is, there will always be someone who loves it. This, to me, is a thousand times more interesting subject than yet another boring, predictable “BEST FILMS EVER” list with the same old movies paraded again and again, with critics and filmmakers claiming to be “objective” in their selection. As though we could ever be one hundred percent objective about art, one of the most subjective things known to man!

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2 thoughts on “The most important thing about art

  1. I’ll take a favorites list over a best of list any day. And really, that’s all a best of list really is, but a bit more pretentious and less emotional. You can break down technique all day, but everyone brings their own viewpoint to art. I’ve always felt that once it is shared, art no longer belongs to the artist. It belongs to everyone that sees it.

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