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Matt Bailey

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Matt is a librarian and loves British female-led post-punk groups of the early 1980s.

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On 1/18/04 7:24 PM, “Matt Bailey” wrote:

I’m not submitting a list and would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from making lists of my favorite movies. In preparation for this feature, as I looked over the list I made just last year of my top twenty films, I realized that there were many films that I truly, honestly, and unabashedly love missing from the list, and in their place films that I might have put on the list simply because I felt they needed to be on the list. In attempting to rectify these injustices, I became even more conflicted. How could I quantify and compare the very different pleasures given to me by such diverse films as The Exorcist and Cleo from 5 to 7? Scorpio Rising and Twentieth Century? What possible rationale could I use to select one Luis Buñuel or Robert Bresson film over another? How would I reconcile my need to make a list that reflects the refined taste of someone who writes on film and has an advanced degree in the field with the fact that Don Knotts makes me laugh really, really hard and that I’ve seen Auntie Mame somewhere around 25 times? How do I finalize something that will remain static and public for some time to come when, in reality, it changes every day? How do I defend a list against criticism when I am perhaps the person most critical of it? The more I looked at my list, the more I realized that the answer to all of these questions is, “I can’t.” So, I’m throwing in the towel. I like what I like and I don’t feel a need to quantify and qualify it. I’m not saying that making lists isn’t fun or worthwhile. It’s just that I am no longer mentally prepared to tell Murnau or Antonioni that they didn’t make the cut this time around.

Matt

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