What do Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 and Sam Fuller’s The Naked Kiss have in common? Nothing you say short of being shot on black and white? I beg to differ. They are part of a unique list that until now has never been published. I unabashedly love lists! As such I’m digging in my archives for one of my favorites constructed with film friends and colleagues from a part time job of the past. Back in my early days in New York, I spent some time at Evergreen Video, an iconic institution in the West Village known for having the largest and best collection in the city. It also had a great reputation for having the most knowledgeable staff of film geeks that didn’t believe knowledge and snobbery went hand in hand.
On the rare occasion that an evening at work was quiet, with little business to speak of, staffers would device creative ways to entertain themselves beyond the usual movie viewing. For those nights it would be a challenge of film titles and themes based on certain criteria. One of my personal favorites was “The Top 10 Best Openings of a Movie.” We’d each collect our selections (dvd or vhs - remember those formats?), take turns in screening, and then dub the best list of the lists. This not only made for a challenge, but a unique way to look at a short bit of film over several titles. In no particular order, here’s a sample of the best of the best (my personal selection). And by the way, I would recommend watching any of these movies in their entirety, but pay careful attention to the brilliance of the opening.