Now That’s Entertainment of 1974

A.V. Club movie folks just completed a favorite-year-in-film series, which is just the kind of project I admire.

I never think about movies in annual groupings, so there’s no way to know my favorite year. Of these, I’ll choose 1974 (Chinatown, The Conversation, Taking of Pelham 123) even though I haven’t seen either of those Altman films that top the list. Yet.

The idea of an organized film index combined with Netflix appeals to my sense of scientific possibility, which is why I’ve wanted to read Jonathan Rosenbaum’s film cannon book. Find order, have something of a guide. But despite Netflix’s flexible technology, when it’s time to reshuffle my queue, whim always wins out (which is why I haven’t bought Rosenbaum’s book). A title can jump suddenly, becoming urgent and landing high inside the top ten, only to fall back down like a defeated college football team. There’s no process or reason to my queue. Just like going to the video store (albeit better, since you don’t have to go the video store).

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