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Don’t judge a film by its time: Can a present film be considered “classic”? August 4, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film, In the news.
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Everybody loves a clown,
so why can’t you?

Hey, remember when everyone loved Titantic? So what happened?

The Dark Knight is currently the #1 film on IMDb‘s top 250 list, finally nabbing the spot The Godfather sat ever since the site began. Some find the rating unfair — ruined by fanboys overly consumed with having their favorite film “win.” The other side genuinely believes The Dark Knight is one of the best films of all time, but the whole situation is highly debatable.

For one, it’s impossible to approach the issue through a vacuum. There’s too much outside interference and societal context to see anything clearly. The Dark Knight isn’t just another summer film; it’s a phenomenon that nabs box office records and scores high marks with critics. And then, to add a dash of sentimentality to the list, for some people the recent death of Heath Ledger creates a closer, more personal attachment to the film.

So the average person can approach the film in either two ways: 1.) Live by the hype, or 2.) Purposely reject the hype.

A film like The Dark Knight needs time to marinate; it needs time for it to become a true classic. Some of the best films of all time were failures. People of that time didn’t like the film either because they didn’t understand it within its current context or because it was beyond what was considered adequate in their time. But as time passed, people looked back with a fresh view, a view not littered with critics or popular opinion, and saw the film for what it was — a masterpiece.

And that’s the only true way to judge the quality of a film as far as what is considered a classic and what is considered just a good summer film. So, while people continue to ask if The Dark Knight truly belongs in its #1 spot at IMDb, the rest of us can just sit and wait.

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