As encouraged by several here. You know who you are. I thank you and buy you a cyber-beer. -I hope a virtual Russian Imperial Stout will do it.
Motive power is an impetus or force which creates a cause and effect within a system. It can be a natural agent like wind or water that, when engaged, fills a sail or spins a turbine. It may be a motor or mechanical source that, provided fuel, moves much more than itself. Motive power represents something upon which we may throw a harness and derive useful movement.
When properly captured, motive power can be used to break inertia -an object at rest tending to stay at rest until sufficient force is applied to cause motion, and an object in motion staying in motion until its speed or direction is altered by a strong enough exertion. Motive power is more than simply a “force”. It also represents the drive we need to begin and sustain a journey.
Several weeks ago, I was stuck in the douldrums of movie viewing. I had little appreciation for the occasional flotsam that would clunk against my hull. Occasionally, a gust would come along and move me, but I had no real direction and no constant. My viewing forecast was bleak and my navigation was lacking. Even if a truly great film came along, would I recognize it? Without these stars in the sky, I floated aimlessly with little satisfaction of travel, and certainly no anticipated joy of destination. I’m not sure from whence it came but, preceded by a few ripples off the stern, a strong breeze came up and I responded by setting sail.
Whether I am being pushed or pulled along is academic, yet critical to success and varies film by film, but for now I’ve found my motive power and plotted a destination to deeper water. The motive power is simply two sheets of paper, -barely 5k of memory in digital form that act as grocery lists on my movie-shopping library visits. Putting a checkmark next to those listed titles moves me along.
Many “top 100” lists exist and represent someone elses’ opinion as to the best-of. Finding two such lists in Time Magazines Top 100 movies of all time, as selected by Time's movie critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel and “100 Movies to See Before You Die” from the editorial staff of Yahoo!, I embarked on a cinematic journey to travel the routes outlined by those two lists. I had visited many of these ports previously, but the shore leave was superficial at best. Those are being revisited. Many others had held no interest and were simply a point off the bow never examined. Those will be mapped. It is my hope this journey will allow me to create charts by which navigation of future classics may be made.
Many facets make a great film. Some are great for the moment, representing the sentiment of that place and time and fade when removed from the environment in which they sprung, while others will shine on forever. The lists contain both. Why these particular lists? -Why not. A journey has to begin somewhere. Under the application of some motive power and following a course plotted by people I’ve never met; I’ve immensely enjoyed my travels thus far. I hope to continue until the lists are complete. Once “there”, I’ll begin to tackle “They Shoot Pictures, Don’t they?” top 1000 movies of all time “as voted by 2,041 critics, filmmakers, reviewers, scholars and other likely film types”. It's an intimidating destination.
At this point, I’m not feeling ready to sail those waters. My sky needs more and brighter stars by which to steer. Some movies require a “push” to see –I’d never have watched a 1940’s musical comedy before the lists. Others create a pull of interest on their own merit or through recently rediscovered curiosity to draw me in. Regardless, the motive power of these two lists has affected a change in my movie viewing habits, and renewed my appreciation for quality movie watching. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packa ... 94,00.html http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/100-mov ... u-die.html