Who knows? Maybe I'll even make my own graphic instead of stealing something from the web.
In any event, on with today's question:
"Why are there no lists on SciFiHistory.Net? I'd like to know the site's top ten favorite Science Fiction films, but I don't see that anywhere?"
Yes, yes, yes: it's a very good question. Honestly, I've had it before (twice that I can recall). Since it's come up again, I figured now might be the perfect time to start 'Because You Asked' because ... well ... you asked! Again!
The reason I typically don't concern myself with lists of any sort is that I -- as a reader -- tend to find them almost always tiresome and useless. I'm happy to explain myself.
First, if you're as serious a die-hard fan of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and (occasionally) Horror as I am, then I'm willing to guess that you have your very own opinions already of what your personal favorites are. Many of us do, and I know that many folks I've corresponded with even go so far as to write them down or post them on the wall (the fridge, the web, etc.). I usually don't do that because I can remember the films I truly like and consider personal favorites. But as one who writes about film, video, television, books, etc., what I like tends to gravitate into areas other than 'personal favorites.'
For example, I was asked the other day who is a favorite actor of mine, and -- knowing how many films I watch -- the person who asked me was surprised when I said that I really don't have a favorite. I explained that when it comes to acting talent there are plenty of folks (men, women, other) I find extraordinarily gifted ... but I rarely like them in each and every film. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find an actor I think has been truly great in more than, say, three pictures in a career. That's because I don't see the actor in the role -- I look at the character.
If the character doesn't work for me, then it hampers my enjoyment of the motion picture. To go a step even further, I may even up loving the film but hating the actor. (Blade Runner 2049 is an incredible flick, but I didn't care for Harrison Ford in it. He wasn't playing Rick Deckard, to me. I saw him playing Harrison Ford playing Rick Deckard, and that ruined his work in the film for me. Otherwise, he was brilliant in the original, no? It's hard to explain beyond that, but the Deckard of the two films just seemed too different to be the same character.)
Second, what is truly learned by reading, say, a top five Science Fiction films ever made list? I realize that there are hundreds if not thousands of them out there on the World Wide Web, but what do you -- the reader -- learn from reading them? Typically, these lists have repeats -- meaning a film like Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey appears on maybe 90-95% of them -- so what does that teach us? You could conclude, "Well, that tells me it's a universally revered film." In contrast, I could argue, "Well, it tells me that these folks haven't seen enough Science Fiction to realize that there are other choices than the obvious ones."
This isn't to suggest that I found no value in lists because that's not true. I believe they have a time and place in one's thinking, and learning -- as a writer -- how to effectively discriminate between the good, the bad, and the ugly takes time and experience. As one lives longer and sees more films, wouldn't that quite possibly suggest that these lists might change over time? I would believe that's true, but I don't see much diversity of titles when I've investigated lists, so I tend to ignore them myself. The kind of lists I do like, though, are those like 'Five Science Fiction Films You May Have Missed.' I find plenty of value in those, and I have some ideas in my toolbox for my own additions in this space when time permits.
So there you go. It's probably a longer answer than was needed or expected, but I wanted everyone to know that I don't share my 'favorites' because I don't have them or I don't want you to know me a bit more personally. Rather, it's that I don't think there's all that much value, as an editor, in broadcasting something to just take up space or to likely promote films you and I already know. How can we 'push the envelope' by doing what's already been done when SciFi wants us to go boldly where no one has gone before?
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!