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visual effects in service of a greater master
The Visual Effects Society have released a rather interesting list of the 50 most influential visual effects films of all time.
Its interesting not just for the fact that everyone loves a good list ranking (either to whole heartedly agree with or scornfully scoff at) but also that the scope of the judging seems to built on effects for effects sake...
The list contains all the usual suspects but it does appear that the criteria for inclusion is biased somewhat towards a purity of the craft and artistry of the effects themselves without necessarily taking into account whether the effects are in coherent and integrated concert with the larger narrative aims of the film.
How else would you explain the inclusion of such tragically plot-less and dysfunctionally stupid films as 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest', 'What dreams may come', 'The Matrix' and the 'Fifth Element'...? Go on, hurl the abusive flame as you see fit. Fact is if you loved The Fifth Element you've been had, hoodwinked, bamboozled... A sad, derivative, unoriginal and uninspired heap of junk. (You see, this is what I love about a blog. The free reign to be as verbose as one wants:)
Anyhoo, what I propose is a much shorter list.... The top five films where sophisticated visual effects are directly in support of plot; where each and every effect is present on screen with the sole purpose of driving the narrative, emotive and metaphorical core of the film.
And my list is....