Because I’m not ambitious enough already.
Because my own film awards and the NBR Project aren’t enough for me. But at the same time, this will work in concert with both. It will also expand my horizons well beyond the films of 2015 and such films as the NBR decided were the best of the year (The Day of the Dolphin, as it happens, is not the ne plus ultra of cinema).
The idea, as the name implies, is to consider the aggregate of cinema to date and from it draw a set of nominees, either in the classic style or a revision of it. I have not yet decided if I’ll do my standard of 10 Best Picture nominees and five nominees in the remaining categories, or if I’ll do 20 (or 25) Picture nominees and 10 nominees in all other categories. (I will NOT do a Drama/Musical-Comedy split. On such a macro level it feels like overkill.)
There’ll be a lot of watching and re-watching I’ll have to do before I put up version 1.0 of these awards–though something like 10 years ago I made a first stab at setting the whole of cinema in competition with one another; sadly I think that nascent effort has been lost to history, but I do recall giving awards to Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible (I’m pretty sure I gave it Best Actor) and Paint Your Wagon (which got Screenplay, to my father’s disgust).
Here are a few contenders already on the table (title first, potential nominations in parentheses):
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (Picture, Director, Production Design, Visual Effects, Sound Effects)
- Snatch (Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Alan Ford), Editing)
- Lawrence of Arabia (Picture, Director, Actor (Peter O’Toole), Supporting Actor (Omar Sharif), Cinematography, Original Score)
- GoodFellas (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Joe Pesci))
- Black Narcissus (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actress (Deborah Kerr), Supporting Actress (Kathleen Byron), Cinematography)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Visual Effects)
- Pulp Fiction (Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson))
- The Producers (1968) (Picture, Original Screenplay, Song – “Springtime for Hitler”)
- The Godfather (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Marlon Brando), Supporting Actor (Al Pacino), Original Score)
- 8½ (Picture, Director, Cinematography, Editing)
- Stalker (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography)
- The Blues Brothers (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing)
- Taxi Driver (Original Screenplay, Actor (Robert De Niro), Original Score)
- Dr. Strangelove (Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Peter Sellers))
- Koyaanisqatsi (Cinematography, Original Score, Editing)
- Ran (Director, Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design)
- Ivan the Terrible Part I + II (Director, Actor (Nikolai Cherkassov), Production Design, Costume Design, Original Score)
- Blade Runner (Production Design, Cinematography, Visual Effects)
- Melancholia (Director, Original Screenplay, Actress (Kirsten Dunst))
- Hausu (Director, Production Design, Visual Effects)
- War and Peace (1968) (Cinematography, Original Score)
- Synecdoche, New York (Original Screenplay, Production Design)
- In the Loop (Adapted Screenplay)
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Original Score)
- Holy Motors (Actor (Denis Lavant), Makeup)
This is just scratching the surface, however. There are so many canonical films I have yet to see and so many hidden gems I have yet to discover. It will be years before I could ever do a truly comprehensive overview of the cinema to date–but January 1, 2016 I will unveil the work in progress and announce the nominees and winners of the All-Time Film Awards Mark I.