Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top 10 Influtential Works of Art Since 1900

So my friend Matt & his college/career group at church came up with a list. Many, I'm a sucker for these.

Top 10 Influtential Works of Art Since 1900.

1. The Great Train Robbery

2. MTV

3. The Wizard of Oz

4. Monopoly

5. Super Mario Brothers

6. Sesame Street

7. Woodstock

8. Oklahoma

9. Walt Disney Land

10. The Lord of the Rings

10a. Star Trek

Others mentioned but left off the list:

Superman, Saturday Night Live, The Honeymooners, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Star Wars IV, Breakfast Club, Three paintings by Picasso, Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell, American Gothic by Grant Wood, Schindler's List, 1984, The Late Show, Sgt. Peppers, Elvis's Sun Sessions, Johnny Cash's Live From Folsom Prison, West Side Story, Nirvana's Nevermind, Playboy Magazine, Fallwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, The Simpsons, Citizen Kane, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Survivor, Led Zeppelin IV, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, and others.

Now, my list. I don't necessarily disagree with a lot on that list. It's a good starting point. Here, though, are some additions and explanations:

Execution of a VietCong Guerilla - I'd chose either this or the shot of the Flag at Iwo Jima. Photography as art and journalism at the same time. Film (and video) may be the 20th century's most prominent art form, but photography needs to be recongized on this list.

Zapruder Film - The leader of the free world killed, and it's captured on film. Plus it ushered in the era of the citizen journalist. The average person could create their own multimedia presentations, leading to home video, leading to Bob Saget narrating clips of men getting hit in the crotch.

Wizard of Oz - A cultural landmark. A huge movie for color.

Star Wars - Darth Vader is universally recognized. Everyone knows the quotes. "May the force be with you". "I am your father." Ushered in the special effects blockbuster.

The Simpsons - Postmodern sitcom that deconstructed earlier shows like "Ozzie and Harriet"

Great Train Robbery - first film that showed what the medium was capable of. Bridged the gap between low and high culture, leading to our current pop culture world (something that's bigger than the medium of film itself). Lead to Citizen Kane, etc. While you could pick another early film (like The Jazz Singer, Battleship Potemkin) this would be my choice.

1984 - "Big Brother" is fully ensconced in our cultural lexicon.

I Have a Dream - Wordplay is an artform. Delivery is an artform. This is those at their highest.

LOTR - what do I need to say? Huge influence on music, books, movies. Even the Beatles at one time talked about making a movie of it.

Coke bottle - mass marketing as pop art. How very modern.

White Christmas - The song, not the movie.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us - introduction of the internet meme.

Run DMC - Walk This Way. Brought rap into the mainstream. Rap is inherently postmodern, borrowing elements from other genres then recontextualizing them in a new form. Rap borrows from jazz, rock, pop. the blues, disco, etc. The latter part of the 20th century saw a rise in this kind of art. Take something old, twist it into something new. You could say that's a lot of what we see on YouTube. Take something from pop culture, spin it into something new.

Warhol - soup cans are iconic.

West Side Story - representative of the great American musical, the only true innovation American theater has brought to the centuries old artform

Cars - Model T, the '56 Chevy, the Vette, the Mustang. Cars are designed; They are works of art, and worshiped for their aesthetic appeal, in addition to their other qualities.

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