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Classic 100 coming soon

Observer Scene | Friday, January 21, 2005

These days, it seems everyone has a Top 100 list. A scan through the E! Channel or VH1 almost guarantees the discovery of a Top 100 list pertaining to celebrity culture, complete with magazine writers and second-rate comedians struggling for a decent joke. ESPN, in honor of its 25th anniversary, ran a list of the top 100 sports moments of the past 25 years throughout last summer.And it appears Notre Dame cannot escape the ranking bonanza either. This spring, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will test its plan for the “PAC Classic 100,” a series of “one hundred classic American and International films to be screened in the PAC.” The actual series does not begin until next fall, but this spring semester will offer students an opportunity to view some of the films that faculty members of the film, television and theater department consider among the elite. John Haynes, executive director of the PAC, developed the series as a way of giving students an opportunity to develop a basic history of filmmaking throughout their four years at Notre Dame. 25 films of the 100 films will be shown each year, with the cycle repeating after the fourth year. “There’s talk of having yearly memberships for the 25 films, with a discount for the entire package,” said Jon Vickers, manager of the Browning Cinema at the PAC.The program also hopes to award students who complete the entire PAC list, including plans for an annual banquet, which may feature a Hollywood VIP.The FTT department created the “PAC Classic 100” by merging at least 10 major film lists, including the American Film Institute’s Top 100, the Top 100 list for the National Society of Film Critics, the Library of Congress List and even the Vatican’s Top 45 Films of all-time. All lists lead to some sort of debate, and the PAC’s will be no different, leaving out several acclaimed films. For instance, “Pulp Fiction” and “Star Wars” – two films ranked within the American Film Institute’s list – did not make the cut for the “PAC Classic 100.””By combining film lists, we had to narrow down 400 films, and we want to bring in things people haven’t seen,” Mr. Vickers said. “This list is a good topic for debate, because how do you narrow down a list of 400 films?”The majority of films will be screened Saturdays at 3:00 p.m., with some fall films occupying a Sunday time slot so as to avoid home football games.The spring screenings begin Saturday at 3:00 p.m. with Fellini’s “8 1/2,” a film following a famous movie director’s struggle to create his next masterpiece.”[The director] just goes through this wandering process, trying to discover the film he wants,” Vickers said. “It’s avant-garde, and it’s an insight into filmmaking through a non-American, non-formula film style.”Tickets for all screenings are $3 for students.