But the rest of the list -- a 100-movie ranking of the best movies of the last 100 years -- well, that's up for grabs. Certainly TIME film critic Richard Schickel, who produced the television series attendant to the AFI's poll and who himself received a ballot, sees in the selections a distict bias toward the shiny and new.
"People's memory of film is starting to fail them," he says. "I got a ballot, as did a lot of top film critics, but the majority of the voters were Hollywood producers, directors and executives" -- not to mention Bill Clinton and Al Gore. "We weren't enough to carry the day."
Schickel admits he's quibbling. "About 75 or 80 of my choices made that list. And that's probably true for most of the ballots." Which means it's the last 20 or so that everybody's arguing about. And that's exactly the point, says Schickel: "Given the problem of Hollywood's shrinking attention span, anything that gets people talking about the past is a good thing."
The 10-episode series begins airing Tuesday night on TNT, with a new episode every Tuesday thereafter