I’m a film maker, film lover and all round film geek. This list began with a list of 100 films that, as a graduate student, I suggested Yale University purchase for the film library it was creating in the early 1990’s.  It became a journal of movies and television shows that engaged me, impressed me, entertained me and now includes well over a thousand films. It’s not every movie or show ever made, nor is it every film I’ve ever seen, but it consists of the ones that, for various reasons, I think are worth watching.

To me, something that is worth watching is based on whether or not it works in the present. If an old film has an undisputed place in history and is still great viewing, it’s on the list.   If it’s value lies more in its influence upon subsequent films than on whether I think it is works today, you won’t find it on Lanni’s List. For example, “The Birth of a Nation” doesn’t make the cut despite the fact that Griffith practically invented the language of film editing between its first and its last reel, because in my opinion “The Birth of a Nation” doesn’t work for modern viewers. Every film on Lanni’s List reaches out and engages the viewer, for there is only one unpardonable sin in filmmaking – being boring.

The point of the list is to celebrate the art of storytelling and moving pictures. I’ve rated the quality of the theme, plot, character, dialogue, acting and cinematography; and had some fun creating some 150 sublists like “I can’t help myself”-Serial Killers For All Occasions; “Who’s there?” Great Films That Question Identify; and Pretty Poison-Great Films Featuring Memorable Femme Fatales. Debate me, agree with me, disagree with me, offer up movies that make your list and that you think I should see! That’s the whole fucking point!!

Jeremy Dylan Lanni


Jeremy Dylan Lanni is an award-winning writer-director educated at Boston University, where he graduated summa cum laude in English Literature, and Yale University, where he earned two masters degrees in Renaissance Studies. Lanni has written numerous screenplays, one of which reached the Quarterfinal Round of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition; and he has directed many short films, one of which won International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the most prestigious short film festival in the world. Lanni has written for accomplished producers, including Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife television series; and he has directed accomplished actors, including Powers Boothe, Eric Roberts, Paula Malcomson, Edie McClurg, Paul Ben Victor and Richard Edson.




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