...made me feel like an uncultured hayseed.
The BFI composed this list in an attempt to convince parents and educators that film can be a legitimate art form, and that children should be exposed to great films the same way they are to visual art and literature; I can only assume that means "until the school has budgeting issues or one parent thinks their child might be exposed to something potentially offensive."
I like to think that I have good taste in movies, and I have seen a whole bunch in my day, but according to the BFI, I have been woefully underexposed. Here are their top ten films that kids should see by age 14, in order:
1. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
3. Kes (1969)
4. Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959)
5. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
6. Show Me Love (1998)
7. Spirited Away (2001)
8. Toy Story (1995)
9. Where is My Friend's House? (1987)
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Out of these films, I have seen E.T. (although I was so young when I saw it, I don't remember it-- is there a part where E.T. gets rabies? Because I've been laboring under that impression), Spirited Away (which came out after I turned 14, but is one of my favorites), Toy Story, and The Wizard of Oz. The Night of the Hunter and Show Me Love are on my Netflix queue. I had never before heard of Kes or Where Is my Friend's House?, and now I'm convinced that there are British tweens out there mocking me for it.
Now, I agree that exposing children to classic movies and teaching them to view them as art is a good idea, but I'm not sure I'd want my kids to see some of these films if they were under 14. I haven't seen Les Quatre Cens Coups, but maybe you should let your kids hit puberty before exposing them to French New Wave. And to be honest, I'm a little surprised that Show Me Love is listed, considering it's about two teenage girls that fall in love; I guess Brits are a lot more queer-friendly than Americans.
The rest of the list is also in the article, and there's a lot of fantastic movies listed... but I can't speak for the whole thing, because as it turns out, I've seen less than half of them. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some very important reality shows to watch.