IN ARNOLD Schwarzenegger's long and varied career, the film Junior must rank far below the Terminator and becoming governor of California and possibly only above Jingle All The Way. But Junior, the family comedy in which he becomes pregnant and was described as "lacklustre" and "a one-joke film" upon its release in 1994, is the subject of a new work of art in Glasgow that seeks to prove it is actually the best film of all time.

The project is the brainchild of Glasgow-based artist Sandy Smith. He has commissioned an essay-writing competition to prove that Junior is better than Citizen Kane, the Godfather or any other film usually perceived to be the greatest.

"The project is about trying to push individuality of taste, and having fun with it," said Smith. "You're allowed to like, and dislike whatever you want to, and you can make your own opinions of what is good.

"It doesn't really matter what other people think. All cultural things, be it music, movies, visual art, they're all ambiguous. It depends on how you take it."

At the moment there is £600 of prize money for the best essays. Half of the sum is from public grants Smith received from Glasgow City Council and the Dewar Arts Awards. The rest is from the artist himself.

In Junior, Schwarzenegger plays the role of a fertility specialist who impregnates himself using a revolutionary technique and hilarity, allegedly, ensues.

Smith, whose sculptures and installations have been exhibited in Chicago and Scandinavia, previously created works of art out of VHS copies of the film.

This latest project came about after he commissioned an online essay-writing company to write an academic paper entitled, Junior: A Monument in Film Making History, which referenced thinkers such as Freud and Barthes. The result was so persuasive he decided to start the competition to get other academic perspectives on it.

Despite being a self-confessed "ridiculous notion" and that it was "impossible to scientifically prove a film's greatness", Smith was adamant it had value because it challenged "the received wisdom of what great films are", as well as taking a poke at academia.

"It's almost an exploitation of these thinkers, but I don't think it's a bad thing," he said. "It's a creative use of these big thinkers combined with this strange piece of cultural detritus that is Junior.

"I know someone who graduated in history, specialising in ancient Rome, and he wants to write an essay about Junior in reference to the fall of the Roman empire. There are a couple of philosophy graduates I know who are very excited too. I'm looking forward to reading their essays."

Film critics have reacted warmly to Smith's planned art work. Mark Cousins, broadcaster, author and former director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival said: "It would be brilliant to take a Schwarzenegger film and with tongue firmly in cheek to argue for its utter greatness.

"I teach film occasionally and the best way to stimulate debate and get the students going is to show a brilliant film and say isn't that awful', or an awful film and say isn't that brilliant'. They can't just sit there and listen; they are provoked into a reaction."

Allison Gardner, co-director of the Glasgow Film Festival, said she welcomed anything which challenged the accepted canon of great films, but stressed that it is possible to measure the quality of a movie. "There are genuinely great films," she said "They are different for each person obviously, but there are genuinely great films. And there is a common consensus of some of those. Such as It's a Wonderful Life."

Junior, sadly, failed to make her list.

People can enter the competition at The closing date for entries is May 9