Sunday, August 28, 2016
Nightcap 8/28/16 The end to best lists, Off the ledge film nerds, and Randi's Links
We must stop making these grand lists of the best of anything as if its the be all and end all list. Its pointless and makes the ludicrous assumption that the people making the lists have actually seen or done everything- which they haven't.
The latest puff piece and column filler was the BBC's Best of the 21st Century So Far film list. (It can be found here). The BBC asked 177 critics to give in lists and they compiled the list from that. (The individual lists are here).
Actually what I find bothersome is not the individual lists, which are a hell of a lot more interesting because they contain an incredibly wide variety of titles, many unexpected (Ghost Writer, Revenge of the Sith, Attack the Block, Minority Report, Pulse, 3 Iron...) rather it's how vanilla the final list is. I could have guessed the vast majority of the final titles. No film really stood out on the final list because ultimately the only ones that are going to be on it are the films that everyone, or almost everyone has seen.
The final list is made up of films that got all the praise, made all the festival rounds and were easily seen by everyone- of course they ended up on the list. There is nothing on the list that is from left field- simply because very few people were in left field to see the films.
This is why Shawshank Redemption is so high on the IMDB list- its not that it's anyone's favorite, rather enough people have seen it and liked it that it rose to the top. Its a trick of the voting. Its the same reason why the film critic groups best of the year awards are a joke- its made up of the ones that everyone saw and can agree on but aren't the films that they really believe are the best in their heart of hearts.(its what however many people in a room can agree on) I mean Mulholland Drive is the top of the list? Really? Go through the individual lists and you'll wonder how the hell it ended up there.
Personally I wouldn't put the vast majority of the the final list on my list because I don't think most are remotely that good. I would include The Act of Killing but I don't think anything else. I could argue and might include Old Boy simply because that film changed how many people see Korean cinema.
Lists like the BBCs or those found in the 1001 Films You Must See Before Tuesday are jokes. They rehash the same old same old but they don't really highlight anything truly great that is outside the spotlight.
On the other hand the individual lists do. The voters lists show a wide range of viewing that is completely lacking in the full on list. There are films there that make me take some of the writers more seriously and want to see their choices. The individual lists are not lock step which is really cool. Go rent the titles that aren't on all the lists.
(I am not going to give you my list of the best films- I wouldn't even know where to begin- worse my mood would be an influence. Besides I see way too many movies to play that game. I see 1000 or more films a year and at this point its just too many to try and sort out.)
In the wake of the hacking of Leslie Jones and all that nonsense I have to say one thing:
Everyone off the ledge- NOW.
The screaming on the internet over movies has to stop, I'm not talking about what may or may not have happened in the private lives of directors (in which case we weren’t there, so we don't know, so stop speculating) rather the hissy fits over Ghostbusters, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad or any other film that has you speedos in a bunch and you have claimed have wrecked your delicate psyche.
These are movies, they are not life and death... then again it's apparent you don't know what is life and death.
Let me point out the obvious- you won’t die if a remake is bad or a movie mishandles a character. If you don’t like it don’t see it. If you saw it and didn’t like it ignore it. If you stop talking about it will eventually fade from your mind and the mind of everyone else…. If you keep talking about it, if you keep beating on it, or doing stupid things the film won’t die and it will live on.
Actually the best thing would be if all of you people who live on social media put down the devices and get the hell out of your basements and go out into the sun and meet real people. If you actually go out and interacted with real people you’d understand what a bunch of jerks you’re being. You would actually know how to treat another human being.
These are movies, they mean nothing in the long run. If you all cared about the real world as much as the fake glamour of mass media the world would be in a better place and you wouldn’t have to live with your parents until they die. You might even be able to have a family of your own and real friends.
Better yet, why don't you take all this energy you have to scream and yell and abuse another human being and do what Kevin Smith suggested to those abusing his daughter, namely go make your own movie. Prove to all of us that you have the right artistic slant and that you are someone we should listen to. I mean they are shooting films on iPhones so there is no excuse for you not to try. If you are so knowing why not give us the net thing that people are getting upset over.
If not remember that despite the fact you are drawing attention to the damage you cause you are ultimately a nobody who has done nothing. Sure you've inconvenienced a famous person, but at the end of the news cycle they remain famous and you're still a no one.
As much as I like Michael Price's Forgotten Horror series some times he has major gaffes such as claiming Fritz Lang's JOURNEY TO THE LOST CITY form a trilogy with his TIGER OF BENGAL and THE INDIAN TOMB when LOST CITY is a condensed version of the other two films
Randi's links for the week:
Steve Rogers is no longer CaptainAmerica in the films
3D version of JASON BOURNE leaving audiences sick in the aisles
Nathan Lane, John Goodman and John Slattery talk about playing journalists on stage
The creation of the book
There is a new movie theater in Crown Heights
Sondheim's new musical is based on Bunuel films
They have recreated a black hole in a lab
MOMA is doing a Spanish animation series
John Hersey and the Bomb
Why the Bechdel Test doesn't always work
Finished and concept SUPERMAN THE MOVIE poster art