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Top 100 2011: Results and Discussion


Anna J
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Just as long as we're disagreeing on the right question. :)

Ha. Exactly. The snark-object in my post wasn't very clear. Stef knows I love him, but I can't figure throwing out the legitimacy of the list because of a few things it omits or includes. I'm sure there isn't a single person who doesn't look at the list and frown once or twice. Or ten times. Or whatever.

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Another: we've never included Kevin Smith's Dogma in any of the ranked lists (i.e. after 2004).

Correction re: Oceania--if you count LOTR as a New Zealand film, then my statement is false.

That's just how eye roll.

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Re: LA JETÉE: Is it film if there is at least one scene of motion in the film? I would say yes, and so it is a film. (And really, you've got to check it out. If short films were going to be on the list, I would campaign hard for this particular gem.)

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Just as long as we're disagreeing on the right question. :)

Ha. Exactly. The snark-object in my post wasn't very clear. Stef knows I love him, but I can't figure throwing out the legitimacy of the list because of a few things it omits or includes. I'm sure there isn't a single person who doesn't look at the list and frown once or twice. Or ten times. Or whatever.

And then I turn it around again in my mind and wonder if there aren't a couple of deal-breakers for me, too, at some level. What if there's a future list without ORDET or THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC or DEKALOG? Unlikely, to be sure, but if that occurred, at some level would I feel the list wasn't sufficiently "mine"?

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Huh. A community of disparate individuals can't completely agree on a list of the one hundred best or most meaningful movies, and as a result there are differing opinions as to the merits of particular films. That's weird, wild stuff, as Carvey-as-Carson would say.

tumblr_lf89wxB3ja1qe0eclo1_r34_500.gif

Ryan, is that a short film attached to your post?

Is an animated gif a film?

Would a slideshow made of animated gifs be a film?

What if it had only one?

Is La Jetee a slideshow with one animated gif?

Isn't any film like a slideshow of perpetually animated gifs?

I have a digital picture frame on my desk playing random photos from my life. Is it a biopic?

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Ryan, is that a short film attached to your post?

Is an animated gif a film?

Would a slideshow made of animated gifs be a film?

What if it had only one?

Isn't any film like a slideshow of perpetually animated gifs?

I have a digital picture frame on my desk playing random photos from my life. Is it a biopic?

:D

Edited by Ryan H.
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Just as long as we're disagreeing on the right question. :)

Ha. Exactly. The snark-object in my post wasn't very clear. Stef knows I love him, but I can't figure throwing out the legitimacy of the list because of a few things it omits or includes. I'm sure there isn't a single person who doesn't look at the list and frown once or twice. Or ten times. Or whatever.

And then I turn it around again in my mind and wonder if there aren't a couple of deal-breakers for me, too, at some level. What if there's a future list without ORDET or THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC or DEKALOG? Unlikely, to be sure, but if that occurred, at some level would I feel the list wasn't sufficiently "mine"?

It's not my fault, Russ. This place has lost its mind. These people can spel batter than me but they can't figure out the difference between a cute cartoon for the kids and a serious film list. Oh, and I'm an elitist film snob, something I used to aspire to, but gave up to try to be nicer. Guess some things change a lot, and some things never change.

(So... hmm. I guess it IS my fault!)

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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The "spirituality" aspect of the Top 100 is a given for any voter in this community, it has been a part of our history for a number of years and I didn't think I had to state it.

There is no such thing as a non-spiritual film. A list of films is a list of spiritual experiences... of one kind or another. We can't celebrate a film for its technical excellence, its visual beauty, its narrative, its groundbreaking characteristics, or any other aspect of it without engaging with spiritual aspects of the film.

That's why I think "spiritually significant" is kind of redundant. If this community, which clearly cares about spiritual matters, chooses a list of films they consider significant works of art, I would be hard-pressed to interpret those films as anything less than "spiritually significant."

This is why I still object to the idea of publishing a list of "most redeeming films" as if this is somehow different than films that are "the cream of the crop." Excellence is redemptive.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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But another aspect that may need to be emphasized is, for lack of a better word, subjectivity. Or, if you like, particularity. This is our list. These are the movies that we as a community of individuals have chosen as movies that we are enthusiastic about, whether in terms of art, faith, whatever. It's okay not to include great films -- like Citizen Kane -- if we as voters don't feel strongly that they've been a big part of our individual cinematic journeys. We aren't trying to pick the top 100 most influential films, the top 100 critical consensus films, the top 100 films that everyone else will agree are a good list of films.

This is quote-worthy elegant. But then you had to go and ruin everything by suggesting that Black Narcissus, and maybe Magnolia, should be booted off the list!

We are underrepresented in African-American cinema, but I can think of only a couple of African-American movies I'd want to see on the list -- and both have been part of the list in the past. So ... maybe next time?

I continue to chafe a bit at the fact that movies I deem much more "spiritually significant" than some of the worthy, but not exceptional, titles on our current Top 100 were booted from consideration because their directors made too many great spiritual films. That ain't right. It makes the list more diverse, but less representative of what many of us consider to be the cream-of-the-spiritual-cinema crop.

I'm not losing any sleep over this, but wanted to point it out as the one thing that sticks in my craw about our current, very good Top 100.

Maybe our next Top 25 list, rather than focusing on a genre, should be Top 25 DIRECTORS? We know who the top 5 or 10 would be. But who would be number 18? Number 22? etc. Plus, this would give those of us aggrieved by the lack of a fourth Tarkovsky/Bergman/et al. title on the list a chance to go to bat for certain filmmakers.

I realize such a list might be duplicative -- those filmmakers are already represented in our Top 100, multiple times, and the smaller lists are there for diversity. I do like the genre thing. Just thinking out loud...

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This is quote-worthy elegant. But then you had to go and ruin everything by suggesting that Black Narcissus, and maybe Magnolia, should be booted off the list!

To come to his defense, SDG hasn't seen MAGNOLIA. It was I, who have seen it many, many times, who suggested MAGNOLIA should be given the boot.

I realize such a list might be duplicative -- those filmmakers are already represented in our Top 100, multiple times, and the smaller lists are there for diversity. I do like the genre thing. Just thinking out loud...

You present the big counter-argument to a Top 25 Directors list right there.

Besides, a big selling point on the Top 25 lists is that it will push our community to grow as we explore certain cinematic corners/subjects in-depth. I'm not sure a Top 25 Directors list would push us anywhere.

Edited by Ryan H.
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David Smedberg wrote:

: : Um, but slideshows don't zoom and pan and stuff.

:

: Hahaha!

: Wait, you were serious.:huh:

Well, yeah, of course I was. La Jetee may consist almost entirely of still photographs (with the notable exception of one shot), but even those photographs are FILMED in a way that includes motion, in a way that directs and focuses our attention beyond a mere slideshow, etc.

SDG wrote:

: I agree on some of these, notably Black Narcissus . . .

Wow. I wouldn't want to see a Top 100 list, especially one making a claim to "spiritual significance", that DIDN'T have that film!

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Best Christian Movies.

BIG, BIG, I-may-have-cussed-you-out-in-the-process, but L.O.L.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Hey Peter, thanks for the response. For now I'm going to leave off responding to this train of thought/picking of nits, especially after Jeffrey's hilarious post.

Edited by David Smedberg

That's just how eye roll.

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This is quote-worthy elegant. But then you had to go and ruin everything by suggesting that Black Narcissus, and maybe Magnolia, should be booted off the list!

To come to his defense, SDG hasn't seen MAGNOLIA. It was I, who have seen it many, many times, who suggested MAGNOLIA should be given the boot.

If it doesn't hold up over repeat viewings, it will naturally slide down the list. It's near and dear to many of us, but that doesn't mean it's place on the list is forever secure. I own a copy but haven't watched it in years. Maybe it'll seem silly (sillier?) next time I watch it. But it's also a fascinating piece of a particular filmmaker's output. I imagine that as Anderson makes more films, this one will seem more key, not less, to his overall output, and will therefore find a place on our list for some time to come.

And as for Black Narcissus, Christian, I only said it because I hate that movie. :)

Goodness! I had no idea. This one, unlike Magnolia, HAS stood the test of time, holding up for decades. I don't think I know of a single film-lover who's ever come down against this film, although there must be a FEW, right?

Next list: 25 Best Michael Powell Movies

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This is quote-worthy elegant. But then you had to go and ruin everything by suggesting that Black Narcissus, and maybe Magnolia, should be booted off the list!

To come to his defense, SDG hasn't seen MAGNOLIA. It was I, who have seen it many, many times, who suggested MAGNOLIA should be given the boot.

Thanks, Ryan. FWIW, Darren H agrees with you.

Man, you guys are just bound and determined to flush me out of lurking aren't you?

Was it only six years ago that saying Magnolia blows was enough to get you shouted out of a thread for A&F heresy?

I guess the down side of getting many of your posts purged is that you don't get to say "I told you so." But...there are enough embedded quotes in this thread that I can say "I told you so."

P.S. To Stef, yes, I have read Doug's article, several times. I think it's a brilliant article, and much more interesting or successful than the film.

P.P.S. I miss the days when and places where people could disagree about some artistic preferences without calling each other (or thinking of each other) as idiots.

Edited by kenmorefield
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Ken, I don't know what your last paragraph meant, but the feeling around here over the last year or two has been the best I've ever seen at A&F. There IS a social peace here, even when we disagree, which is why I'm more courageous to say things like, "This year's list is disappointing to me, I think."

Ah, I see the link. Gotcha. Or at least now I know where to look.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Actually, let's not do noir. We just did horror. Either sci-fi or comedies would be a better follow-up, and comedy probably more than sci-fi, which can get kind of horror-y and noirish too. So now I'm leaning toward comedies.

Good points. Comedies would be the best route, and I have a few horses in that race (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, THE BIG LEBOWSKI). But part of me wants to do a sci-fi list, if only for the faint hope that the terribly underrated ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE will receive some attention.

I imagine that as Anderson makes more films, this one will seem more key, not less, to his overall output, and will therefore find a place on our list for some time to come.

It seems pretty key in the schematic of HARD EIGHT/BOOGIE NIGHTS/MAGNOLIA/PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, at any rate. There's a kind of arc there, and MAGNOLIA marks something of a turning point. But it's not the best of those films by a long shot. We'll have to see where Anderson's career goes; THERE WILL BE BLOOD might not be a clean break with his earlier features, but it does push into new waters, and his upcoming projects, THE MASTER and INHERENT VICE don't point in any clear direction (THE MASTER strikes me as a push in the direction of THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and INHERENT VICE has some qualities that remind me of HARD EIGHT/BOOGIE NIGHTS).

I don't think I know of a single film-lover who's ever come down against this film, although there must be a FEW, right?

It's a minority view, but BLACK NARCISSUS has been accused of being style over substance.

Edited by Ryan H.
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I have Black Narcissus sitting at home right now. Now I may just ship it back unwatched. Idiots.

[/ironic wink?]

Now I've ruined my own joke because I can't figure out what would best fit in the fake bbcode.

Edited by Buckeye Jones
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I just finished watching Onibaba from the top 25 Horror list and loved it. Yet

I was also thinking that it was just as much or more a folk tale as it was

a Horror film. So when I read today's postings I began pondering over

an idea for the next list, which could stretch film watchers understanding of

cinema, world cultures, and historical storytelling.

Top 25 Folk Tales in world cinema.

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P.P.S. I miss the days when and places where people could disagree about some artistic preferences without calling each other (or thinking of each other) as idiots.

Hmm. Are we stooping that low? I guess I'd been hearing a tone of tongue-in-cheek jabbing in this thread, nothing like mean-spirited put-downs. But maybe I'm overestimating my friends here? I tend to think that SDG would put a stop to any actual meanness. He usually does. I agree with Stef that "the feeling around here over the last year or two has been the best I've ever seen at A&F." The mood around these parts has been fairly welcoming lately, I think, relative to many other chapters in our past.

FWIW.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I may have stooped low in this thread by using the words "dumbed down," but that's how I felt. Feel. And I wasn't aiming at any one person, just a general disappointment I'm currently feeling with the new list -- which, as I've also said, may go away as I dig into the 39 films on the list I haven't seen.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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P.P.S. I miss the days when and places where people could disagree about some artistic preferences without calling each other (or thinking of each other) as idiots.

Hmm. Are we stooping that low? I guess I'd been hearing a tone of tongue-in-cheek jabbing in this thread, nothing like mean-spirited put-downs. But maybe I'm overestimating my friends here? I tend to think that SDG would put a stop to any actual meanness. He usually does. I agree with Stef that "the feeling around here over the last year or two has been the best I've ever seen at A&F." The mood around these parts has been fairly welcoming lately, I think, relative to many other chapters in our past.

FWIW, I'm not sure Ken was suggesting A&F has gone downhill in this respect -- the contrary perhaps (viz. cries of heresy over impugning Magnolia in the past). I think we're generally pretty grown-up about dissenting opinions these days, and I agree that we've thriven under Image, and maybe a number of us (myself included) have grown up some in the last several years. I'm sorry for some of the people we've lost along the way. It's nice to see you pop out of lurking, Ken.

Stef, I don't think your critique of the list as "dumbed down" is beyond the pale of reasonable and civil opinion. Lists aren't people. You didn't call anyone dumb.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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'Cept for you, dummy.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I love this town.

And I, too, am very glad to see you emerge from the shadows, Ken. I always benefit from your reviews and interpretations, and I've missed you.

I like lurking at your other film discussion board too. ;)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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