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Film Fanatics - Chat Thread II

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    Anyone catch this recent Sight & Sound top 50? Vertigo is apparently the greatest film of all time:

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/50-greatest-films-all-time


    Vertigo's brilliant, but I don't know that I'd even call it Hitchcock's best film. I also have a big problem with the fact that Chinatown, The Conversation and The Third Man are nowhere to be found.

    Seems to be a huge art-film bias here (which is to be expected from a poll of critics, professors and whatnot, I guess), which I find irritating. I mean there's value in those films, but there's also value in films that are just...fun, and this list seems to singularly miss that point. I mean, I'd have Raiders of the Lost Ark (or any number of other Spielberg films) over La Jetee, which is, you know, a wonderful film, a stylistic triumph and a haunting affirmation of the inevitability of fate, but singularly lacks a man in a sweet hat outrunning a massive rock.

    I mean, this anti-mainstream bias even extends to films with considerable artistic merit that are a) made by a major studio and b) lack a so-called 'visionary' director. Like, no Casablanca, no Deer Hunter, no 12 Angry Men, Network (or any other Lumet film). It's...strange.
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    (Original post by Christien)
    Anyone catch this recent Sight & Sound top 50? Vertigo is apparently the greatest film of all time:

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/50-greatest-films-all-time


    Vertigo's brilliant, but I don't know that I'd even call it Hitchcock's best film. I also have a big problem with the fact that Chinatown, The Conversation and The Third Man are nowhere to be found.

    Seems to be a huge art-film bias here (which is to be expected from a poll of critics, professors and whatnot, I guess), which I find irritating. I mean there's value in those films, but there's also value in films that are just...fun, and this list seems to singularly miss that point. I mean, I'd have Raiders of the Lost Ark (or any number of other Spielberg films) over La Jetee, which is, you know, a wonderful film, a stylistic triumph and a haunting affirmation of the inevitability of fate, but singularly lacks a man in a sweet hat outrunning a massive rock.

    I mean, this anti-mainstream bias even extends to films with considerable artistic merit that are a) made by a major studio and b) lack a so-called 'visionary' director. Like, no Casablanca, no Deer Hunter, no 12 Angry Men, Network (or any other Lumet film). It's...strange.
    It's up?! I thought it was next month! :eek:

    I'll have to have a look through before commenting. :creep:
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    (Original post by Christien)
    Anyone catch this recent Sight & Sound top 50? Vertigo is apparently the greatest film of all time:

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/50-greatest-films-all-time


    Vertigo's brilliant, but I don't know that I'd even call it Hitchcock's best film. I also have a big problem with the fact that Chinatown, The Conversation and The Third Man are nowhere to be found.

    Seems to be a huge art-film bias here (which is to be expected from a poll of critics, professors and whatnot, I guess), which I find irritating. I mean there's value in those films, but there's also value in films that are just...fun, and this list seems to singularly miss that point. I mean, I'd have Raiders of the Lost Ark (or any number of other Spielberg films) over La Jetee, which is, you know, a wonderful film, a stylistic triumph and a haunting affirmation of the inevitability of fate, but singularly lacks a man in a sweet hat outrunning a massive rock.

    I mean, this anti-mainstream bias even extends to films with considerable artistic merit that are a) made by a major studio and b) lack a so-called 'visionary' director. Like, no Casablanca, no Deer Hunter, no 12 Angry Men, Network (or any other Lumet film). It's...strange.
    I agree. I don't think it's Hitchcok's best film and it may not even be in my top three Hitchcock films. Vertigo only comes joint 7th in the director's poll.

    I'm kind of glad Citizen Kane has finally been knocked off the top spot. Don't get me wrong, I like the film and I appreciate it's place in the history of film but I really don't think it has aged well.
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    It hasn't aged well because close to every film made nowadays has been inspired by it.
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    (Original post by Arran44)
    They just released the trailer for Skyfall. It looks amazing!
    Well, hope that it comes out in the Netherlands pretty soon after as I want to go and see that!
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    (Original post by Colonel.)
    It hasn't aged well because close to every film made nowadays has been inspired by it.
    Oh yeah, of course, but it doesn't get me like it used to either. I've seen it 3 or 4 times and I thought it got a little worse with each viewing. I'm by no means knocking it. As I say, I really like it, but I think the pedestal it's put on by film critics is a little ridiculous at times.
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    (Original post by Christien)
    Seems to be a huge art-film bias here (which is to be expected from a poll of critics, professors and whatnot, I guess), which I find irritating. I mean there's value in those films, but there's also value in films that are just...fun, and this list seems to singularly miss that point. I mean, I'd have Raiders of the Lost Ark (or any number of other Spielberg films) over La Jetee, which is, you know, a wonderful film, a stylistic triumph and a haunting affirmation of the inevitability of fate, but singularly lacks a man in a sweet hat outrunning a massive rock.
    Such a sophisticated attitude to have towards art! When can I sign your petition to have the Rijksmuseum take down Rembrandt's Night Watch and instead display the comic strips from the morning newspaper?
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    I just watched Gone, it started out decent but got pretty bad, the bad guy was just way too stupid that it ruined the film.
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    Anybody here been watching Paprika on Film4? It's my first time watching it and I got to say, I'm really liking it.
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    Oh and I also found this interesting article. http://www.slashfilm.com/quentin-tar...n-list-movies/ I'm happy to see Fellini's 8 1/2 on multiple lists, I love that film.
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    (Original post by Harry S Truman)
    Such a sophisticated attitude to have towards art! When can I sign your petition to have the Rijksmuseum take down Rembrandt's Night Watch and instead display the comic strips from the morning newspaper?
    I'm not saying art films shouldn't be represented. I'd make the opposite argument against the Channel 4 List, the IMDB top 250, or anything or anyone that claims Shawshank Redemption deserves to be anywhere near a discussion of the greatest films ever. What I am saying is that mainstream directors and cinema are woefully underrepresented beyond the obligatory (and critically safe) Godfathers, Wilder films, 2001 etc. No David Lean, no Spielberg, no Sidney Lumet, no John Huston, no Peckinpah. I find that outrageous.

    Again, this isn't surprising, given who was polled, and it might sound like bitching that my pet directors weren't included, but I don't think it's especially controversial to claim that a poll that for the most part excludes post-70s and popular cinema may not be an accurate way to measure all that is best about the movies. Nor do I think it's wrong to claim that Raiders is more fun than La Jetee, which is, again, great, but actively sets out to be solipsistic and despair-inducing on a list already replete with solipsistic, despairing films.
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    (Original post by Christien)
    What I am saying is that mainstream directors and cinema are woefully underrepresented beyond the obligatory (and critically safe) Godfathers, Wilder films, 2001 etc. No David Lean, no Spielberg, no Sidney Lumet, no John Huston, no Peckinpah. I find that outrageous.
    I find it outrageous that you can struggle this much to understand even the basic premise of the poll. Of course 'critically safe' films are going to place - the entire point of this list is to survey widely held critical taste. I also fail to see how most of the top ten are less 'mainstream' or more obscure than the 'obligatory' films you mention...or don't Fellini, Renoir, Ozu, and Dreyer count because an irrational fear of subtitles makes the mouth-breathing IMDb crowd hold off on them longer than Wilder?

    (Original post by Christien)
    I don't think it's especially controversial to claim that a poll that for the most part excludes post-70s and popular cinema may not be an accurate way to measure all that is best about the movies.
    It may not seem immediately controversial, but on inspection it seems ridiculous. You're basically saying that age and audience size are acceptable criteria by which to judge a work of art.

    (Original post by Christien)
    Nor do I think it's wrong to claim that Raiders is more fun than La Jetee, which is, again, great, but actively sets out to be solipsistic and despair-inducing on a list already replete with solipsistic, despairing films.
    Not wrong, but deeply philistine to accept 'fun' as a serious criteria by which to judge art. Sadly it seems to be a prejudice only held against cinema, and I doubt people would be so keen to make the same critique of a list of great paintings topped by Valezquez and Caravaggio, or great music topped by Beethoven and Wagner. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Maybe you are an equal-opportunities philistine? Maybe Wren should have put some of those crazy distorted mirrors over the facade of St Paul's Cathedral to make it more 'fun'?

    Hilarious that you cite solipsism as an unattractive quality in a work of art when everything you've said on this topic suggests you don't believe that works in a language different to your own native tongue are worthy of commendation. The absurd description of 'solipsistic and despair-inducing' also beautifully demonstrates your lack of familiarity with (or downright ignorance of) much of the list you're trying to attack. Thanks!
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    (Original post by Harry S Truman)
    .
    Not related to the above - just out of interest, do you agree with the list/what would be your top 10 or whatever? I seem to remember you saying in a different thread that Josef von Sternberg was your favourite director.
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    Quite disappointed The Great Gatsby's release date has been moved to summer 2013.
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    (Original post by JessicaW)
    Quite disappointed The Great Gatsby's release date has been moved to summer 2013.
    Same here, it's a huge piss take because I'm going to have a busy summer, but I'm still excited : )
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    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    Not related to the above - just out of interest, do you agree with the list/what would be your top 10 or whatever? I seem to remember you saying in a different thread that Josef von Sternberg was your favourite director.
    I think the list is very good, and even those titles I don't particularly care for (JOAN OF ARC, 2001 etc.) at least clearly have a great degree of artistic merit. It doesn't conform to my list of favourites (although SUNRISE would certainly be there), nor does it conform to my preferences for certain directors (I prefer SPELLBOUND and REAR WINDOW from Hitchcock, TONI and PARTIE DE CAMPAGNE from Renoir, etc.), but I wouldn't really expect it to. As it stands, it's probably the best short introduction to film a newcomer could hope to find.

    And yes, Sternberg is my favourite (and his THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN is my favourite film of all time), but he isn't totally ignored here. Just from what they published I glanced one vote for THE SCARLET EMPRESS, and I'm sure some of his other work will have seen some love once they publish all of the lists online. He's an acquired taste and he's only just starting to undergo the critical resurgence he properly deserves. Maybe next time!

    If I were to submit a list, it might look something like this:

    THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN (Sternberg)
    SUNRISE (Murnau)
    IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong)
    L'AVVENTURA (Antonioni)
    BLACK NARCISSUS (Powell & Pressburger)
    SPELLBOUND (Hitchcock)
    SUMMER INTERLUDE (Bergman)
    ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Sirk)
    THE TREE OF LIFE (Malick)
    WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? (Tashlin)

    But the films I have on my mind change by the day. Only those I've bolded seem to be there always.
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    (Original post by Harry S Truman)
    I think the list is very good, and even those titles I don't particularly care for (JOAN OF ARC, 2001 etc.) at least clearly have a great degree of artistic merit. It doesn't conform to my list of favourites (although SUNRISE would certainly be there), nor does it conform to my preferences for certain directors (I prefer SPELLBOUND and REAR WINDOW from Hitchcock, TONI and PARTIE DE CAMPAGNE from Renoir, etc.), but I wouldn't really expect it to. As it stands, it's probably the best short introduction to film a newcomer could hope to find.

    And yes, Sternberg is my favourite (and his THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN is my favourite film of all time), but he isn't totally ignored here. Just from what they published I glanced one vote for THE SCARLET EMPRESS, and I'm sure some of his other work will have seen some love once they publish all of the lists online. He's an acquired taste and he's only just starting to undergo the critical resurgence he properly deserves. Maybe next time!

    If I were to submit a list, it might look something like this:

    THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN (Sternberg)
    SUNRISE (Murnau)
    IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong)
    L'AVVENTURA (Antonioni)
    BLACK NARCISSUS (Powell & Pressburger)
    SPELLBOUND (Hitchcock)
    SUMMER INTERLUDE (Bergman)
    ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Sirk)
    THE TREE OF LIFE (Malick)
    WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? (Tashlin)

    But the films I have on my mind change by the day. Only those I've bolded seem to be there always.
    Ah, thanks. I hadn't heard of Sternberg before you mentioned him, I think, and am still yet to watch anything by him. I notice that Criterion have released those of his silents that are not lost in one pack (Underworld, Last Command and Docks of New York) - would you say this is a good place to approach his material?

    Also, interesting to see The Tree of Life up there so soon. :beard:
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    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    Ah, thanks. I hadn't heard of Sternberg before you mentioned him, I think, and am still yet to watch anything by him. I notice that Criterion have released those of his silents that are not lost in one pack (Underworld, Last Command and Docks of New York) - would you say this is a good place to approach his material?

    Also, interesting to see The Tree of Life up there so soon. :beard:
    I'm not as well informed about his silent work as I am about his sound work, and my knowledge is patchy anyway just due to the availability of some of the films. Of his silents, I've seen THE SALVATION HUNTERS (which isn't lost, but is only available in a poor VHS) and DOCKS OF NEW YORK, both of which (and the latter in particular) are great examples of silent film at their best. That Criterion set is certainly top of my list of things to buy once I go region-free! He's best known for his seven films with Marlene Dietrich though, and that contains the best of his work. The three to see from that cycle, in terms of those most widely regarded, are THE BLUE ANGEL, SHANGHAI EXPRESS, and THE SCARLET EMPRESS, the latter two of which are available in good, cheap editions from Universal.

    And yes, I loved TREE OF LIFE. Saw it twice in the cinema. Malick's most soulful and transcendent film - a religious experience of a film, and I say this as a staunch atheist.
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    I just rate Christian Bale so highly.



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    (Original post by JessicaW)
    Quite disappointed The Great Gatsby's release date has been moved to summer 2013.
    Why has it been moved, do you know?

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