Thursday, April 14, 2011

'08 response response

I get extremely anxious whenever I post a top 10 anything on here. I’m always afraid of being exposed for the true charlatan that I am and being cast out. I don’t have a shred of self-confidence.

Sorry John for suggesting you didn’t like Synecdoche, NY. If you did, that’s awesome. I just remember seeing you say that you didn’t like Kaufman on the basis of Adaptation from the debate you were having with Brandon on Funny Games/Let the Right One In. That was all my comment was a reference to.

Brandon, thanks for responding. I still need to see some of the films from your list. I wanted to see A Christmas Tale. It’s on NWI. I should watch it. From what I’ve heard, it would probably make my list. I should watch Benjamin Button again. I can’t comment on it fully until I do. It’s been too long. All your other picks are great. No problems with any of them, from what I have seen. Shit, I forgot about Happy-Go-Lucky. That probably could have made my list. I took my list that I made in 2009 and wrote about it. I haven’t edited it since. I probably forgot other films as well.

In response to your comments about some of my picks:

WALL-E could have been higher on my list. Oh well.

The Dark Knight. I agree about the third act. That was my problem with the film, as well. Ledger absolutely carries the film, and to have him sidelined is a mistake. Yet, I do forgive this completely. I love this movie. Like I said, a miracle. Coming off of the Joel Schumacher franchise destruction, I never thought I’d see a Batman film with this much ambition.

You’re right about the overuse of white teachers with multi-cultural students. Maybe I look past it being white...because I can relate haha. But the idea of having a non-white teacher dealing with suburban white kids is pretty damn interesting.

Why am I a sucker for liking Revolutionary Road? I admit upfront that it is a pure acting spectacle. That’s how I enjoyed it and that’s how it made my list. I wouldn’t defend this film with my life, but I do appreciate the hell out of its performances. Sometimes the performances alone can carry a film. I would easily concede to your arguments against the story of the film, but still dig it for its acting. Though, I do think it’s different than American Beauty or other films about suburban secrets because of its time period. In the 50s, marriage and suburban homelife was much more idealized than it is today. It was the culture of conformity and homogenization, and the Cold War politics of presenting an idealized America. I think this is a film that is interested with setting itself in that milieu of Cold War culture. It probably is self-important, but it is still better than American Beauty because it relies less on pretense. I think you’re letting your hatred of American Beauty influence you too much here (though I can sort of understand that).

I was being sarcastic about mixing Ballast with Winter’s Bone on the basis of poverty. Sorry that doesn’t come across well through typing. I don’t appreciate either one of those films as spectacles on poverty. I like them for what else they have to say. Ballast is really solid because it is moving and tender. It’s sad not because of its setting but because of the relationships between the characters. Poverty porn? No way. When did empathizing with fellow human beings become pornography?

I’m going to get working on that Synecdoche, NY post. I wrote a 10 page paper on it for a class a couple years back. I have a lot to say on it.

Brandon, let’s definitely do those lists if you are interested. I’ll get thinking about them right away.

Also, interesting thoughts on 127 Hours. I really liked it, but can understand your points of criticism. I think I like Danny Boyle much more than you do, and generally dig his style. The film really worked for me, but I think it helped being in a theater watching it because it made it seem more intimate. I only truly cringed in the arm cutting scene when he cut the tendon. Yikes. Also, I agree: what’s the point of wondering what Herzog’s version of the film would have been? Focus on the film at hand and take it for what it is.

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