So, Brando's quiz was fun. I've been asked by him to create the next set of questions. I'll do my best to make it extra difficult/exclusive with questions like "name your fifth favorite Ray Enright film." Should be a blast :)
For now, I'll also do my best to
respond to some of the quiz answers that caught my eye. I don't think I
could respond to everyone's answer for each. I'll probably just limit
myself to a defense against Brandon's outlandish attacks on me ;). Just
you wait until I make and grade the quiz, buddy boy.
Ben. You're right. I thought SHAME was polling at like 92–94% on
Rotten Tomatoes. I just checked it and it's only got a 79%. Hardly
overrated by any stretch of the imagination. I really thought critics
were loving it more than that. Mea culpa.
I guess I
should have picked something like THE ARTIST instead. Thought that'd be
too easy though. I don't really have a pick that will shame me like
Brandon picking A SEPARATION. I'd have to start lying in order to do
so. I guess I'd agree with Adrienne that AMOUR is overrated. It's
definitely not Haneke's best, yet it has gotten the most
acclaim/attention of any of his films.
PARIS is pretty overrated. Woody's been making decent, charming films
just like it for years and they've been completely ignored. MELANCHOLIA
- also overrated, though I've come to really appreciate it within von
Trier's oeuvre. I can't think of any others right now.
response to Brandon's A SEPARATION choice - first of all, a bold and
brave pick and I commend you for it. Second of all, I disagree
immensely. In some ways, it is just as complex as LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE
in terms of its ability to suggest the various ways we are disconnected
from one another. It's a lot less ambiguous and intellectually
exhausting as Kiarostami's film, but it still has tremendous power as a
riveting social drama. I'm not really a fan of this comment here: "It’s
a good movie but part of me wondered what people would think of it if
it was just another American indie film." Again, I commend you for
being honest and putting yourself on the chopping block here. I
understand where you are coming from. You think the film is being
overrated because it is foreign and therefore deemed more important than
an American film. I get the frustration. But at the same time, that's
such an arbitrary criticism to make and you know it. You could
literally apply it to every film ever made. Films are not made in a
vacuum. They can be very specific to a culture or historical moment. A
SEPARATION is a film that has universal themes but is tied very tightly
to the culture of modern Iran. Part of its appeal is in how well it
depicts the ways people can be separated there. It wouldn't be nearly
the same film if it were set in America and directed by the Duplass
EMBARRASSED - FILM AND TV
two better picks I'm ashamed to still really like - SUPERMAN RETURNS
and BATMAN BEGINS. I love both DC characters - even irrationally.
you shouldn't be embarrassed to love AVATAR. Get off the Internet, go
out into the Oakdale mall, throw 50 rocks and hit 50 people who think
it's the greatest thing ever made.
guess I'm much more of an auteurist than you Brandon (thumbs nose at
you). If a filmmaker has a voice that I relate to and they are
consistently expressing it, then I'm completely on board. This is not
me establishing objective rules of greatness, but merely finding authors
I like and putting my trust in them. I really like INLAND EMPIRE. You
know why? Because it's pure David Lynch and I personally love David
Lynch. Anyone who hates him or is just mildly interested in him
probably won't give a shit about it. That's fine.
Burton is a great choice for this category. I completely forgot about
him when I was thinking of directors with tons of problems (that's how
bad he's fallen recently). I would agree that he is a great director,
but I've been sweating over some of his awful choices for years. In a
similar vein, I'm worried about Johnny Depp too. A once tremendous
performer who now seems more content to play dress-up than actually do
any acting. As I write this, he and Burton have probably just signed on
to remake EXCALIBUR.
Terry Gilliam is also a great choice. I wonder what the hell he's up to nowadays?
I like the one we are in too. There are some amazing films still being made. I would never deny it.
50s are the ideal intellectual choice. By that I mean, they clearly
represent a point when world cinema and Hollywood reached a creative
peak together. I still choose the 30s or 40s, if only because I'm a
sucker for the Hollywood dream factory. I just want to crawl inside
those films and live there forever. Watching ROBERTA the other day
CRITICS - FAVORITES
really like reading Fernando Croce, too. He's got this highly poetic,
somewhat bizarre, but fearless way of writing and describing things -
like William S. Burroughs. I notice a lot of younger writers trying to
copy his style on twitter and letterboxd. The results are fairly
DIRECTORS WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT
thought about putting down Tarantino. If he hadn't made INGLOURIOUS
BASTERDS, I'd be real worried. But as it stands, I have enough faith in
him that his next will be fantastic. I'm hoping he moves away from the
the whole historical-revisionist wet dream thing though.
a little worried about Malick too. I don't know how I feel about this
new workaholic version of him. Part of me wouldn't mind waiting another
5 to 8 years for his next. They feel more like events that way.
I'm assuming you haven't seen Green's THE SITTER? No man could watch
it and not be worried about its director's well-being/sanity.
director I'm not at all worried about is Kiarostami. Goddamn. He's
like the anti-Woody Allen with this world tour he's on right now. He's
actually making great films within a culture instead of just creating
brochures (I kid. I love Woody and have liked most of his world cinema
films, but Kiarostami makes him look like Brett Ratner at this point). I
have complete faith in Kiarostami at this point.
ACTOR AND ACTRESS THAT MAKE US WATCH UNINTERESTING FILMS
know you are fucking with me Brandon, but I'll defend myself anyway.
There honestly isn't a single actor or actress today that I'd see
anything with them in it. I really like Leo Dicaprio, but I had no
interest in seeing BODY OF LIES. That takes him off the list. I really
like Daniel Day-Lewis, but I couldn't even get through the first 20
minutes of NINE. Also takes him off the list. I really like Laura
Linney and Bill Murray. You couldn't pay me to sit through HYDE PARK ON
THE HUDSON. That takes them off. And so on.
Rogers on the other hand? Would watch anything with her in it. Have
watched several bad movies she was in and would gladly watch several
more just to catch a glimpse of her.
(Ok. Actually I'll
bite. I'd sit through a shitty movie with the sound off just so that I
could drool over Melanie Laurent as well).
DIRECTOR THAT MAKES US WATCH AN UNINTERESTING PLOT
John's right. Malick's BREAKING DAWN: PART I and II would be the film
events of the decade. They would just be shots of nature and shit while
Pattinson and Stewart played with each other's hair.
INTIMIDATING FILM QUESTION:
I'm currently not a fan of L'AVVENTURA. There I said it. Haven't seen it since I was 17, but whatevs.
You all HAVE to love UNCLE BOONME. Anything less is unacceptable. Duh.
THE MASTER is intimidating. It's also still a masterpiece. We should revisit that one.
F to Brandon for
not being specific with this question. Did you mean unheralded by the
Slant crowd or unheralded by the Devin Faraci's of the world? Either
way, I still don't have an answer, so I'm keeping my F.
Top 20 Westerns? Let's do it!