Sunday, March 17, 2013


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.


haha 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.

MIDNIGHT IN 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.

In 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 bros. haha.


Here's two better picks I'm ashamed to still really like - SUPERMAN RETURNS and BATMAN BEGINS.  I love both DC characters - even irrationally.

Brandon, 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.


I 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.

Tim 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.

The 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 confirmed that:


I 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 hazardous.


I 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.

I'm 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.

Brandon, 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.

One 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.


I 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.

Ginger 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).


haha 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.


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!

No comments:

Post a Comment