Film Criticism

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Altair
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:56 pm
Location: England

Re: Film Criticism

#802 Post by Altair » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:11 pm

BBC Culture's 100 Greatest American Films

A really strange list: the top 10 reads like the AFI list, but then deeper into it are some great, offbeat classics: Heaven's Gate (#98), The Shanghai Gesture (#72), Letter from an Unknown Woman (#43) etc.

But... Forrest Gump?

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#803 Post by Ribs » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:14 pm

Letter from an Unknown Woman isn't that odd a choice; it came in at 154th on Sight and Sound in 2012, for instance. It's usually not that high up but it's definitely up there.

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copen
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:43 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#804 Post by copen » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:18 pm

[quote="Altair"]BBC Culture's 100 Greatest American Films


53. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, 1975)
This seems to be the only documentary on the list. Probably an error. They've heard so much about it, that they decided to put it on the list.

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Newsnayr
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:54 am

Re: Film Criticism

#805 Post by Newsnayr » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:15 pm

It should be noted that to make the list, the BBC polled 62 international film critics, asking them for their top 10s Sight and Sound style (though they were ranked with corresponding point values), including Jonathan Rosenbaum.


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domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#807 Post by domino harvey » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:50 pm

Hi Jonathan. What do you think will be the end result of cinematic universes, particularly the Marvel Universe and the recently announced "writing room" for future Transformers films? Do you think they'll change mainstream film completely or slowly fall apart?

JonathanRosenbaumAMA:
I have no idea because I have zero interest in these films.
Where's Michael Mann to name-drop Henry James again?

criterionic
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:48 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#808 Post by criterionic » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:18 am

Any idea what has happened to David Thomson? I enjoyed his articles for The New Republic, but suddenly he was gone. I haven't heard his opinion of films by filmmakers he likes like Inherent Vice, Under the Skin etc.

oh yeah
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:45 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#809 Post by oh yeah » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:38 pm

I heard he vanished in a gaseous cloud of his own pomposity...

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Professor Wagstaff
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#810 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:43 pm

Any chance he's strictly writing books these days? Looking at Amazon, I see he published Why Acting Matters earlier this year an has another title called How to Watch a Movie coming out next month.

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FakeBonanza
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:35 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#811 Post by FakeBonanza » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:26 pm

Professor Wagstaff wrote:Any chance he's strictly writing books these days? Looking at Amazon, I see he published Why Acting Matters earlier this year an has another title called How to Watch a Movie coming out next month.
Jesus Christ, it never ends with that guy.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#812 Post by Gregory » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:37 pm

From the publisher's description:
You've been watching movies for most of your life. But often you're not quite sure what you think, or why.
Nothing like talking down to your readership, I guess. Sometimes maybe but "often"?
How to Watch a Movie ... is a reminder that seeing isn't just for the dark - it is our essential link with life.
What? This sentence is reminiscent of some of what I've read of Thomson's writing: ornate statements that sound important but say little. Earlier this year I tried reading his The Whole Equation and got partway through chapter 2 before giving up (and giving the book away). The convoluted sentences that conveyed very little information quickly got to be too much to take. And when writing about something like the casting couch, a film historian should separate fact from rumor and innuendo and show that some actual research has been done. Instead we get repeated musings about, er, "swallowing" and a disgusting aside about the supposed origins of lip gloss. If I wanted to read a sordid blend of fact and fiction, Kenneth Anger already covered it a hundred times better and more entertainingly than that.

The LA Times blurb used by the publisher calling him "the greatest living film historian" is pretty funny given the context: the review it comes from (of Have You Seen...) starts out:
David Thomson is, without doubt, the greatest living film historian, archivist and professional fan, as any reader of "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" will surely agree.
Oh, surely. Then the next sentence is:
Whether Thomson is also a great critic is not so clear.
Even though the reviewer is extremely sympathetic to Thomson, he ends up concluding that the book is often extremely frustrating and padded out to fill a thousand pages.

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MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
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Re: Film Criticism

#813 Post by MichaelB » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:18 am

He had a dreadful column on actors in the Independent on Sunday in which he seemed to show more interest in box-office grosses than mundane things like technique.

oh yeah
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:45 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#814 Post by oh yeah » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:44 am

It doesn't take long to find a clunker line in a Thomson piece; here, in his review of Gone Girl and The Blue Room, it's the very first one:

"Here are two films about murder and marriage—do they go together like a horse and carriage?"

:-s #-o

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thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#815 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:54 pm

Is David Thomson the one who lusted after Nicole Kidman quite famously?

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#816 Post by Gregory » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:15 pm

Infamously. He obsesses about her nude scenes for pages but anticipates the inevitable "hideous" wake-up-screaming moment when she ages out of the "nymph" phase of her career and becomes an adult (somewhere around the age of 40 by his estimation) but assures his readers that "this book was conceived and composed while she was still hot and hittable."

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Film Criticism

#817 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:44 am

It's been reported that Condé Nast has purchased Pitchfork.

As you may remember, the Dissolve was actually a Pitchfork-owned and operated site. Perhaps there's a connection between its closure and this sale?

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Film Criticism

#818 Post by Drucker » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:50 am

I mean if a company is trying to sell itself, it will, pardon the crude language, shed "unnecessary" fat.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Film Criticism

#819 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:16 pm

That's what I figure - at the time, they were likely in negotiations, and unless they were doing something that defied common sense, dropping The Dissolve was probably done to help the sale.

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FrauBlucher
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village

Re: Film Criticism

#820 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:53 am


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Trees
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:04 pm

Favorite critics/writers/reviwers?

#821 Post by Trees » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:03 am

Who are some of the critics and film writers you respect most? Whose reviews do you look forward to reading when a new film that looks interesting comes out?

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flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
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Re: Favorite critics/writers/reviwers?

#822 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:25 am

I've commented on OutlawVern's website for 2-3 years now. I don't read every single thing he reviews, and the kinds of films he's more known for reviewing aren't totally my cup of tea (he's published a book about Steven Seagal's work), but of the films I've seen I liked what he's had to say about them.

I like Mark Kermode a bit too, mostly in his banter with Simon Mayo.

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thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#823 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:36 pm

Given that Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian has been giving out five stars like confetti recently, best not to rely on his word too often anymore.

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: Film Criticism

#824 Post by movielocke » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:48 pm

thirtyframesasecond wrote:Given that Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian has been giving out five stars like confetti recently, best not to rely on his word too often anymore.
This is stupid. Sometimes outliers occur. This may be an outlier year for him in terms of five star reviews.

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Trees
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#825 Post by Trees » Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:50 am

Rex Reed 10 Best of 2015 :roll:

This has got to be one of the safest, most boilerplate lists I have ever seen. http://observer.com/2015/12/rex-reed-th ... s-of-2015/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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