February 2009


We’ve got more videos of Thomas on YouTube, which can be found here, here and here.  They play better on YouTube than they do when I embed them here, so you can just click on the links.  Enjoy.  Two of them are from back at Christmas while the other one is from last Saturday.

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Somewhat to our surprise, it looks like we will be moving next month. As our family readers know, our current apartment has had issues with heat and parking, so we have been casually watching craigslist for a new place. Well, we put in an application and have been accepted! We will be moving from Arlington Heights to Arlington Center (details to follow soon via email to family and friends). This move will put us closer to Thomas’ preschool (though farther from his potential kindergarten), and closer to Tufts (it’s right on a bus line that goes directly there). It’s still on the Arlington bike trail, and we’ll be right next to the farmer’s market in the summer.

Sofia Coppola - young, talented, and will be on a future version of the list

Sofia Coppola - young, talented, and will be on a future version of the list

Writing a list of the 100 greatest of anything is bound to start people complaining about what was left out, and of course, what actually made the list. Of course, I’m a firm believer that the best way to criticize a list is to make your own list. That was why I read every book on the Modern Library’s list and then wrote my own lists of the 100 Greatest Novels.

This list is actually considerably harder to do than a list of the 100 Greatest Films. Yes, I have seen well over 5,000 films and have to trim that down, but with directors, I have to determine how they get ranked. Purely on how well they direct a film? On how good their films are? How do I account for their best films? Should I include other people’s opinions? To that end, I made a 1000 point scale, with 10 100 point categories.

The problem many people might have with this is that it reduces everything to a number, and how do you reduce art to a number? Well, I did and without I would not have been able to come up with this list. (more…)

Sunset Boulevard (1950) - the greatest film ever made

Sunset Boulevard (1950) - the greatest film ever made

Here we have it. Oscar day is upon us. And for those of you who have been reading these posts for the last month, thanks, and I hope, if you like film, you’ll keep reading. For the next year, I’ll be doing a countdown of the 100 Greatest Directors of All-time, doing one every few days or so. I’ll also continue to do regular film posts and the Family News page will come back to the front, if you’re here to read about Thomas, Veronica and me.

Okay, so that was last year.  The Top 100 Directors are now all completed as can be seen here. This next year involves further work on my Year in Film series, my Top 100 Novels and, starting this week, an in-depth look at all the Best Picture nominees.

Anyway, for the last post, since I have seen 461 475 of the 468 478 films that have been nominated for Best Picture, I am giving a comparative ranking of all the films nominated for Best Picture.

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1990 saw the re-introduction of an interesting phenomenon – the split between the critics and the major awards groups. It had happened before. In 1975 and 76, Nashville and All the President’s Men had both won Best Picture from three different critics groups, only to lose the Golden Globe, Directors Guild and the Oscar for Best Picture (to One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Rocky). Until 1990, the only other film to manage three Best Picture wins from the major critics groups was Terms of Endearment, which won the Oscar. Then the trend came in with a vengeance. (more…)

This stretch of films begins with the only Best Picture winner to get nominated for Visual Effects and not win (Patton) and ends with the first Best Picture in 57 years to win without a Best Director nomination.

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1950 dawned with All About Eve, still talked about because of its (since tied) record 14 nominations. Among its nominations were two for Best Actress, which it didn’t win. In fact, no Best Picture winner during this period won Best Actress, even though 12 of the 21 Best Actress winners during this stretch were in Best Picture nominees.

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