Academy Awards


lean-o-tool-tour-lawrence--gRight from the start, the directors kind of ruled the world of film.  They were paid well and by the 1930s they were getting “film by” credit and before too long that credit was before the title (in fact, mandated that way by agreement with the DGA).  They formed one of the powerful early guilds and their guild was one of the first two to begin giving out their own awards.  Writer-directors started to rise in the 1940s (lead by Preston Sturges and John Huston) and that would become the standard for most of the great foreign directors.  In the 1960s the auteur theory would come along and propel a number of directors to the top of the film world when it came to critical appreciation of the medium.  Today we are still in an era of truly great film directors, from those who came up through the medium in the 70s (Spielberg, Scorsese) to those 70s type independent minded directors who missed that era and came right after (Coen Brothers, Almodovar) to the great directors who made their mark in the 90s and later (Tarantino, Nolan, P.T. Anderson).  Following not too long after this post will come finally my 3.0 version of the Top 100 Directors of All-Time.

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“Smiley shrugged it all aside, distrustful as ever of the standard shapes of human motive, and settled instead for a picture of one of those wooden Russian dolls that open up, revealing one person inside the other, and another inside him. Of all men living, only Karla had seen the last little doll inside Bill Haydon. When was Bill recruited, and how? Was his right-wing stand at Oxford a pose, or was it paradoxically the state of sin from which Karla had summoned him to grace?” (p 316)

My Top 10

  1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  2. The Descendants
  3. Hugo
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  5. The Ides of March
  6. My Week with Marilyn
  7. Jane Eyre
  8. Moneyball
  9. Incendies
  10. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

note:  A solid Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)

Screen Shot 2022-05-08 at 3.34.23 PMThe penultimate grouping of 50 has films that earn a 97 down through 2001.  After that, they are a 98.  The intro is here.  Other parts can be found here. (more…)

Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 6.22.30 AMLists are not a new thing for me.  Lists of the best films are not a new thing for me.  I have been doing this for so long that some of my old lists look like the work of a different person.

When cleaning up stuff at my mother’s house, I took her old Macintosh to be recycled.  But it wasn’t just her old computer.  It was the family computer that we bought in 1990.  It had old homework of mine from high school and among other things, what is possibly the first (certainly the oldest in existence) list of the Top 100 Movies of All-Time made by me.  As I prepare to dive into the Top 100 (through 2011), here’s a look back at a list I can’t really explain.  I’ll add a few notes at the bottom, but suffice to say, tastes change over time. (more…)

Screen Shot 2022-02-12 at 9.19.40 AMAnother part of the Top 1000 films through 2011.  The introduction can be found here.  Preceding parts of the list can be found here.  All of these films are a 95, which is high ****.  All but 6 of these films (all in very good years) earned Nighthawk nominations for Best Picture. (more…)

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“You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.” Not in Mezrich’s book. That’s pure Sorkin.  And true.  100% true.

My Top 10

  1. The Social Network
  2. True Grit
  3. The Ghost Writer
  4. Winter’s Bone
  5. Toy Story 3
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
  7. The Town
  8. Shutter Island
  9. Rabbit Hole
  10. Never Let Me Go

note:  A much stronger Top 5 and Top 10 than the previous years. (more…)

education-mulligan

The most memorable moment in the film – described in the book but not with dialogue.

My Top 10

  1. An Education
  2. Up in the Air
  3. A Single Man
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. The Informant
  6. Precious
  7. District 9
  8. Coraline
  9. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  10. The Damned United

note:  Not the strongest Top 5 and a fairly weak second 5.  But it had a lot of solid scripts (good enough to make the list) so there’s a more sizable continuation down at the bottom. (more…)

slumdogend

Actually, it is only written in the screenplay. The book is very different.

My Top 10

  1. Slumdog Millionaire
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Revolutionary Road
  4. Doubt
  5. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
  6. Let the Right One In
  7. The Reader
  8. Iron Man
  9. A Secret
  10. Appaloosa

note:  Not the strongest Top 5 and a fairly weak second 5. (more…)

A Century of Film


disney-logoDisney


The Studio

It began with a man named Walt and a mouse named Mickey.  But of course neither of those things is actually true and that’s part of the image that lies behind the company that is not only the most successful movie studio at work today but pretty much an all-encompassing way of life that can not be ignored. (more…)

A Century of Film

Kids Filmsozgang


The Genre

For a lot of people, Kids films mean Animated films.  Perhaps part of the problem is that I really should re-name the genre to Family Films, which I probably would if it didn’t mean making changes in so many different spreadsheets.  “Kids” implies it’s only for children and a lot of these films are only for children (and really shouldn’t even be for them because they’re so insipid) whereas “Family” opens up the notion to films that are good for kids, that kids can enjoy, but really are also aimed at the whole family where adults can also enjoy them.  That would make people stop thinking just “animated” and open things up to films like The Wizard of Oz, Miracle on 34th Street, The Muppet Movie or Babe.

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