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“Ultimately, plot is of little importance, more of a mechanical contrivance against which characters come to life.”
The Top 10 Movies of the Year lists are starting to pour in here’s a couple for you:
2. Synecdoche, New York
3. My Winnipeg
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Slumdog Millionaire
8. Iron Man
9. Speed Racer
10. Encounters at the End of the World.
(I love how bold they are not putting The Dark Knight on the list, and then having the gall to put the far less worthy Iron Man and Speed Racer on there)
Roger Ebert did a list of his favorite films which were 20 and which were not ordered:
The Band’s Visit
The Dark Knight
Rachel Getting Married
Synecdoche, New York
I’m working on my list. You should be working on yours.
“Magnolia” is one of those rare films that works in two entirely different ways. In one sense, it tells absorbing stories, filled with detail, told with precision and not a little humor. On another sense, it is a parable. The message of the parable, as with all good parables, is expressed not in words but in emotions. After we have felt the pain of these people, and felt the love of the policeman and the nurse, we have been taught something intangible, but necessary to know. That Paul Thomas Anderson thinks and creates in this way is proven again in his latest film, “There Will Be Blood” (2007). It is another film with an enigmatic ending, one that “Magnolia” teaches me I will have to think more carefully about.
Top 10 Books
1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
3. Dune by Frank Herbert
4. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
5. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
6. The Stand by Stephen King
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
10. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Top 10 TV shows
2. Battlestar Galactica
3. The X-Files
5. Stargate: SG-1
6. Doctor Who
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation
8. Babylon 5
9. Star Trek
10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
From the New York Times review of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre:
“To the honor of Mr. Huston’s integrity, it should be finally remarked that women have small place in this picture, which is just one more reason why it is good.”
[The following questions were culled from various movie surveys that I've come across. I've been filling it out for the last month]
- Earliest Movie Watching Memory: My first movie was Empire Strikes Back. My Dad and older brother went. I remember the Hoth sequence. There were some boys in the front row goofing that dad barked at to keep ‘em quiet.
- Last DVD purchased: I’m not sure. I don’t buy too many DVDs. Possibly Gus Van Sant’s Elephant ($2)
- If you were a guest programmer for TCM what three movies would you choose to best represent your tastes: Were talking classics, like, from the 80s right? Since I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on TCM a couple of months ago I’m counting anything from the 80s and before. Casablanca (because it still holds up today as a compelling drama), Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (not just for nostalgic reasons), and The Jerk (for some nostalgic reasons, but also because it’s hilarious).
Manohla Dargis writes an interesting article on the role of women (lack there of) in Hollywood.
I don’t watch Spike Lee films, but he makes an interesting comment on the Coen Bros. Lee said:
“I always treat life and death with respect, but most people don’t… Look, I love the Coen brothers; we all studied at NYU. But they treat life like a joke. Ha ha ha. A joke. It’s like, ‘Look how they killed that guy! Look how blood squirts out the side of his head!’ I see things different than that.”