Entries in the Category "zodiac"
From what I understand, the seventies were all about serial killers and neckerchiefs
Hey, you know what's one of my favorite movies? I mean literally? Zodiac. Just the other day someone asked me what I thought was the best movie that came out in the last 5 to 10 years. It might have been a toss-up between Zodiac and Inglourious Basterds, but then I gave it to Zodiac because I haven't gotten around to re-watching Basterds yet, but I love Zodiac SO MUCH I burned it to my computer so I can watch it all the time.
So that was all just a preamble to this (enjoy):
From Tomato Nation
Entertainment Weekly's 100 New Classics: Summed Up
I’m coming closer and closer to finishing up the AFI lists—with the most minimal effort it will happen this week—but before that happens I thought I would sum up the EW list with my two favorite things, opinions and statistics.
Here’s how I felt about the list:
Most enjoyed: A Room with a View, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Ed Wood, Glory, Hannah and Her Sisters, In the Mood for Love, Schindler’s List, The Incredibles, The Lives of Others
Most enjoyed (pre-list favorites): Back to the Future, Clueless, Donnie Brasco, Edward Scissorhands, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fargo, Ghostbusters, L.A. Confidential, Lost in Translation, Memento, Men in Black, Moulin Rouge, Office Space, Rushmore, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Naked Gun, The Silence of the Lambs, The Truman Show, Thelma and Louise, Witness
Additionally, I’ve been compiling a list of Notable Omissions--movies which were released between ’83 and ’07, and thus eligible for the list, but which are unaccountably absent. The list will appear in a future entry (or, if it keeps expanding, in two of them).
Here’s some stats that interested me:
The breakdown of the list by decade is 30 films from the 1980s, 45 from the 1990s and 25 from the 2000s. Even so, the majority of the films I watched were from the 1980s, which is easily enough explained: while my movie coverage has been adequate in the ‘90s and ‘00s, I’m still playing catch-up to movies that came out when I was a child.
The directors whose films I watched the most of were Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuaron, Sam Raimi and James Cameron, at 2 films each. Cameron actually had 3 films on the list, but I had already seen Titanic (January 1997, the afternoon after I took my SATs, in case anyone cares). Other twice-appearing directors were Tim Burton, Rob Reiner, and Paul Thomas Anderson--each of whom had one movie I had seen previously and one movie which I watched this summer for the list--and Martin Scorsese, Peter Weir, Ridley Scott and the Coen brothers, each of whom had two films I had already seen.
One benefit of the EW list which I have mentioned previously is that its horizons extended beyond American-made movies. Another feature of the list, which I didn’t notice until I began compiling these stats yesterday, is that the EW list includes female directors--only five of them, but that still trounces either AFI list at zero and zero, respectively. Three of the female-helmed movies were massive hits: Shrek (co-directed by Vicky Jenson and Andrew Adamson), Clueless (Amy Heckerling) and Big (Penny Marshall). I had seen all of those movies, multiple times on multiple occasions.
The other two were critical darlings, and represent the only two Oscar nominations for Best Director that have ever happened to women. Ever. [Edited to add: I have since checked IMDb and realized that I misread Jane Campion's biography. One other woman received a Best Director Oscar nomination, Lina Wertmuller in 1975. My indignance is, I think, still warranted.] Those movies are The Piano (Jane Campion, in 1994—this was a list movie) and Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, in 2004, already seen). Though neither woman won the directing award, both took home the same consolation prize: Best Original Screenplay. At this rate, another woman should be due to lose Best Director in another five years. That’s not a fault of the list, of course, but of Hollywood standards in general.
One final observation: the Entertainment Weekly list feels, in general, darker and more gothic than the AFI lists. It seems densely populated with drug movies, mob movies, serial killer movies, sci-fi creature-on-the-loose movies. I don’t think this is necessarily because those darker genres are being made more of today. Look again at my Ed Wood entry and all those movies Bela Lugosi made.
The difference is that genre movies are becoming increasingly more respected; probably Francis Ford Coppola started things off by making operatic mob movies (popular since the 1930s) which so effectively utilized the concept of the American dream that the Corleones became a part of our cultural fabric. These days, any serious director can make a critically-acclaimed crime movie (see last summer’s The Dark Knight, or, from two summers ago, Zodiac). On the flip side, so-called “feelgood” movies are losing respect. Too many brainless romantic comedies which force two patently unlikeable characters to kiss in the rain and get married as the end credits roll, too many of those disposable kids’ movies where the kid discovers his dog can fly and that helps him stand up against a bully, or whatever.
Basically, it’s hard to scrounge up the sincerity that elevates a movie like It’s a Wonderful Life above its Hallmark-y premise, and they just don’t do it that much anymore.