Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by OhTheWater, Dec 14, 2020.
I’m very at peace with treating Nomadland as a 2021 film.
One of the benefits of the rise of streaming and VOD is that it is becoming easier to see things in the year they come out. They were holding Nomadland and hopefully this leak makes them realize the foolishness of that.
Every year, there is a scramble to see everything before the end of the year. Unless you live in New York or Los Angeles, you simply are unable to see the independent and foreign films that are given limited releases. This year, BACURAU, WOLFWALKERS, MARTIN EDEN, and COLLECTIVE highlight the biggest omissions. However, there is still plenty to celebrate this year.
10. THE TRIP TO GREECE
DIRECTED BY: MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM
The series that became a comfort blanket over the last decade, we are offered exactly what we expect; beautiful scenery, historical settings, and the bickering and the friendly rivalry between two men who are taking to their aging in very different ways, from the confident and satisfied to the brooding and regretful. It shows us how we are shaped by our own internal outlook on life, while the fleeting pleasures of travel and the highs of success mean nothing if you are intent on being pessimistic and in need of more. The search is ultimately fruitless, so we need to enjoy the journey.
9. I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
DIRECTED BY: CHARLIE KAUFMAN
This is probably the best representation of a talking pig since BABE: PIG IN THE CITY.
DIRECTED BY: CHLOE ZHAO
One of the earliest lessons a child is taught is that they are to shun the homeless. They are dirty, they are dangerous, they are on drugs, and they secretly live in a better house than you do. We have to tell ourselves these lies, lest our basic ideas of human decency and compassion kick in and we start demanding that some of the money that goes toward CEO bonuses or to build deadlier and deadlier weapons of war be diverted toward providing shelter for people. Capitalism is about always moving forward, because to dwell on any aspect of its failed promises would be to take your eye off the ball to the riches coming your way if only you work a little harder. Homelessness is like a glitch in THE MATRIX, as it exposes the inherent contradictions in the system that you were told is fair.
7. BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS
DIRECTED BY: BILL AND TURNER ROSS
A lot of my early twenties was spent at a place called Tapps. It was never considered anything special; it was hidden behind a grocery store and a jeweler, the bathrooms were always in a state of disrepair, and to accommodate smoking they just put a fence around the back door. However, it was like our version of Arnold's from Happy Days, a place that we just instinctively went to in the absence of much else to do other than seeing a movie or eating. You would run into people there without intending to, and it was the default place to go unless someone specifically steered you elsewhere. I remember being there when the death of Osama bin Laden was announced, or when a friend was yelled at for bringing outside food, or so many birthday celebrations and after-work unwinding. It was a place to go on Christmas night, after the family had started to wear you down and the brother of the bartender was hanging out in a full suit. Tapps closed a few years ago, not with a bang but with a whimper, and local nightlife has become increasingly upscaled to a downtown area with valet parking and dress codes. There is no turning back, but you can drive past that plaza and remember it.
6. VITALINA VARELA
DIRECTED BY: PEDRO COSTA
Cinema is usually interested in youth; their bodies are beautiful, their inexperience provides more teachable moments, and they are capable of radical shifts. For several films over two decades, Costa has dedicated his time to exploring the downtrodden and seemingly hopeless Cape Verde immigrants in Portugal, blending the real and the fictional into a long study about what people become when they feel like they are just waiting for the inevitable end of their difficult journeys. It is never going to be as grandiose as we want it to be for ourselves, but instead a long, slow, agonizing process of decline.
DIRECTED BY: GARRETT BRADLEY
We should all be able to agree that a 60-year sentence is too long for bank robbery.
DIRECTED BY: CHRISTIAN PETZOLD
Germany has long been an underperformer on the world cinematic stage. They were among the most influential in the world during the silent era and the Weimar Republic, with THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, NOSFERATU, and METROPOLIS standing out as some of the best representations of ways that silent directors used stunning imagery to tell their stories in the absence of one of our senses. However, cinema is an artform beholden to history, and the Nazi regime followed by decades of the Cold War split often left them lacking compared to heavyweights like France and Italy. However, Christian Petzold, along with Maren Ade, have shown a new light, with Petzold finding increasingly clever and unique ways to use genre and the conceits of high-concept storytelling to achieve real representations of loss and regret. One can only shudder at how an American remake would work.
3. CITY HALL
DIRECTED BY: FREDERICK WISEMAN
We are so used to following politics through the lens of media narrative that we lose sight of the actual moving parts that make it all work. Boston faces many of the same challenges that other cities do; an increasing wealth divide, an increased need for the city hierarchy to start looking like the people that actually live there, and the limited ability to do much of anything since a city cannot just print and borrow money like the national government. You cannot make everyone happy and everything ultimately comes don to finding a way to let down the least number of people as possible, but it is the system we have and it is a reflection of us; unsure of what we want but knowing we don't want what we have.
2. FIRST COW
DIRECTED BY: KELLY REICHARDT
It is so much more thrilling to watch a couple of guys try to get away with stealing some milk to make enough money to survive than it is to see two-CGI enhanced monsters and heroes punch each other in front of a vista made in a computer. Sometimes it is just better to bask in the silence of characters moving around in their spaces, allowing you to contextualize your surroundings and empathize with their experiences. We do not need to relentlessly push the plot like we are running out of time, and we can treasure the unique ability of movies to take us to places, times, and situations we will never experience.
1. NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
DIRECTED BY: ELIZA HITTMAN
In 2007, critics hailed 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS for its unflinching depiction of the horrors and difficulties of getting an abortion under an authoritarian Communist regime. It brought us the Romanian New Wave, with several great films and directors that are still pushing boundaries today. However, if we are to recoil at the plight of the girls in Ceausescu's Romania, what is our excuse in our seemingly more moral and fair system? We all know the inherent phoniness and pandering in the abortion "debate", as any single one of these 80 year-old-extremists would ship their daughter (or mistress) to get their procedure done if the situation called for it. They are just punishing the weak and the poor, and doubly cruel is the knowledge that taking away reproductive freedom is just going to increase the generational transfer of poverty. When you hit those roadblocks, people will sigh and apologize and suggest alternatives that they know are unworkable, but the day of reckoning for these arbitrary restrictions rarely comes. It is democracy as a calcified carcass.
Next year we have many interesting films to look forward to, such as:
ANOTHER MORTAL KOMBAT MOVIE
ANOTHER RESIDENT EVIL MOVIE
ANOTHER JAMES BOND MOVIE
ANOTHER KINGSMAN MOVIE
TOP GUN: DON'T MAKE CHINA MAD EDITION
A MOVIE BASED OFF THE RACIST JUNGLE CRUISE RIDE AT DISNEYLAND
PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE
EIGHTEEN SUPERHERO MOVIES
It will be as fun as usual.
There are a lot that I haven't gotten around to, including Nomadland, Bacarau, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Another Round, etc. I may consider the ones that aren't technically available yet as 2021 films. I always go back and forth on what to do with those. I also always consult the lists posted here for what to catch up on over Jan and Feb.
2020 Films Ranked
1. Dark [S3]
2. Better Call Saul [S5]
3. Lovecraft Country
4. The Last Dance
5. Rick and Morty [-S4]
6. The Mandalorian [S2]
8. Midnight Gospel [S1]
9. What We Do In The Shadows [S2]
10. Bojack Horseman [S6]
I watched a shitload of TV this year, and still didn't get to a couple shows I wanted to. I typically binge an entire series or two that I've never seen each year. Last year was The Shield. I'm currently going through Justified now. Will likely start either The Wire or The Sopranos afterwards.
Mad-Dad Movie Review on Apple Podcasts
Mine & my daughter’s top 10 films of 2020.
I’m seeing Promising Young Woman this week so it might actually end up on my list whenever I revise it down the road (after seeing more).
Another great video from Ehrlich. Few of those on his list I still haven't seen.
Cool to see Time at number 1. I haven’t seen it but Garrett Bradley’s America is one of the most beautiful docushorts I’ve ever seen.
Ehrlich’s montages might end up as some of the best criticism of our era. Unlike most YouTube critics, he lets the images themselves convey quality, sequencing pieces of different films in such fluid and perfect rhythm, that the hard to define in words qualities of cinema that can sometimes be beyond even the best critics, are the thesis.
First Cow almost unforgivably low though.
I usually don't agree with his picks, but the video itself is always stunning. I was worried when it took this long.
Time is really good. Definitely worth a watch.
Hell yea, Reverse Shot typically has the list that I know the least of
Where should I start with Pedro Costa? (Probably a better question for the Canon thread but I'm in here.)
I think Vitalina Varela is as good a starting point as any of his other stuff. His work very quiet and deliberately paced, even more so than most directors known for slow cinema. I think for most directors you can't go wrong going chronologically though. I think Ossos is probably his breakthrough, and In Vanda's Room and Horse Money are solid. Colossal Youth I haven't seen but I know was polarizing at Cannes, though I'm sure it's great.
Days is an interesting number 1 since it didn't technically release in theaters this year.
Ossos. It’s the link between his more “traditional” approach and the larger project that has defined the rest of his career. It really eases into his singular style - one that can be alienating even by festival/art cinema standards. Every one of his “narrative” films since builds upon it. His work definitely demands a certain level of patience and engagement, but Ossos is still quite accessible.
I am watching Ossos
Jesus christ (I am still not half way through)
I don’t know if I can say I “loved” that, but I am sure it/the images within it will stick with me for a long time. I am interested in delving into more but that 93 mins felt like a lifetime, I’m scared of his longer work
He is maybe the best active filmmaker at crafting and capturing lasting images
I don’t know if I’ve had another film that I really want/need to watch again to fully grasp, but also never want to see again
I think Lars Von Trier is like that for me. I’m always reluctant to watch his stuff, then am fascinated by it while watching, and then am again reluctant for the next one. A very different filmmaker than Costa, but another one who I always come away from with deep and complicated feelings
I am absolutely going to check out other films. I just need about 10 trash palate cleansers, so I am going to watch Rad now
That tracking shot of the man carrying the garbage bag has haunted me for years. I don’t know if there’s another filmic image that is so clearly imprinted in my mind.
That scene specifically is when I locked in. At first you’re just entranced by the rhythm and then you see the bag. It popped into my head and I thought ”no that’s not what’s happening” and then the scene kept going