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From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Sight and Sound Poll
Topic by: dpowers
Posted: October 7, 2002 - 5:31 PM PDT
Last Reply: December 11, 2002 - 9:08 AM PST

page  1  2  3      prev | next
author topic: Sight and Sound Poll
dpowers
post #1  on October 7, 2002 - 5:31 PM PDT  
thanks Eoliano for putting together the sight and sound poll list. looking at their website, i wondered if watching the top ten change over time, if that told me anything ... i decided there wasn't enough information.

"I ... assume it's no longer necessary to mention Chaplin, Godard, Hitchcock, Ozu, Renoir or Welles," says jonathan rosenbaum.

it feels as though, even with the difference in, what, honesty? between the movies on the sight and sound lists, and the AFI 100 movies, i have to give the AFI list credit for me becoming a total movie junkie (in my own way). i didn't even own a VCR or a working television until i came home from a trip with the AFI 100 and a magazine's hipster response under my elbow.

still, is the top of the sight and sound list self-perpetuating? more and more movies are being made, have been made, that it's becoming really hard for new critics to have seen the breadth of worldwide film, from now back to the beginning, without some guidance that comes from places like the sight and sound list.
Eoliano
post #2  on October 8, 2002 - 6:48 AM PDT  
Hey D!

Glad you took the time to post in this forum.

While the AFI list is mainly English language films and primarily American produced films at that, the Sight & Sound list is a completely international endeavor, with individual lists made by critics and directors from all over the world.

I don't know if you looked at the entire list of films that were submitted by all the critics and directors, but if you browse through that long list, it is apparent that there are quite a few recent films that were entered.

I highly doubt the list is self-perpetuating in any way, great films are just that, great films. My opinion is that by choosing the finest in order to compile a list, one considers film as an art form and not by what is popular or by what makes it a success at the box office. Of course, there are other criteria, such as whether or not a film has something to say on a social or humanitarian level. As for me, it is what stays with you over a period of time, what bears repeated viewing, and how well the films stature holds up over the course of time, along with it being a well made work of art. However, I also consider whether the film took cinema to a higher level or was a groundbreaking film and perhaps too, if it had something to say. We're all allowed our personal indulgences, and I certainly have mine.

I have kept an eye on the list for forty years, and I see no reason to believe that it perpetuates itself. The list of directors and critics does vary every ten years, and certainly, they are quite a different lot than those chosen fifty years ago.

AC
dpowers
post #3  on October 8, 2002 - 10:35 AM PDT  
how can you call it truly international when 5 of 10 on the 2002 list were american films?

the list looks like it changes over the years, but it really doesn't. only twice have movies from outside the G8 (canada, france, germany, italy, japan, russia, united kingdom, united states) made it to the list. canada and germany didn't even make it!

counting up the nationalities of all the movies that have appeared, the list looks badly skewed toward what the critics have been exposed to.

out of 64 total spots on 6 lists, by principal country:

24 - USA
13 - france
9 - italy
7 - USSR
5 - japan
3 - UK
2 - sweden
1 - india

out of 32 unique movies on 6 lists, principal country:

13 - USA
5 - france
4 - italy
3 - japan
2 - USSR
2 - UK
2 - sweden
1 - india

and worth noting, i'm counting 2001: a space odyssey as UK, but it might be more properly american.

it doesn't quite have a global scope. if you want to call this an example of the vitality and productivity of american moviemakers, i can go with that, but you have to disprove first that lack of distribution doesn't cripple "foreign" cinema's chances of making the top ten.
dpowers
post #4  on October 8, 2002 - 10:39 AM PDT  
>you have to disprove first that lack of distribution doesn't cripple "foreign" cinema's chances of making the top ten.

oops, double negative. either you have to prove it, or it cripples the chances, not both. ;)
Eoliano
post #5  on October 8, 2002 - 12:02 PM PDT  
>how can you call it truly international when 5 of 10 on the 2002 list were american films?

Not to be persnickety, by international, I meant that the directors and critics were from around the globe, as well as the films. Exposure is everything; no distrubutor, no exposure, however, thanks to film festivals as well as video, the complete list of films is more than an adaquate representation of world cinema. Lets face it, American films dominate the world. The last time I was to Italy, it was was shocking how few Italian films were in distribution there when compared to American titles, and the same holds true for France and Great Britain.

>canada and germany didn't even make it!

There are two Cronenberg (Canadian) films and several German films listed if you take a look at All Films that received votes will give a broader view of the internationality of the selections.

The fact that the critics and directors chose what they did is a matter of their own discretionary tastes.

Films from countries that did not make the Top 10 should not infuriate, in fact, taking in the big picture is if anything, stimulating and informative. I have not seen so many of the films listed is on the one hand infuriating I suppose, but that is fine with me as it also raises a specter of curiosity.

The Sight and Sound list has always been a controversial undertaking, and they admit it, but there it is.


dpowers
post #6  on October 8, 2002 - 5:40 PM PDT  
Eoliano wrote:
> ... by international, I meant that the directors and critics were from around the globe, as well as the films.

but for the most part, the non-G8 reviewers' suggestions were wiped out at the top of the list by the european and american critics. gatekeepers, de facto or not, are gatekeepers.

>thanks to film festivals as well as video, the complete list of films is more than an adaquate representation of world cinema.

it's quite interesting, and includes a number of movies i'd never heard of before, which always makes me happy. i'm working my way through it now, slowly; there are (surprise surprise) few english-language reviews of the asian and african movies.

yeah you're probably right, it's not a bad representation, but it's not by any means a survey or an attempt at doing region by region best-ofs, as one would hope could be another way to compile the top ten list.

> The fact that the critics and directors chose what they did is a matter of their own discretionary tastes.

eh, i can't let them off the hook that easy.

the youngest movies on the 1952 top list were 4 years old at polling time. the youngest movie on the 2002 top list was 28 years old, the greatest difference of all the polls. that gap started in 1982 and just kept growing.

you know what i think, i think the voting system needs to be reworked, to deal with the multiplicity of feelings that moral relativist movies create in audiences. like it or not sight and sound probably has to put their foot down and call for a second vote on the post-1970 movies, to make sure that the juggernaut of golden age simplicity doesn't roll over newer, more complicated but just as worthy works.

> Films from countries that did not make the Top 10 should not infuriate, in fact, taking in the big picture is if anything, stimulating and informative ... it ... raises a specter of curiosity.

ideally the top ten lists themselves would fire the mind, rather than making critics look hopelessly old and boring. mind you those movies they chose, i think they're really amazing. and a little dated.

> The Sight and Sound list has always been a controversial undertaking, and they admit it, but there it is.

i like that they do it. so, adjust it!

/david
dpowers
post #7  on October 8, 2002 - 5:54 PM PDT  
DPOWERS wrote:
> ... i think the voting system needs to be reworked, to deal with the multiplicity of feelings that moral relativist movies create in audiences.

and regional industries popping up and distribution networks closing down and and and and and ... /d
Eoliano
post #8  on October 8, 2002 - 8:34 PM PDT  
Have you considerered writing to Sight and Sound directly and send them your opinion? They might appreciate your point of view because it is certainly a valid point of view.
dpowers
post #9  on October 9, 2002 - 10:29 AM PDT  
> Have you considerered writing to Sight and Sound directly and send them your opinion?

i didn't think i had enough to go on. i'd really like to triangulate a little, maybe someone else will jump into this thread, as a reality check, two people can go wrong so quickly....

you know, another possibility is, although there's an enormous shift between '72 and '82 (ford and hitchcock and singin' in the rain for bergman and the passion of joan of arc; ford-via-kurosawa for mizoguchi), it could be that at some point, 10 slots just weren't enough to allow for something more modern and more controversial to get in there with the big guys.

no that's probably a cop out. l'avventura was a very controversial film, right? critics walked out, panned it, did all kinds of things. persona made people argue, too, i think. harder to argue with the later lists.
Eoliano
post #10  on October 9, 2002 - 11:15 AM PDT  
A deeper regionalized selection of critics and directors would make a reasonable argument for more diversity. Had that been the case to begin with, how would the list have turned out in your opinion?

Another person or thread would be a very welcome as I had requested that this particular forum be created.

> two people can go wrong so quickly.... (?)Hmmm....

Singin in the Rain is a mystery to me. I have always had problems with the musical on film, and there is a definite minor shift towards more entertaining films finding a place on the list. And yes, theres no Mizoguchi, no Sansho, no Ugetsu, and no Burmese Harp for that matter. Given that fact that the polls contributors change every ten years and is certainly not that of 50 or 40 years ago, one would think the list would have permutated more.

Citizen Kane was controversial in its time, as was Lavventura, which did indeed cause a commotion at Venice. Antonioni has always been highly regarded. I have very few qualms with his work from Il Grido to Red Desert, with minor caveats on Blow Up, and I greatly admire Profession: Reporter (The Passenger). He still tries to work and turned 90 last month. Lucky us.
dpowers
post #11  on October 10, 2002 - 1:59 PM PDT  
> A deeper regionalized selection of critics and directors would make a reasonable argument for more diversity. Had that been the case to begin with, how would the list have turned out in your opinion?

well for one thing, there's a slim chance that JUST ONE chinese-language movie would have been chosen, over the fifty years of polling. i guess that's a place to start.

but i'd predict (because i know everything) that by popular vote, because american movies had wide distribution, and colonial-european and japanese classy movies were moving relatively freely in other wealthy regions, that votes would still accumulate in favor of older movies (longer saturation) from wealthier parts of the world (wider distribution), even from critics in poor areas, with american movies taking top spots.

(i officially acknowledge that artistic and technical merit matter, but, wow, if anybody ever asks me what i think of citizen kane have i got a load to dump on them. a vote for citizen kane is a vote for the self-transformational power of very rich people!)

scenarios:

1. more care selecting regional critics and directors for polling. result, probably not that different due to distribution inequalities, but increased chances for non-industrial films to make the top of the list. a terrific start!

2. a quota is established, by region. current voters are sent top ten lists for each area and asked to rank them. movies not seen would be indicated as such. result? probably the non-industrial movies their local critics thought were good would not line up with those that foreign critics had seen or liked. raw voting still goes to industrial world movies.

3. quota by decade. i think votes on movies after 1970 would reveal big ideological differences among critics, particularly around different definitions of "entertaining" and "compelling." actually we could take a look at this now, using just the info on the poll web site, but it would take a little while to compile. raw voting would probably still give industrial world movies the edge ... ?

okay to "fix" the poll, i would get more pollees from everywhere, and then provide equal but separate views of the poll data by decade, region, and raw votes ... and somehow, somehow, indicate whether a movie was a regional or international favorite.

> > two people can go wrong so quickly.... (?)Hmmm....

oh you know, you get all excited because you're talking with somebody and it turns out that what you both know is totally wrong and then the minute you open your mouth somewhere else, a hook suddenly sweeps you off the stage.

> Singin? in the Rain is a mystery to me. I have always had problems with the musical on film, and there is a definite minor shift towards more entertaining films finding a place on the list.

singin' in the rain is a powerful movie, though! it's very engaging, very alluring, very fun. it's definitely at the peak of american-style stage and screen escapism, blending stage/screen and onstage/offstage with great care. you have to frame your argument pretty carefully to call another movie more pleasurable.

i'm as willing as anyone to provide that frame but that's because i like my comedies to leave nothing standing at the end but the smile on my face. :) catharsis over boosterism.

> Given that fact that the poll?s contributors change every ten years and is certainly not that of 50 or 40 years ago, one would think the list would have permutated more.

yeah i know! although, people are pretty stupid.

> I have very few qualms with [Antonioni's] work from Il Grido to Red Desert, with minor caveats on Blow Up, and I greatly admire Profession: Reporter (The Passenger).

what i've seen of antonioni (4 so far), i've loved. le amíche and beyond the clouds in my queue. talk to me about il grido; i've read that it goes too bleak, loses force where red desert gained.

> He still tries to work and turned 90 last month. Lucky us.

hard to believe but the movie that seriously bent me away from real life was manoel de oliveira's anxiety, made when he was 90. it does all the good things in singin' with such charity, such wisdom, it really boggled me.
Eoliano
post #12  on October 10, 2002 - 4:11 PM PDT  
>>well for one thing, there's a slim chance that JUST ONE chinese-language movie would have been chosen, over the fifty years of polling. i guess that's a place to start.

And yet there were votes cast for Ashes of Time, Chungking Express, Brighter Summer Day, Chunhyang, City of Sadness, Crows and Sparrows, Farewell My Concubine, Five Fingers of Death, Flowers of Shanghai, Happy Together, The Highway, In the Mood for Love, Ju Dou, The Puppetmaster, Red Persimmon, Red Sorghum, Song of Exile, Spring in a Small Town, Taipei Story, To Live, Touch of Zen, Ming-liang Tsai's Vive l'Amour (Aiqing wansui), Yellow Earth and Yi yi.
Many of these votes coming from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan and of course, rest of world, though Asian votes were definitely in the minority, absolutely. Time, time&

>>(i officially acknowledge that artistic and technical merit matter, but, wow, if anybody ever asks me what i think of citizen kane have i got a load to dump on them. a vote for citizen kane is a vote for the self-transformational power of very rich people!)

I always considered Citizen Kane to be an attack on the "self-transformational power of very rich people". (!)

>>scenarios

I think that you may be making things too complicated, but I am more likely in agreement with much of what you propose. It is a matter for the Sight and Sound folks to awaken to.

>>singin' in the rain is a powerful movie, though! it's very engaging, very alluring, very fun. it's definitely at the peak of american-style stage and screen escapism, blending stage/screen and onstage/offstage with great care. you have to frame your argument pretty carefully to call another movie more pleasurable.

Singin' in the Rain simply does not move me; having worked in theatre and around Broadway, I am allowed to have a personal opinion and without the need for an argument. Another "musical" movie more pleasurable for me would be The Red Shoes.

>>what i've seen of antonioni (4 so far), i've loved. le amíche and beyond the clouds in my queue. talk to me about il grido; i've read that it goes too bleak, loses force where red desert gained.

Il grido is quite good, bleak, yes, but with a terrific performance by Steve Cochran; Grido is a transitional work, but Antonioni was becoming a master at this point and L'avventura followed. By Red Desert, Antonioni hit a peak, but Blow Up and The Passenger followed and are brilliant.

dpowers
post #13  on October 11, 2002 - 1:04 AM PDT  
[DPOWERS]
> >>well for one thing, there's a slim chance that JUST ONE chinese-language movie would have been chosen ...

EH i should have been more precise, i meant, for the top ten.

[Eoliano]
> ... Brighter Summer Day ... Crows and Sparrows ... Five Fingers of Death ... Happy Together ... The Highway ... Red Persimmon ... Song of Exile ... Spring in a Small Town ...

these are the ones i haven't seen. happy together is sold at drug stores but from what i've heard about it i'd rather watch chungking express or in the mood for love again. haven't looked for five fingers of death yet, the other six are tough to find.

actually here's a great link, the top 100 chinese language movies, a poll done a couple years ago. so far all the movies i've seen from it have been fabulous.

> Many of these votes coming from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan and of course, rest of world, though Asian votes were definitely in the minority, absolutely. Time, time?

possibly. could also be a big change coming, where the european art standards are met head-on by a self-possessed asian internationalism, with its own art movement, probably led by south koreans. that's a trendy bet right now but i'll take it.

now that the archives in beijing and taipei are open and anime has sort of infiltrated everything all over the pacific rim, i don't think we have a long time to wait for the surge.

> I always considered Citizen Kane to be an attack on the "self-transformational power of very rich people". (!)

the story is, the movie isn't, i think. i have a longer idea coming, later.

> Another "musical" movie more pleasurable for me would be The Red Shoes.

ah such a beautiful movie ... ! a well-told story, too.

but i do think i know what you mean. song and dance movies are generally pretty fluffy and singin' in the rain is almost formless, just number after number. i saw the young girls of rochefort for the first time just recently and found myself wonderfully lost in the swirling story elements. gene kelly appears and has a dances in the street, with passers by, and it seems as though the first time he's ever danced without showing off.

it's funny you know i don't have any desire to challenge the particular movies in the top ten, or put particular others in their places, or rearrange the order. since i found out about it i've held the sight and sound poll in high esteem though it's clear they have a little plurality problem which we've discussed.

what's interesting to me is, there are a lot of movies in the pile of submissions that are more lively and more approachable than the ones at the top. it makes me think that the great majority of movies are fun, and unfortunately, there are a handful of stolid movies that everyone can agree are the great stolid movies of all time, and those end up winning all-time best awards. not that 8 1/2 or rules of the game are stolid but they are fairly, uh, precise.

is looseness ugly?
Eoliano
post #14  on October 11, 2002 - 10:44 AM PDT  
[DPOWERS]
>>well for one thing, there's a slim chance that JUST ONE chinese-language movie would have been chosen ...
>EH i should have been more precise, i meant, for the top ten.

[EOLIANO]
So did I, but as there are Chinese-language films on the list, they will likely grow in stature and reputation.

>>happy together& from what i've heard about it i'd rather watch chungking express or in the mood for love again.

I like WKW's work and given the opportunity, I would want to see some of his earlier work. Both Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love are excellent. In the Mood for Love I consider a very moving and powerful film - a masterpiece!

>>here's a great link, the top 100 chinese language movies

An excellent site, it's bookmarked and I'll make the time later to look up some of the films that I have not seen.

There has been so much said and written about Citizen Kane that maybe it deserves its own website.

If we are talking Gene Kelly, I would prefer An American in Paris over Singin' in the Rain.
The Red Shoes stays on my top list to do battle with The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

>>not that 8 1/2 or rules of the game are stolid but they are fairly, uh, precise.

They are precise, stolidly precise or precisely stolid?

I find nothing "precise" about 8 1/2 except Di Venanzo's great cinematography; 8 1/2 has a kind of uncalculated capriciousness that I admire, but I certainly don't find it a stolid film.
Rules of the Game, on the other hand, comes off as a studied social comedy of manners and is not my favorite Renoir film anyway. And what of Potemkin?

>>it makes me think that the great majority of movies are fun

The majority of great movies are fun.

>>is looseness ugly?

???
dpowers
post #15  on October 11, 2002 - 6:17 PM PDT  
>as there are Chinese-language films on the list, they will likely grow in stature and reputation.

ready for this? i added together the votes from all the submissions. these results are by the critics' list, for comparison to earlier top ten lists and because the directors' list is even more skewed toward america/europe/japan.

the first movie from the 1980s was fanny and alexander, in a tie at #35 with 6 votes. (to get into the top 25 took 9 votes.)

to get a little closer to the present, breaking the waves, a city of sadness, close-up, three colors: red, and yi yi were tied with 4 votes at #61 ... city of sadness and yi yi being the first chinese-language movies on the list.

this is nuts! where are the courageous champions of modernity!

i have the numbers in a spreadsheet if anyone wants to see them, i can email them, write me privately. no it didn't take long, i tabulate and enter data the way other people sneeze.

>In the Mood for Love I consider a very moving and powerful film - a masterpiece!

oh to see maggie cheung walking away from the camera and the streetlight one more time ... aaah.

> There has been so much said and written about Citizen Kane that maybe it deserves its own website.

it doesn't have one?! gracious in the directors' poll it beat the runner-up on the list 3 to 1.

> If we are talking Gene Kelly, I would prefer An American in Paris over Singin' in the Rain.

i agree. the kids singing "i got rhythm," the ballet, the room conversion dance scene, mm mmm. love him in the young girls of rochefort, too.

> The Red Shoes stays on my top list to do battle with The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

i haven't seen i know where i'm going or a canterbury tale yet ... i was floored by a matter of life and death.

as for colonel blimp i have trouble with propaganda films and unfortunately as good as it is, it bugs me.

> >>not that 8 1/2 or rules of the game are stolid but they are fairly, uh, precise.
>
> They are precise, stolidly precise or precisely stolid?

no they're not stolid! that's what i said.

> I find nothing "precise" about 8 1/2 except Di Venanzo's great cinematography; 8 1/2 has a kind of uncalculated capriciousness that I admire, but I certainly don't find it a stolid film.

cinematography can do that, though, it can steal the freedom from anything. i think in the early days of movies they used cameras to extinguish fires on set.

> Rules of the Game, on the other hand, comes off as a studied social comedy of manners and is not my favorite Renoir film anyway.

i think of it as a fairly clever joke on comedies of manners. it makes me smile to see how much renoir likes the people he's working with, in ways that they don't themselves see, it still shows years later how he adored being there and making movies with them.

>And what of Potemkin?

which one? the one that shows at symphony halls, surrounded without irony by wealth and orchestras and fine clothes? or the one that is more delicate than its reputation, that makes liberation into a thing of lightness. i saw the second one and i still remember the pleasure of finding out that it didn't have be seen in a tuxedo to be inspiring.

> The majority of great movies are fun.

no i'd say, the majority of "great" movies are like family, it's not always fun to hang around with family but it's more meaningful than a lot of other things you can do.

> >>is looseness ugly? >???

one of the things that distinguishes newer movies is a looser approach to framing the subject -- or rather, leaving even the subject to interpretation. i wonder if generally, movie critics have a hard time loving that.
Eoliano
post #16  on October 11, 2002 - 7:19 PM PDT  
>i have the numbers in a spreadsheet if anyone wants to see them, i can email them, write me privately

Okay you are on! Email the list; I actually would enjoy looking at even a top 100 in ascending order.

>> ...so much said and written about Citizen Kane that maybe it deserves its own website.

>it doesn't have one?

I simply was amusing myself. There are volumes of web pages out there on Kane.

>as for colonel blimp i have trouble with propaganda films and unfortunately as good as it is, it bugs me.

Triumph of the Will is propaganda as is Potemkin. Blimp is hardly a blip by comparison.

>> I find nothing "precise" about 8 1/2 except Di Venanzo's great cinematography; 8 1/2 has a kind of uncalculated capriciousness that I admire, but I certainly don't find it a stolid film.

>cinematography can do that, though, it can steal the freedom from anything....

Di Venanzo's cinematography took away nothing from 8 1/2, if anything it added to the film; perhaps I meant that is was precisely on the money!.

>no i'd say, the majority of "great" movies are like family, it's not always fun to hang around with family but it's more meaningful than a lot of other things you can do.

That would depend on one's idea of fun and opinion of one's family... not to mention who and what is meaningful to you.

>one of the things that distinguishes newer movies is a looser approach to framing the subject -- or rather, leaving even the subject to interpretation. i wonder if generally, movie critics have a hard time loving that.

Can you give some examples, as for instance?
dpowers
post #17  on October 12, 2002 - 12:13 AM PDT  
> >as for colonel blimp i have trouble with propaganda films and unfortunately as good as it is, it bugs me.
>
> Triumph of the Will is propaganda as is Potemkin. Blimp is hardly a blip by comparison.

yeah a slip on my part, i meant straight on war propaganda, though fascist tracts are also tough to watch. even though potemkin is a war story of sorts it's not about inciting the audience to murder.
dpowers
post #18  on October 12, 2002 - 1:17 AM PDT  
> Di Venanzo's cinematography took away nothing from 8 1/2, if anything it added to the film; perhaps I meant that is was precisely on the money!.

:)

> >one of the things that distinguishes newer movies is a looser approach to framing the subject -- or rather, leaving even the subject to interpretation. i wonder if generally, movie critics have a hard time loving that.

> Can you give some examples, as for instance?

yeah yeah of course. it's a realist strategy, i think. i'll use yi yi because it ranked so high on the list and you can rent it here.

in several scenes in yi yi, the subject is not readily apparent when the scene opens. sometimes you're looking through a window reflecting the view the subject sees, sometimes you're looking at an open or closed space in which the subject is not emphasized, doesn't seem important. or you watch a conversation as the two people walk away from the camera, one shot, all the way down a wooded path.

the feeling of containment this creates is very powerful and since you know from early on that the scene is playing out at a fairly realistic pace, you don't expect the camera to jump around to show where someone has disappeared to, but trust that the person will reappear with whatever it was that they went to get. in the short time you wait, you can look at the stuff on the table or the door they closed behind them, up to you.

mulholland drive does this differently. more than usual in a david lynch movie, typical movie clues lead to the wrong place, making the viewer suspect that what they're seeing in front of them is someone's dream, making them doubt that the person who's obviously right there in front of the camera has anything to do with anything at all. this isn't now. she isn't there. get it? there's no clear avatar for the viewer in the scene and it's disorienting but not unpleasant.

so what i mean by looseness is, if continuity is a straight line through time, there's some slack in the line that the viewer is expected to either tighten, step over, or look at. this kind of slack is the enemy of commercial cinema and was unimaginable before ... maybe before à bout de souffle?
dpowers
post #19  on October 12, 2002 - 1:44 AM PDT  
>this kind of slack is the enemy of commercial cinema and was unimaginable before ... maybe before à bout de souffle?

that's a silly thing to say but maybe godard made "looseness" palatable for narrative. instead of a surrealist study issue or gag?

why do i think there's a theory word for looseness.

also, mulholland drive isn't a "realist" movie, i just like to imagine that realism and postmodern formalism had the same parents. see it's all about family.
Eoliano
post #20  on October 13, 2002 - 12:14 PM PDT  
>> perhaps I meant that is was precisely on the money!

> :)

But 8 ½ is not only on the money cinematographically; Fellini hit a high watermark by not using a straightforward linear approach to storytelling, especially given his previous screenplays and also those that he collaborated. Instead, he approached the film in a looser and almost improvisational manner.

>a looser approach to framing the subject -- or rather, leaving even the subject to interpretation. i wonder if generally, movie critics have a hard time loving that.

I shouldn't think so; it would be hard to imagine this simply because specific films of Godard and Antonioni have existed as top films for decades.

Unfortunately, I have not seen Yi Y, so I can't compare the scene you are referring to, but it is on my list.

Regarding filmmakers taking a realist strategy by putting the viewer through differing perspectives in relation to a character's given state, his environment, sense of place, objects which surround him and mood etc., in the best of hands this is like reading a film. For example, there are instances in certain Antonioni films that one feels like he is reading from the pages of a Pavese story instead of watching a film. In other words, the visual storytelling, although it seems to be an ambiguous or removed from its subject at times, is exactly the opposite, because what you are interpreting is being presented in a purely cinematic form, and leaves you, the viewer, to use your imagination. It is one of the reasons why film can be an art, combining rich visual imagery and intelligent storytelling.

>why do i think there's a theory word for looseness.
>also, mulholland drive isn't a "realist" movie, i just like to imagine that realism and postmodern formalism had the same parents. see it's all about family.

I am don't consider myself a bona fide fan of Lynch, but I can enjoy his films because he wants to bend the medium to suit his bizarrely imaginative modus operandi.
Open-ended, elliptical storytelling in film has been around for some time, and the looseness factor is up to the storyteller. A director who creatively uses existing filmmaking techniques combined with new ways of storytelling is bound to catch us off guard, but will also challenge our imagination and sharpen our intellectual acuity.

How many people these days actually enjoy any challenging intellectual stimulation as part of their film going experience? It's hard enough to get a decent run out of a foreign film because people are too lazy to read titles, so it's no wonder that so many worthy foreign films aren't finding distributors. But that's another story.

>maybe godard made "looseness" palatable for narrative. instead of a surrealist study issue or gag?

Let's not forget Buñuel who practically invented a kind of looseness in relation to his use of surrealist elements in his films, and he certainly enjoyed a gag but usually didn't care if the viewer got it or not!

Realism? We know it's not a necessity to making a good film.

Hmm&maybe we should weave another thread for this topic of discussion.





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