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Author Topic: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure  (Read 2113 times)

Eric/E.T.

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This is an oldkid special here. There came a point where we had to confront the legacy of racism, sexism, etc. in popular entertainment, and well, there is a lot of rewatching and reassessing out there.

I'm not putting Fight Club here, because I legit still love that movie after watching it last week.

As for some others:
1. Slumdog Millionaire 
2. American Beauty
3. Pulp Fiction
4. Requiem for a Dream
5. Crude (doc)
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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 09:31:56 PM »
I would be curious to know why you are not so sure on each of the films.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2021, 09:44:06 PM »
Slumdog is a film I still fight with, because there's so much I like about it. The episodic storytelling, the seamless transition to different parts of life, it's a film with a lot of life. The ending scene still gets me. My favorite final kiss. But I worry that India was being exploited by some British folks with a notion to adapt an Indian book and make the stories there. Also, you hear the stories about how the real kids were treated, it's not all good.

American Beauty - the pedophilia, some of the philosophical shallowness, scapegoating the determined woman (she's insufferable, but make her an enemy just makes us empathize with her more imo)

Pulp Fiction - Tarantino's character using the n-word way too much, plus he's just bad anyway

Requiem for a Dream - Haven't seen it in a while, would need. Feel like the end is all shock value, as are many other parts here.

Crude - The white American lawyer is such a central figure in going after the gas companies after the failed clean-up in Ecuador, and he takes the spotlight off the people who have been fighting this in their very country. He's condescending to them, treating them like empty-headed beasts.

Slumdog may still find itself among my favorites when all is said and done. The other 4 are pretty much done.
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jdc

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 09:49:52 PM »
Wouldn稚 Slumdog fall into a similar issue you have with The New World and Boyle痴 right to tell the story?  I like the thread, why the 2010 cut-off?
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oldkid

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 09:51:04 PM »
When I came up with the phrase "but now I'm not so sure", it is because what is true and beautiful and entertaining remain in the film, despite me seeing it in a new way.

For instance, The Gods Must Be Crazy is certainly on my list.  It is problematic at best, and many people understood that before 2010.  I saw it in the 80s and my understanding of racism was quite limited at that time.  It is still funny, still unique, and a mockumentary full of good humor as well as bad.  I can't enjoy it as much as I did a decade ago, but I know it still has a core of charm and myth and Buster Keaton antics that is still enjoyable, despite the lies about tribes and a white saviorism that is disturbing.

I loved it then, but now I'm not so sure.  I probably won't watch it again, which would ruin the spell, and I won't recommend it to anyone.  But deep in my heart, I still have a fondness for part of it.
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Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 09:58:29 PM »
Wouldn稚 Slumdog fall into a similar issue you have with The New World and Boyle痴 right to tell the story?  I like the thread, why the 2010 cut-off?

oldkid thought of it, and I think we can say that decade is when a lot of consciousness-raising occurred that would make us rethink the things that were maybe good before, but now can be seen as problematic.

Boyle may have fallen into the same issue with Malick. There's still a lot more I want to know about how the actors in Slumdog were treated then, and where they are now. At least his focus was on a cast of Indian actors tell an Indian story, and not, as with Malick, a situation where white men are lusting over a kidnapped indigenous girl. Dev Patel is English (on top of being Indian), while Frieda Pinto came up in India only to work in a lot of British and American productions. The power dynamic issues in Malick's New World were a problem for me, but the only real power dynamic issue here has to do with Boyle/his crew and the non-professional, often child, actors he had to utilize. Other than that, the film seems to be well enough researched and focus in on Indian issues as experience by Indians without necessarily an obviously problematic filter such as through the male gaze. It's one I could talk a lot about. I'm not settled on any one outcome for it as of right now.


When I came up with the phrase "but now I'm not so sure", it is because what is true and beautiful and entertaining remain in the film, despite me seeing it in a new way.

For instance, The Gods Must Be Crazy is certainly on my list.  It is problematic at best, and many people understood that before 2010.  I saw it in the 80s and my understanding of racism was quite limited at that time.  It is still funny, still unique, and a mockumentary full of good humor as well as bad.  I can't enjoy it as much as I did a decade ago, but I know it still has a core of charm and myth and Buster Keaton antics that is still enjoyable, despite the lies about tribes and a white saviorism that is disturbing.

I loved it then, but now I'm not so sure.  I probably won't watch it again, which would ruin the spell, and I won't recommend it to anyone.  But deep in my heart, I still have a fondness for part of it.

I get this. This is true in varying degrees for my films as well. Crude heightened my consciousness to how natural resources are being exploited in South America. Requiem for a Dream showed me the crazy side of drug addiction with some striking visual choices. Pulp Fiction was my first experience digging into something at that level of craft, dialogue, etc. It blew my mind. American Beauty still gets me in some ways, but the dynamic between father-daughter and father-daughter's bestie (but not really) was just a little much. And then, Spacey, in general.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 10:01:35 PM by Eric/E.T. »
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2021, 10:03:10 PM »
Oh man, ET, you're in for a rude awakening...  :-\



Requiem for a Dream - Used to be a favorite, now I worry it'd be too bombastic for my tastes.
Schindler's List - I found other Spielberg/holocaust films I appreciate more.
The Graduate - White male has existential crisis after finishing school? Lived it and this version is quaint.
Terminator 2 - I dunno. I'm not much for action movies anymore. Even the ones I think are great.
The Professional - Same as above, but also the core relationship is just creepy.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 10:20:12 PM »
Yeah, Slumdog for sure had its problems. I致e also read though that some of the kids had trusts that were to help them live somewhere better and go to school. Seems like the backlash at least got Boyle痴 attention, but there more that I still need to checkout.
A witty saying proves nothing. - Voltaire

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 10:46:53 PM »
I hope it's all been rectified by now but the fact it happened at all shows how easy it is to go shoot movies in other countries and exploit the local population with unpaid/cheap labor.

MartinTeller

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now I知 Not So Sure
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2021, 11:07:57 PM »
This is kind of what my marathon is all about.

I just want it on record that I've always hated American Beauty and Requiem for a Dream.