Author Topic: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure  (Read 2112 times)

jdc

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 12:23:48 AM »
Wouldnít Slumdog fall into a similar issue you have with The New World and Boyleís 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.


OK, in this context, Requiem seems a little out of place as it doesnít seem to be problematic as much as change of tastes.

I am not sure I would dismiss a Spacey just due to Spacey in general, I donít want to fault a good movie (Se7en or Usual Suspects) before the issues surfaced.  But understand some ppl having issues around American Beauty. 

Though not a film I loved, Memoirs of a Geisha was a relatively recent rewatch with my wife that is bothersome.  Partly for using 3 Chinese Actresses in lead roles but mostly for the ending that is creepy.  But it just isnít very good. 
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Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 04:56:09 PM »
There are other problems with American Beauty. I put them in another thread, kind of a laundry list. I haven't thought about American Beauty a lot in a while. I did watch it for its 20th anniversary, just two years ago, and some of it still worked for me, but as I watch more and more films, this doesn't seem like the cultural critique we need, it's kind of shallow.

With Requiem for a Dream, I haven't seen it in quite a while, but have seen it since 2010, and have been shaky on it. I just recently took it out of my 100, because I'm just shying away from movies that seem to sensationalize things like drug problems and mental health problems. This is another film that just works really hard to be provocative visually, through the story, and I no longer find that terribly compelling. Maybe it was the Trump presidency. No, seriously. He embodies what I think of when I think of provocation, and I do think it's driven me to more subtle, lyrical, and complex works. Not that I don't like any provocation, but I'm wary, not to mention weary. What is the provocation serving? Is it in service of a story that tells us some truth about humanity, or are truths being simplified in order to serve the provocation?
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Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2021, 05:32:34 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.

Also wanted to say, I certainly am not letting it off the hook, I really am disappointed about Slumdog because I like its fairytale ending, as well as the epic story and tales from areas that needed to be heard from, and it was my top comfort film. The last few years, a little less comfort, though until this latest rendition of my 100, it had staying power on the list. Now, I'm confident there are other films out there that can deliver such an adventure combined with such a compelling, comprehensive romantic story. I haven't found THE film yet, but other favorites like Eternal Sunshine, Sound of Music, Moonrise Kingdom, Harold and Maude, and Amelie fill that space well enough.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2021, 08:18:21 PM »
Drugstore Cowboy is the perfect counterpoint to Requiem

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2021, 12:15:12 AM »
Drugstore Cowboy is the perfect counterpoint to Requiem

OK, I see William S. Burroughs on the writing team, so am automatically intrigued. If anyone knows about being a junkie, it's him.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2021, 12:50:14 AM »
Heís also in the movie

smirnoff

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2021, 03:38:52 AM »
Below are all the films I saw in 2010 that I rated 4 out of 4 stars. First time viewings are marked with *

I've watched all of these films at at least once more since 2010 and still consider them 4 star films.
12 Angry Men
3:10 to Yuma (1957)*
Barry Lyndon
Before Sunset*
Braveheart
Cast Away
Deep Water*
Glengarry Glen Ross
Goldeneye
Rounders
Shaun of the Dead
The Fly
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
The Matrix
Tremors
Watchmen

I've watched all of these films at least once more since 2010, but no longer consider them quite 4 star films.
Before Sunrise*
Finder's Fee
Lonesome Dove
My Blueberry Nights
My Neighbour Totoro
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring*
The Dark Knight
This is England*
Vicky Christina Barcelona

I haven't watched these films since 2010, and I'm not so sure about them anymore.
Almost Famous
Collapse*
The Hours*
To Live*

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2021, 04:58:32 AM »
That is a comprehensive list; it is nice when they hold up, too! The original intent of the list is more sociopolitical in nature, as in whether or not films hold up post MeToo, BLM, and other movements that have raised the general social consciousness of the masses, but I mean a lot of films don't hold up even outside of these social realities. With that in mind, I'm surprised about a few, like Braveheart and Cast Away, which I was into when I first saw them, but have soured on terribly since I sort of had my vision of what makes a good film modified over time. Also kind of surprised by Totoro, which has only gotten better with time for me. What soured you on that one?
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smirnoff

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2021, 09:06:28 AM »
In Totoro's case, and really all the cases, sour would be putting it too strongly. I would say Londsome Dove is the film to have experienced the greatest drop off in affection, but even that I still think of warmly, while squinting to not notice so much of it's TV movie-ness.

But Totoro is a dear film. Warm, magical, imaginative. For me what it lacks, that many other Miyazaki films have, is a more mature protagonist. Someone who demonstrates their quality of character by the choices they make, and the attitude they have. The story of Totoro follows two quite young children. And while they are both good natured kids, I don't feel their character is as much put to the test so much as it's simply their childish innocence and naivete coming into play. I'm not saying childish innocence and naivete are not good qualities, but I like the deliberate bravery, humility, generosity and selflessness demonstrated by characters like Ashitaka (in Mononoke), Chihiro (in Spirited Away) or Nausicaš. I admire those characters in a way I don't admire the protagonists in Totoro. And so Totoro is a pleasant but not as strongly fulfilling an experience for me.



Did you sour on Braveheart or Castaway after somewhat recent viewings, or on the memory of them? I don't want to push you for specifics if it's too vague a memory anymore, but I am curious if you have already worked out what it is about either of those film that doesn't sit well with you any longer.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top Five Films I Loved Before 2010, But Now Iím Not So Sure
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2021, 01:23:51 AM »
I saw Cast Away in theaters, then rewatched it on home video after. Braveheart I've seen once, in my friend's dorm room when I was a freshmen in college, so 18 years old. I think Cast Away touched me in a way when I was younger that I find overly sentimental now. I honestly don't remember Braveheart well to provide a proper critique, more that I think it was a prototypically masculine film starring Mel Gibson surrounding war. Three things I don't like.
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