Has Positif released their annual list yet?
Positif doesn’t actually compile end-of-the-year top tens. Instead, you can find a list of favorites by chief editor Michel Ciment (usually in the February issue).
I don’t see why including a film like ‘War of the Worlds’ would be a credibility killer. Surely the most recognisable quirk of Cahiers du Cinéma (going back to the early 50s at least) has been their attempts to elevate undervalued mainstream American cinema to the position of high-art. I would imagine that then, as now, there were people complaining about all those Hitchcock articles and attempts to establish him as a serious artist and not just a successful showman; a sort of… “They picked ‘To Catch a Thief’ over [insert obscure Japanese film here] as one of the 10 best of the year! That’s a permanent credibility killer for me!” and so on…
I totally agree. Not because I liked War of Worlds, but because I think that people that attack some mainstream movies, or that judge without reasoning, or with sharp sentences that don’t mean anything, don’t love cinema. They couldn’t care less about cinema, they care about their ego, and the way in wich they could be reflected into the work of someone they reputate an intellectual.
“has been their attempts to elevate undervalued mainstream American cinema to the position of high-art. I would imagine that then, as now, there were people complaining about all those Hitchcock articles and attempts to establish him as a serious artist and not just a successful showman; a sort of… “They picked ‘To Catch a Thief’ over [insert obscure Japanese film here] as one of the 10 best of the year! That’s a permanent credibility killer for me!” and so on…”
Eh, you’re arguing with the wrong person on this point. My problem is not “undervalued mainstream American cinema” or populist entertainment (History of Violence and The Host are also on their list and I’m not complaining), my problem is picking a third-rate Spielberg film (even over his second-rate films). To Catch a Thief might be lesser Hitchcock but lesser Hitch is miles ahead of this “save my screaming child from the aliens” crap.
Yes, The Paradine Case, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest, Marnie, second-tier Hitchcock but there IS a difference when discussing pleasurable escapades with mindless craps (we all know where is WotW placed in these two distinctions)
“we all know where is WotW placed in these two distinctions”
In the “movies with really interesting and technically impressive hand-held long-takes” category?
The odd thing is that War of the Worlds didn’t make the list in 2005, Spielberg has never appeared in the Cahiers’ annual top ten!
1. Last Days (Gus Van Sant)
2. Les Amants réguliers (Philippe Garrel)
3. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
4. Le Petit Lieutenant (Xavier Beauvois)
The World (Jia Zhang-ke)
Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
1/3 des yeux (Olivier Zabat)
8. Be With Me (Eric Khoo)
Conte de cinéma (Hong Sang-soo)
Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
Sin City (Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller)
Their decade list has two of the finest horror films of the last ten years on it (The Host, WotW). I think WotW is the most visually evocative film Spielberg has made (hides from Mubi members).
WotW got 3 votes in the decade poll, I wouldn’t call that strong support…
I don’t think any filmmaker has so mercilessly exterminated the human race, until of course the widely despised ending, which I agree is a flaw, but far from sinks the ship, and evokes The Searchers nicely. I guess it’s just a matter if the scenes work for you. There are sequences in the film that are, for me, among the
most haunting I have seen.
“…I wouldn’t call that strong support.”
Yet it remains a space above The New World (though I don’t really agree with that).
It’s not the worst of Spielberg (The Terminal is nominated for that accolade) but it’s up where his mushiness lies. The Host and WotW are far and away different qualities of film, that’s for sure. Bong is full of talent, Spielberg has lost it (the least he had, hehe)
WotW one of the finest horrors? Apart from the…true horror of diminishing Wells’s novel to the catastrophic nadir, I truly feel even the tackiest of horror films like Rec is has a certain class attached to it ;)
(hell, even History of Violence which I personally don’t care for as much as others by Cronenberg)
Toy Story 3 will certainly make top 10 on my list..
What’s the big deal with Toy Story 3? Am I right in assuming if I was thoroughly unimpressed by the first two, this one won’t be any different?
there is a scene in war of the worlds that stands among some of the most horrifying cinema i have ever laid eyes on: tom cruise singing ‘little deuce coupe’ a capella to his daughter as his eyes water. it is astonishingly bad.
ari, if you didn’t care for the first two i suspect toy story 3 won’t change your mind. i thought it was a fantastic genre movie that manages to be mainstream and irreverent all at once.
Ari, I assume you’ll dislike Toy Story 3. I would not recommend it to you.
Damn Ari, didn’t you like the first one at least? There’s much to adore there, regardless of what I say about the sequels. But truth be told, you’ll probably detest the 3rd part, more than my harsh criticism, hahaha ;)
I didn’t hate them but I just didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. The second actually pissed me off for turning the comic book geek collector into an easy villain. It might be that I’m not a huge fan of animation but I’ll take one Don Hertzfeld short (like the one playing for free on Mubi now) over all the Toy Stories in the world.
“WotW got 3 votes in the decade poll, I wouldn’t call that strong support…”
A couple of directors also voted for the film, Shinji Aoyama and Kiyoshi Kurosawa
S Aoyama’s top ten of the decade
Jean Bricard’s Itinerary
War of the Worlds
Woman on the Beach
Four Nights with Anna
Romance of Astree and Celadon
K Kurosawa’s top ten of the decade
War of the Worlds
A History of Violence
A lot of love for Tarantino as well as Spielberg.
Aoyama and Kurosawa are now blacklisted by lots of boarders, haha.
I just found Spielberg’s apocalyptic imagery to be incredibly effective.
Yeah, they both had Spielberg, Tarantino, and Eastwood, I expect members to be calling this out shortly ;)
Both of those lists cite ‘Notre Musique’ as a favourite, so both lists are fine by me. Plus I’m a big fan of ‘Death Proof’, so can’t really complain about that either.
As for ‘War of the Worlds’, the ending did “sink the ship” for me, unfortunately, which is a shame because I thought the first half of the film was incredible, and probably the best thing Spielberg had directed since ‘Artificial Intelligence’.
As a result, ‘Munich’ would have to be my choice for Spielberg’s best of ’05.
“I just found Spielberg’s apocalyptic imagery to be incredibly effective.”
I love the camera work and the editing. The film probably scored for its technical aspects.