“True objectivity is more honest than true subjectivity. True to the art as opposed to true to your taste in art.”
but who cares?
I think a subjective consensus among filmmakers is far more interesting and raises much better questions for discussion, of both their films and those of other filmmakers.
In the instance of Breillat: I could care less if she considered Citizen Kane or 2001 to be objectively the “greatest” of films (I get the impression from her response that she doesn’t think about it that way). I find it more interesting to know of her love for Baby Doll, In the Realm of the Senses, and Ten, for instance, and to then go back and watch these alongside a film like Fat Girl and see what opens up anew.
Knowing that she considers Kane to be objectively “great” adds nothing to my understanding of her films or of Kane.
objective “greatness” doesn’t tell me anything, and makes the list of no value. (this is why I prefer the directors’ list and really don’t bother with the critics’)
Rossi, what establishment may that be? The establishment of Cinema itself or the establishment of bullshit critics and and some top notch directors talking about what influenced them?
My top ten lists of Greatest Films, Favorite Films and Films that Influenced my own style in writing, editing, etc are different, but do share a few of the same films.
Why can’t you just have a list of ten favorite films that happen to be great, as well? I second the most recent post of RUS.
I also like the Directors’ list better, critics in all fields are a waste of time and energy.
Again, I suggest we do the same thing as Sight and Sound and do our own poll and send it to them
then let’s do it
Well… first of all, not all critics are a waste of time or energy (do I have to link to Tadao Sato’s list?)
“True objectivity is more honest than true subjectivity. True to the art as opposed to true to your taste in art.”
That brings up a whole range of questions that a two incredibly vague sentences cannot begin to answer.
If someone doesn’t believe the “objective” consensus films are the “greatest” films ever made then are they not being both true to both their taste and their perception of the art if they pick films they feel better represent the art?
How can personal taste ever be objective? No matter how many people agree? This is something that’s literally sold to us. Open a magazine or turn on the TV and you’ll find many commercials that say essentially, “Millions can’t be wrong.” A consensus on greatness is not objective when the underlying issue is left to personal taste. It can never be.
How can one truth ever be more honest than another? Is gravity more true than the theory of evolution because one is easier to represent? Semantic platitudes do not push criticism or scholarship towards truth.
Why is objectivity assumed to be better than subjectivity anyway? Do we really want to argue that conforming our opinion to the majority in the false belief in objectivity is really the manner in which we want to promote personal human expression through art? That actually seems to be the opposite of what art is all about.
After receiving an irritated pm I feel I should point out that my previous post was not meant to in any way be a condemnation of people’s tastes. If anything it was born out of an exasperation with how people can be unwilling to accept their tastes. My previous post was not meant to be aimed at any particular individuals, and there was a lot of generalising going on in it. I just wish people would be more willing to see art as something purely subjective. When you watch a film you’re the only person who will ever see that film in that way. Effectively every time a film is watched by someone different it is reborn as a different piece of art with different qualities. Even ignoring that any attempts at objectivity are rooted in subjective beliefs on what is the correct way to be objective, and ignoring the obvious role that opinion will have on just about everything, the simple fact of the matter is that everyone takes in information in different ways and so no one will ever watch exactly the same film as anyone else. ’tis the beauty of film, and of all art forms, and it should not be denied as this would risk undermining said beauty.
-Why is objectivity assumed to be better than subjectivity anyway?-
1. The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (Mizoguchi)
2. Crows and Sparrows (Zheng)
3. Tokyo Story (Ozu)
4. Minamata (Tsuchimoto)
5. Bogeyman (Aravindan)
6. Where Is My Friend’s House? (Kiarostami)
7. My Neighbour Totoro (Miyazaki)
8. Red Persimmon (Wang)
9. Ferocious Saint Lord of Gobi (Nyamgavaa)
10. Chunhyang (Im)
True greatest is universal, as universal as taste can be. It is granted that subjectivity does creep in to any attempt at an objective opinion, but but to attempt objectivity in discussion of artistic merits of works I think is important. I feel we should have an open mind to the opinions of others and be willing to see what they may see and within our minds try to build something objective when talking about greatness.
It’s greatness, not goodness or okayness or funness. And screw critics, they have opinions and good for them and too many them attempt to control of the dialogue of supposed greatness. Too many do Not look at films in the correct light (as we see too often here), they focus wholly on story or performance and negate the other creative efforts that go into getting a film made.
The greatness in the boring 2001 is the audacity of Kubrick to move off course from traditional film and experiment with cinema and how to tell a story.
Pulp Fiction is NOT a great nor good film, but Samuel L. Jackson is great in it, yet people seem to think it is a work of art, it is NOT. I can say that it caused a fine ripple in the film industry and opened doors to some good stories to be told, and it did catch something of lightning in a bottle. But it wasn’t a good film in 94 and it is not a good film today, and any motherfucker(;^}) should know that (subjectively).
To deem something great, is too overcome subjectivity and see a work in a broader view. I HATE Charles Dickens, but it CANNOT be ignored that he had at least one sentence of greatness.
Uli, you must be a hit at parties.
What’s with all the Pulp Fiction. It’s not my favorite movie, but people have this notion that if you like it you couldn’t possibly be a true cinephile. It’s such an elitist, arrogant attitude. Again, it’s all a matter of subjective opinion. Are cinephiles honestly not allowed to like Pulp Fiction the way jazz aficionados have to like John Coltrane, or at least see the greatness in his music?
It was a commercial success and in English.
Interestingly enough, Chungking Express, which was made around the same time and is just a full of stylistic flourishes is embraced by many who reject Pulp Fiction. I think both films are wonderful (Pulp more so) and can’t come up with a less cynical answer for the difference in appraisal.
Edit – This is not directed at Uli as he is also championing a commercially successful English language film.
Chungking Express and Pulp Fiction both could be burned in an incinerator and I wouldn’t miss them one bit. Both are lightweight.
Citizen Kane will likely stay number one, because the way that the poll is conducted, any film that makes any top ten list gets 1 point, and Kane will be on more lists than any other, even if it is #10 on every list, it will get counted the same as if it was #1 or 2 on every list.
Okay, so this is what I am proposing: 200 of us create a Top Ten List and we give a value to each slot, #1s are 10 points, 2s 9 and so forth and so on.
The list will Not be about supporting the great underseen films, but about what we truly feel are our favorite (Greatest) films. Meaning that if one actually feels Citiizen Kane is in their Top Ten, don’t Not put it because it may be on 18 other lists and because it is a predictable film to be on such a list.
So a list may look like
1- Eggbert’s Garden Party- 1,113 points
2- La mère est une lesbienne – 934
3- Μια σκληρή λεμόνι – 931
4. Etc, Etc, Etc- The Life of Yul- 845
“And screw critics, they have opinions and good for them and too many them attempt to control of the dialogue of supposed greatness.”
Here’s the major, major flaw in your logic. You’re arguing that we should accept objective greatness, and at the exact same time condemning the main force that has give us an objective consensus on greatness. Other filmmakers didn’t make 2001 a “canon” film; critical and scholarly dialogue did.
Again, I would say, if you feel critics are not focusing on the correct films, and you decide to list films you feel better represent greatness than whatever consensus has been reached you are being much truer to your perception of the art form. So, in that regard, personal subjectivity is more honest than meaningless attempts at objectivity.
“List and we give a value to each slot, #1s are 10 points, 2s 9 and so forth and so on.”
The trouble is I would never weight my list, it’s near impossible. most of the lists on theauteurs poll were not weighted (and if they were, their weight wasn’t counted), and the sight and sound poll is not weighted. My list was merely alphabetical.
If I were to assign a number value to one of the ten films, it would only be arbitrary and meaningless.
“Chungking Express and Pulp Fiction both could be burned in an incinerator and I wouldn’t miss them one bit. Both are lightweight.”
Wong Kar Wai is overhyped.
I’ve only seen three of four of his films, but I’m certainly not in love with him. He overdoes it I think. Let’s face it. There’s a lot of melodrama in his films, at least from what I have seen.
“Wong Kar Wai is overhyped.”
agree, but funnily enough, i kind of changed my mind with 2046, a film that most fans i’ve met consider to be one of his worst. I liked it because it had more ideas than usual. not that WKW dealt with all of them well, but it wasn’t just a sensualist piece. it did leave you something to think about.
Tarantino is overhyped. Wong made one of the most beautiful romances ever with Days of Being Wild. I don’t understand how that could be overhyped… And, one, there’s nothing wrong with melodrama (Neorealism, for example, was solely built upon melodrama). And, two, his films are full of subtle, quiet moments that mean far more than the possibly melodramatic sections. A gesture in In the Mood for Love is far more important than anything these almost-lovers say to each other.
“The trouble is I would never weight my list, it’s near impossible. most of the lists on theauteurs poll were not weighted (and if they were, their weight wasn’t counted), and the sight and sound poll is not weighted. My list was merely alphabetical.”
The obvious solution is those that don’t weight their list should say so, and their list will not be weighted. Every film will be counted evenly (5 points each, for example)…
“I can say that it caused a fine ripple in the film industry and opened doors to some good stories to be told, and it did catch something of lightning in a bottle.”
I’d say that Pulp Fiction killed indie film in the U.S in a similar way to how Jaws and Star wars killed gritty 70’s cinema. After the success of P.F, Miramax seemd a lot more obsessed with making money. sure they released stuff like ‘Dead Man’ in 1995, but all those type of films were already in development. after 95 it was all downhill. The English Patient is well made but it’s just a prestige pic. any other studio could have made it.
Other studios followed suit and started up ‘indie divisions’, and eventually started producing Miramax style films on bigger budgets, like American Beauty etc.
I think the massive success of Pulp Fiction was the beginning of the end for 90’s indie cinema in the U.S.
Is American Beauty really that bad? It’s not one of my favorites, but I feel people hate on it, because it was so successful, oscar-wise and financially. The only scenes in The English Patient worth watching were the scenes featuring both Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas. Everything else about it was unbearable. I still don’t understand why a Seinfeld episode had to be made framing Elaine as an ignorant bimbo, because she hated a mediocre movie.
Faire point about Pulp Fiction, but I would still like to know why it’s considered sacrilege to be a cinephile and like Pulp Fiction. Like we’ve been saying, film tastes are more honest when they’re subjective, but meanwhile you contradict yourself when you make it seem as though someone’s opinion on film is invalid when they praise Pulp Fiction. That’s a little dishonest right there. The fact that you don’t like Quentin Tarantino is your subjective opinion and that’s fine, but it’s a bit arrogant when you pass it off as empirically established that Tarantino is a bad filmmaker. So my question is can you not be a cinephile and still like Pulp Fiction, because that’s how many on Mubi make it seem, and that seems unfair and hypocritical, especially when you champion subjective opinion.
It just seems that whenever an independent, artistically-driven, or foreign film winds up becoming a commercial success in the United States, it become fashionable for people on forums like Mubi to hate on it.
No it doesn’t.
ROSSI: i didn’t say i hated Tarantino. All i said was that Pulp Fiction changed the game, and not necessarily in a good way. That isn’t Quentin’s fault of course, it’s just the industry. Nobody expected Pulp Fiction to gross over 200 million on a budget of 8 million, but when it did, they realised that it was possible to make a killing of these sort of films, and that there was no point making them for a couple of million anymore. They started thinking big. It didn’t necessarily pan out that way of course, but it’s undeniable that after P.F, there was a desire to create the new P.F, and so on and so forth.
As for Tarantino and cinephilia, there are plenty of big Tarantino fans that are also credible cinephiles. We have many of this board(e.g Bobby Wise etc). It’s just that, in my experience, most hardcore Tarantino fans tend to not be cinephiles at all, and i think that’s where the generalisation comes from.
True point Joks, but just as an example, Godard doesn’t receive the same level hate, yet he has many hardcore fans who aren’t cinephiles but are simply hipsters.
That’s not true at all.