Yes he was steadfast in voting down Sansho instead of Altman when i tried to divert him- even though he said he loves Sansho. And Kobayashi would probably have had 2 films in the 20 if people weren’t wanting no director to have 2.
I made a resolution to try and not get involved with as many general discussions that can’t be resolved and to focus more on discussing specific films or other more readily demonstrated subjects.
Is it too late for me to make such a resolution? I think it has to be made on the 1st ;-(
1. women process visual information differently than men
2. Some cultures have a right to left process bias vs left to right process bias.
the reality being claimed isn’t as stable as it sounds.
Not making claims about reality, only about relationships.
Nonetheless, there are three possibilities:
perception = reality
language = reality
relationships = reality
You can see the problem with picking one, right?
We can find art from centuries ago as moving as art today, and the same would go for art from any part of the world and from any time, so the question isn’t about some better or worse insight into the structure of reality as that would suggest a deeply problematic attitude towards an evolutionary quality to art which simply doesn’t hold for many of us.
Well no, art is dead. Art from centuries ago that represents the greatest insight into the structure of reality now, suggests that we have not evolved. An evolutionary quality to art? Many authors have suggested that art has ended – there is a recent thread quoting Sokurov mimicking Godard.
The Greeks used perspective in architecture. The Renaissance rediscovered perspective and used it in painting. Picasso didn’t ‘evolve’ perspective he established new relationships to the past – a primitive past at that.
I’m not sure where you see art evolving – is it moving toward greater insights into reality? 3D? more tactile interactivity?
Right, it came down to basically a Canonite vs. Obscurist argument (Obscurists making up the majority of voting members.) Though clearly some preferences were expressed for geographic diversity, it was more of a side show.
@ Fake Beard
heh I was struggling for a word other than obscure which has political implications here at MUBI.
By outlier I meant simply outside the canon. It has nothing to do with the art itself.
Greatest is a comparative term.
Insight means the sudden realization of a relationship.
Structure means arrangement.
Reality means, in this context, the limits of consciousness.
Once the Greeks got perspective correct, they deployed it in architecture. At that point, perspective represented the greatest insight into the structure of reality – i. e. that relationship of objects was the best arrangement that consciousness would allow.
Emotionally, one might pick Ray over Godard, but Godard’s presence on the canon is explained by having a greater insight into structure of filmic reality. That is the understanding, linkage and relationship of Godard to the canon.
…to judge a work entirely in terms of its formal qualities is limiting, similar to treating it almost like it exists in a vacuum.
It can’t be done by any method in a vacuum. Formalism is merely a selected focus.
Many critics get the job for reasons that have little to do with knowledge of film history or any sort of scholarship, so taking their opinions more seriously than many of the people here would be a mistake to my mind
Greg, I think you give Mubians way too much credit. Even if a film historian has never even seen a film, his qualifications probably still surpass some people on this internet forum. hahaha
“Many critics get the job for reasons that have little to do with knowledge of film history or any sort of scholarship, so taking their opinions more seriously than many of the people here would be a mistake to my mind”
I agree. There is a minority of distinguished, knowledgable and hard-working critics whose opinions have been influential but too many “opinion formers” who have very limited horizons or knowledge of international films and history.
To take an example, Jerry and Blue K have contributed on this thread with a difference of perspective, but i think what they have to say is far more worthy of attention than people employed by the BBC like Jonathan Ross and Mark Kermode, or the esteemed intellectual contributors on Newsnight review. And Greg too (quoted above) and many others here who are experienced, knowledgeable, open-minded and articulate…
“Do you connect in any way to the result? Is this something you would show off to people and say, “Yeah, this is the stuff we watch at the Mubi forums!”? . . . Or is it pretty much a random collection of WTF?”
The swath it cuts through cinema is very narrow.
“Is it too late for me to make such a resolution? I think it has to be made on the 1st ;-(”
A similar one started out in my top 20 resolutions for 2012, but it got voted down pretty quickly.
“A similar one started out in my top 20 resolutions for 2012, but it got voted down pretty quickly.”
“The swath it cuts through cinema is very narrow.”
Indeed, this canon is as biased as any other.
It’s only twenty movies.
But as the editor of 1001 Movies You Must See before You Die has observed, the more movies you add the more the absence of other movies is discerned. If it’s big enough to be “all-encompassing”, everyone will start pointing out the things not encompassed.
“I made a resolution to try and not get involved with as many general discussions that can’t be resolved and to focus more on discussing specific films or other more readily demonstrated subjects.”
This resolution, from personal history, works if you keep at it. I got lazy and stopped but really, if you want to focus on only discussing specific movies and filmmakers and focus on the details of the actual work, you can have some great discussions on this board. It works best if you dig up old threads and insistently start new ones, instead of just waiting for interesting topics.
^I agree with that.
Much more interesting than circular argument threads and meta threads (which sometimes are the same). Although these are the easiest to get sucked in to.
I think you give Mubians way too much credit. Even if a film historian has never even seen a film, his qualifications probably still surpass some people on this internet forum. hahaha
I actually prefer some Mubians to many filmcritics, at least people here represent themselves and not determined by their professional obligations and conventions as a film critic. And when their scope is equally broad, I’d choose more independent.
“It’s only twenty movies.”
Uh huh. But, for example, nothing at all experimental/avant-garde, only one silent? Only one film, in fact, from the entire first half of the 20th century? (yet two of twenty from the first decade of the 21st???)
20 films is enough to represent a wide range of cinema, but I really don’t care either way; this is just an arbitrary list on the internet.
“I actually prefer some Mubians to many filmcritics”
Well sure, people of the internet would prefer others of the internet. But professionals have to be accountable for something. Mubian do not.
Of course, that’s part of the fun of this site, isn’t it?
Perhaps the inclusion of a short film to counterbalance all the long ones would have been helpful and, yes, more films pre 1950.
“Even if a film historian has never even seen a film, his qualifications probably still surpass some people on this internet forum. hahaha”
like, if you want to become a vet, astronomy is enough?
personally i would disqualify any film less than 10 years old. we definitely needed more older films (and i and others tried!) but most of the younger users here seem to prefer newer films (not surprising i guess). no doubt some would’ve voted them down because they were old. anyway someone suggested maybe next time trying all silents or at least pre 1950s films. i’d enjoy that :)
No African films either.
My point was really just that this list is basically subject to the same old pratfalls as any other, with perhaps a little extra self-consciousness on top since it was compiled more or less in public.
First of all, the individual who accused me of being a fascist has no idea whatsoever about politics and the real truth of fascism and democracy being one and the same piece of crap policies. The individual who slandered against me has no right to accuse my character and insinuate stuff about me and I personally demand from the MUBI superiors to finally read behind the lines of comments by individuals who falsely criticize other members’ characters instead of their taste.
Now that the spiters have gotten rid of me for good from this site, it seems that same old occurences appeared with the exception of Lav Diaz / Bing Wang, a coalition supported by very few and a coalition I didn’t want to “tear apart” with my presence because A: I haven’t seen Encantos yet and B: if I were to vote in favor of Tie Xi Qu, the spite votes would utterly attack that film to pieces.
I may come off as a broken record to some, repeating my complaints from previous rounds but let’s see: Jerry divided them in sections. He somehow forgot a couple of things though e.g. that the European representatives are the obvious MUBI favorites with 3-4 glaring exceptions in terms of nations.
I have watched 15 out of 20 films and I loved all of them (contrary to what the disbelieavers thought) excluding A Man Escaped which I don’t consider the masterpiece others seem to. The rest are part of my 1000 feature film canon (whenever it’s over, heh)
The ones I haven’t seen yet are:
Death in the Land of Encantos
Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird
Out of the ones I’ve seen, the most unoriginal choices are:
Sansho the Bailiff
A Man Escaped
The ones I’ve been constantly voting down have ironically made it into the top 10 of this list and what personally bothers me is that ultimately, those 3 “well-known” entities deal mainly with masculine problems. Not that this is any different from other films on this list but considering the magnitude and the fame those 3 have, it’s surprising that statistically, those 3 practically garnered a major amount of votes in the last few rounds after the rules changes for a final time, somehow making them the grand comebacks of this poll, even more so than the rest of the top 10 films which somehow made it into the top by sheer luck. I could have easily voted the other way around and giving the notch to City of Pirates instead of Third Part but the hardcore voters of those 3 films rarely changed their minds in terms of voting.
Obviously, I have little complaints about the canonization of the final list but what troubled me the most were both Polaris’s quota about Japan and Jerry’s division argument. Bittersweet comments if I may say so and I say it in a positive state of mind.
0 Oceania (no surprise here, minimum film choices on the list from that continent)
0 Africa (it would have been a miracle anyhow)
1 South American (from the most acclaimed director of the whole continent, curiously enough)
2 North American (1 of them being the sole silent on the list and the only comedy, both of them being from the States)
and the big ones:
8 Asian – 6 of them being East Asian films with 3 of them coming from Japan and the 2 non-East Asian ones are both from India
9 European – 5 Francophone, 4 of them being French (what a surprise) and 1 Belgian (and the sole film by a woman on this list), 2 ex-Soviet (Ukraine and Georgia) and 2 grand surprises, 1 from Poland and 1 from Spain (and NOT Erice and/or Almodovar!!!)
That’s a more official statistical list, why? Because it’s mighty wrong to actually think (particularly in the case of Asia and Europe) that just because they possess a high number of films on any list, doesn’t mean they fully represent that continent.
Zvelf mocked me multiple times about my constant support for Travelling Players. Not only it was repeatedly attacked by “others” just because they didn’t want me as an individual, not one from the Balkans survived (and we all know why), not one from Central Europe (I once supported Marketa Lazarova and there goes my support from the “others”), not one from Britain / Nordic regions and with France holding the sceptre (once again), it’s evident that the inclusion of Zulawski / Parajanov / Berlanga / Ioselliani were somehow…mere lucky entries, especially with Zulawski who had been viciously rampaged since the beginning of this mainly because of the majority’s hatred on Possession which somehow gave Zulawski a bad name with one film and only. The fact Marketa Lazarova and Travelling Players weren’t included and A Man Escaped is up there is ridiculous from where I stand, if only because it’s hardly on Bresson’s top 5-6 films, if we take that route.
Same goes with Japan’s presence on the list…sheesh, you had so many original choices to pick from, Pastoral, Eros Plus Massacre, Ornamental Hairpin, Eureka, hell, even Ozu’s Early Summer which isn’t as well known as with Late Spring or Tokyo Twilight but you just had to pick the usual suspects. You had to pick Woman in the Dunes, a film more talked than Teshigahara’s career as a whole. Truth be told, the inclusion of Encantos and Tie Xi Qu are sheer lucky entries as with the European ones since as I originally mentioned in my post, I didn’t help in their promotion, hence no spite votes against them and not many had seen their humongous time lengths, hence they benefited twice in a row..
If anything, I’m glad that the majority of the stories depicted in those chosen films aren’t pure sausage fests (out of so many feminist Bresson films, you just had to pick the most buddy-buddy one) but I will say that again: if anyone dares to say that I was wrong for saying that some “canon” films have been seen more than others, then I’ll simply quote my darling Zvelf who accused me of being a hypocrite by promoting Travelling Players when he himself admitted that some canon films e.g. Sansho haven’t been seen by many. It’s obvious though that Sansho with or without Kenji’s help has been seen thrice the times than Travelling Players has even though both films are on the same scale of greatness.
I talk too much, huh? Well, unmuzzle me and I will try to be as laconic as possible but for the time being, I’m thanking Polaris with a not-so-enthusiastic shake.
P.S.: to whoever mentioned an actors / actresses type fo tournament…I say no…because we’ll end up with the usual suspects and it’ll be even worse than having neither a short film nor an animation on a list like this. Contrary to popular opinion by the way, most critics DO suck the same way politicians and economists suck. Whoever disputes that probably doesn’t read news a lot in his / her daily life.
Jerry’s division argument
What the hell is this? The list ignores half of movie history and an entire hemisphere (two, actually: the western and the southern). I didn’t do the dividing.
I have followed the ‘discussion’ (hey, it’s discussion, not argumentative quibbling – right?) re the merits/demerits of the final list – and the game. I took it as strictly a game, more like no-holds-barred rugby than a gentlemanly (or gentlewomanly, heh) game of cricket. I could see from the very beginning, when those wonderful lists of top 20 films submitted by everyone were being posted, that many were opting to post some rarer seen and under-appreciated films (I wont’ say obscure). (As I have already mentioned, a new account prohibited me from posting my own). That being the case, I took this as a opportunity, when I could finally vote, to promote any film I thought could use some more recognition.
I was thinking of ‘more recognition’ in something more than just a Mubi context. We already have many members here dedicated to exploring less recognized, more off-the-beaten path areas of cinema. I was thinking of the films that ALWAYS show up on the final critical/consenus lists. To me, another repeat of that would just be plain boring. We already had the results from RUS’ Feb. 2011 Sight & Sound Mubi poll, so why repeat them here? So, the politics of this game (which, of course, had lots of politics and positioning) made it clear many were also looking to create an ALTERNATIVE type list.
I think we had many great possible top 20 lists at various stages. As has been pointed out repeatedly, the final list was quite arbitrary, and many another top 20 in the game could have been just as good. However, the ball did stop rolling at a certain point and we ended up with a top 20 that had many limitations, but was very much different from a standard-type list.
I, for one, think that was the main benefit of this game – to highlight films that often escape the critical radar, even among cinephiles. Of course, several more well-known and established films did end up in the final list. I think that was inevitable, even with all the politics, positioning, and special pleading. Could we have had a better list? Sure, but this is the list we’ve got. Let’s live with it until this no-holds-barred rugby game begins again. It is still more refreshing than looking at those same old, same old lists of films that are always featured on the polls. It was all a crap shoot what films would ‘survive’, anyway.
I agree with Fake Beard: it was governed by politics, it had many limitations, and yet we ended up with some great films. Exactly like all those other polls with their own politics and limitations. Exactly!
Matt – No African films either. Well, Yeelen almost made it. Who could have predicted that at the beginning of this?
The list ignores half of movie history"
Jerry, it’s an endless spiral, you say it ignores half of movie history, I say movie history isn’t just Franco-American groupies and Japan-Soviet cocktail parties. Can you see the bigger picture here? Because my new year’s resolution is to be as cynical as possible and I’m not gonna change at all on this subject. You say it ignores genres, I say Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors IS genre. If we were to establish the whole of film history in genres, we’d probably exclude more than half of the world’s countries.
All right, let’s check this out within the spectrum of literature in 2-3 phrases: what is the literature canon? One with certain aspects created by certain “experts”. Those aspects however are an unfortunate core of strict “chosen” works of literature somehow “messianic” amidst the vast positive chaos of the literature world which in turn becomes a larger than life entity itself due to the vast positive chaos of worldwide knowledge. If we are to assume literature’s movements should unequivocally be included on a “users” list much like that cinematic one, we’d end up in the same spiral of “disagreement” as with cinema…that it’s time for academia, whether this comes from Harold Bloom or from Jonathan Rosenbaum to FINALLY remove its head from its own ass and reform its own measure of thinking within the free-spirited contexts of such mediums like cinema, literature, theatre and other fields are…
“Yeelen almost made it. "
Horseshoes and hand grenades :(
I like manly genre films made by men from culturally advanced societies…
Clearly I’ve stayed away from this site too long (what was it before it was renamed MUBI?) and also shunned my local Landmark Theatre for too long because I’ve seen exactly one film on that list.
I guess my post makes me a bit of a troglodyte because I don’t know what this list being significant to MUBI posters means. Do you consider yourselves auteur posters? I like film that is more in the mainstream with some forays into genre-style foreign film that appeals to me, like Caché, Hidden, Swimming Pool, Under the Sand.
It would be interesting to see a top 20 list that at least contains more recognizable titles, but I’m sure I’ll learn something from investigating these titles I don’t recognize. Thanks.