26 October 2009

Skandies: Best Films of the Decade, #3



In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)
originally placed: #1, 2001.

34 comments:

md'a said...

Are the subtitles working for people? They run a little fast, which I couldn't correct (because I can't figure out how to alter the time code except in whole seconds), but at least I finally figured out how to do it. I think.

Mike Lee said...

Bees are in the what now?

Mike Lee said...

And to answer Gemko: No.

md'a said...

Huh. Does each individual viewer have to turn them on via the CC button? That would be retarded.

Ryan said...

At least I was the only person convinced this picture would not be #1. Man, who are the folks giving the love to Eternal Sunshine?

J said...

Subs work great. You can also press 'b' to get rid of the black background behind the default close captions.

Luis said...

Eternal Sunshine for sure? No chance for Joe?

Victor said...

... this means #1 has gotta be DOGVILLE!!! ... woof-woof

md'a said...

... this means #1 has gotta be DOGVILLE!!! ...

I am not following your logic here bud. If only films A, B, and C remain, and you're convinced that either A or B is the winner, but then it turns out that C finishes ahead of B, does that not completely invalidate your original premise?

Victor said...

Operating on the assumption that, before today, the three remaining films were MOOD, SUNSHINE and DOGVILLE. The appearance of MOOD here means only SUNSHINE can finish ahead of DOGVILLE. Only I don't think it will because DOGVILLE finished ahead of SUNSHINE in 2004 and I think the Passiondex factor is pretty much a wash between those two films.

(I may be wrong, but my reasoning is sound.)

James said...

I'm disappointed at all the love for Eternal Sunshine, but really hope Dogville finishes first because it's as deserving as anything this decade.
Dogville has the better chance, though. It finished ahead for picture, director, and actress. Sunshine won screenplay but most people think that it has a pretty special one anyway, and love Charlie.
I also don't think a Gondry would top a great von Trier, but then again it has beat out everything else...

Michael said...

If our #2, or (shudder) #1 film of the decade is Eternal Sunshine, I guess I'll finally have to break down and give it that 2nd viewing I've been putting off for so long.

But it will raise an interesting question:

Are we callow young people dazzled by gimmicks, or are we insightful critics unafraid to embrace movies that others dismiss for fear of seeming dazzled by gimmicks? Or, why is the AVB so completely different in outlook from the James Quandts and Jonathan Rosenbaums of the world? Age? Priorities? The different media worlds that shaped our generations' consciousnesses?

I am in no way saying that our path through the decade is incorrect. Despite my disputes with some films, I prefer our general aesthetic. But it is worth considering how we got results that will almost cetainly be divergent from other decade polls.

Biggest oversight: Devils on the Doorstep.

Ryan said...

Victor's logic is pretty sound -- for a Lars fanboy anyway.

The reasoning is flawed due to one fact: we've got something like a 1/4 roster change from 2004.
Haven't done an actual headcount myself, but my perception is that the voting roster changes didn't help Eternal Sunshine vis-a-vis Dogville and probably actively hurt In the Mood overall in the voting. So Lars fans can rest happy.

But I still don't get how Mulholland fell to #4, given how beloved it was mid-decade and seemingly loved by the new invitees as well.

Ryan said...

Are we callow young people dazzled by gimmicks, or are we insightful critics unafraid to embrace movies that others dismiss for fear of seeming dazzled by gimmicks?

Don't want to get into a discussion on which I've already rested my case, but your argument applies equally true to Dogville, which, in a generous reading, relies on formal "gimmicks" and pure abstraction to get at its observations concerning the limitless capacity for evil. I'd argue it's more anti-Bazinian than Eternal Sunshine. (Not that there's anything wrong with that per se.)

md'a said...

Are we callow young people dazzled by gimmicks, or are we insightful critics unafraid to embrace movies that others dismiss for fear of seeming dazzled by gimmicks? Or, why is the AVB so completely different in outlook from the James Quandts and Jonathan Rosenbaums of the world?

Because I decide who joins, and refuse admission to anyone I perceive as championing films based primarily on how much they flatter the person's self-image. Which self-image generally involves being deeply concerned with human rights and stoutly opposed to xenophobia. Not that those are bad things per se, of course, but imo they should pretty far down the list of aesthetic criteria.

That's Ed, and regardless of whether Eternal Sunshine is one of the two remaining films, I really don't think gimmickry has anything to do with why people love it. I didn't vote for it myself due to lingering issues with the whole Team Lacuna subplot, which I still think is poorly executed, but that ending slaughters me like nothing outside of maybe A Moment of Innocence.

Nictate said...

If our #2, or (shudder) #1 film of the decade is Eternal Sunshine, I guess I'll finally have to break down and give it that 2nd viewing I've been putting off for so long.

Please do. Although I loved it on first viewing, I would've expected ETERNAL SUNSHINE... to have a short shelf life due to its high-concept quirk factor, but every time I watch it, its truths echo more loudly and bittersweetly.


Man, who are the folks giving the love to Eternal Sunshine?

Probably the same debutards who prefer PUNCH-N-JUDY ARE DRUNK to HAIR WILL BE DONE.

Oh, excuse me. My short bus of awesomeness is here.

Victor said...

Which self-image generally involves being deeply concerned with human rights and stoutly opposed to xenophobia.

... and we've even got the affirmative-action rightist opposed to human rights and in foresquare support of xenophobia.

md'a said...

Biggest oversight: Devils on the Doorstep.

I'm doing my best to sell that one to the A.V. Club this week. Seems to be working.

Mike Lee said...

Everyone seems awfully sure it's Eternal Sunshine rather than Joe's masterpiece. But from a certain shan't-be-named group that has considerable overlap with Skandie voters:

Tropical Malady: 20 upper-case PROs
Eternal Sunshine: 44 upper-case PROs

So as you can plainly see...oh, uh, well, okay, I guess it is probably Eternal Sunshine. Never mind.

But my gut still tells me Joe.

Adam Villani said...

I totally had this one pegged for the #1 slot. I'm pretty sure it's not TROPICAL MALADY OF 1933. Just my 2 cents.

Also, the way this is shaping up, ESTHER KHAN and INLAND EMPIRE remain the only movies to appear on the list that I didn't see.

Brian said...

Because I decide who joins, and refuse admission to anyone I perceive as championing films based primarily on how much they flatter the person's self-image. Which self-image generally involves being deeply concerned with human rights and stoutly opposed to xenophobia. Not that those are bad things per se, of course, but imo they should pretty far down the list of aesthetic criteria.

So you think James Quandt fits this description?

Robert Fuller said...

"If our #2, or (shudder) #1 film of the decade is Eternal Sunshine, I guess I'll finally have to break down and give it that 2nd viewing I've been putting off for so long."

I wouldn't bother. I got nothing new out of a second viewing. I mean, it's a fine film, but it's Kaufman and Gondry at their most conventional, and I think they both made better films this decade.

Greg said...

Am I zoned (again) or did someone explain the part where everyone forgets about CROUCHING TIGER? I expected that to be in the top 20, if not necessarily 1 or 2. But I'd still see that ending up there before ETERNAL SUNSHINE... (maybe cuz I voted for one and not the other?)

And somewhere Peter Jackson is wondering what exactly he has to do to get some attention. The poor dude probably thinks he did a lot already.

Skander said...

And somewhere Peter Jackson is wondering what exactly he has to do to get some attention.

Make another picture as good as Heavenly Creatures instead of hobbit and monkey pictures? We gave him #3 last decade.

md'a said...

So you think James Quandt fits this description?

Here's Quandt's 2008 top ten list. You be the judge.

01. Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
02. Le Genou d'Artémide (Jean-Marie Straub).
03. The Headless Woman (Lucretia Martel).
04. Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso).
05. Tony Manero (Pablo Larrain).
06. 24 City (Jia Zhang-ke).
07. United Red Army (Koji Wakamatsu).
08. Wonderful Town (Aditya Assarat)
09. Cleopatra (Julio Bressane).
10. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas).

Nothing against any of those films—I haven't even seen half of them—but the list as a whole just screams Agenda to me. Also Humorless. Pass.

Victor said...

yeah, THE HEADLESS WOMAN did suck, didn't it?

Brian said...

What agenda do you think Quandt is pursuing with that list?

He strikes me as someone who likes films that come from a personal place in their creators (and someone who very much enjoys the stylistic boldness or even abrasiveness (Oshima) that such artists can create). Not as someone who merely wants to see his political ideologies confirmed on screen.

md'a said...

What agenda do you think Quandt is pursuing with that list?

The agenda of thinking himself awesome.

He strikes me as someone who likes films that come from a personal place in their creators (and someone who very much enjoys the stylistic boldness or even abrasiveness (Oshima) that such artists can create). Not as someone who merely wants to see his political ideologies confirmed on screen.

Then by all means invite him to participate in your survey. I prefer people whose taste isn't quite so monolithic. In any case, the answer to Michael's question remains the same: Our results don't look like what you'd get from Quandt/Peranson/Rosenbaum/Quintín/etc. because I deliberately seek out voters who are as likely to vote for Spider-Man as Syndromes and a Century (and vice versa).

lee said...

personal gripe about 'In the Mood for Love' ... the Criterion was always so damned expensive, I've never picked it up, nor seen it at a knockdown price, anywhere. And, since I hold it in such esteem from my memories of one view theatrically, I won't pirate it. And every time I want to rent it, I think "buy it, Chump!" and thus start the cycle over again.

Brian said...

The agenda of thinking himself awesome.

I don't think that is necessarily unusual for film critics, even (or especially) among skandies voters).

Then by all means invite him to participate in your survey.

I was objecting to you reductively viewing him as someone who mainly likes movies because they flatter his specific political ideals such as "being deeply concerned with human rights and stoutly opposed to xenophobia."

It's okay to not want to marry a chick who just isn't your type, but don't call her a whore when she isn't one.

md'a said...

I was objecting to you reductively viewing him as someone who mainly likes movies because they flatter his specific political ideals such as "being deeply concerned with human rights and stoutly opposed to xenophobia."

Your objection is noted for the record, but I maintain that if anybody is being reductive, it's James Quandt, who has reduced all of cinema to a narrow, socioglobal species of the international festival movie.

Jeff said...

This low placement is mainly my fault. I only gave MOOD minimal points because I did not want to look too mainstream. Needed to foster my gonzo self image and whatnot.

Adam Villani said...

Lee, Amazon has ITMFL at $28.49 off of a list price of $39.99. DVD Planet is also generally a good place to get Criterion DVDs (It's like two bucks more there.)

Lars said...

In the Mood for Glove?

Is that the new album from Spinal Tap?