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Film > Best films of the decade / of the 21st century so far

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message 1: by Antonomasia (last edited Sep 13, 2019 12:41AM) (new)

Antonomasia | 2630 comments There'll be a lot of these lists coming up in the next few months, so here is a thread to post and discuss any you want to - or suggest your own.

The Guardian kicks it off early in the first half of September with their 100 best films of the 21st century so far.

Films, for me at least, seem to emphasise more than most forms the differences between the 00s and the present, and I can't quite get my head round the classification of these years as one unit of time, perhaps more so when it is portrayed in films than in any other way. (I have a feeling that future historical periodisation will chop up these years in the manner of the 'long 19th century' and similar concepts, allocating some of this period to the 20th century and some to the 21st, but anyway.)

The list, a motley one: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019...

I find their argument convincing for There Will Be Blood as no. 1 on the list.
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019...
In this particular moment, it hits on two major and current issues. It's a good choice to make in 2019, and I think it's beside the point as to whether it would still look a good choice in many years' time. That we can't tell. It was a compelling & hypnotic film and this makes me want to watch it again.


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8495 comments Frozen has to be there (and no I am not being flippant). How can that not be in the Guardian's top 100 but a South Park based cartoon be there instead? Spirited Away is the one other on the Guardian list I'd agree with. I've watched around 10-15 of the rest of their top 100, although none was in the league of those 2.


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1971 comments Actually I think Phantom Thread is better than Blood but then with PTA, the standard is high

Again - I was wondering why 2046 is missing, I know in the Mood for Love is highly ranked and rightly so but 2046 is equally good.

I think it's criminal that Tabu has not been included


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1971 comments No eternal sunshine of the spotless mind??

Arrival?


message 5: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1602 comments I am still catching up with the twentieth century thanks to the Criterion Channel, and I have probably seen only half the films on the list, but am offering observations.

Given the present state of the world (with a special nod to the U.S.) my vote for number one would be Idiocracy for its prophetic themes.

Mulholland Drive is #3 and could easily be #1.

Talk to Her is a better Aldomovar than Volver and should be in the top ten.

I agree with Paul on Frozen over the animation included, but also would have included Despicable Me for the introduction of the lovable minions or a Toy Story selection.

I'm not sure if the author was trying to avoid commercial blockbusters but to manage to exclude all films from the franchise's of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or the Marvel cinematic universe seems a bit snobby.


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1971 comments I see frozen as more a cultural phenomenon that a great film.

Regarding animation, other than pixar/disney I would have included Paranorman.

I agree totally with talk to her and and volver


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8495 comments On films I am quite mainstream even lowbrow as I see them as escapism not art. I suspect this list reads to me as a list I, or this group, would produce of 100 best books might read to an average reader who would be bemused by the lack of any James Patterson or Dan Brown books.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5246 comments I have actually seen one of the 100 - Paddington 2


message 9: by Ella (new)

Ella (ellamc) | 1019 comments Mod
I've seen a handful of these (some of them seem weird for the Guardian list, given they were US TV releases only - at least a couple, so even if critics saw them, how would the Guardian readers use this list. Honestly I dunno if I could lay hands on Behind the Candelabra again here.) I don't see a whole lot of films, but some of these were so big I felt I had to (Moonlight, Roma...) I do think they make a great case for #1 (and lots of other choices) and if you've not seen Get Out yet, do see it - scary, funny, scary and scary, but not in the usual horror sense. More scary than that.

I agree w/ Anto that some of these feel like they weren't just a while ago, but eons ago - and they do feel like they're pulling from a different era of film. Video things in general have changed so much in such a short time. My favorite movie is still going to stay The Philadelphia Story, but that's just me.


message 10: by Declan (new)

Declan | 186 comments There are several on the list that I liked a lot, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Leviathan, A Prophet, Toni Erdmann, Shoplifters and the two Haneke films The White Ribbon and Hidden.

I'm surprised that there isn't a film by Béla Tarr or Asghar Farhadi. For me, many of the best films of recent decades have been from Iran or Turkey. Of those, the most overlooked film of recent times- one I adore - is Honey directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu. A gorgeous, immensely sad film that I couldn't recommend highly enough. Another Turkish film I like a lot is Kosmos, directed by Reha Erdem.


message 11: by Jibran (new)

Jibran (marbles5) | 281 comments Declan wrote: "I'm surprised that there isn't a film by Béla Tarr or Asghar Farhadi. For me, many of the best films of recent decades have been from Iran or Turkey.."

Asghar Farhadi is on the list. #36 A Separation (2011).

I'm a fan. He can turn the most ordinary situations into a family thriller. He also wrote and directed the Spanish film Everybody Knows (2018).

Glad to see Abbas Kiarostami's Ten (2002) is also included. Kiarostami's minimalism is something of an acquired taste but I enjoy watching his films and reading his equally minimalist poetry.


message 12: by Jibran (last edited Sep 14, 2019 06:14AM) (new)

Jibran (marbles5) | 281 comments As with literature I prefer to watch international films over mainstream Hollywood stuff. I haven't seen many on the list but it's good to see that at least they tried to come up with an inclusive list with the best of world cinema, including a TV series and even an idiosyncratic 6-hour long raw and gritty 'art film' based on real life story of one of the worst generational vendettas ever (#59 Gangs of Wasseypur 2012), which I absolutely love. Its context and the language is so desi I can't imagine it watching it with English subs.

Glad to see #88 Gomorrah. There can't be a story more grim and devastating than this one. Love it. I guess they could either include this or Narcos, not both.

Seeing Borat on the list made me gag. Atrocious choice.


message 13: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2630 comments Jibran wrote: "even an idiosyncratic 6-hour long raw and gritty 'art film' based on real life story of one of the worst generational vendettas ever (#59 Gangs of Wasseypur 2012), which I absolutely love. Its context and the language is so desi I can't imagine it watching it with English subs.."

That one looked interesting and is now on my list of stuff to check out - glad to hear more about it (and to know how long it would take)


message 14: by Jibran (last edited Sep 14, 2019 03:18AM) (new)

Jibran (marbles5) | 281 comments Antonomasia wrote: "That one looked interesting and is now on my list of stuff to check out - glad to hear more about it (and to know how long it would take)"

Cinemas refused to screen it because of its length so the director cut it in two halves but it's actually one long film. And like One Hundred Years of Solitude, you might need a family tree at hand to keep up with the characters.

Edit: I think the run time is just over 5 hours not 6.


message 15: by Declan (new)

Declan | 186 comments Jibran wrote: "Asghar Farhadi is on the list. #36 A Separation (2011)."

Oh, thanks so much for letting me know, Jibran. I don't know how I missed it. I like that film very much. It's a great exploration of power among many other things. It has a perfect ending too.

I agree with you very much about Abbas Kiarostami. He is an outstanding director. I also agree completely about Gomorrah and Borat. And what the hell is Ted doing on the list?



message 16: by Tommi (last edited Sep 14, 2019 06:40AM) (new)

Tommi | 490 comments I can’t claim to know much about cinema but this caught my attention, and since there’s discussion on gritty, long movies, The Painted Bird probably fits the bill:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019...

Czech-Slovak-Ukrainian black and white film, 3 hours, based on a novel by Jerzy Kosiński, half the Venice festival audience walking out due to the amount of violence – so it must be winning some accolades in the future. ;-)


message 17: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2630 comments Ah, I noticed that. I'd been wondering whether to read The Painted Bird; after that I decided not to & that the laurels from This Way for the Gas Ladies & Gentlemen would probably suffice


message 18: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1602 comments If you read The Painted Bird, be sure to delve into the scandal surrounding it first. Kosinski presented horrors in the book as factual rather than the fiction they were. Jerzy is a fictional take on the author that I haven't read , but sounds interesting, The book tries to maybe explain why Kosinski pretended it was real. I had read The Painted Bird before the scandal and it was the perception that the sensationalized brutality was truth that held your attention. The prose is minimalist. I am interested in the film.


message 19: by Antonomasia (last edited Sep 14, 2019 08:23AM) (new)

Antonomasia | 2630 comments Yes, Kosinski's reputation greatly precedes his books as far as I'm concerned. For years I concluded I would ignore his work because of it, but the combination of a GR review from a few months ago that I took as a sort of dare/challenge, the fact that I'd managed to read the Borowski before that, and exploring Polish lit more generally, made me change my mind for a while.


message 20: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1602 comments Antonomasia wrote: "Yes, Kosinski's reputation greatly precedes his books as far as I'm concerned. For years I concluded I would ignore his work because of it, but the combination of a GR review from a few months ago ..."

Oh do not completely ignore him. Being There is a great novel (and film) that is positive for his reputation. It is his story the I find in that "strange but true," category. I think a bio pic would be a nice project if Painted Bird, does well.


message 21: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2630 comments I saw Being There years ago, and it is pretty good, though I've never felt any need to read the book. It felt complete as a film.


message 22: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1602 comments My last word is that chatting about it has me missing Peter Sellers.


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1971 comments I've only read Being There and I thought it was fantastic


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1971 comments Jibran wrote: "As with literature I prefer to watch international films over mainstream Hollywood stuff. I haven't seen many on the list but it's good to see that at least they tried to come up with an inclusive ..."

I think that accolade goes to Requiem for a Dream


message 25: by lark (last edited Sep 14, 2019 09:50AM) (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 255 comments I just recommended this book over in the "21st Century Lit" group and I want to do it again--A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction by Ruth Franklin. It has a chapter on Kosinski and his story turns out to be much more complicated and interesting than i thought.

I loved this Guardian list of films for its quirkiness. How anyone picked the great "The White Ribbon" rather than the extraordinarily great "Caché" as the single Michael Haneke film, I don't know.


message 26: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2630 comments Lark wrote: " How anyone picked the great "The White Ribbon" rather than the extraordinarily great "Caché" as the single Michael Haneke film, I don't know. "

They translated the title: #6, Hidden.


message 27: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 255 comments They translated the title: #6, Hidden."

Oh! Ok, that's about right. I think it's an important film.


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1971 comments Lark wrote: "They translated the title: #6, Hidden."

Oh! Ok, that's about right. I think it's an important film."


Plus the guy's ceiling to floor bookshelves make me jealous


message 29: by Ella (last edited Sep 14, 2019 02:52PM) (new)

Ella (ellamc) | 1019 comments Mod
I'm late on this, but I thought Steps by Jerzy Kosiński was really quite excellent. I've not read any of his other work (not even Being There) but I'd been interested in the Painted Bird for a while, just never got a copy. Maybe I shouldn't.

Robert wrote: "Plus the guy's ceiling to floor bookshelves make me jealous"
If I had all the money in the world, I'd buy an old castle, gut the insides and build nothing but floor-to-ceiling bookshelves then never leave home, so I suppose I'd need to also build a bathroom and have a comfy sofa or something upon which to sleep - but mostly all the rooms would be those library shelves and the rolling ladders.


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