Guess I was too genuine for caring about a living thing.
Default back to catchphrases.
(sorry to chop this up so fine, anyone not interested in the minutia of me and Boone's couples therapy can scroll right along)
That's...not what I said. It's so, so, so, far off the mark from what I said I can't even begin to know where to respond.
At no point did I say that Ehrlich is a bad person for making this list. I don't like his style, but I'm not in here calling him a fucking asshole misogynist or something. At no point did I say that his list is flawed because there are four out of 25 films directed by women on that list. In fact, I've been looking at some of the other lists that came out today/recently, and that's pretty good! Like I said, Ehrlich sees everything, and that means he's much better equipped to evaluate the year's films. That's better than most film critics (a population who is overwhelmingly white and male). And as noted, I brought up the fact that there were 4 out of 25 because that's something that interests me, and I thought was worth pointing out for the questions it raises, not just about this particular list, but lists in general, and the making of them.
First of all, at no point did I say you called Ehrlich a bad person or anything. But you said, quite directly, that you found his list deficient because of the type of filmmaker (not film), depicted. And touted "Make Better Lists" as a slogan for correcting said deficiencies. To claim this does not amount to dictating the content of said lists based on sociopolitical agendas is...difficult for me to parse.
At no point was I demanding he change his list to fit "quotas."
Quota was my word, chosen to highlight what I saw as the deficiencies of your argument. Which I took to be "4 female directors out of 25 films is objectively too few." And there's a fair bit more to unpack there (starting with it being a top-down issue that huge majority of films are directed by men, continuing with whether director is really the be-all-end-all of a film's authorship, probably with a few detours about the proper shape of Batman's ears and what a piece of shit Donald Trump was today).
I was saying that I think critics do have a responsibility, as we all do, to examine our own biases on a regular basis, even moreso when you're in a position of power or cultural responsibility. And that we, as audiences, should be able to ask (note, ask, not demand) critics to explain their decisions (which they are entitled to say no to).
Which is all good. "Make Better Lists" sounds a bit demand-y, is all.
But I also think that the idea that a film or a work of art should be universal is flawed; there are great works of art that I'll never fully grok because the audience they were intended for is not one I belong to (whether that's time, location, or diverse background). Good criticism should be a conversation, not a lecture. We should be allowed to disagree with lists, but we should also be allowed to say why we disagree.
I'm not sure where the universality of art came into things. I thought I was arguing for privileging the subjectivity of a critic's personal responses over more global concerns.
I agree that criticism should be a conversation rather than a lecture, and I don't think I said we shouldn't be allowed to disagree with a list. Again, I thought I was arguing for the ability to people to articulate their thoughts completely freely. Maybe where we're getting signals crossed is that I look at criticism as a form of, if not exactly art, then at least expression which warrants a generally similar approach to consuming. I don't think a review or a list should be universal either, which is what I meant when I said David Ehrlich's list should reflect his tastes rather than a properly approved and notarized representational cross-section of directors.
No offense taken, and none meant (though if you do find any of the rest of this insulting, that's understandable). And again, I don't think anything in my post framed your statements as condemning Ehrlich personally*. What they were doing, imo, was telling him that he should think differently, or like this thing more than that thing, based on your own sociopolitical standards. And yes, we all kind of do that all the time to some extent, but this is where the distinction between asking and demanding becomes important.
And look, you're not wrong about how I interpret your posts. Ironically (let's use the term loosely), I think this comes from my taking your posts in a broader context. I don't read your individual posts in vacuum, but place them in a context of interactions stretching back over a decade. And within that context a pattern has developed, which I think is fairly simple and rather telling. More than any other poster I can think of in my entire tenure here, I feel I can most accurately predict your reaction to a particular piece of art or criticism based on how it aligns with your political views. That impression may be false and it may be unfair, but it does not entirely gibe with the self-styling as the champion of nuance and constant interrogation of one's own biases. I don't mean that to be hurtful, but in the interest of having all our cards up, it is where my occasional bits of irritation come from. Which are very occasional, mind you. To my mind this was a perfectly academic conversation about the ultimately trifling matter of which online film critic's year end lists we preferred to others.
*also, I'd watched that 2015 video once when it came out, but never learned his name until today, lest you think this stemmed from butthurt that you dared to criticize a personal hero
I just watched Ellis's latest video and I enjoyed it. When I saw the opening for a split second I thought she was Rick rolling her audience. I would disagree with her about the Wolf of Wall Street. When I saw it, I laughed at not with the characters. Despite the money and hot woman, Jordon and his friends where such douchebags that I didn't envy them. Now when I watch Goodfellas, that is a different story. I guess there is a dark ends justify the means part of me that thinks they are living the good life; or where until Henry got involved in coke.
The appeal of Stranger Things was best summed up, IMO, by Honest Trailers: "The 80's where awesome and being an adult sucks."
I would use a catchphrase to signify we're cool, but you might get crusty with me again.
Schwartz, we good, and I appreciate the time you took to respond. I don't really have anything I disagree with, but I do try and approach a work of art with as open a mind as possible, flaws and all. I know that doesn't always come across - usually because more often than not here, we talk about films that have been out a while - but understand it is something I try to do. And, again, I like you and respect you, even though we may squabble from time to time. Like I said, it's ultimately water under the bridge here, we've all been around so long that we all know each other pretty well, so stuff like this isn't worth going "fuck you, no, fuck you" over. And I do enjoy when we disagree about this stuff - I just wanted to point out that sometimes I feel like I'm being misinterpreted.
Okay, couples therapy is over. Back to lists! Here's Sight and Sound's best of, which brings up the topic of the day on Film Twitter - is TWIN PEAKS THE RETURN a "movie?" (Matt Zoller Seitz put it as number 1 on his best TV of the year list.)
Bart, are you talking about a different list, because I don't see Silence or Moonlight on either of those.
Anyway, release dates are weird and I say that if a film doesn't open in your area until 2017, you should be able to count it on a 2017 list.
The list goes on a fraction longer than that one, not sure if your source cropped it:
Moonlight is 19, Silence 25.
And LadyBird is 19 as well and we don't get that till next year, so there are no rules. Just anarchy.
Making lists before the year is over is weird but so many people do that. Everyone's afraid of deciding in January. Hell, if I were a critic, I'd drop mine in June next year. That way, I'd have a.) opportunity to see everything I wanted b.) time to better consider my choices and c.) the debate all to myself, instead of being lost among the torrent of lists crawling all over each other like World War Z zombies. Oh, and by then my readers would have actually been able to see half the films I'm listing!
Fear of the Velvet Curtain
"A landmark for gay cinema — and one of the best Jewish films in years"
A great deep dive from Jeremy Smith about one of the earliest "fake newsmen," the infamous Super Shadow:
Also, a title for his upcoming book on online film journalism - When It Was Cool - and a release date (First quarter 2018).
I knew people who swore by Super Shadow, no matter what. I was in my early twenties during the run up to Episode I, and even I was taken in for a little while. Fortunately, reality eventually asserted itself.