The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

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Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby patsfan86 » Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:11 am

Curt, I'm glad you said '10 favorite American films' and not '10 greatest American films' because personally I don't think anything Hollywood has put out in the last 35 years should even sniff 10 greatest, especially anything with Brad Pitt(Fight Club), and I'm only 34, but I digress. My 10 favorite, in no particular order:
1. Night of the Hunter
2. Rebecca
3. Frankenstein
4. Brute Force
5. White Heat
6. Sunrise
7. Elmer Gantry
8. Sahara
9. Shane
10. The Great Escape

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby chris » Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:32 am

This is a great question although quite impossible to answer judging by the quick number of responses.I love that "Magnificent Ambersons" is on a list.The finished product was chopped up by the studios and you can only imagine what the finished product would be like if Welles had total control.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby javajunkie75 » Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:31 am

Here are mine and they are not in order.

Gone with the Wind
Some Like it Hot
The Godfather
All About Eve
Mildred Pierce
The Insider
Citizen Kane
Night on Earth

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby Curt46n2 » Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:42 am

Hey Patsfan, what's wrong with Brad Pitt? I think he's an excellent actor. I've liked almost every movie I've seen with him in it from Fight Club, to Seven Years in Tibet, to The Devil's Own.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby patsfan86 » Fri Nov 08, 2002 9:54 pm

You've got to be kidding me! If you are a 17 year old girl I think I can understand, but please.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby Curt46n2 » Sat Nov 09, 2002 3:04 am

I must be a seventeen year old girl then, because I like Brad Pitt. I guarantee that if you saw a Brad Pitt in a subtitled movie, you would agree that he was a good actor. I'm not saying he's the best actor, some of his American contemporaries are better (Ed Norton), but he is good.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby patsfan86 » Sat Nov 09, 2002 3:48 am

I just don't see it dude, and I don't think it would make any difference if he was speaking French or Italian. No offense though, to each his own.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby admin-2 » Sat Nov 09, 2002 10:20 am

To chris:

I'm happy soemone mentioned AMBERSONS too! It's one of my favourites, but not one of the best films of all time (what a butchering!). I find that this is a film that helps me decide whether I can trust a critic who makes a list "10 BEST" films. If they do not mention any Welles films, I think I can trust them. If they do not mention AMBERSONS or KANE, but choose TOUCH or CHIMES instead, I think I can trust them. But, if they choose AMBERSONS and don't metion KANE also on their list, I am highly suspicious. Have they really seen these movies? Do they really watch the whole film or do they do what I do...skip the last scene altogether and go on to the credits. That last, studio enforced scene, where everyone is happy, is hysterically fun and worse than the ending of A.I. (another film I admire, but think is majorally flawed). Any critic who chooses AMBERSONS over KANE is trying to prove something and is not truly, objectively evaluating Welles' work.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby wvq » Sat Nov 09, 2002 9:25 pm

Ouch, was I just called out for choosing The Magnificent Ambersons over Citizen Kane? Were my critical faculties just impugned in front of all? Are things going to have to come to fisticuffs? Ok, it's probably not all that serious, and I can pretty much guarantee that I'd be bound to lose any fight over such things (or anything else for that matter), so I'll try my best to remain civil after being so shabbily treated. I will mount something of a defense on my own behalf. (Note that I won't do so by tearing down Citizen Kane, which would be silly. It's a fabulous film--formally and thematically brilliant, and pretty darn fun to boot--and I have no desire to boost The Magnificent Ambersons by knocking it off its pedestal.)

First, I'll admit that I'm not thoroughly objective and that I have a bit of an agenda. But so what? What fun would this be if we weren't being subjective and didn't have a bit of an agenda? Now, I'm not some rank subjectivist about aesthetic judgments. There's a place for objectivity in criticism, but there's also a place fog good old-fashioned taste.

Second, here's what I think about the ending of The Magnificent Ambersons. There's no question: it's a hack job. But I'm not all that moved by this, as I don't think the movie as it's come down from those money-grubbing RKO butchers is somehow sacrosanct. I don't see why we shouldn't just pass over this inanity after having heard our narration about poor Georgie Minafer and his comeuppance. Really, would it be some grievous sin if all extant copies of the film were confiscated and those worthless frames forever excised? Would this be a violation of anyone's vision? As far as I can see, the only vision behind this scene was RKO's vision of oodles of cash, and I doubt that Turner or whoever owns the rights now would lose one red cent from committing that ending to the trash heaps of history. So for the sake of all that is good and holy, I wish they'd do it. (Plus, if you absolutely must watch the ending, it seems perfectly fine to take it as further demonstration of Welles' genius. As far as I'm concerned, the juxtaposition of the great and the mediocre simply looks the great look that much greater.)

Third, the real worry is the editing. Once the film's been cut up and thrown back together like this, who knows what we're missing. I guess this has some force, but again, I'm unconvinced that this is some insuperable difficulty. I mean, we've got the same problem with von Stroheim's films, right? But I don't think it's a huge problem there. You have to look at what you've got in front of you and go from there. I like what I see. I don't know what else to tell you.

Fourth, I get the sense that people think that by treasuring something like Greed or The Magnificent Ambersons, you're really pining for what the film could have been--as if one carries some ideal image of what the first cut might have been like, and this is what one values rather than the work as we have it. There might be some element of truth in this, but I get the feeling that the other side of the debate tends to do something similar: they take it that the work as we have it is somehow debased because the first cut must have been so much greater. I don't doubt that the first cut of both films was much greater than what we have, but that doesn't strike me as being a compelling reason to think that what we have is subpar.

So there. That's a defense of sorts.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

Postby admin-2 » Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:21 am

dear wvq:

The list I gave was my list of favourites. It wasn't a list of bests (yes, I do make a distinction). The only film that DOES appear on both of my lists is CITIZEN KANE. None of the other films on the list I posted here are what I would call masterpieces. They are films I watch again and again for because they make me feel good (they are FAVOURITES) I said that I use the "Magnificent Ambersons test" (as I like to call it) as a test to see if CRITICS who compile "Best of" list are being objective or not. I do not expect objectivity from "lay persons" who do not watch films for a living (although I do think more objectivity WOULD help to increase film literacy). I did not know you were a professional critic (what paper or magazine do you write for?), so I am sorry if I offended you! Please accept my apology.


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