A 2010s List for Those That Couldn't Wait

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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therewillbeblus
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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#451 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 11, 2021 12:59 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 12:36 pm
Maybe one day. But that day is not today nor any day between now and when this list commences
Well thankfully this list doesn't count, so there's plenty of time- which is partly why I'm not altering my own list too much. I'd rather the orphans stand out on everyone's lists so that we can fix our gaps over the next few years before the one that counts for the All-Time. It's a strange case where rescuing might actually be detrimental to exposure by reducing bare advertising of those left behind.

Anyways, I'm just riffin' on the It's a Wonderful Life quote

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#452 Post by swo17 » Tue May 11, 2021 1:29 pm

Every time someone tries to game the all-time list, an angel gets skinned alive

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#453 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 11, 2021 1:36 pm

I don't see how it's gaming the all-time list to make a personal decision to allow orphans to be visible so that people might be more interested in watching new films that are standing out. That's something that we've already discussed here as valuable about the way people post their lists, and since the onus is on individual members to actually get curious and prioritize those viewings, the actionable element is not on the party deciding to passively serve as one brick in allowing a larger published list to exist for consumption at the will of others.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#454 Post by swo17 » Tue May 11, 2021 2:38 pm

Well I have no way of knowing what motivates any given list revision and I allow them all, though I don't personally understand any motivation other than better reflecting your own taste following additional viewings or re-evaluation. Regarding visibility, whether Assassination Nation remains an orphan or not, it will be clear from how I present the results that it placed in at least one top 10. Will it be more visible on the overall orphans list than in the low ranks of the also-rans? I don't know, but I think the best thing you can do to increase any film's visibility is to just give it a good old fashioned write-up. Remember too: seeing a title listed somewhere may get someone to see a film, but reading a write-up can make a big difference in how much they appreciate it

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#455 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 11, 2021 3:00 pm

Of course, I'm not disputing that, but I'm also responding to your quip about "gaming" results. If the visibility has as little value as you propose, then it isn't having any gaming effect to hold onto one's orphans and post them, but then wouldn't making impassioned writeups count as gaming? Obviously the whole point of this exercise is defending and being open-minded to new readings, but I'm lost on how one is gaming vs another. For my part, I've already written up that film and linked that writeup and championed it across multiple threads, and am trying to work on not beating dead horses, so the hyperbole I've laid out on that gem will probably need to simmer in place for now. However, while that's the best way to communicate a film one is passionate about, I know a few of us discussed earlier in this thread the impact of looking at the posted lists of people who you feel a kinship with taste, often Top Ten + Orphans, and then adding those orphans to your queue vs going through the whole orphan list to tally top-ten parenthesis. Either way, there are multiple forms of exposure that will 'stand out' to people in different ways depending on how you scan the site, but I fail to see how one is shamefully "gaming" while another is honorably hailed, especially for many people who do both (refraining from rescuing orphans and publicizing personal tastes, as well as persuasively writing up said tastes).

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#456 Post by swo17 » Tue May 11, 2021 4:25 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that anything you were doing was shameful. And I don't think visibility has no value. The only thing I would discourage is having any kind of expectation on the aggregate list from what you do on your personal list

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#457 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 11, 2021 4:51 pm

Absolutely, and sounds like a misinterpretation then because the expectation wasn't to influence the All-Time list based on a rigidity around orphan-saving now, but to fret less about 'rescuing' for this list because your orphans may get more exposure as orphans if people post them and spend the next few years putting effort into spreading their value, and so the next 2010s list might have more champions of those films. However, if this was the last qualifying 2010s list before the All-Time, I'd probably put more attention into anxiously weeding through films on a time-sensitive basis.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#458 Post by swo17 » Tue May 11, 2021 4:54 pm

Don't forget the 2010s list that we'll do in like 2038

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#459 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 11, 2021 5:15 pm

Time will tell if Assassination Nation will serve as a capsuled relic of a bygone era or a foreboding warning of things to come, but now I'm getting anxious about the state of cancel culture in 2038. Either way it'll still be a masterpiece, even if art is canceled.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#460 Post by swo17 » Wed May 12, 2021 11:06 am

With another list submitted, I've once again updated the orphans list. Also, by some elaborate mathematical coincidence, there is presently a tie for the third-place spot, and both films are by the same director!

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#461 Post by swo17 » Thu May 13, 2021 12:11 am

La academia de las musas (José Luis Guerín, 2015)

I've struggled to write about this for a while, as it's a rather unassuming movie (it literally starts out as just a filmed college lecture) that resonates with me on such a personal level, but then I realized that I could let some of its images do the heavy lifting. First, if you enjoy something like Copie conforme, where philosophical discussions gradually begin to seep into the characters' lives, and especially if you find beauty in Kiarostami's technique of filming his characters through glass as it reflects the surrounding world, then this should be right up your alley. Some images spoiled for size, like cotton candy for the eyes:
SpoilerShow
Image Image
Image Image
I also find the subject under discussion to be fascinating, namely, the kind of love that Dante had for Beatrice, this poetic ideal that inspires great art, that transcends both selfish love aimed at one's own pleasure as well as selfless love focused on one's partner, because it sublimates desire into a beauty that can be shared with all of humanity. The highest form of love--the love for a muse. Or are these all just lines that a married college professor tells his more comely female students to justify spending so much time with them outside of class? Watch and see!

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#462 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu May 13, 2021 12:37 am

I revisited La academia de las musas recently and was blown away by one scene in particular- when one of the students processes an impersonal yet intimate chat on a dating app that she felt fated to peak within that modality (or, the second still in the spoilerbox, I think). Such a layered movie.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#463 Post by swo17 » Thu May 13, 2021 1:06 am

Actually, I think each of the last three stills are from that same scene! (There are precious few moments where the film bursts to life visually in that way.) Also, that whole concept of the relationship that you have with someone in your mind vs. in reality is explored in a very different context in one of my other current orphans, The One I Love!

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#464 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu May 13, 2021 1:32 am

Another good movie, though that broad concept has been executed to various creative lengths a lot during the last decade: Ceremony, her, Inception, Young Adult, Phantom Thread, Gone Girl, and you could even make a case for The House That Jack Built, which more shatters the idea with an aggressive diagnostic bite rather than empathizing with it in most of the others

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#465 Post by swo17 » Thu May 13, 2021 7:50 am

Yes, it's a fairly common idea, though I think you'll agree that the film I mentioned handles it uniquely

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#466 Post by domino harvey » Thu May 13, 2021 7:59 am

I thought I voted for it! It must have been one of the last movies I cut from my list

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#467 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu May 13, 2021 8:04 am

swo17 wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 7:50 am
Yes, it's a fairly common idea, though I think you'll agree that the film I mentioned handles it uniquely
It sure does, though I think Phantom Thread is the most mature and potent take on it, perhaps ever. It’s unique yet stripped bare within our reality enough to sting like hell, even as we helplessly laugh. Certainly the most creative and bold artistic method I’ve experienced that forced my confrontation with that truth.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#468 Post by bamwc2 » Fri May 14, 2021 8:26 pm

Viewing Log:

The Ancient Woods (Mindaugas Survila, 2017): Although it hasn't had an official US release yet (and won't until this summer), this Baltic state nature documentary has been rattling around Europe for the last few years and is currently available on back channels in the states. Calling it a "nature documentary" is a bit of a misnomer though. While the subject is the forest life in Lithuanian woodlands, it is far more artfully crafted than your typical Animal Planet or Mutual of Omaha production. Shot in stunning high definition, Mindaugas Survila's ten year in the making film lacks the narration--there are no spoken words here at all--that typify the genre. Instead, the director lets the remarkable footage speak for itself. We're never lost in the material whether it's the stirring of the smallest life in the snow, a battle between pheasants, or a group of fledglings greedily gulping down a smorgasbord of amphibians their parent brought back for them. Ultimately, there's no new ground broken here as we have decades of material that can only be built off of, but it unarguably carries out the genre in a far more poetic manner than anything that came before it.

Goltzius and the Pelican Company (Peter Greenaway, 2012): Ever since he eschewed his minimalist experimental early format, Peter Greenaway has operated with a signature visual style full of preternaturally crafted scenery, ludicrous plot, and ample nudity. The director carries on this time tested aesthetic in this early modern tale of a group of print makers eager to gather the patronage of Margrave of Alsace (F Murray Abraham) to fund the production of an erotic illustrated edition of the Old Testament. The Margrave orders Hendrick Goltzius (Ramsey Nasr) to entertain him through a series of vignettes, which the Dutch entourage happily stage on platform that constantly rotates 360 degrees. The troupe act out different aberrant sexual behavior from the Bible ranging from Lot's drunken threesome with his daughters, to David's spying on Bathsheba, to the dance of the seven veils. All participants are fully nude with no body hair. This may sound anachronistic, but public grooming styles--from fully shorn to fully grown out--has varied throughout Europe over the centuries. To be fair, I honestly don't know what it was like in northern Europe during the time the film took place. It would be facile to label the film an artifice constructed merely to display an abundance of flesh. Like the rest of his works, Greenaway seeks here to capture the elusive connection between representation and the human form that has preoccupied Western artists for at least the last three thousand years. From a purely aesthetic point of view, this is a fascinating work, but those seeking deeper narrative contrivance may walk away disappointed.

Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2013): Well-to-do businessman Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) and his wife Midori (Machiko Ono) receive a shock when they attempt to register their six-year-old son Keita (Keita Ninomaya) for kindergarten. The overbearing father finds out that his child's blood work does not match either parent, and its eventually uncovered that somehow their biological child was switched with another newborn boy before they were discharged. The affected families meet up and are overcome by a dilemma: should they keep the child they've raised for the last six years or should they switch children to match their biological families. What follows forces Ryota to come to terms with his short comings as both a father and a human being. We've known since Nobody Knows that Koreeda can get some great performances from child actors, but that's about the highlight of the film. His cinematography is rather staid even by his typical standards, and Ryota's emotional journey felt too easy by far. It's not a bad movie, but it's far from the director's best work.

Starlet (Sean Baker, 2012): This one isn't an orphan, but I promised therewillbeblus that I'd catch up with it before the final vote.
SpoilerShow
My final Sean Baker film of the decade to catch up with stars Dree Hemingway as Jane, an up and coming porn actress who's weighed down by her druggie burnout roommate Melissa (Stella Maeve) who's failing out of the industry. One day Jane purchases a thermos from an elderly woman named Sadie (Besedka Johnson) at her yard sale, and is shocked to discover thousands of dollars inside of it. She initially tries to return the money to Sadie, but when that doesn't work out, Jane finds a way to insert herself into the life of the older woman. It’s a credit to Baker that he avoided the Hot Girls Wanted (a production that actual sex workers typically revile) sensationalism of the porn industry, and instead present it as just another job that you have to do without fucking up. Melissa may fit the "damaged goods" stereotype of women porn performers, but there's enough daylight between the portrayals of her and Jane so as to not paint the industry with a broad brush. The relationship between Jane and Sadie--the main focus of the movie--was probably the least successful aspect of the film for me. If Jane had been fully prepared to return the cash early on, then her later attempts to keep it and establish a guilt based friendship don't exactly make much sense. I'm also still confused as heck by the final seen.
It's good, but I liked Tangerine and The Florida Project a whole lot more.

Step (Amanda Lipitz, 2017): Director Amanda Lipitz introduces her film's three main leads--Cori, Tayla, and Blessin--against the backdrop of its Baltimore's setting's reaction to the police murder of Freddie Grey. Whatever intentions Lipitz had about making a documentary about coming of age in the era and environment of Black Lives Matter is quickly abandoned for a conventional and rather jejune portrait of a trio of girls as they balance their time between their step team and their college plans. It doesn't help that I've never been much of a fan of dance films be they fiction or nonfiction, and the monotonous routines we get here merely reinforce my judgment about the medium. Others may get more out of it than I did. The preparations for college were the far more interesting narrative thread for me. One girl had the grades, but lacked the financial resources to go to her dream school of John Hopkins. Another had spent so much of her previous years goofing off that she had a D average, but still fought for her school's support in placing her. There have been some great documentaries about the lives of teenage girls. All This Panic immediately comes to mind. This isn't one of them though.

Tout le monde a raison (Emmanuel Mouret, 2017): Catharine (Flore Bonaventura) and Adrien (Adrien Michaux) are dating, when she tells him that she possesses an infallible sixth sense that allows her to know if her boyfriend is being unfaithful. She claims that she doesn't follow clues or pick up hints. Instead, she has some sort of extrasensory perception that tunes her in to her partner's infidelity. Upset at the apparent irrationality of his girlfriend's claim, Adrien unloads the information on Beatrice (Adélaïde Leroux), the romantic partner of his best friend. Together Adrien and Beatrice contrive to prove the unreliability of Catharine's sense by trapping her into coming up with a false positive. Clocking in at just 24 minutes, it’s an entertaining trifle, but nothing too substantial. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I'm not changing my list over it.

The Wailing (Hong-jin Na, 2016): Jong-Goo (Do Won Kwak) is a portly and minimally competent police officer in a South Korean suburb. The way that Na Hong-jin begins with this bumbling doofus makes the horror of the gruesome crime scenes that come next all the more shocking. A man covered in inexplicable boils sits handcuffed and catatonic after butchering his wife and a pair of bystanders. Soon more murders pop up. Jong-Goo begins dreaming of a man-like creature eating people in the woods. A nude woman shows up outside of the police station during a power outage, only to reappear the following night as an uncontrollable mad person covered in soot. Worst of all, Jong-Goo's own daughter breaks out in boils and starts acting out violently. Convinced that the town has fallen to the demonic powers of a supernatural force, the doting father will stop at nothing to save his daughter. I really enjoyed this film even though I didn't feel like its tonal shifts worked out well. I would have preferred it if it had been either a serious thriller or gone all in on its campy undertones. As is, it walks a line that drags it down a little too much.

All films were chosen at random. I'm going to try and get at least one more slate of viewings in before voting ends.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#469 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri May 14, 2021 8:54 pm

Re: Starlet (which I also rewatched this week, still my favorite Baker)
SpoilerShow
It's a credit to Baker's willingness to be compassionate to all his characters that he upends expectations by having Melissa not steal Jane's money. Of course in her drug-addled state she goes to hurt Sadie because, well, hurt people hurt people, but I kept thinking even on a third watch that she had stolen the cash the whole time. Baker doesn't have her encapsulate total deviance, but shows a character in the peripheries who is an addict and bears the narcissistic traits of someone in active addiction, yet is still resisting moral bankruptcy where she can.

As for the ending, well Sadie had a daughter who died. This is not overstated as a causal link to any action, but it 'explains' in part why she may have been triggered and resistant to Jane's presence in her life at first. I believe that when Melissa tells Sadie about Jane's moral dilemma it actually allows Sadie to 'understand' on a human level why Jane would obsessively seek out her company. By now their intimacy is established, and Sadie knows that Jane wouldn't take her to Paris if they didn't actually have a connection- plus by now she feels the connection enough not to cast away the merits to their relationship in totem (again, as a lesser movie would surely do). But the last missing piece has been offered that demonstrates Jane's own torn morality, and prompts Sadie to trust her with the information of the reason for why Sadie both values and struggles with their relationship, by having her see the grave.

Now both parties understand that the other's initial actions around the relationship were born from a contractual/self-focused space, and this knowledge doesn't bar them from loving the other but actually serves the opposite function; it helps define their union as being a) logical in a social-emotional sense for each person, and b) able to transcend superficial charities/loneliness through comprehending that the other party is living with a rational struggle that they cannot access, and continuing the willingness to engage in deepening their friendship long after each has faced their barriers and done enough to rationalize a checkmark from a selfish angle. Jane and Sadie each develop a surrender to their limitations of knowing the other via a deep respect for the other's foreign layers, permitting them to be untouched in unconditional humanism. It's a powerful ending that couldn't be any more fitting for one of the most humanistic films I've ever seen. I believe they will only grow closer from here.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#470 Post by swo17 » Sun May 16, 2021 5:22 pm

As a reminder, you all have one more week to submit a list or to revise a list that you have previously submitted.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#471 Post by TMDaines » Mon May 17, 2021 4:00 am

I’ll submit sometime this week before I go away for the weekend.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#472 Post by Tommaso » Thu May 20, 2021 5:25 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 12:11 am
La academia de las musas (José Luis Guerín, 2015)

I've struggled to write about this for a while, as it's a rather unassuming movie (it literally starts out as just a filmed college lecture) that resonates with me on such a personal level, but then I realized that I could let some of its images do the heavy lifting. First, if you enjoy something like Copie conforme, where philosophical discussions gradually begin to seep into the characters' lives, and especially if you find beauty in Kiarostami's technique of filming his characters through glass as it reflects the surrounding world, then this should be right up your alley. Some images spoiled for size, like cotton candy for the eyes:
SpoilerShow
Image Image
Image Image
I also find the subject under discussion to be fascinating, namely, the kind of love that Dante had for Beatrice, this poetic ideal that inspires great art, that transcends both selfish love aimed at one's own pleasure as well as selfless love focused on one's partner, because it sublimates desire into a beauty that can be shared with all of humanity. The highest form of love--the love for a muse. Or are these all just lines that a married college professor tells his more comely female students to justify spending so much time with them outside of class? Watch and see!
Thanks for the recommendation, swo. I was also reminded of Kiarostami, but not so much of "Copie conforme" but much more of some of his early 'interview' films, such as "First Case, Second Case" or "Homework". Of course the subject matter and the 'subjects' are totally different, but the technique of thoroughly investigating a moral - or in Guerin's case: aesthetic/emotional - question via 'interviewing' various people involved (even if in Guerin's case this is obviously much more or entirely fictionalised) is certainly somewhat comparable. And besides, the face initial close-up/face studies of the students listening to the professor's talk immediately reminded me of Kiarostami's "Shirin" as well.

Quite a fascinating film indeed, although I'm also not sure whether the professor indeed just uses these highly aloof musings to get closer to his female students in the first place. The whole idea of the 'muse' seems so totally out of place with 21st century thinking that I'm not sure whether Guerin is serious about the questions the film raises. In any case, a rather unusual and thought-provoking cinematic treatise.

Is it an orphan? I might put it onto my revised list, simply because I think it really deserves to be seen.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#473 Post by swo17 » Thu May 20, 2021 5:28 pm

Glad you liked it! Yes, it's currently one of my orphans

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#474 Post by progambler666 » Sat May 22, 2021 5:49 pm

swo17 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:05 am
If you are reading this sentence, you are eligible to participate in our forum's latest decades list project exploring the films of the 2010s.
Ok, trying to send PM to swo17, but:
We are sorry, but you are not authorised to use this feature. You may have just registered here and may need to participate more in discussions to be able to use this feature.
:(

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#475 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat May 22, 2021 6:18 pm

I've gotten to this project much too late to make too much of an impact, but I hope you can set aside an hour and a half before you submit your list to watch The Bob Emergency (2019, dir. Jon Bois), one of last decade's most unexpectedly profound pieces of art from a silly premise: there used to be a lot of sports figures named Bob, now there are very few. From there, Bois finds Bobs who are legends of their fields and Bobs who failed so miserably that they barely register as blips on the historical record, and he finds in all of them pathos and strength even in their failures. It's both much funnier and much more moving than the average sports documentary, and it ranks very high on my (again, very tardy) list.

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