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grudlian.

Best Of The Decade Pt. 2

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Paul & Amy continue the Best Of The Decade miniseries, picking their favorite films from each year of the 2010s! This episode covers the years 2013-2015, and they'll discuss a visionary action film, a super-low-budget indie gem, and an inescapable musical among many others. Plus: a critical eye on this year's Golden Globe nominations.

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My picks!

2013: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity
2014: Boyhood, Guardians of the Galaxy
2015: Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out

2013 seems especially strong to me, as I could also stump for Her or Inside Llewyn Davis or Before Midnight.

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2013 - 12 Years A Slave, Her

The only reason I'm not picking Gravity instead of Her is because I think part of the greatness is the theater experience in 3D. I don't think a truly great movie needs to be seen in specific circumstances.

That said, if you ever get the chance to watch The Walk in 3D, DO IT! The movie is not good but the actual walk between the towers is, without question, the best 3D I've ever seen.

2014 - Heaven Knows What, Whiplash

Part of me would love to see An Open Secret (a documentary about child molestation in the film industry) get on the AFI list but that would never happen.

2015 - Diary Of A Teenage Girl, Inside Out

2015 is the hardest year for me. There are a ton of great movies like Green Room, Anomalisa, Tangerine, Brooklyn. I would put Grandma on the list, but I'm still angry Sam Elliott didn't get nominated for Best Supporting Actor. 

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36 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

2015 - Diary Of A Teenage Girl, Inside Out

Diary of a Teenage Girl is great and it seemed like no one was talking about it.

Whiplash is also close to the top of my list in that year. And yeah, my Gravity pick is entirely based on the theatrical experience.

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51 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Diary of a Teenage Girl is great and it seemed like no one was talking about it.

Whiplash is also close to the top of my list in that year. And yeah, my Gravity pick is entirely based on the theatrical experience.

Looking at box office mojo, Diary Of A Teenage Girl made under $2 million worldwide. Looks like no one was talking about it because no one saw it. I have to assume the content is the main reason but I don't remember it getting any advertising. 

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My picks:

2013:

I thought about Snowpiercer or Gravity, but my top 2 are easy

 12 Years A Slave
Inside Llewyn Davis
(i'm coming around on this being the best Coen film, but that's another thread).

 2014: hmm. A lot of my faves here don't seem to fit this list (odd stuff like Wild Canaries or They Came Together). Even Gone Girl.  I almost went with Obvious Child here, but my picks:

Nightcrawler
The Grand Budapest Hotel (again for me not a TOP tier Wes, but I think it may be his most popular and respected)

2015:

You guys are right, this one is hard. Lots to choose. I want to go with The Lobster or The Witch, because eccentric stuff should be repped too, but I'm not. I'm going to have to pick 3:

Ex Machina
Room
Carol

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One thing I'm kind of curious about is representation of women and people of color. We've talked about lack of representation on the AFI but long at our best of decade lists (which still has more years to go and more people to post lists). But we aren't really putting up many directors that aren't white men and neither are Amy and Paul.

Obviously, we're limiting ourselves to American films and Hollywood is still largely white men. There could be some movies we've nominated that I assume are by white men that aren't.

I think it's interesting/problematic that we're all aware of this issue but our suggestions largely don't resolve issues we've all discussed.

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Hmm yea, that's interesting.

My guess is it shows just how recently this inclusivity has developed; and how limited opportunity truly was for non-white men forever. I mean, there are great films out there by all sorts of people, but you do have to be a real cinephile to find them. And this list, as developed, is indeed even more limited (award winners, box office impact, etc.).

I believe black and female directors will be (almost) all of my picks for each of 2016, 2017, and 2018. And they're not rare picks, I think you guys will more or less agree with them. So I think that also shows how recently this change has arisen. 

So for me, with the "older" movies (pre-2016), I'm trying to rep diverse stories at least - so in this set there's like slavery, lesbian romance, sci-fi, female-centered survival. Even if they're directed by white men, that's still a step of progress. And your guys' picks reflect that too, I think (Mad Max Fury Road, Diary of a Teenage Girl, etc.).

 

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51 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Hmm yea, that's interesting.

My guess is it shows just how recently this inclusivity has developed; and how limited opportunity truly was for non-white men forever. I mean, there are great films out there by all sorts of people, but you do have to be a real cinephile to find them. And this list, as developed, is indeed even more limited (award winners, box office impact, etc.).

I believe black and female directors will be (almost) all of my picks for each of 2016, 2017, and 2018. And they're not rare picks, I think you guys will more or less agree with them. So I think that also shows how recently this change has arisen. 

So for me, with the "older" movies (pre-2016), I'm trying to rep diverse stories at least - so in this set there's like slavery, lesbian romance, sci-fi, female-centered survival. Even if they're directed by white men, that's still a step of progress. And your guys' picks reflect that too, I think (Mad Max Fury Road, Diary of a Teenage Girl, etc.).

 

I agree. I've tried to make the point before that I'd like the to be more people of color and women represented but I genuinely can't think of any movies I'd consider putting on the list before the 1970s. It's purely because they were shut out of the industry (though women and people of color were still making movies just in much smaller numbers and with much less support).

If I listed my top 10 per year as opposed to 2 or 3, we'd start seeing more non-white men. There are a few more difficult to rank years whe I could swap out a white guy for more representation but my knee jerk choices are what they are. So, I guess that's more proof of white male control even very, very recently in Hollywood. I think the rest of the decade will be heavier on non-white men but I haven't looked too closely yet.

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PS - Diary Of A Teenage Girl is directed by a woman. It's Marielle Heller and she's got a really solid decade under her belt with Can You Ever Forgive Me and A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

My guess is it shows just how recently this inclusivity has developed; and how limited opportunity truly was for non-white men forever. I mean, there are great films out there by all sorts of people, but you do have to be a real cinephile to find them. And this list, as developed, is indeed even more limited (award winners, box office impact, etc.).

I think that's it. The dominance of white male directors on the list is not so much about the bias of the listmakers, more about the historical lack of opportunities for anyone else leaving few available choices (especially in America, since we can't reach out to filmmakers from, say, Japan or India for this list). It's only VERY recently that the opportunities for black directors have started to match their percentage of the population. For women it's improving but still not close to 50/50 as it probably should be.

And of course, better representation doesn't mean you have to stop putting white male directors on your lists of favorites! There still ought to be some of those that speak to you too!

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53 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I think that's it. The dominance of white male directors on the list is not so much about the bias of the listmakers,

Yes and no to this. I do think there is still a pretty big bias. I mean how many of these 100 movies are about women? Putting their stories front and center, showing us their lives. Are there more or less than there are Vietnam War movies?

Like, I think of Scorsese's stuff -- could maybe Raging Bull have been replaced with Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore? Or even Age of Innocence? How many of Spielberg's picks could be replaced by The Color Purple? I think that's a game that could be easier argued to somewhat fix this list.

Even if the directors are all men, they could have put together a stronger and more diverse collection of stories.

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2 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Yes and no to this. I do think there is still a pretty big bias. I mean how many of these 100 movies are about women? Putting their stories front and center, showing us their lives. Are there more or less than there are Vietnam War movies?

The subject matter is another question, yeah. I think a lot of this also flows from a lack of women storytellers. It's hard to disentangle.

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On 12/12/2019 at 5:59 PM, grudlian. said:

One thing I'm kind of curious about is representation of women and people of color. We've talked about lack of representation on the AFI but long at our best of decade lists (which still has more years to go and more people to post lists). But we aren't really putting up many directors that aren't white men and neither are Amy and Paul.

Obviously, we're limiting ourselves to American films and Hollywood is still largely white men. There could be some movies we've nominated that I assume are by white men that aren't.

I think it's interesting/problematic that we're all aware of this issue but our suggestions largely don't resolve issues we've all discussed.

I know other people have given their explanations for this, but I prefer just going with the, "we're part of the problem," explanation. Granted, when the topic of why the AFI hasn't released an updated list, I wasn't the person who said they're too embarrassed to release another list with such poor representation in this time. (I think I gripe more about the lack of independents).

I guess, if people wanted to at least rectify this a bit, listing off their top two movies directed by a POC for each year and their top two directed by a woman.  And then see how poorly we still do. And... if you'd do as poorly for me, list off the top two regrets of movies in each category you wished you've seen but haven't (if you aren't happy with your answers to either of those).

Because, tbh, one of the real purposes of these lists and awards is it causes people who might otherwise not watch these movies, to do so (either from ignorance, or just time constraints).  

ETA: I'd suggest as part of this, if you wish to include international films, to put on the restriction to exclude countries like Japan, Korea, and China, which have a notable presence in world cinema and doesn't have the dynamic of a film maker coming from a minority demographic (well, unless it does, is suppose. e.g. A Japanese film from a Korean immigrant). I'm not sure how to classify Indian films with that, since they have a huge movie industry, but I don't really see Indian movies showing up in American theaters. 

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17 hours ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

I know other people have given their explanations for this, but I prefer just going with the, "we're part of the problem," explanation. Granted, when the topic of why the AFI hasn't released an updated list, I wasn't the person who said they're too embarrassed to release another list with such poor representation in this time. (I think I gripe more about the lack of independents).

I guess, if people wanted to at least rectify this a bit, listing off their top two movies directed by a POC for each year and their top two directed by a woman.  And then see how poorly we still do. And... if you'd do as poorly for me, list off the top two regrets of movies in each category you wished you've seen but haven't (if you aren't happy with your answers to either of those).

Because, tbh, one of the real purposes of these lists and awards is it causes people who might otherwise not watch these movies, to do so (either from ignorance, or just time constraints).  

ETA: I'd suggest as part of this, if you wish to include international films, to put on the restriction to exclude countries like Japan, Korea, and China, which have a notable presence in world cinema and doesn't have the dynamic of a film maker coming from a minority demographic (well, unless it does, is suppose. e.g. A Japanese film from a Korean immigrant). I'm not sure how to classify Indian films with that, since they have a huge movie industry, but I don't really see Indian movies showing up in American theaters. 

I definitely agree that we are part of the problem. A lot of the recent years, especially the ones that are harder to narrow down to two favorites, I could have chosen something directed by a non-white man.

I do like the idea of at least highlighting some movies directed by women and people of color even if they aren't my favorites. I'll at least limit myself to English language films of I don't do purely American films (since the AFI included clearly non-American movies)

2010:  Submarine, The Arbor, Meek's Cutoff, Certified Copy

2011:  Fast Five, Pariah, Higher Ground, Another Earth, Shame

2012:  Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Ruby Sparks, Stories We Tell, Brave

2013:  Gravity, Fruitvale Station, 12 Years A Slave, Enough Said, Short Term 12, Snowpiercer

2014:  The Babadook, Selma, Beyond The Lights, Welcome To Me, 99 Homes

2015:  Furious 7, Diary Of A Teenage Girl, Inside Out, Dope, Creed, Me Earl And The Dying Girl

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On 12/12/2019 at 1:23 PM, grudlian. said:

2013 - 12 Years A Slave, Her

The only reason I'm not picking Gravity instead of Her is because I think part of the greatness is the theater experience in 3D. I don't think a truly great movie needs to be seen in specific circumstances.

Agreed. I only saw it about a year later at home and I enjoyed it, but really felt like I was missing something by watching it this way.

Kind of feel the same way about how I saw 2001 on the tiniest TV imaginable back in the year 2001.

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2013:

  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Her
  • Begin Again
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Short Term 12

Including separately: Sound City (documentary), Blue is the Warmest Color (French production), and Ida (Polish production).

2014:

  • Captain America: Winter Soldier
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Little Accidents
  • Gone Girl
  • Selma

Included separately: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (I wanted to include this because I think it has American production behind it, and was filmed in California, despite being a foreign language film.)

2015:

  • Room
  • The Force Awakens
  • Dope
  • Love & Mercy
  • Creed
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