Just yesterday Ryan Hollinger published this video:
I don’t usually write negatively about movies. I would much rather give recommendations and discuss the ways movies enrich our lives. But I’ve had this movie in all it’s shittiness on my mind for almost two weeks now, so I might as well try to get it out of my hed.
Some spoilers, but you are not going to see the movie anyway, so what does it matter? It’s also based on the life of a real person with a somewhat public life, so you might even know what happened. And the fact that this is a biopic makes writing this harder. The story of the person is in itself interesting and could be inspirational. Emphasis on ‘could’. She deserved better than this.
For the purpose of this article I’m going to make a clear rule: Obscure (in this particular case) is a movie which has less than thousand votes on IMDb as of this writing (because several have close enough to 1,000 to potentially cross that line in the near future). The problem with this approach is that obviously older movies don’t get the same attention on IMDb as newer movies. These might have been cult hits back in the day, but I’m just not aware of it.
One of the greatest things about being a movie fan is discovery. There are various estimates, but I guess the figure of around half a million features in existence already tells you quite a bit about how deep you can go and never find the bottom. It’s like the oceans. They are less mapped than the moon.
But every once in a while, you come across something that’s upsetting. Not like a snuff film or anything like that (that’s a whole different issue), but just something about the history of movies that just feels wrong. In this case the omission of Alice Guy.
I live in a town of about 100.000 people, which hasn’t seen a new case during the whole summer (actually the total number of cases is -1, but I’m not sure why one was removed, but probably just some sort of duplication), so I’ve felt pretty safe about going to movies.
Yes, I’m kind of late on this, but on the other hand, I thought under the current situation, as the availability of new movies is bad, looking back at what was good last year might be a good idea.
And we are finally here… My favorite movie.
Okay, so what does it even mean to have a favorite movie? These often come with various understandable caveats. I mean, I set the list earlier this year and if I did it again right now, it might look very different. Many of the top movies would probably be the same, but the order might change quite a bit.
When watching a movie from the Alien quadrilogy, you can immediately tell who directed each of them. Well, except for the first one. Ridley Scott has been working for well over four decades and has directed 25 theatrical features and a bunch of other stuff during that time. How many of those 25 movies could you name? Okay, Alien, sure. Blade Runner. Gladiator. His movies range from 25% (A Good Year) to 97% (Alien) on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s quite understandable that you don’t immediately remember all the completely forgettable or mediocre movies.
The movie that prompted me to talk about this was Drowning by Numbers by Peter Greenaway. I sort of picked it up from my piles of unwatched movies and just put it on without too much thinking. There’s a lot of movies on those piles I’ve bought for some specific reason, but don’t exactly remember why, so I wasn’t aware that the movie was by Greenaway (although I probably was at some point), but that became apparent pretty much immediately. The long shots, the angles and compositons of the shots, the music, the dialogue all just scream Greenaway.
Obviously, I’m not a professional critic, so this is largely just an outsiders view, but let’s talk about them anyway.
It’s probably tough being a movie critic. At least for the good ones. The bad ones… they can just go on and spew garbage about movies. The good ones are educated people. They often have degrees on this stuff. This stuff meaning something along the lines of film theory. But how does that help as a critic?
It doesn’t. At least not as much as one might want it to help. Actual criticism requires the hindsight of historical context. Imagine you had to go out and watch Citizen Kane on premier night. Whatever you would have written about it would seem ridiculous now, almost 80 years later.
In continuation of the topic from yesterday, let’s talk a little bit about how much movies cost to make.
Irishman was one of the Best Movie Oscar nominees this year. DeNiro and Scorsese have talked openly about the problems of finding a financeer. And I get why. The budget was $158 million. That’s not an unusually large budget these days, but it is unusually large for the kind of movie they were making. On top of that, Scorsese is one of the most respected working directors, but his box office results don’t really reflect that. Usually he’s movies do fine. They just about make their money back in theatres, so they are probably profitable in the home market. His previous movie, The Silence, was made with a much smaller budget of $46.5 million, but only managed about half that in box office.