Here’s a graph of the movies on my list per decade.
While the change hasn’t been consistently up throughout the century, the general direction clearly is. Of course, this is only me and my perspective, but I do believe the overall quality of movies has been rising.
As many have probably noticed, quite a few current movie directors have a background of making music videos. The timeline fits quite well. MTV started in the early 80s and at first the videos were not that interesting. They were just quickly thrown together to get something to show. They were often just based on a single visual gimmick, which are now just quaint.
However, these videos, technology (you know, cassettes and CDs) and general economic growth meant that the industry had more money to play around with, which meant larger marketing budgets, which in turn gave opportunities for many young directors to work with larger budgets. David Fincher directed dozens of music videos, including some with the biggest stars of the time, or ever, like Michael Jackson, Madonna and George Michael. Michel Gondry worked with Daft Punk, Björk and Radiohead. Eric Zimmerman worked with Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Soundgarden. Don’t bother looking that one up. While seeing Head Like a Hole for the first time was a defining moment in my childhood, which I still remember correctly, Zimmerman’s movie work is… less than distinguished. Also, I guess his history with them is the reason all Michael Bay movies feel like two hour music videos.
As a decade just ended, we got a lot of different best of the decade lists. On Pitchforks top albums of 2010s, there were nine albums by women in the top 20. How many in the previous decade? None. Well, there were bands and duos with women in the top 20, but even taking those into account, we only have three. It seems women have taken their rightful place in the world of music. (Although I do think this is also largely about perceptions.)
Well, what about movies? Obviously my list isn’t as indicative as Pitchfork’s, it’s still noteworthy that there’s only 2.5 movies directed by women on my list. It seems that even when women do make great movies, it’s harder for them to continue with their career. Many men, who have made a low budget movie, which has garnered some interest, have opportunities to move into bigger budgets, but women are often forgotten.
Yesterday I talked about tangible accessibility, so now it’s time for the much more difficult topic of intangible accessibility and I think this is the part where will lose the most readers. But gladly, I can live with that.
Here’s the problem: Why is understanding movies such a sin? I understand that some (many) movie critics might seem arrogant and I probably do as well, although I can’t really claim to understand movies on the same level as the actually good critics out there. I guess that’s the culture now. You try to explain something complicated and you are automatically an arrogant prick. I might be, but not because of this.
It’s about accessibility of MtG related fiction, but the first part is about the concept of accessibility, both tangible and intangible. So, let’s talk about that in the context of movies. First the tangible part and tomorrow the intangible.
The list is mostly for me, but as I have written the list out and published it (even going so far as to tell people about it), there is an assumption that someone else might take interest. In order to make this more usable, I might as well list some of the things I read and watch. “Why?”, one might ask. Well, because it might inform others of where I come from with this list. Every piece of media I consume is going to have at least a miniscule effect on my taste, so if you find that your taste is similar, you might find these interesting as well, or if you are aware of these, you might have a better idea of whether it’s a good idea for you to read the list.
As the actual list is going to come out next year, you haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve worked on it quite a bit and the list is mostly ready. What this means is that I know what has been dropped from the 2015 version.
In a world where a handful of people can defeat an army, surely superbrains and supercomputers exist, too? If a glowing superheroine can blow up an alien warship in an instant, does it not make sense that a superintelligence could solve an impossibly difficult scientific problem in a second? Handled well, by maintaining the world’s internal logic, staying true to the themes of the story, and respecting the audience, it would work.
But Avengers: Endgame botched it, and rewarded a year’s worth of waiting with lazy writing and more gods out of the machine than you can throw Mjolnirs at. A collection of funny scenes and some admittedly dramatic moments isn’t enough.