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Re: “List-o-Mania

"Do The Right Thing? That was garbage. You're not required to like it just because a racist black guy made it."

You have such insights into the minds of other people! Clearly, anyone who claimed to like "Do the Right Thing" must have only liked it because they felt obligated to. How do we know this? Because you say it's garbage. Duh!

Never mind that Rosenbaum has frequently criticized or condemned films that were widely popular in the critical community and which were viewed as "unassailable" - no, he's simply too afraid to admit the "truth" about "Do the Right Thing."

"Their thinking is, if it's popular - or has ever been popular - it can't be good."

In other words, you have no idea what Rosenbaum likes or dislikes. That's cool - I'm glad you're so open to admitting that.

For the record, you presumptuous twit, there's not a single critic in the entire damned world that thinks like that.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jason Fischer on 04/30/2013 at 2:12 PM

Re: “List-o-Mania

"Greatness is dependent on a certain degree of popularity and public exposure that greatly extends its production and aesthetic qualities."

Actually, the popularity of a film has absolutely no effect on its "production" and "aesthetic" qualities. A film that's only viewed by ten people can still be a great work of art. A film that's viewed by a million people can still be trash. (Before someone accuses me of "only liking things that are obscure"--I'm quite aware that it works the other way around too. There are great popular movies and many terrible obscure films.)

Your argument becomes especially weak when you consider the basic fact that there are many, many great films out there that are currently hidden away in obscurity. And they're hidden not due to some particularly esoteric style or vision that only a few could appreciate - rather, they've been forgotten simply due to the arbitrary nature of distribution and the popularity of certain countries over others. How do I know this? Because, largely thanks to the internet, I'm constantly discovering great films that are almost completely unknown in the film community. There have been hundreds of thousands of films made in the 100+ year history of narrative filmmaking - though it's comforting to imagine that all the best ones will rise to the top, we know that to be false. Popularity is not, in fact, the ultimate indicator of quality - often times, the "processes" that determine which films are remembered and which are forgotten are completely arbitrary.

One of the joys of being a film buff is the realization that the random movie you found on the internet that someone recorded off of Czechoslovakian television in the early 80s and which has been hidden away since might actually be a masterpiece. (Recently, I had the chance to go to a retrospective of Slovakian films - there were a few absolute duds, yet I was astonished by how many were very good or great, in spite of having only a few dozen ratings on the IMDb.)

To put it another way, I have no doubt that there are incredible, unheard of films sitting in an archive in Bulgaria or Bangladesh right now that only a tiny handful of people have seen or even heard of - and which many of us will never get a chance to see.

You really oughta read some of Rosenbaum's other pieces - he has talked about this very subject pretty extensively.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jason Fischer on 04/30/2013 at 2:05 PM

Re: “List-o-Mania

"Do you have any movie knowledge whatsoever?"

Agree or disagree with Rosenbaum all you want, but anyone who suggests that he doesn't know his movies is a complete and utter moron. You're letting your fury at the idea of someone having a different opinion get in the way of your critical thinking skills.

In fact, most of the people who are whining about the list are only demonstrating their own ignorance and their own inability to think rationally about the subject. Sorry, but that's the truth.

"Why the hell do people who don't make movies feel that they have the right to write about movies?"

Sorry, but you lost this argument a few centuries ago. It's pretty well established that criticism is essential to the arts. Yes, a critic's opinion is subjective - but some opinions are considerably more informed than others. I trust a knowledgeable critic considerably more than the opinion of some dude on the internet who thinks that such-and-such movie "totally sucks" - and that's because a good critic will know a great deal about the technique and history of the medium he's writing about and he'll be able to use his knowledge in his writings. I disagree with Rosenbaum on a regular basis, but I almost always find his criticisms meaningful and useful, and they help me crystallize my own thoughts on the film in question. The "this movie sucks" guy certainly has a right to his opinion and his means of expressing it - he's not "wrong" for having that opinion - but don't fool yourself into thinking that it's just as meaningful as the opinion of the knowledgeable critic (or film buff.)

Also, incidentally, Ebert has been involved in the making of movies. He wrote one of the most enjoyable comedies of the 1970s.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jason Fischer on 04/30/2013 at 1:51 PM

Re: “List-o-Mania

Did everyone complaining about the exclusion of films like "All About Eve" and "Citizen Kane" even bother to read the essay? He makes it pretty clear that he's purposefully making an alternate top 100 that EXCLUDES all the films that made the AFI list. He's trying to bring attention to the fact that the AFI does not represent the "end-all-be-all" definitive take on the absolute 100 greatest American films - rather, they simply went with a lot of the usual suspects, at the expense of the many American films that could use greater attention and exposure and which are just as wonderful (and accessible) as the more popular films on the list.

Rosenbaum loves Welles and "Citizen Kane," but he excluded it from his list because it's already on the AFI list. It's as simple as that.

Seriously folks, reading will get you far. It's too bad that people like thegodfather529 don't even bother to read before pouring forth their right righteous fury and condescension. (It's also too bad that they buy into the deeply fallacious notion that popularity is a necessary prerequisite for greatness.)

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jason Fischer on 04/30/2013 at 1:38 PM

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