Monday, December 26, 2005

The Trim Bin #8

- I won't be posting my year-end top 10 until the end of January - there are still a few potentially great movies (Brokeback Mountain, The New World, Match Point) that have yet to open in my neck of the woods. Overall, it seems that 2005 was a year that started unusually weakly (there were less than ten that opened before September that I'd give four stars), but things got a lot better in the last three months of the year. A quick preview: I saw Munich with Jess last night, and I'm pretty confident that it's the best movie of the year (with A History of Violence close behind). It's in limited release now; when it opens near you, check it out. Even if you dislike Munich, you won't be able to stop thinking about it.

- Apocalypto. What. The. Fuck.

- Jess and I had a long conversation last night about the purpose of film criticism - of arts criticism in general. I'm not of the popular camp that sees film criticism as a formulaic, objective process - it makes my teeth cringe whenever a writer or film student gives his/her opinions as though they were gospel. However, I like the discipline of articulating my positive and negative responses to a film. When I write about, say, King Kong, I'm really writing about myself in some sense - the review is a catalog of my personal responses, and while I try to write in a way that makes a case of the movie's strengths and weaknesses, in the end it is about nothing as much as my own fetishes, fears, dreams and obsessions. The critics I admire and compulsively read get this, and have elevated film writing to the level of legitimate literature as opposed to summaries and a star system. But at the same time, I'm not really a critic - I'm a filmmaker, and my hope is to share and receive input on my process of discovery. I'd also love it if, eventually, this space was a busy forum for others on similar journeys. Because I firmly that our art experiences - movies we see, the books we read, the songs we hear - are the closest we can ever come to a shared frame of reference, a common reality, and a road that we all travel. This is all a longwinded way of saying that while this blog is a soapbox for my likes and dislikes, whether your favorite movie is La Dolce Vita, Serpico, or Fievel Goes West, it's all good, because in the end we pray at the same temple.

- Finally, rest in peace, Vincent Schiavelli. I hope your last holiday season was merry, and I hope that in your last days, you thought to yourself at least once, "Hey, I'm a Red Lectroid!" You will be missed.

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