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The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far) 
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
I assume this is from 2010 onward..? I'll just do 10 since that seems to be a relatively good number.

Amour
A Separation
Black Swan
Drive
Incendies
Meeks Cutoff
Searching For Sugar Man
Take Shelter
Tinker Tailor Solider Spy
Winters Bone

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Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:26 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Jeff Wilder wrote:
I myself am on Facebook. To me, it has positive and negative sides. However, I've never seen it as a real "community". It isn't and never has been. It's the online equivalent of a high school. What role do you want to play? Jock? Yearbook editor? Hall Monitor? Math Club President? The prime difference between FB and real high school is that you get to make the choice.

On the content generator end, Facebook is a delivery system for advertisements, like so many things are. On the user end, Facebook is a tool for managing your public presence on the Internet. That is the long and short of it. You get out of it what you put in.

There are many situations in which it is advantageous to be found and to have some transparency about the basic "getting to know you" facts of your life. That transparency is a double-edged sword--to be handled carefully. For example, if you're looking for a job, Facebook very well could sink your prospects if you treat it as a dumping ground for showing all your acquaintances and extended family members how many beers you can chug in a row, or how many confrontational political memes you can share.

But on the other hand, if you treat your profile with some discretion, you can take advantage of your potential employers' habit of vetting their candidates online. You can show them the kind of person they'd be dealing with--your tastes, your voice, the way you interact with people, what your interests outside of your career are, and so on. It also lets them know that you're reasonably tech-savvy and somewhat of an open book with others.

It's worth mentioning that all my former college professors and classmates have very well-managed Facebook profiles and that my place of work has an official Facebook page so that colleagues and coworkers can coordinate with one another.

And hey, if you want to bother everybody you know with a YouTube video you found of a corgi doing a belly flop into a lake, email is passe. Facebook that shit!

I tend to find that people who treat Facebook like high school tend to be people who behave as though they're still in high school in general.

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Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:23 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
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Having read many reviews of it beforehand, I found the negative ones were based on strawman arguments of Zuckerberg worship.


Yeah, I've also noticed moral objections to this film, some as severe as my objection to Django Unchained. I don't agree with any of them though, as you're right, it's 99% strawman. I dont' have very much against the movie overall. It wasn't a huge hit at the box office, the probable reasons for which are pretty much my same reasons for not caring about it too much. As I said, it appeals to a certain crowd. I just don't find Zuckerberg to be particularly inspiring or interesting, personally. I've known people like him, who were obviously far less successful.


Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:59 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
I decided to go through my movie queue and pick out some of the films I really liked from the past three years. A list, if you will:

50/50
Argo
Cloud Atlas
Drive
Easy A
Green Zone
Inception
Machete
Seeking a Friend For the End of the World

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Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:32 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Ken wrote:
The opening sequence of a movie is one of the most important. It establishes moods, textures, emotions--primes you to laugh, cry, learn, be frightened, or whatever the movie is going to need you to do during the next two hours. The opening is like the training level in a video game. It's there to teach you how to watch the movie.


Yes damnit...yes. Opening shots are extremely important in setting tone in a film...completely agreed. It's what draws you in if done well...

I know people here have read Jim Emerson's blog. What do you guys feel about his Opening Shots project? He's got some really good entries that emphasize this.

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Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:46 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Jim Emerson rules. His writings have figured big into my way of thinking, along with Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell. They're the ones who got me thinking of movies holistically, rather than as a collection of individual elements. Each part is inextricable from the whole.

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Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:03 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
I agree completely with all of that. Opening shots teach you how to watch the movie; and the very fact that there is something to teach is the best start to creating a holistic piece of work. The more idiosyncratic a movie is, the more there is to teach, and likely as not the more rewarding the experience will be.


Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:35 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Oh wow! Thanks for pointing me to Jim Emerson's blog. I'd heard of him (he constantly appears on Ebert's site) but never really read any of his articles. I've just started going through all of his The Social Network analyses, and they're absolutely brilliant. I've ordered the two-disc BR box set from Amazon, and it is on its way. I am going to have so much more to think about the film when I watch it the next time around.

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Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:53 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Quote:
ERICA
I was honestly just asking. OK? I was asking just to ask. Mark, I'm not speaking in code.



But of course she is. They both are. We all are, all the time,


From Emerson's article on the film. Well, for my part, I make a day to day effort not to speak in any codes, not even to people I barely know or am meeting for the first time. I speak my mind or I dont' speak at all. I feel I'm not alive, otherwise. So I definitely sympathize with Erica's desire to ask just to ask.

Emerson is perceptive, but I think the point of film analysis is not to analyze one film, but to analyze what many great films have in common with each other. A great analysis of a film can often be substituted as the analysis for another great film. We see what we want to see in movies, especially when it comes to politics and socio-politics, and even visual style I think.


Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:40 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Well, the whole point of criticism--if I may attempt to speak for Emerson, et al--is first to have the experience, then to examine the movie to see why it had the effect that it did. We do bring our own baggage into the movie with us, and that's exactly as it's supposed to be. It's how we make meaning, by combining something of ourselves with what the filmmakers give to us and sort of swirl it all together. It's not so much seeing what we want to see as seeing whatever we can through our own sets of personal lenses.

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Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:19 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Ken wrote:
Well, the whole point of criticism--if I may attempt to speak for Emerson, et al--is first to have the experience, then to examine the movie to see why it had the effect that it did. We do bring our own baggage into the movie with us, and that's exactly as it's supposed to be. It's how we make meaning, by combining something of ourselves with what the filmmakers give to us and sort of swirl it all together. It's not so much seeing what we want to see as seeing whatever we can through our own sets of personal lenses.
Exactly. That is why I find it infuriating when people expect me to agree with their opinion or think theirs is the only right one. Not all of us watch the same film, or to put it differently, not all of us watch the film through the same eyes. I see different things in The Social Network because I am a programmer and someone similar to Zuckerberg minus the backstabbing and assholery. I can understand his single-mindedness to make a name for himself, though not the way he goes about it. This is not going to be the same for other people who might be more interested in something else in the film, like Jeff who has more sympathies for Saverin's character.

And to add to that, I also think a film should be judged on its own merits; as in whether it achieved in getting across whatever it was trying to. With The Social Network, this can mean many things to many people. For me, I thought the director's intention was to demonstrate Zuckerberg's single-mindedness and the murky grey areas of IP laws. When the film ended, I thought it achieved in both of those aims. The film paints a three-dimensional picture of Zuckerberg and shows how meaningless modern IP laws are. For other people, this might be something different.

I am also much less interested in the teller or his tools as I am in what is presented on screen and whether the end justified the means. If it did, I don't care what the means are; I don't care whether Fincher or Nolan shove their budgets down my throats; I don't care if they abuse their studios; I don't care if they flaunt their Hollywood muscles; as long as the end product is worth my watch and it conveyed - through whatever means of the director's/screenwriter's/cinematographer's/editor's/composer's choosing - it was trying to.

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Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:14 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Quote:
We do bring our own baggage into the movie with us, and that's exactly as it's supposed to be. It's how we make meaning, by combining something of ourselves with what the filmmakers give to us and sort of swirl it all together. It's not so much seeing what we want to see as seeing whatever we can through our own sets of personal lenses.


You're right, except that nobody's baggage is truly unique. Movies feature hundreds of people responding in exactly the same way at exactly the same time. Personal lenses are not really personal. Do you honestly think that when you watch a movie, you feel things about it that nobody else does? People have different ways of putting their feelings into words, of course. But the feelings are the same.

Quote:
Not all of us watch the same film, or to put it differently, not all of us watch the film through the same eyes. I see different things in The Social Network because I am a programmer and someone similar to Zuckerberg minus the backstabbing and assholery.


You're not the only one who sees those things. If the internet proves anything, it's that every opinion imaginable is out there somewhere, and none of them are truly unique. Your perspective on movies overall and on life overall are of course much different from mine; but we're both watching exactly the same movie.

But look, I respect your perspective, I understand if you don't want to argue about it. I'm not trying to force you to give up your liking for the movie, most of what I post is 80% for my own benefit, nothing more.


Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:00 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Absolutely not.

People will generally respond in similar ways, because people are generally similar, but responding in exactly the same way? No. It doesn't happen. Films do not work in a vacuum and nobody on this planet has exactly the same personality and pool of experiences as another person. Even identical twins, with the same exact face and same exact fingerprints--the very same genetic code--will diverge in crucial ways that affect the way they make meaning.

The reason you can go on the Internet and find opinions that seem to be cloned from one another is that those organic experiences go through the process of review and discussion, through which they become codified and categorized. The very act of putting an experience into words simplifies and generalizes it.

I don't mean to be pedantic, but using the word "exactly" basically demanded it.

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Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:13 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
In addition to Ken's post, I can guarantee that a lot of what I saw in relation to computers, a non-computer person wouldn't have. I didn't see all of it in the first sitting, but my respect for The Social Network grew with every subsequent viewing because of that.

For instance, the Perl script he writes in Emacs to obtain the photos from all the Harvard facebooks would work if you copied it from the film and ran it. Not the full script is shown but what is shown is perfectly coded. I know Perl scripts and Emacs have nothing to do with the film or its drama as a whole, but if Fincher had not had that eye for detail, I would've been taken out of the experience. My enjoyment of the film would've been greatly reduced. That is what makes me admire that film even more. All these little things, which may not matter to the untrained eye (as far as computers and coding is concerned), matter to me, and Fincher nails them all.

That is why I said not all of us watch the same film, or through the same eyes. We see different things in each film. And we definitely don't watch "exactly" the same film. This is as applicable to all other films as it is to The Social Network which is the example I used above.

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Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:22 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Quote:
People will generally respond in similar ways, because people are generally similar, but responding in exactly the same way? No. It doesn't happen.


There's no difference on my end, that I can guarantee. When you make a film, you do well to keep the word "exactly" out of the equation. You appeal to the similarities people have with how they perceive things. Sometimes an audience responds the way you want them to, sometimes they flatline and you realize it's because you didn't give them anything to latch onto. I've had positive feedback on an individual basis, for projects I knew were crap, and it didn't do me a bit of good. Of course, if you create something, a short film or anything else, you have to be answerable first to yourself.

What I'm trying to say is, anyone who makes a film makes it for people they dont' know and won't ever meet. They also have no control over who watches their movie; and believe me, it doesn't matter if it's Lars Von Trier or Spielberg, when someone makes a film they deep down want anyone and everyone to see it; not just a select few.

I think film is an objective art form, which is why people love to confirm each others' opinions. It's also true that it's always a personal artform. Those two points prove each other: it's objectively personal. If you haven't appealed to the personal side of people, by appealing to your own personal side, you objectively haven't done your job as director. With Zodiac, I can feel Fincher's personal investment. With Social Network, I feel he's only half-interested. No need to explain much beyond that, that's just the vibe I get from the movie...and from his audio commentary on the bluray. So it's not my opinion so much as my interpretation. I think that's maybe a better word for a reaction to a movie.


Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:44 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
MGamesCook wrote:
With Zodiac, I can feel Fincher's personal investment. With Social Network, I feel he's only half-interested. No need to explain much beyond that, that's just the vibe I get from the movie...and from his audio commentary on the bluray. So it's not my opinion so much as my interpretation. I think that's maybe a better word for a reaction to a movie.
Having not heard the audio commentary (the BR is on its way), I cannot speak for it. But my interpretation - as you put it and to counter yours - is that someone who's only "half-interested" will not be bothered whether the Perl script is perfectly coded or not (He could've used any nonsensical script because nobody would be bothered to pause and read it like I did obsessively.); or whether the right flavors of Linux and KDE are being used in the PCs or not; or whether the versions of Facebook from its first one shown in Zuckerberg's dorm room to the final one shown when Zuckerberg sends Erica the friend request are all correctly captured or not. Hell, there's even an Easter egg in the closing scene where the terminal on Mark's laptop shows ping localhost which every computer person will tell you is nonsensical, Fincher probably put that in as an inside joke. These are some of the things that I saw.

Jim Emerson, to provide another example, saw how the film was about people speaking in code. David Bordwell thought that the film was about the central relationship between Zuckerberg and Saverin, and how Fincher had captured the dynamics of that using facial expressions. I don't think Fincher would've made a film that has been interpreted in so many different ways by so many different people with such care if he wasn't personally invested in it or if he didn't care about the subject matter.

Obviously we're going to have to agree to disagree here. You get the vibe that Fincher was only half-interested, and that's completely valid. I don't. That once again proves that all of us are never going to watch the same film.

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Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:06 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Came across this thread and realized I've never given my own list, so here goes:

1. Toy Story 3
2. Cloud Atlas
3. 13 Assasins
4. Before Midnight (this one's placement is tricky because it's just one watch, but certainly somewhere around top 5)
5. Warrior
6. A Separation
7. The Social Network
8. Drive
9. Gravity
10. Skyfall

HM: Laddaland, Inception, Black Swan, Certified Copy, Let Me In, True Grit, HP7.2, Cabin in the Woods


Last edited by peng on Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:05 am
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
I haven't seen nearly as much as I would have liked to by now, but here's my current top 11 in no particular order. (It was too hard to narrow it down to 10.)

Toy Story 3
Inception
The Social Network
127 Hours
Before Midnight
The Artist
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Moonrise Kingdom
Moneyball
Looper

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Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:53 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
Screw it. I'm adding The Muppets to that list. Don't judge me.

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Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:04 pm
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Post Re: The Best Movies of the Decade (So Far)
In no particular order -

Skyfall
The Fighter
Moonrise Kingdom
Moneyball
World's End
DKR
Toy Story 3

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