TIFF Long Take hosts Rob Kraszewski and Geoff Macnaughton talk with A. O. Scott about working with fellow New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis on that list of The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century (So Far) (43’08”). Among the topics covered are the furious reactions to the placement of Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby (2004) on the list at all, never mind at #3; current global hotspots such as South Korea and the countries of the former Soviet bloc; and Steven Spielberg as one of this century’s most underrated filmmakers. The still above is from Munich (2005), #16 on the NYT list (though Scott was campaigning for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, 2001).
Scott—who, by the way, talks about his book Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth with Maribel Garcia at Book Club Babble—has been retweeting best-of-21C lists posted by others and one absolutely worthy of addition to the collection is Dave McDougall’s.
Sean Howe’s tweeted a unique sidebar, Andrew Sarris’s annotated list of the “25 Most Memorable Cult Films,” which ran in the Village Voice in 1978. It’s odd to think that there was a time when John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) might have been considered a cult film. Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour (1945) or Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie (1943), sure, but Howard Hawks’s Rio Bravo (1959), too, was cultish in the late 1970s?
The Observer’s film critics have written up a list of the “25 greatest summer films.” Read Wendy Ide on their #1, Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Mark Kermode on #2, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989), Guy Lodge on #4, Ingmar Bergman’s Summer with Monika (1953), Jonathan Romney on Joanna Hogg’s Unrelated (2007), and Simran Hans on #6, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland (2009).
R. Kurt Osenlund introduces Out’s chronological list of “25 Essential Queer Films”: “Whether their comedy gave us permission to be wildly flamboyant or their tragedy gave us the courage to tackle pain we thought we couldn’t face, these movies have been windows into worlds we needed strength to step into ourselves.” Making the cut are, among others, Jean Genet, John Waters, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Marlon Riggs, Jennie Livingston, Gus Van Sant, Pedro Almodóvar, Andrew Haigh, Todd Haynes, and Barry Jenkins.
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