Do You See
This is about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You should not read it if you plan to see the film, care about spoilers, and haven’t yet. I haven’t spelt out what happens but you’ll work it out.
“Hi I am Kevin Costner, star of Waterworld and The Postman, but in this instance from the poorly German Dubbed Version of Swing Vote, here to sell to you the concept of the FreakyTrigger Movie Poll 2015. I have been drafted in (though Draft Day is a different movie) because everything I do is insanely popular: they still do the Waterworld Stunt Show at Universal Studios Tour. And there is a suggestion that this new intiative may not be popular at all. Well Swing Vote was all about voting and elections and so is this nonsense so it made sense a few minutes ago.
Can I go now, my gills are getting itchy.”
Thanks Kevin, and nice hat.
For the first time ever, in a democratisating way, we are running a FILMS POLL. We’ve never done one before because the sense was that generally the FT readership gave less than a stuff about movies, but what kind of reason is that? We should put this to the test with a real actual call for submissions. More importantly if we are only going to get five or six entries, your vote will really really count. Thumbs up or thumbs down, but pull your finger out.
There is a new James Bond film out, and so I emailed a select cadre* of FT writers to tell me their favourite a) BOND FILMS and b) BOND THEMES. The idea then being that I would write about these things. But a problem arose! It turns out that the only James Bond film I have definitely seen all the way through is Goldfinger, and that scenes from ‘other Bond films’ I remembered with fondness were, in fact, also from Goldfinger.
So I haven’t written about them. Well, not much. But here is the Top Ten List as voted for in an exclusive film critic*’s poll. Later in the week I will put up the themes, which I will give (even) more critical consideration to.
“Hi I am Lorelei Linklater and I am here to present the top five Freaky Trigger Not A Poll movies of 2014, even though it is well into 2015. I am delighted to be here because I am certain that a film I was in will appear, and perhaps I will finally get my due, cos my Dad told me for twelve years that the film would be called Girlhood and frankly I have been pissed with him for the last twelve months. That Oscar is MINE. Frankly he could have shot a few extra scenes. Just recut the damn thing. Its not like there aren’t plenty of home movies of me doing goofy stuff as a kid that he couldn’t have bulked it out with. And then he wouldn’t be getting hit with the completely appropriate “boring white boy coming of age movie” criticism. Where is my Oscar nomination for best actress? Or even best song (I killed it with “Ooops I Did It Again”, and when I sung it it was before Britney released it so it counts as an original song or something). Anyway, Ethan Hawke smells, and my Dad owes me big time.”
Thanks Lorelei, and yes, you aren’t wrong with your prediction. You are in this list, but where….
Fans of long, chronological blog projects will know that when one actually finishes it’s cause for no small celebration. Phil Sandifer’s TARDIS Eruditorum reaches its final entry today, an essay notionally about the 2008 episode “Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead” which serves, recursively enough, as a handy digest of his entire blog project to date. It’s just under 100,000 words long, which must have a decent shot at being the longest blog post in the history of the medium.
Hi, I’m Cardboard Mr Curry from the barely animated Paddington TV series from the 1970’s, much beloved by a generation who saw it as a genuine step up from a flapping card behind Captain Pugwash’s mouth. As it was. And I am here to give you the next five really not all that controversial films in the not-a-poll list of 2014 films. I am also here to make absolutely certain that Paddington does not make the list, because they turned what was just a bit of a mean-spirited neighbour into what appeared to be a lovelorn racist. Now I may have been an irascible nimby, but my qualms were mainly based on the hi-jinks that bear got up to rather than his origin. As far as the cardboard version of me goes, I don’t care what shade of Peru that bear came from. My name is Mr Curry after all, you don’t get a name like that without considering the role immigration played in your own lineage. And thus I am here to make sure Paddington doesn’t make the list.
Thanks Cardboard Mr Curry , and you will be pleased to hear that Paddington didn’t make the list.
In what is not remotely an attempt to fill in space before Popular comes back at the weekend, we present an important POLL concerning the word “American” as used in film titles. Obviously this is topical, thanks to the Oscar nominations received by AMERICAN SNIPPER, the gentle Clint Eastwood comedy about a guy helping out the people of war-torn Iraq by opening up a barbers shop (pictured). But there have been a lot of other films using this naming convention and now is your chance to determine which of them are GOOD. (You can pick five). Pete is promising a thinkpiece on this very topic so fill the comments boxes and he can nick your ideas. Also you can name the ones we forgot. And argue the merits of “American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt” and “American Ninja 4: The Annihilation”, for that matter.
The difficult joint number eleven post.
The very placement of these two extremely problematic films will suggest cowardice to you. And you would be right. I did not want a top ten that officially had these films in it. They are both too flawed to be put in that group (not that the top ten are in any way perfect). But both of these films actively repelled me at points in their running time, and were laughably up themselves too. One features Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie pretending to be completely different DJ’s and failing. The other equally laughably suggests that it would be OK to stay in James Corden’s flat for a bit (and that you can pay for a flat in Manhattan by busking).
Those films are: GOD HELP THE GIRL and BEGIN AGAIN.
I’m Audrey Tautou, the spoon faced ingenue who everyone fell in love with in Amelie even though I was basically playing Mr Bean. But hey Mr Bean is also really big, in Europe, which is ideal for me as I am French which is also in Europe. I am here to introduce the next four films in Pete’s Top 20 films of 2014, which I hope will include one I made, and nothing by that horror Marion Coutillard who I hate as she got an Oscar and didn’t even do her own singing in La Vie On Rose. I used my own smells in the Coco Chanel movie, did I get an Oscar or even a Cesar? The French award not the dog food. Je me égare…
Thanks Audrey, and I can sadly confirm that not only are you not in the list this year, you were actually in the worst film I saw last year: Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo – a more irritatingly twee or suffocating film I could not imagine. So instead here are some films which are much, much better:
So I saw 397 films in 2014, 156 of them in the cinema. Of those films, 148 were released in the UK in 2014 and thus would be eligible for a list of the best films of 2014. And 2014 was a year of really rather interesting films. Films, unlike music and to a lesser degree comics, are released up until the very end of the year and the vagaries of what is known as award season means that there are films released in the very last week of the year which should potentially be considered for a best of list. There is also the fact that films from the 2014 award season pretty much all came out over here in 2014. This means that sometimes a list of the best of the year will feel a little disjointed, didn’t we say everything we had to say about Dallas Buyers Club in March? Well we did so I shall say no more about it.
Anyway this leads to a list. I didn’t do a poll. I’ve never done a movie poll because on the whole on FT people are less interested in films. If there is a clamour, I’ll do a poll next year. But in the meantime I am going to run through my own personal top twenty(-one – it will make sense) over the next week or so.