The Lists Project

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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senseabove
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Re: The Lists Project

#2501 Post by senseabove » Sun Apr 09, 2023 2:55 am

And La Flor is certainly of a piece with a long tradition of formalist narrative experimentation that precedes film, though it, of course, uses film as its stomping ground—but one of the things I remember finding so remarkable about it was how it seems to want to step into a narrative inheritance that distinctly predates, though obviously continues into, cinema. Greenaway is an interesting, parallel counter-example, at least for his features: so focused on the painterly precedents he can explore by extending principles of painting into time and narrative, and yet I would not consider them avant-garde in a sense suitable for the proposed list. It's certainly a wishy-washy line, but there's an insularity of tradition that feels crucial: exploring the particularities of film and its own specific history, and with narrative elements exploited for the purpose of formal experiment. That, to my mind, can easily include something distinctly narrative, like Curt McDowell's Wieners and Buns Musical or George Kuchar's Hold Me While I'm Naked, because while both are "narrative" in the sense that they have distinct characters who progress through a story, the narrative character development is very much subservient to their formal experiments (whether narrative or stylistic). As for Godard, I could easily imagine including something like Goodbye to Language, but e.g. Breathless feels obviously like a non-contender, however much its focus is riffing on and subverting a received style, because all of that is put in service to a narrative even while it's the salient feature of the movie.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Lists Project

#2502 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Apr 09, 2023 3:20 am

I agree on Breathless, and really all of the first period. I'm thinking of most of his work after '67, because even the "narrative" films of the 80s period are hardly focused on narrative and seem 'for the purpose of formal experiment'. Although I wouldn't count something like Weekend, I'd say that (the other) '67's 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her feels like the jumping off point where the narrative interest holding together the previous year's Masculin Feminin is cast aside in favor of the non-narrative ideas. It feels like a totally experimental film. Certainly stuff like Notre Musique is, but Every Man for Himself and Hail Mary and Detective are very fine-lines..

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denti alligator
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Re: The Lists Project

#2503 Post by denti alligator » Sun Apr 09, 2023 7:50 am

zedz wrote:
Sun Apr 09, 2023 2:03 am
This reassures me that a general bar on narrative features is the right way to go!
Agreed. And I’m glad you’ll be the one making final decisions. But it is tricky. Something like Inland Empire is pretty clearly not eligible. But what about Street of Crocodiles? It’s based on a story, even if a very unconventional one. And it has a kind of narrative trajectory, though that isn’t the film’s dominant feature. Unlike, say, to use another Quays film, Gilgamesh, which is based on a text that is very much narrative, but which cannot be said to displays those features in any clear way. Indeed, without the title, one wouldn’t know it was supposed to be an adaptation.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: The Lists Project

#2504 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Apr 09, 2023 12:14 pm

Re: Godard. I think the great majority of his films can be primarily categorized as metafictional films, from the 60s to the last years. They're still built on narrative (even things like Notre Musique), but the accent (to varying degrees) is on critical distancing). (And sometimes they're accompanied with an essay film component).

I'm indebted to Torben Grodal's conceptualization of film genres for this understanding. A quote from him to describe metafictional as "genre" says the following:
“In connection with Godard's oeuvre, Peter Wollen (1986) has characterized 'counter-cinema' according to seven dichotomies: narrative transitivity or intransitivity (logical coherence/incoherence; identification or estrangement; transparency or foregrounding; single or multiple diegesis; closure or aperture; pleasure or un-pleasure; and fiction or reality). One of the reasons given for the use of counter-cinema is the Brechtian one, that is, that it enhances the viewer's cognitive abilities by blocking the emotional appeal. Wollen considers that, by disrupting the emotional 'spell' of the narrative flow and thus refocusing the viewer's attention, the attention might be totally lost, and further suggests that there might be an element of suspicion towards art as such in the Brecht-Artaud tradition.”
- Torben Grodal, Moving Pictures: A New Theory of Film Genres, Feelings, and Cognition (Oxford University Press, 1997).(p. 212-213)

But again, metafiction usually involves narrative, maybe by definition, so this should be distinct from experimental cinema in the way zedz is spelling it out.

FWIW, here's my (very personal) genre categorizing of most of Godard's films (the ones I've seen) trying to apply this theory when I watched them.
SpoilerShow
1957 Charlotte et Véronique ++++ short romantic comedy
1958 Charlotte et son Jules ++++ broad comedy
1960 À bout de souffle ++++ metafictional film noir crime drama thriller
1960 Le Petit Soldat ++++ political drama thriller
1961 Une Femme est une femme ++++ metafictional musical romantic comedy
1962 La Paresse ++++ metafictional philosophical comedy
1962 Vivre sa vie ++++ sociopsychological drama
1963 Le Nouveau Monde ++++ post-apocalyptic science fiction
1963 Les Carabiniers ++++ metafictional war drama combat film
1963 Le Mépris ++++ self-reflexive romantic film-making drama
1964 Montparnasse et Levallois ++++ romantic comedy
1964 Bande à part ++++ metafictional romantic crime drama thriller
1964 Une Femme mariée ++++ metafictional satirical cultural marriage drama
1965 Alphaville ++++ metafictional film noir dystopian science fiction spy thriller
1965 Pierrot le fou ++++ metafictional romantic road crime drama thriller
1966 Masculin féminin ++++ metafictional sociological romantic coming-of-age comedy drama
1966 Made in USA ++++ metafictional political crime drama thriller
1967 2 ou 3 Choses que je sais d’elle ++++ metafictional philosophical sociological drama
1967 Anticipation, ou L’Amour en l’an 2000 ++++ metafictional dystopian science fiction
1967 Caméra-Oeil ++++ political essay film
1967 La Chinoise ++++ metafictional philosophical political comedy drama
1967 Week End ++++ metafictional philosophical political fantasy black road comedy drama
1968 Le Gai Savoir ++++ philosophical political essay film
1968 Un Film comme les autres ++++ political essay film
1968 One Plus One ++++ philosophical political experimental film
1969 British Sounds ++++ political essay film
1970 Le Vent d’est ++++ metafictional philosophical political drama essay film
1971 Lotte in Italia ++++ philosophical political drama essay film
1971 Vladimir et Rosa ++++ metafictional political comedy drama essay film
1972 Tout va bien ++++ metafictional political comedy drama
1972 Letter to Jane ++++ political documentary essay film
1974 Ici et ailleurs ++++ experimental essay film
1975 Numéro deux ++++ metafictional philosophical political drama essay film
1976 Comment ça va ++++ metafictional philosophical political drama essay film
1979 France tour détour deux enfants ++++ philosophical political essay film
1980 Sauve qui peut (la vie) ++++ metafictional psychological drama
1981 Lettre à Freddy Buache ++++ essay film
1982 Passion ++++ lyrical metafictional film-making drama
1982 Scénario du film Passion ++++ philosophical film-making essay film
1983 Prénom Carmen ++++ lyrical metafictional romantic psychological crime film-making drama
1985 Je vous salue Marie ++++ philosophical religious drama
1985 Détective ++++ metafictional romantic crime drama thriller
1985 Soft and Hard (A Soft Conversation between Friends on a Hard Subject) ++++ philosophical film-making essay film
1986 Grandeur et decadence d’un petit commerce de cinéma ++++ metafictional satirical show business crime comedy drama
1986 Meetin’ WA ++++ experimental interview essay film
1987 Soigne ta droite ++++ lyrical metafictional philosophical satirical comedy
1987 King Lear ++++ metafictional philosophical post-apocalypse science fiction drama
1989 Histoire(s) du cinema 1a et 1b ++++ philosophical political cultural historical essay film
1990 Nouvelle Vague ++++ metafictional philosophical sociopolitical allegorical romantic drama
1991 Allemagne année 90 neuf zéro ++++ metafictional philosophical political drama essay film
1993 Les Enfants jouent à la Russie ++++ philosophical political cultural metafictional/essay film
1993 Hélas pour moi ++++ metafictional philosophical religious drama
1994 Je vous salue Sarajevo ++++ philosophical political cultural essay film
1994 JLG/JLG: Autoportrait de décembre ++++ metafictional philosophical comedy drama essay film
1994 Histoire(s) du cinema 2a et 2b ++++ philosophical cultural historical essay film
1995 2 X 50 Ans de cinéma français ++++ philosophical political cultural historical essay film
1995 Histoire(s) du cinema 3a et 3b ++++ philosophical political cultural historical essay film
1996 For Ever Mozart ++++ metafictional political philosophical war film-making drama
1996-97 Histoire(s) du cinema 4a et 4b ++++ philosophical political cultural historical essay film
2000 De l’origine du XXIe siècle ++++ political philosophical historical essay film
2001 Éloge de l’amour ++++ metafictional political philosophical drama
2001 Dans le noir du temps ++++ philosophical essay film
2004 Notre Musique ++++ metafictional philosophical political war drama
2010 Film socialisme ++++ metafictional philosophical satirical cultural political drama
2010 Maurice Schérer ++++ essay film
2014 Adieu au langage ++++ metafictional lyrical philosophical political drama/essay film

(I'm less sure of my use of the label "experimental" that I've used in a (very) few of these descriptions. I may have put that in as a vague, undefined signifier for something I wasn't able to conceptualize more precisely at the moment of viewing.)

*A note on the use of the genre identifier "lyrical" in some of these labels/descriptions (such as Passion and Prénom Carmen, and Adieu au langage), as in a "lyrical narrative film". This also is borrowed from Groben's theory, when he talks about "associative lyricism". I gather that "lyrical" here (especially if divorced from narrative) becomes closer to something like "experimental".
“To create a lyrical sequence we have to reduce or totally block the possibilities of constructing a stable hypothetical time-space with well-defined agents and objects… (T)he space loses its qualities of ‘space of acts’ and becomes ‘space of purposeless subjective perception’... Because of its lack of enactive agents and distinct objects, lyricism is... non-narrative, and its main 'dynamic' means are visual rhythm and oscillation, supplemented by motion from the represented world (especially the 'romantic' world produced by the motion of wind and waves)...

(T)he concrete identity of an object can be diminished by activating associative connections, especially if this takes place at a lower or a higher level than the typical level of focus of attention. If we juxtapose images of ‘eyes’, ‘flowers’ and ‘sun, we will create metaphoric associations between the objects by means of a ‘lower’ level than the typical focus of attention. One feature, ‘roundness’, is the basis of the association, and this ‘breaks up’ the perception of the discreteness of the singular, composite object; the object is experienced as a set of features associated with similar features in others objects. This activates ‘lyrical’ associative networks in consciousness, in which the objects are linked at feature level (say, roundness)… All narrative films consist of a combination of a thematic-achronic and a narrative-dischronic level, but in some films the thematic-achronic level abstracts and subsumes the concrete-composite narrative and creates feelings of atemporal, allegorical meanings and truths that are lyrical-saturated rather than narrative-tense. In musicals we often see lyrical-paratelic sequences based on ‘abstraction’: the concrete love-narrative is interrupted in order to abstract it into ‘love’ in general.”(p. 164-165)
- Torben Grodal, Moving Pictures: A New Theory of Film Genres, Feelings, and Cognition (1997)

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swo17
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Re: The Lists Project

#2505 Post by swo17 » Thu Jun 01, 2023 4:42 pm

alacal2 wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2023 3:39 pm
It's a shame that somehow the complete Trilogy couldn't have also been listed as a single film.
I'm all for combining multi-part things into one when it makes sense but trilogies are tricky--there's such an impulse for things to fit this mold that there's often a bit of a stretch involved. It's like the "married with two kids" measure of a film's success. Popular films get a couple more weak entries so they can meet that marketing goal, some films with thematic similarities get placed in informal trilogies, etc. Traditionally the forum's list project rules have been against allowing trilogies to be voted for as one film. I can see making exceptions in certain special cases but not as a general rule. Probably only when the entire trilogy was mapped out from the beginning, as was the case for, say, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Do we know if the Bill Douglas trilogy was initially envisioned this way?

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Re: The Lists Project

#2506 Post by fiendishthingy » Thu Jun 01, 2023 5:23 pm

According to this article, it sounds as if Douglas initially intended to make My Childhood as a standalone film under the title Jamie, but in order to obtain funding it was presented as the first part of a trilogy.

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TMDaines
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Re: The Lists Project

#2507 Post by TMDaines » Mon Dec 04, 2023 6:42 am

For some reason I thought the cadence for The Lists Project now was February to November for the ten individual years of a decade, followed by December and January for an overall list for the entire decade. I was very happy with what I thought was the new format, particularly with how December ends up be the off-month. Did I just completely dream this?

Edit: No, I’m not going crazy. It was supposed to be two months for the end of decade round-up!
swo17 wrote:
Fri Dec 09, 2022 5:45 pm
I hear the concerns about flexibility with the year-by-year schedule. For the 1970s, what if I ran things about the same as the 1960s, with the sole exception being that I wait to publish all of the mini-list results together, toward the end? (And then this would be followed by a 2-month endcap devoted to the entire decade.) If you're up for it, you could follow a more structured viewing schedule and still submit a vote each month. But if that's too rigid for you, you could go at your own pace, submit ballots as you're ready, and also revise them throughout the year as you make new discoveries. Would this help? Or do the people that find the monthly schedule too rigid not really have an interest in submitting lists for each year?
I can’t be the only one who was looking forward to having a couple of months of a more open period, in which I can both enjoy the festive period and not worry to much about the opportunity cost of holiday rewatching, whilst also taking the opportunity to go back over the decade with selected rewatche, plus finally picking out those white whales from my keyvip that I didn’t quite make time for during the individual months?

Please let us have the two months until end of Jan for the 1970s, then go February to November for the individual 1980s. It works perfectly with a calendar year.

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brundlefly
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Re: The Lists Project

#2508 Post by brundlefly » Mon Dec 04, 2023 8:41 am

TMDaines wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2023 6:42 am
Please let us have the two months until end of Jan for the 1970s, then go February to November for the individual 1980s. It works perfectly with a calendar year.
I would appreciate this as well.

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swo17
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Re: The Lists Project

#2509 Post by swo17 » Mon Dec 04, 2023 11:43 am

Generally yes, there is a 2-month endcap if we do the decade over 12 months and give a month to each year. And I can see how the post TMDaines quoted above could be interpreted to suggest a 2-month endcap specifically for this 1970s project. But that post was mainly focused on a hypothetical approach that didn't garner any support (i.e. leaving the individual year lists open all year and then waiting to publish them all at the end of the last year). In the 1970s thread itself and in the schedule I've mapped out for the rest of this round and the next, it's always been ending this month. Bear in mind that when we started taking this new approach, the way the timing worked out, the 1969 list didn't end until Jan 15, leaving only two weeks for voting on the 1960s as a whole so that we could start 1970 in February. I think it's cleaner (and thus easier for everyone to plan their lives around in general) to have each month devoted to a year and each calendar year devoted to a decade. That requires us to give only 11 months to one more decade to catch up to that schedule. Perhaps that shortchanges one decade, but then again, 11 months is already a very long amount of time to devote to any one decade, if you plan out your viewings from the start.

All that being said, I am here to serve the public need, so I will do what enough people want me to do. My preference would be that if we let the 1970s go until the end of January, then the 1980s only get 11 months (so we're still starting the 1990s in January of 2025). Before granting an extension, I'd like to get a consensus of at least 3 people requesting this (so one more in addition to TMDaines and brundlefly). However, for anyone that voices here that they want the 1970s to end this month so we don't lose any time for the 1980s, I'll need one more person to post in favor of an extension. (So for example, if 2 people say they want the 1980s to start in January, I'll need 5 people to say they want an extension before I make it official.) Does that seem fair?

EDIT: Never mind this last paragraph--I've set up a poll to determine which way to handle this

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TMDaines
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Re: The Lists Project

#2510 Post by TMDaines » Mon Dec 04, 2023 12:40 pm

Thanks, swo17.

If we were voting on options, I'd vote for every decade to run February-November, one month for each of the ten individual years of the decade, followed by December and January to re-evaluate the whole decade in a bit more of a relaxed fashion, whilst conveniently allowing December to be a fallow month coinciding with the holiday period. I think engagement for an end-of-decade list will be lower in December than it otherwise would in other months, because of obligations around Christmas and New Year. You could then have the 1st Round of the overall decade end on 31st December, or a week or two later might be preferred, with Round 2 still finishing at the end of January to rescue orphans, if people so desire.

We'd still essentially be doing the 1970s in 2023, 1980s in 2024 and 1990s in 2025, but just not clashing with Christmas and New Year for the big finish each and every time.

Can we have that as an option?

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swo17
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Re: The Lists Project

#2511 Post by swo17 » Mon Dec 04, 2023 1:30 pm

OK, I've started a poll

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Lists Project

#2512 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Dec 04, 2023 3:16 pm

I appreciate that reasoning re: holidays and all, but asking for two months to evaluate and re-evaluate lists over and over seems unnecessary, unless this is when people are feeling like combing through year-lists to prioritize viewings of blind spots, etc? I guess my thinking is - the whole year is for the decade, and we can be doing this throughout. I wonder if such a long period of stagnancy won't actually contribute to more discussion in the decade thread championing favorites, etc. but will instead pause momentum for those investing in the projects, but I'll be happy to be wrong if the voters for the break make use of the slim one-page (well, barely two now) 70s decade thread! Either way works for me

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TMDaines
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Re: The Lists Project

#2513 Post by TMDaines » Mon Dec 04, 2023 7:10 pm

Regardless of the outcome of the poll, you are going to be getting two months for the overall decade list, after 10 months for all the individual years, for all future decades anyway. It is only with the 70s you are potentially not.

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swo17
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Re: The Lists Project

#2514 Post by swo17 » Mon Dec 04, 2023 8:04 pm

Or potentially just the '80s, though no one's voted for that option yet

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TMDaines
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Re: The Lists Project

#2515 Post by TMDaines » Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:06 am

Could the All-Time eligibility longlist could be updated with the 1960s and 1970s when you get chance, swo17?

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swo17
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Re: The Lists Project

#2516 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 07, 2024 10:52 pm

Done

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TMDaines
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Re: The Lists Project

#2517 Post by TMDaines » Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:23 am

swo17 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 10:52 pm
Done
Thanks. 342 eligible after the 1970s versus 386 at the same stage last time.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Lists Project

#2518 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:41 am

Anyone feel like turning the All Time spreadsheet into a Letterboxd list?

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knives
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Re: The Lists Project

#2519 Post by knives » Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:43 am

I can do that. I’ll probably start it up later in the day.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Lists Project

#2520 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:46 am

Awesome, thanks!


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TMDaines
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Re: The Lists Project

#2522 Post by TMDaines » Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:37 am

I'll do one on IMDb that I will import across, but won't be for a few weeks as I still need to do all the 1960 and 1970 lists.

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