2016 Rising, Actus Tertius: Reflections

It’s time to close the door on 2015. Past time, even. But I wanted to round off this awards season, as patchy as my coverage of it may have been, with a poll (seen above), some statistical fun, and some reflection on my awards past.

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Fear Not…

I realize updates have been very slow on here lately. It may be that way for a while.

But it ain’t over till I am. There will be new content coming before the end of the month, including possibly the single most ambitious post in this blog’s history. I won’t reveal what that particular post is, but here are a few other posts in various stages of planning:

  • A list of films I wish to see which are especially difficult to track down;
  • An overview of the first five years of my film awards and the past five years of the Oscars, with a tentative prediction of my 6th annual awards;
  • And an update on the status of my All-Time Film Awards.

Also, there will be more soda reviews in the coming weeks in between the more complex posts.

I will close with an aphorism I recently concocted:

Doing good is gravy. Doing right is the biscuits.

HIGH-RISE: Initial Impressions

“We want you to lead a delegation.” “To where, the United Nations?” “To the supermarket.”

I had hoped to come out of High-Rise flush with its greatness and prepared to write a **** rave for publication in the morning. I’m not doing that, because the film I expected to see and the film I actually saw were not all that similar. Instead, I’ll share my impressions based upon my initial viewing.

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Poster Salad: Foreign Films, American Posters

Movie posters are one of my very favorite art forms – they comprise about 99% of my interior decoration – but my love for them goes beyond aesthetics.

In essence, what I love about them is that they establish a reality for a film outside of itself. They stand as proof that a film was not just made, but was sold, possibly to those who had no knowledge of it or its makers, with the fundamental concept of “Come in. Spend your money. Make this film your evening’s entertainment.” And once upon a time, they exhibited a handcraftsmanship which the current era of Photoshopped portrait-salads too often lacks.

Most fascinating of all to me are the posters for foreign films being given American release. While foreign film has been fairly consistently embraced by the intelligentsia, fairly few films have crossed over to become a true popular success in addition to their critical embrace; only six non-Anglophone films have made more than $25 million at the U.S. box-office, and just 27 have made more than $10 million. The world of foreign film promotion is therefore a rather unique one.

I’ve chosen to highlight 50 separate entries (two of which contain two films) covering a spectrum of foreign cinema as advertised for the American market. The majority of these images I found at MoviePosterShop, which has high quality scans of nearly all the posters they sell. Images found elsewhere will be noted as they come up.

I do not own any of these images.

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BvS poster

A bucket of piss that tells you it’s Granny’s peach tea. (Source)

I’ll start with a confession: I am a Zack Snyder defender.

I consider Watchmen one of the most underrated films of the last decade, had good things to say about Sucker Punch (at the time, at least), and actively liked Man of Steel (while acknowledging its issues).

So I went into Batman v. Superman, not unimpressed by the fragments I had seen, bombarded by condemnations from most and staunch defenses from a few, prepared to take up the cause of advocating for a truly skilled director, if a less consistently able storyteller.

But I cannot defend this film beyond pointing out the handful of things it does fairly right, in light of the many, many things it does aggressively wrong.

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