Monday, June 23, 2008

New Classics

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Entertainment Weekly has posted several lists of "New Classics" -- that is, the best of everything that's debuted within the last 25 years.

Obviously, the movie list doesn't dare to be different. It's full of titles most people have seen and chatted about, and 94 out of 100 are English language films. Clearly, it's a list of broad popular tastes, and I'm not gonna waste energy criticizing EW for doing exactly what it always does. But I think we can do better.

There are nine contributors to this blog, so let's each list nine of our own New Classics. The only guidelines are: feature-length films released in 1983 and after. No need to create a new post, simply edit this one to add your titles.

As with any list, mine could completely change tomorrow depending on my mood. Here's what I feel the need to add right now:


After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)
Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005)
The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991)
Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou hsiao-hsien, 2007)
Flirting with Disaster (David O. Russell, 1996)
The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan, 1997)
Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988)


Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985)
Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983)
Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 1994)
Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
Requiem For A Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001-2003)
The Aviator (Martin Scorcese, 2004)
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2002)

Weepingsam's List (promoted from comments)
City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989)
Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)
Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-wei, 1995)
Yi Yi (Edwards Yang, 2000)
Satantango (Bela Tarr, 1994)
Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, 2000)
Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark, 1986)
Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985)
O Brother Where Art Thou? (Les Freres Coens, 2000)

Erik's list
Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002)
The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan, 1997)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)
Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)
Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002)
GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
Lost in Translation (Sophia Coppola, 2003)
9/11 (Gedeon & Jules Naudet, James Hanlon, 2002)

Joseph B's List

(if nothing more than personal favorites.. I have such a damn hard time seperating 'favorite' from the abstract idea of 'important')

1. Casino
2. Magnolia
3. Heat
4. Laws of Gravity
5. The Big Lebowski
6. Goodfellas
7. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
8. The Double Life of Veronique
9. The Thin Red Line


Joseph B. said...

1. Casino
2. Magnolia
3. Heat
4. Laws of Gravity
5. The Big Lebowski
6. Goodfellas
7. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
8. The Double Life of Veronique
9. The Thin Red Line

weepingsam said...

It took a while to realize they were including foreign films. I was almost shocked to see All About My Mother - I thought, are there 2 films called, All About My Mother? I suppose that's not the first foreign film on the list, but the ones that beat it starred an American or were written by Americans, so maybe they don't count....

Enough kvetching. So do you mean, 9 not on the list, or just 9? I will combine! ha ha ha!

Best 9 on the list:
1. Blue Velvet
2. Rushmore
3. Breaking the Waves
4. Do the Right Thing
5. This is Spinal Tap
6. Groundhog Day
[what? what? what the fuck? what the fuck? it IS a bizarro day list!]
6. Pulp Fiction
7. Full Metal Jacket
8. There Will Be Blood
9. Evil Dead II

And Not On The List:

1. City of Sadness (Hou)
2. Inland Empire (Lynch)
3. Fallen Angels (Wong)
4. Yi Yi (Yang)
5. Satantango (Tarr)
6. Vanda's Room (Costa)
7. Peking Opera Blues (Tsui)
8. Brazil (Gilliam)
9. O Brother Where Art Thou? (Les Freres Coens)

And Groundhog Day.

I should add - as I have said a couple other places - if you are willing - and able - to look for them, there are still as many great films being made as ever. I still don't know how the decline of theatrical showings and the increased availability of DVD will play out in helping people find them...