Posted March 07 2013 - 12:22 PM
MatthewA, I guess I need to start with my age: 66. And I grew up on all the great classics. I've been involved in film all my life, made years of amateur films when I was young,worked in a film studio for a short while, taught film, wrote about film. I love most of the great classics, American and international. But I have to say, it strikes me as sad and uninformed about modern cinema to think all the good films are in the past. In general, maybe there are many bad films made today (there were also bad films made in the thirties and forties, many of which are forgotten today!) but some of the great films today are as great as some of the old classics. We need to avoid the creeping disease of "fogey-itis", and be open to change and the great films that are made today. You mention 1994. Okay. Although I don't agree it was an exceptionally good year, I'll start there. Let me name a few, just a few, great films that have been made since then (and I'm going to skip the big ones like "Titanic"), and many of these could NOT have been made in the 'golden years': "Leaving Las Vegas", "Exotica", "LA Confidential", "Jackie Brown", "The Thin Red Line", "Magnolia", "Eyes Wide Shut", "The Insider", "Topsy-Turvy", "Almost Famous", "Gladiator","Traffic", "Mulholland Dr.", "In the Mood for Love", "The Others", "The Hours", "City of God", "The Pianist", "Lost in Translation", "Seabiscuit", "Matchstick Men", "The Aviator", "The Return", "Dogville", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Broken Flowers", "A History of Violence", "Good Night,and Good Luck", "Match Point", "Babel", "Children of Men", "Pan's Labyrinth", "Bubble", "Cache/Hidden", "No Country For Old Men", "Atonement", "Zodiac", "The Son", "In Bruges", "The Wrestler", "The White Ribbon", "Up in the Air", "Hugo", "The Tree of Life", Melancholia", "Poetry", "Take Shelter", "Shame", "incendies", "Life of Pi", "The Master", "Amour", "Zero Dark Thirty", "Argo", "Lincoln". One might not like all of them, but each one of these can be demonstrated to be serious films of cinematic accomplishment that expand the art form and/or provoke intellectual ideas and stretch the mind. Since 1994, the best work of the following filmmakers have been bestowed on us: Terrence Malick, P.T. Anderson, Michael Haneke, Lars von Trier, the Coen Brothers, Steven Soderbergh, Kathryn Bigelow, Jeff Nichols, Lee Chang-dong, Wong Kar-wai, the Dardenne Brothers, David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch. Sophia Coppola, Kim Ki-duk, David Cronenberg. Just some of the major filmmakers to have emerged, or progressed to mature status, since the year you single out, 1994. Others will have other films to add to this list, and I have deleted those I can't remember at the time, and have inadvertently omitted many international films (like most of the many brilliant ones from South Korea). And if I had more time, I could list many, many more! Can one really go through that list and say that there has been a dearth of great films of late? Nostalgia is fine, but those who say films aren't as good today needs to get up out of the rocking chair and start watching modern films! NO EXCUSE!