The polarization going on in our spinning society isn’t political so much as intellectual. The less educated revel in what they know while the vaguely educated are forever pretending cleverness. The radical devolution of film provides graphic examples.
While the Marvel Soap Operas are a harbinger of the end of us, the film snobs are not making anything better with their pronouncements. Sight & Sound, a touchstone for great filmmaking recently published its #1 Film of all time. It wasn’t The Godfather, Citizen Kane, not even Aguirre, Wrath of God, but instead: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.
And while Chantal Ackerman’s three-hour marathon is right up my alley of slow cinema, it most certainly is not the best film ever made. It is a test in patience, of understanding the irrelevance of anything, something like that, but there is no story, certainly not a story that takes three hours to tell.
A series of static images of day-to-day life does deserve our attention, especially from a woman’s perspective, but this is storytelling is not for very many at all.
Granted that Best Films of All Time lists are a sophomoric thing, but I do wish the list-makers made more of an attempt at inclusion – not box office mojos or political issues – but films that we will watch and relate to as a connected society.