1. “The 100 Best Animated Movies.” World-famous animators pick the best animated movies ever, including Disney and Pixar movies, cult movies, kids movies, stop-motion, anime and more.
“Chances are the first movie you ever saw was animation. Exuberant, colorful and full of wonder, animation is the stuff of childhood. It introduces us to the magic of cinema, and there’s no doubt that, as we researched the 100 best animated movies of all time, the nostalgia factor was overwhelming. Then again, as we polled over 100 experts in the field—from directors like Fantastic Mr. Fox’s Wes Anderson, Ice Age and Rio’s Carlos Saldanha, Wallace & Gromit’s Nick Park, to critics and hardcore fans alike—it became clear that animation doesn’t just mean kids and family movies. Worldwide innovators have adapted the form to include action, politics, race and sex. Animation has grown up, sometimes uneasily, right before our eyes. We know you’ll find something to love in our authoritative ranking of the best animated movies ever made. The timeless Disney classics. The best Pixar films. Brilliantly sophisticated modern works from Japan’s cottage industry, anime, and especially from its Studio Ghibli. Films that make you weep, laugh, sing along and wish upon stars. Take some time to check out our contributors’ personal lists, each one an invitation to further explore avenues of stop-motion, computer-generated imagery or good old pen-and-ink fantasy. Let us know what you think, in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. Did we get it wrong or leave out an essential title? One thing is certain: Animation is an endless well of fun. We’re sure it goes deeper.”
2. “Cannes: 2014 Short Films Selection.” From experimental sci-fi to cartoon cats, Chris Marker’s work was profound, prophetic and hugely influential. Ahead of a new exhibition, some of those he inspired examine his cult appeal.
“This year, the Selection Committee received 3,450 short films, representing 128 production countries. Ten films will compete in 2014 for the Short Film Palme d’or, to be awarded by Kiarostami, President of the Jury, at the Awards Ceremony of the 67th Festival de Cannes on Saturday, May 24th. For the first time, an Azeri and a Georgian film will take part in the Short Films Competition.”
3. ”’Thrilling and Prophetic’: Why Film-maker Chris Marker’s Radical Images Influenced So Many Artists.” From experimental sci-fi to cartoon cats, Chris Marker’s work was profound, prophetic and hugely influential. Ahead of a new exhibition, some of those he inspired examine his cult appeal.
“Marker’s work can be seen as a more radical companion to Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man, the hugely popular 1955 exhibition of photographs of men and women—united by things such as love, children, death—from all around the world. It’s rich with sensuous humanism and a near-ethnographic curiosity in peoples and perspectives. Whether in his colourful and innovative book design for the Petite Planète travel guide series (1954-58); Staring Back, an aptly titled collection of protest photographs taken between 1952 and 2006; or in his dreamlike documentary Sans Soleil (1982), which has been widely hailed as one of the most influential non-fiction films of the last few decades, there’s never a trace of exoticism or voyeurism.”
4. “Going to Extremes.” Violence, obsession, and high-contrast lighting in the films of Anthony Mann.
“In some ways, Anthony Mann is easy to peg as a filmmaker. His career falls into clear stages defined by genres—B crime dramas in the 1940s, A westerns in the 1950s, historical epics in the 1960s—and is marked by repeated motifs and themes like revenge, flamboyant violence, and doppelgangers. But while his films may seem easy to classify and analyze, Mann remains on a deeper level hard to know as a director. This is partly because so little has been known about him as a person. In his new book, The Crime Films of Anthony Mann, Max Alvarez dispels the vague and unreliable information that has previously been published, revealing fascinating biographical background on the director, who was born Emile Anton Bundsmann in San Diego in 1906. This background includes his childhood in Lomaland, a Theosophical commune in California where he grew up, separated from his parents between the ages of three to thirteen; and his years on the New York stage, as an actor, production manager, and director, including work for the left-wing Federal Theater Project in the 1930s.”
5. “Is It OK to Make Art?” If you express your creativity while other people go hungry, you’re probably not making the world a better place.
“Replaceability is a core concept in EA. The idea is that the only good that counts is what you accomplish over and above what the next person would have done in your place. In equation form, Your Apparent Good Achieved minus the Good Your Counterfactual Replacement Would Have Achieved equals Your Actual Good Achieved. This is a disconcerting calculation, because even if you think you’ve been doing great work, your final score could be small or negative. While it might seem as though working for a charity makes a major positive impact, you have to remember the other eager applicants who would have worked just as hard if they’d been hired instead. Is the world in which you got the job really better than the world in which the other person did? Maybe not.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for David Fincher’s Gone Girl:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to email@example.com and to converse in the comments section.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.
On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)
Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.
As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.
Will Win: Green Book
Could Win: The Favourite
Should Win: First Reformed
Watch: Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, Gets First Trailer
Joanna Hogg has been flying under the radar for some time, but that’s poised to change in a big way.
British film director and screenwriter Joanna Hogg, whose impeccably crafted 2013 film Exhibition we praised on these pages for its “disarming mixture of the remarkable and the banal,” has been flying under the radar for the better part of her career. But that’s poised to change in a big way with the release of her latest film, The Souvenir, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the film’s world premiere at the festival, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired its U.S. and U.K. distribution rights, respectively. Below is the official description of the film:
A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
And below is the film’s first trailer:
A24 will release The Souvenir on May 17.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing
For appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.
Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, it’s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each other’s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, it’s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les Misérables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, there’s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.
Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Could Win: A Star Is Born
Should Win: First Man