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 firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.