It was easiest when I realized that the film canon only exists inside people’s heads, writes Miska Rantanen.
Leffafanien eyes began to twinkle as theaters opened their doors after a corona break in July. While the number of spectators per show is still kept under control and safety regulations are strict, access to the magical world of widescreen is again possible.
Everything is still the same. Production companies have pinched larger cash register magnets when exceptional circumstances do not allow for maximum returns. For example, the new James Bond film will not hit theaters until spring 2021, a year after the planned premiere.
So far, the software has remained interesting nonetheless, at least in the metropolitan area. Since July, theaters have screened not only new works but also successful films from the 2010s, such as Interstellar, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Dunkirk, Call Me by Your Name, Mad Max: Fury Road, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Inception.
What these films have in common is that they have been both audiences and critiques and are still wanted to be watched.
So these are now the 2010s classics?
I treat nimbly to the word classic. It (like legendary) is a vague notch that cannot be grasped. The term is used sadly and easily too much simply because there are no precise criteria for it. Almost anything can be marketed as a classic – and is marketed.
Wikipedia defines a classic as a “prestigious” and “exemplary” work. The classic can achieve its status in decades or it won’t take long and it “sums up something essential about culture”.
This description does not become more insanely pious.
On the Helmet website of the Helsinki City Library Suvi Annola is more accurate than Wikipedia’s swarm intelligence. He lists the classic synonymous with eternity, timelessness and freshness.
“The classic takes time, feels topical and important at different times and in different places. Its themes are credible, touching, identifiable and influential in another environment as well. ”
Annola writes about books, but the same definition applies to movies. At least to the movies of the 2010s mentioned at the beginning, whose themes are survival, social relationships, and love.
I started take an interest in classic films when I realized the limitations of time. I don’t remember exactly where this happened, but my kids were small then and my own time had shrunk to less than an hour a day.
I decided that from now on I will only watch good movies and not bad ones at all. I wanted to immerse myself in the canon of cinema and learn to distinguish Carl Theodor Dreyer from Josef von Sternberg – or even Kenneth from Anger.
This, however, happened unhappily late. In the past, I had roused movies as junk food without curiosity or self-discipline. I played the same DVDs time and time again and knew Terminators, Mulholland Driven, Palm trees and Aliens all the way to the outside.
I still feel jealous of my spouse, who at high school looked at the most important works in film history in the Film Archive.
Since I was well over 40 at the time of my enlightenment, I was able to grab a self-help guide without irony. Since 2003, my help has been a brick that has been updated almost every year 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Even the title of the book seemed appropriate for those living in peak years.
Before that, the recommendation lists I browsed were more or less poor. For example, Imdb’s recommendations often seemed to consist of effect stories for young adults, with the exception of the eternal number one Rita Hayworth – The Key to Escape (Darabont, 1994).
My confidence the classic lists before this were contradictory. I blame the long line of filmmakers, the non-fiction writer, for this Peter von Baghia (1943–2014). The oppressive views of his film club generation were ingrained in me as well, when I knew no better. I embraced as a profound lesson that entertaining movies were reprehensible and boring ideals. Of course, the division was not quite as black and white as von Baghilla, but it was indicative.
I was particularly reminded of von Bagh’s incandescent film magazine Sight & Sound on many occasions. critical votes of the best movies in the world. In the present eye, the results of these are a strange combination of radicalism of its time and a conservative open-air museum.
For example, only in 2012 Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941) was allowed to surrender its first place Vertigolle (Hitchcock, 1958). The latest guidance on Sight & Sound’s critical lists is still there 2001: Space Adventure (Kubrick, 1968).
In recent decades, there was also a taste of self-serving gimmick in listing quality films, when films that were almost impossible to see were raised as prestigious works. The Internet has reduced the mystique of inaccessibility.
I loosened my tie after realizing that the movie canon is ultimately a social construction that exists only within people’s heads.
I am watched 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die movies have been more or less active for years now. The best place to see rarer films has been the Yle Teema channel. Thank you for your adventures so far!
A few even thickness movie I have a book with recommendations to yours truly, but mostly I have been impressed or even delirious. My movie taste has thrown a couple of volts in just over ten years. I would never have dared to watch a movie based on a few lines of description A Matter of Life and Death (Powell, 1946) or documentary High School (Wiseman, 1968), but encouraged by the book.
I am grateful for the fact that someone has acted to preview. At the same time, I admit that the designers of the film canon seem to have their own place in the universe.
The best part, though, is that when one of my canons starts to taste too squeezed from the same mouth, you can try another. The guide published in spring 2020 is ideal for this use Behind the Mirror – History of Film (a) 1874–2020 (ed. Mikko Lamberg). The presentation of a thousand films by Finnish film producers offers an alternative canon.
There are many among the book’s recommendations 1001familiar films from the book, but even more unfamiliar and curious works such as the documentary Aulis Sallinen skins a perch from 1984.
Hopefully the rest of my life will be enough to watch these rags too.