The eighty or so best films of the 21st century and some others.

Film Best films of a thing listicles aren't usually something to become enraged by. People have opinions, I have opinions those opinions don't usually match.

Yesterday NowTV set me up with a month's subscription to reality TV streaming service Hayu and even if just scrolling through the content turns me straight into Max von Sydow in Hannah and Her Sisters, I know there are people who find great comfort in watching rich people being silly and who am I to argue?  Who cares what a snob like me thinks?

But, friends, The Guardian's 100 best films of the 21st century is bullshit.

Oh no, hold on, I can't argue with the film in the top slot, even if Peter Bradshaw's longer analysis misses what makes it truly great, that as David Bordwell's analysis shows, it changes the language of cinema in a way which we're still seeing the effects of.

Plus it finds room for Stories We Tell and Gravity and 13th and Margaret (although it doesn't specify the three hour version, which is the true masterpiece).

The rest of the list, though, is filled with some absolute howlers.

Topper most: 

Inception isn't included.

The Guardianistas have The Dark Knight as their Christopher Nolan choice which is fine even if having it as the only one comic book movie when that is the prevailing and most prominent film genre of the past twenty years is not.  Take you pick of Marvel films.  They'll all do.

Except this list also includes Borat, which hasn't aged well and now looks like a "borderline" racist folly, the existentialist bore Anomalisa as the Charlie Kaufmann choice when Synecdoche, New York exists (as does everything Ardmann's released) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (which admittedly I haven't seen but can't be a better Tarantino than any of the others he's released in the past two decades).

But not including Inception here, is like ignoring The Matrix when listing 90s films.

As I proposed back in my original feverish review (nine years ago) (I'm old and so is this blog), Inception is "a film that has all the excitement of a typical summer action blockbuster but with all the intelligence and weight and beauty of a Tarkovsky film". 

It demonstrates that the audience is crying out for films which ask weighty questions and has great thematic heft as well as spectacle, not mention its visionary mix of practical and digital set design notably in the corridor sequence.

There are other howlers.  Ted rather than Bridesmaids, no Chalet Girl, a preponderance of miserablist films in general (is Nebraska really better than Hail Caesar?) but leaving out Inception shows a certain lack of appreciation for film history.  Fools.

The Gloria Bell Soundtrack Album.

Film Sebastián Lelio's Gloria Bell is a pretty good English language remake of the director's own 2013 film Gloria, this time starring Julianne Moore as the lonely divorcee who meets an unreliable jerk played by John Turturro.

It's fine.  As ever, Moore's performance elevates the otherwise pretty bland material.

But what really powers the drama is Matthew Herbert's score, an electronic orchestral wonderland which, if you're watching with headphones as I did, marinades your ears in major key as it charts the protagonists emotional ups and down.

The whole thing is on Spotify:

But honestly the title track is the most alluring, with its four note hook and automatic earwig, evoking the highs of new love.

About the only oddity is that some of the tracks sound like they're about to head off into an electronic free jazz improvisation of the K9 and Company theme:

Or perhaps that's just my fan gene taking a bath.

New BBC Archive pages launch.

TV The BBC have officially launched their relaunch of their archive pages with a long press release stressing the thousands of clips, many transposed from their Twitter feed and Facebook:
"The launch date coincides with the 50th anniversary of Nationwide, the early evening precursor to the One Show that featured quirky stories from around the UK between 1969 and 1983. Many of these delightful characters and oddball reports are finding a fresh worldwide audience online. The website brings together the best of these in an easy-to-use way that viewers can explore at their leisure."
It is of course and incredible resource but I still have a couple of suggestions:

(1)  Tags.  It would be really handy if the clips and their pages had clickable tags on them, for programme titles or key content.  That way the user could click on a programme title and find all the clips which appeared on the programme (hopefully with the additional option of sorting by date).  Or everything featuring William Shakespeare.  That sort of thing.

(2) Better organisation and linkage with elsewhere on the BBC website. This Face to Face with Anthony Burgess doesn't also appear on The Late Show page even as a clip and there isn't a link through to that page which would be very useful.  The BBC website also already contains a trove of clips on those programme pages which go unseen, so it seems right that there should be more cross-pollination.

(3)  Why aren't the whole programmes featured here as "clips" also on the iPlayer?  Is it the upload quality of the streams or money?  I bet it's money.

(4)  The links through to the BBC Genome are helpful, but it would be equally useful if a reciprocal link appeared there too.  This also needs to be more consistent.  There are loads of programmes which don't have this useful information on their BBC Archive page.

But all in all this is a fabulous time hole, and don't forget the clips page is in backwards chronological order so you can keep an eye out for new clips as they're added.  Hopefully there'll eventually be a workflow which causes clips added to the Twitter feed to automatically be cross posted here.

"Gotta get up, gotta out ..."

Music Oh so that's why the oft played Harry Nilson song in the Netflix dramedy Russian Doll seems so familiar. Good grief.