By Spencer & Sumeet. In this week’s Conversationalist, Spencer and Sumeet get into a little modern film history with a discussion about which films of our generation will be the ones that really matter.
Spencer: Distance offers perspective. So the closer in time you are to a piece of art, the harder it may be to judge its lasting worth. Sometimes you need years or even decades to appreciate a film, whether that’s because it was a work that was ahead of its time, or whether its just that the longer it resides in your memory, the more it stands out in comparison with what came next. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the list of Best Picture winners over the past few decades. How many movies on this list are utterly forgettable with the benefit of hindsight? The King’s Speech. Crash. The English Patient. The Last Emperor. Oliver. How Green Was My Valley.
Meanwhile, here’s some films that lost the Best Picture Oscar (or weren’t even nominated): Saving Private Ryan. Pulp Fiction. Goodfellas. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Vertigo. Chinatown. The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. F—in’ Citizen Kane!
So I recognize that in 20 or 30 years the movies we discuss here might seem laughable. But we’re far enough into the 21st century that I think we can at least start to ask the question: what are the films from 2000 onwards that, when we look back, will be the most historically important? The ones that are the most memorable, the most influential, the ones that will live on while others are forgotten — the “best” films, for all the ambiguity that term contains? Continue reading