Five Favorite Films with Wes Anderson

Summary

There aren't many modern American filmmakers with a body of work as unique as that of Wes Anderson. His latest is Moonrise Kingdom, a fantastical tale of imagined childhood that follows two kids -- AWOL scout Sam (Jared Gilman) and moody dreamer Suzy (Kara Hayward) -- on their adventure through adolescent first love. Beautifully calibrated both visually and emotionally, the film, which opened Cannes, is drawing some of the best reviews of the director's career. We had the opportunity to chat with Anderson recently, where he talked about his inspirations for Moonrise Kingdom, his childhood obsessions, and how his experience in animation affected the way he approached his latest project. Read on for that and more, but first, we quizzed him on his Five Favorite Films. Back to Article

Comments

NTROST

Anthony W.

LOL...you say Polanski, Kubrick & Nichols are three of the best from their generation but yet you failed to mention Renoir & Lubitsch who are two of the greatest of all-time.

Jun 8 - 02:43 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Putz. I thought I was very clear by limiting them to 'their generation'. I'd actually say that Polanski, Kubrick and Nichols are the among the greatest of all time too. I've only seen a couple of films from Renoir and Lubitsch apiece, great films, but I've seen all of the films from the other three. Admitting I have more films to watch is not a weakness. I'm sure there are many great films you yourself have yet to see, snotknob.

Jun 8 - 08:07 AM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

To be fair, from what I observed of internet comments including RT, I don't expect much of anyone older either.

Jun 8 - 02:49 AM

NTROST

Anthony W.

It's pretty sad that some people don't know about Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble In Paradise" which is a full-fledged classic let alone one of the many great films from the 30's. It's one of Lubitsch's best films right up there with his other top-notch classics & greatest films ever such as "To Be or Not to Be", "The Shop Around The Corner", "Ninotchka", & "The Smiling Lieutenant" . Don't even get me started on his semi-classic films such as "Design For Living", "The Merry Widow", "Cluny Brown" & so forth. But anyways, this is a very good list by Wes Anderson as only one film (that being "Toni") are true first rate classics. "Toni" isn't one of Renoir's top-notch films but could be classified as a semi-classic film as it is a satisfactory film.

Jun 8 - 03:03 AM

NTROST

Anthony W.

Correction: *some* of the greatest films ever.

Jun 8 - 03:05 AM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Seems an odd statement. I don't think it's sad that car people haven't ever driven a Packard or that music lover's don't listen to Glenn Miller. It's an 80 year old movie by a foreign director from a country we had two World Wars with. It actually kinda makes sense that people wouldn't have heard of him or watched his movies. If you really wanted people to enjoy his films maybe you should be less insultee and more explainee about what's so great about them. Flies with honey my friend.

Jun 8 - 06:03 AM

NTROST

Anthony W.

First off, Ernst Lubitsch was a mainstream Hollywood director. The films I just mentioned are not foreign films by any accounts as these are American made films many of them (especially his top notch films) are on best film lists & so forth. Second off, I wasn't insulting anyone really in the statement. I was simply just stating the fact, that it's rather disappointing more people don't know about Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble In Paradise". I'm glad Wes Anderson mentioned it & hopefully more people will look to watch the film.

Jun 8 - 06:48 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Lubitsch is pretty good, but you seem to not be able to appreciate that Kubrick is a Master. It's nice to see you champion the old school, but don't lose sight of the obvious. Kubrick was a revolutionary, and there's very little dispute in serious film circles on that point. True, I've only seen "To Be or Not to Be" and "Ninotchka", but I'll take "Chinatown", "Carnal Knowledge" and "Dr Strangelove" anyday of the week. Even "My Man Godfrey" and "Mr and Mrs Smith" are my favorite Carol Lombard. So calm down a notch.

Jun 8 - 08:25 AM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Kubrick is pretty great, but you seem to not be able to appreciate that Lubitsch is a master. It's nice to see you champion newer directors, but don't lose sight of the obvious: Lubitsch was a revolutionary - and one of the two or three greatest screenwriters in cinema - and there's very little dispute in serious film circles on those points.

As someone who has seen Kubrick's entire filmography, as well as about half of Lubitsch's filmography, I'll easily take "Trouble in Paradise" and "To Be or Not To Be" and "The Shop Around the Corner" over just about anything made in the past 70 years. It's not that a ton of great stuff hasn't been produced recently - it's that Lubitsch is one of the ten greatest directors of all time (while Kubrick is merely in the top 25.)

Jun 20 - 08:35 PM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Your reaction to a perceived slight of Your Man Kubrick is kind of hilarious. I also like how both of you seem to think that it's "insulting" and over-reacting to suggest that cinema lovers should know about a director who is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of cinema. Lubitsch isn't some obscure footnote in the history of Hollywood - he's one of the best and most influential directors of the 20s-40s, and there's very little debate about that in "serious film circles."

So, in reality, the OP didn't insult Kubrick, nor did he suggest that anyone who doesn't know Lubitsch is an idiot. He merely suggested that cinema lovers should try to become acquainted with one of the masters of the form - which is actually a pretty good suggestion. Of course, I've sadly discovered that many film fans react with animosity any time someone praises a film they haven't heard of. Instead of wanting to learn more and seeking out new directors and unexplored areas of cinema, they desperately want to believe that they know all they need to know about film and so declare anyone who praises an "obscure" movie to be "pretentious" or "trying to look smart" (see: this thread for some fine examples.) To them, it's simply not fathomable that concepts like "obscurity" are very arbitrary and that someone could actually, genuinely love a movie that falls outside their own range of experience. There has to be some ulterior motive that makes that praise invalid, so they can safely return to their shells and never explore beyond their very limited cinematic horizons.

Also, if you're going to try to hold people to the perceived consensus of the "serious film circles," you should probably know what is actually going on in those circles. Because though it is true that Kubrick is very highly regarded as one of "the greats," Lubitsch is also nearly universally considered one of the masters - and there'd be very little debate about that in "serious film circles."

In other words, those who are part of "serious film circles" would laugh at the notion that Lubitsch is only "pretty good" while Kubrick is a "revolutionary" - in reality, both directors are widely regarded as being amongst the elite of filmmakers, and both were very influential. Of course, as with any other directors, neither filmmaker is universally beloved. In fact, some of the most important members of the most "serious film circles" had/have mixed feelings about Kubrick, and would probably consider Lubitsch the more important/better filmmaker (see: Jonathan Rosenbaum, Dave Kehr, Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris.)

And it's fine to prefer one over the other - it's just silly to act like it's sacrilege to say anything that could possibly be conceived as suggesting that Kubrick isn't one of the "ALL-TIME GREATS!!!" (and the OP really didn't say anything particularly critical,) and then to turn around and declare Lubitsch - another widely acknowledged master - as "pretty good." In reality, there's nothing wrong with preferring Lubitsch to Kubrick - in fact, that's not that uncommon of an opinion among those who are familiar with and have seen multiple works from both directors.

In other words, it's perfectly fine to consider Lubitsch to be merely "pretty good" - it's only hypocritical when you turn around and then suggest that any criticism of Kubrick is "denying the obvious." In reality, both are considered masters, and it's still fine to not be a big fan of one or the other. No one should feel obligated to conform to the perceived "consensus" of perceived "serious film circles."

Jun 20 - 08:49 PM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

"It's an 80 year old movie by a foreign director from a country we had two World Wars with. It actually kinda makes sense that people wouldn't have heard of him or watched his movies."

I love how you bring up his nationality as if that has anything to do with people's ignorance of him. As if people were consciously making the decision not to watch him because of their knowledge of his heritage: "I was going to watch a film by this Lubitsch guy, but he's a German and that means he was a Nazi (never mind that he moved to the US in the 20s), so I guess I won't." It's a pretty lame attempt to excuse people's ignorance - in reality, people aren't not watching Lubitsch films because he's German - they're not watching them because they know very little about Hollywood filmmaking and watch very little that is more than 40 years old. Lubitsch was one of THE major Hollywood directors of the 30s and 40s (yep, he was even popular in America right after WW2, when Americans had a lot of resentment against Germans,) and he's still very highly regarded today by those who know anything about the period. That's because he's still one of the greatest of all screenwriters and directors, known for his sparkling witty dialogue and his still hilarious sense of comedy.

"Seems an odd statement. I don't think it's sad that car people haven't ever driven a Packard or that music lover's don't listen to Glenn Miller."

Actually, it is sad that people ignore great art for lame reasons like "it's old." Someone who is ignorant of Lubitsch is ignorant of one of the giants of cinema, and of some of the greatest joys that cinema has to offer. Similarly, someone who doesn't read Leo Tolstoy or who won't listen to Berlioz because they're old is merely perpetuating their own ignorance - they aren't rejecting "oldness," they're simply depriving themselves. Yes, sometimes older art does require some adjustment - after all, it was made in a different era, and styles move in and out of fashion. But the themes addressed are often universal, and it's not so hard to adjust to different styles - in fact, making that little effort will help expand your horizons and your empathy, and allow you to discover some of the best that humanity has to offer.

Great art doesn't become outdated. People who subscribe to the idiotic notion that all new art is inherently superior to older art "because it builds on everything that came before" are ignorant fools, since they apparently fall for the idiotic idea that art moves along a continuous line and that everything done now is a culmination of everything that came before. In reality, art and the world don't work that way.

And the Packard analogy is fallacious - in most ways, automobiles have improved over time. Some people prefer the aesthetics of old cars, but in terms of engineering and safety even mediocre new cars beat out almost all cars from the 50s.) On the other hand, though there have been advances in certain film technologies, films like "Sunrise" and "Trouble in Paradise" and "M" are just as great as ever - and they aren't just great "for their time," they're simply great films that tower above almost everything that's been made in the intervening 80 years. That's because art, unlike engineering, doesn't move in a straight line. Not everything being made today is a culmination of everything that came before - if that were the case, one could safely reject everything made more than ten years ago. Instead, each work of art is a product of its time, and is a response to contemporary artistic trends. In other words, there are films from the 1920s that are more advanced at certain styles and techniques than films being made today.

Jun 20 - 08:05 PM

NTROST

Anthony W.

Correction: *some* of the greatest films ever.

Jun 8 - 03:05 AM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Only a few more days until the Criterion release.

Jun 8 - 05:45 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Aw, damn! Hell, yes!!!

Jun 8 - 08:09 AM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Again, easy tiger. It IS odd when these guys don't list any films made in the last couple decades, it usually indicates someone who's either a bit of a cinephile or overwhelmingly pretentious. I happen to find Anderson a bit of both, but other people seem to like him and that's ok. He's just not for everybody and probably wouldn't be happy if he was. I personally prefer belly laugh comedies like Mel Brooks or Monte Python, but to each their own.

Jun 8 - 05:55 AM

David Priest

David Priest

I agree that it's strange when people don't reference films in the last 30 years. Anderson is a much more formalistic director, though, and that has fallen out of vogue a bit. His films are a bit hit and miss for me, but I honestly think Moonrise is his best by a pretty wide margin.

Jun 8 - 07:48 PM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Easy tiger.

"It IS odd when these guys don't list any films made in the last couple decades"

Define "odd." It may be odd to you, but it seems perfectly natural to me that a list of five favorite films may not include films from every decade of the 120 years of cinema. Starting with 1920, there are more than enough films from any given decade to fill a list of 50 favorite films. Everyone's taste is different, and it may well be that Anderson genuinely likes these five films a whole lot and that they were the five favorites that most readily came to mind when he was doing the interview.

Of course, idiots are immediately going to turn to the "he must be pretentious" label when they see that his film contains "old" (gasp!) and "foreign" (double gasp!) and "obscure" (triple gasp!) films.

"it usually indicates someone who's either a bit of a cinephile or overwhelmingly pretentious."

The fact that your mind automatically turns to such dichotomous labels makes you pretentious. Here's a clue, for the future: As important and wise as it may make you feel to be able to throw out the "overwhelmingly pretentious" label every time someone makes a list that doesn't meet your criteria for "genuineness," it's important to note that, a vast majority of the time, these types of lists simply reflect the truth that different people like different things. Some people like certain styles of filmmaking better than others, so they may find themselves drawn to certain eras of filmmaking. It's natural, and the people who label them pretentious for expressing their preferences are douchebags. It would be far more pretentious to include more recent films that you didn't like just to avoid being called "overwhelmingly pretentious" by internet idiots.

It's moderately interesting (thought expected) that the same people who would never question a list for failing to contain a silent film or a film made in the 50s are quick to declare someone "pretentious" for daring to make a list of five films that come from the first 80 years of cinema. In fact, they would never think to call someone "overwhelmingly pretentious" for making a list of films only made in the past 30 years - even if that would be ignoring a far greater part of film history.

To be frank, this whole "this list doesn't contain a Kubrick film therefore it's invalid and pretentious" or "this list has only obscure films therefore it's invalid and pretentious" or "this list doesn't contain 'City of God' therefore it's invalid and pretentious" or "this list doesn't have anything made since 1980 therefore it's invalid and pretentious" game is moronic, and needs to die. It's merely a way of perpetuating your ignorance, and of avoiding exploring new realms of cinema - after all, anyone who makes a list containing any "obscure" movies (even if other films on the list, like "A Clockwork Orange," are very well known) is automatically "either a cinephile or overwhelmingly pretentious," and either way their opinions can be safely ignored. It's kind of a sad way to get through life - these lists can provide great guided viewing as you explore film, and can help open up vast worlds of cinema previously unexplored - but whatever. Trying new things is pretentious.

Jun 20 - 09:11 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Seems an odd statement. I don't think it's sad that car people haven't ever driven a Packard or that music lover's don't listen to Glenn Miller. It's an 80 year old movie by a foreign director from a country we had two World Wars with. It actually kinda makes sense that people wouldn't have heard of him or watched his movies. If you really wanted people to enjoy his films maybe you should be less insultee and more explainee about what's so great about them. Flies with honey my friend.

Jun 8 - 06:03 AM

NTROST

Anthony W.

First off, Ernst Lubitsch was a mainstream Hollywood director. The films I just mentioned are not foreign films by any accounts as these are American made films many of them (especially his top notch films) are on best film lists & so forth. Second off, I wasn't insulting anyone really in the statement. I was simply just stating the fact, that it's rather disappointing more people don't know about Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble In Paradise". I'm glad Wes Anderson mentioned it & hopefully more people will look to watch the film.

Jun 8 - 06:48 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Lubitsch is pretty good, but you seem to not be able to appreciate that Kubrick is a Master. It's nice to see you champion the old school, but don't lose sight of the obvious. Kubrick was a revolutionary, and there's very little dispute in serious film circles on that point. True, I've only seen "To Be or Not to Be" and "Ninotchka", but I'll take "Chinatown", "Carnal Knowledge" and "Dr Strangelove" anyday of the week. Even "My Man Godfrey" and "Mr and Mrs Smith" are my favorite Carol Lombard. So calm down a notch.

Jun 8 - 08:25 AM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Kubrick is pretty great, but you seem to not be able to appreciate that Lubitsch is a master. It's nice to see you champion newer directors, but don't lose sight of the obvious: Lubitsch was a revolutionary - and one of the two or three greatest screenwriters in cinema - and there's very little dispute in serious film circles on those points.

As someone who has seen Kubrick's entire filmography, as well as about half of Lubitsch's filmography, I'll easily take "Trouble in Paradise" and "To Be or Not To Be" and "The Shop Around the Corner" over just about anything made in the past 70 years. It's not that a ton of great stuff hasn't been produced recently - it's that Lubitsch is one of the ten greatest directors of all time (while Kubrick is merely in the top 25.)

Jun 20 - 08:35 PM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Your reaction to a perceived slight of Your Man Kubrick is kind of hilarious. I also like how both of you seem to think that it's "insulting" and over-reacting to suggest that cinema lovers should know about a director who is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of cinema. Lubitsch isn't some obscure footnote in the history of Hollywood - he's one of the best and most influential directors of the 20s-40s, and there's very little debate about that in "serious film circles."

So, in reality, the OP didn't insult Kubrick, nor did he suggest that anyone who doesn't know Lubitsch is an idiot. He merely suggested that cinema lovers should try to become acquainted with one of the masters of the form - which is actually a pretty good suggestion. Of course, I've sadly discovered that many film fans react with animosity any time someone praises a film they haven't heard of. Instead of wanting to learn more and seeking out new directors and unexplored areas of cinema, they desperately want to believe that they know all they need to know about film and so declare anyone who praises an "obscure" movie to be "pretentious" or "trying to look smart" (see: this thread for some fine examples.) To them, it's simply not fathomable that concepts like "obscurity" are very arbitrary and that someone could actually, genuinely love a movie that falls outside their own range of experience. There has to be some ulterior motive that makes that praise invalid, so they can safely return to their shells and never explore beyond their very limited cinematic horizons.

Also, if you're going to try to hold people to the perceived consensus of the "serious film circles," you should probably know what is actually going on in those circles. Because though it is true that Kubrick is very highly regarded as one of "the greats," Lubitsch is also nearly universally considered one of the masters - and there'd be very little debate about that in "serious film circles."

In other words, those who are part of "serious film circles" would laugh at the notion that Lubitsch is only "pretty good" while Kubrick is a "revolutionary" - in reality, both directors are widely regarded as being amongst the elite of filmmakers, and both were very influential. Of course, as with any other directors, neither filmmaker is universally beloved. In fact, some of the most important members of the most "serious film circles" had/have mixed feelings about Kubrick, and would probably consider Lubitsch the more important/better filmmaker (see: Jonathan Rosenbaum, Dave Kehr, Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris.)

And it's fine to prefer one over the other - it's just silly to act like it's sacrilege to say anything that could possibly be conceived as suggesting that Kubrick isn't one of the "ALL-TIME GREATS!!!" (and the OP really didn't say anything particularly critical,) and then to turn around and declare Lubitsch - another widely acknowledged master - as "pretty good." In reality, there's nothing wrong with preferring Lubitsch to Kubrick - in fact, that's not that uncommon of an opinion among those who are familiar with and have seen multiple works from both directors.

In other words, it's perfectly fine to consider Lubitsch to be merely "pretty good" - it's only hypocritical when you turn around and then suggest that any criticism of Kubrick is "denying the obvious." In reality, both are considered masters, and it's still fine to not be a big fan of one or the other. No one should feel obligated to conform to the perceived "consensus" of perceived "serious film circles."

Jun 20 - 08:49 PM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

"It's an 80 year old movie by a foreign director from a country we had two World Wars with. It actually kinda makes sense that people wouldn't have heard of him or watched his movies."

I love how you bring up his nationality as if that has anything to do with people's ignorance of him. As if people were consciously making the decision not to watch him because of their knowledge of his heritage: "I was going to watch a film by this Lubitsch guy, but he's a German and that means he was a Nazi (never mind that he moved to the US in the 20s), so I guess I won't." It's a pretty lame attempt to excuse people's ignorance - in reality, people aren't not watching Lubitsch films because he's German - they're not watching them because they know very little about Hollywood filmmaking and watch very little that is more than 40 years old. Lubitsch was one of THE major Hollywood directors of the 30s and 40s (yep, he was even popular in America right after WW2, when Americans had a lot of resentment against Germans,) and he's still very highly regarded today by those who know anything about the period. That's because he's still one of the greatest of all screenwriters and directors, known for his sparkling witty dialogue and his still hilarious sense of comedy.

"Seems an odd statement. I don't think it's sad that car people haven't ever driven a Packard or that music lover's don't listen to Glenn Miller."

Actually, it is sad that people ignore great art for lame reasons like "it's old." Someone who is ignorant of Lubitsch is ignorant of one of the giants of cinema, and of some of the greatest joys that cinema has to offer. Similarly, someone who doesn't read Leo Tolstoy or who won't listen to Berlioz because they're old is merely perpetuating their own ignorance - they aren't rejecting "oldness," they're simply depriving themselves. Yes, sometimes older art does require some adjustment - after all, it was made in a different era, and styles move in and out of fashion. But the themes addressed are often universal, and it's not so hard to adjust to different styles - in fact, making that little effort will help expand your horizons and your empathy, and allow you to discover some of the best that humanity has to offer.

Great art doesn't become outdated. People who subscribe to the idiotic notion that all new art is inherently superior to older art "because it builds on everything that came before" are ignorant fools, since they apparently fall for the idiotic idea that art moves along a continuous line and that everything done now is a culmination of everything that came before. In reality, art and the world don't work that way.

And the Packard analogy is fallacious - in most ways, automobiles have improved over time. Some people prefer the aesthetics of old cars, but in terms of engineering and safety even mediocre new cars beat out almost all cars from the 50s.) On the other hand, though there have been advances in certain film technologies, films like "Sunrise" and "Trouble in Paradise" and "M" are just as great as ever - and they aren't just great "for their time," they're simply great films that tower above almost everything that's been made in the intervening 80 years. That's because art, unlike engineering, doesn't move in a straight line. Not everything being made today is a culmination of everything that came before - if that were the case, one could safely reject everything made more than ten years ago. Instead, each work of art is a product of its time, and is a response to contemporary artistic trends. In other words, there are films from the 1920s that are more advanced at certain styles and techniques than films being made today.

Jun 20 - 08:05 PM

Dan Dollar

Dan Dollar

i can't believe harold and maude isn't on here

Jun 8 - 06:36 AM

NTROST

Anthony W.

First off, Ernst Lubitsch was a mainstream Hollywood director. The films I just mentioned are not foreign films by any accounts as these are American made films many of them (especially his top notch films) are on best film lists & so forth. Second off, I wasn't insulting anyone really in the statement. I was simply just stating the fact, that it's rather disappointing more people don't know about Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble In Paradise". I'm glad Wes Anderson mentioned it & hopefully more people will look to watch the film.

Jun 8 - 06:48 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Lubitsch is pretty good, but you seem to not be able to appreciate that Kubrick is a Master. It's nice to see you champion the old school, but don't lose sight of the obvious. Kubrick was a revolutionary, and there's very little dispute in serious film circles on that point. True, I've only seen "To Be or Not to Be" and "Ninotchka", but I'll take "Chinatown", "Carnal Knowledge" and "Dr Strangelove" anyday of the week. Even "My Man Godfrey" and "Mr and Mrs Smith" are my favorite Carol Lombard. So calm down a notch.

Jun 8 - 08:25 AM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Kubrick is pretty great, but you seem to not be able to appreciate that Lubitsch is a master. It's nice to see you champion newer directors, but don't lose sight of the obvious: Lubitsch was a revolutionary - and one of the two or three greatest screenwriters in cinema - and there's very little dispute in serious film circles on those points.

As someone who has seen Kubrick's entire filmography, as well as about half of Lubitsch's filmography, I'll easily take "Trouble in Paradise" and "To Be or Not To Be" and "The Shop Around the Corner" over just about anything made in the past 70 years. It's not that a ton of great stuff hasn't been produced recently - it's that Lubitsch is one of the ten greatest directors of all time (while Kubrick is merely in the top 25.)

Jun 20 - 08:35 PM

Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Your reaction to a perceived slight of Your Man Kubrick is kind of hilarious. I also like how both of you seem to think that it's "insulting" and over-reacting to suggest that cinema lovers should know about a director who is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of cinema. Lubitsch isn't some obscure footnote in the history of Hollywood - he's one of the best and most influential directors of the 20s-40s, and there's very little debate about that in "serious film circles."

So, in reality, the OP didn't insult Kubrick, nor did he suggest that anyone who doesn't know Lubitsch is an idiot. He merely suggested that cinema lovers should try to become acquainted with one of the masters of the form - which is actually a pretty good suggestion. Of course, I've sadly discovered that many film fans react with animosity any time someone praises a film they haven't heard of. Instead of wanting to learn more and seeking out new directors and unexplored areas of cinema, they desperately want to believe that they know all they need to know about film and so declare anyone who praises an "obscure" movie to be "pretentious" or "trying to look smart" (see: this thread for some fine examples.) To them, it's simply not fathomable that concepts like "obscurity" are very arbitrary and that someone could actually, genuinely love a movie that falls outside their own range of experience. There has to be some ulterior motive that makes that praise invalid, so they can safely return to their shells and never explore beyond their very limited cinematic horizons.

Also, if you're going to try to hold people to the perceived consensus of the "serious film circles," you should probably know what is actually going on in those circles. Because though it is true that Kubrick is very highly regarded as one of "the greats," Lubitsch is also nearly universally considered one of the masters - and there'd be very little debate about that in "serious film circles."

In other words, those who are part of "serious film circles" would laugh at the notion that Lubitsch is only "pretty good" while Kubrick is a "revolutionary" - in reality, both directors are widely regarded as being amongst the elite of filmmakers, and both were very influential. Of course, as with any other directors, neither filmmaker is universally beloved. In fact, some of the most important members of the most "serious film circles" had/have mixed feelings about Kubrick, and would probably consider Lubitsch the more important/better filmmaker (see: Jonathan Rosenbaum, Dave Kehr, Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris.)

And it's fine to prefer one over the other - it's just silly to act like it's sacrilege to say anything that could possibly be conceived as suggesting that Kubrick isn't one of the "ALL-TIME GREATS!!!" (and the OP really didn't say anything particularly critical,) and then to turn around and declare Lubitsch - another widely acknowledged master - as "pretty good." In reality, there's nothing wrong with preferring Lubitsch to Kubrick - in fact, that's not that uncommon of an opinion among those who are familiar with and have seen multiple works from both directors.

In other words, it's perfectly fine to consider Lubitsch to be merely "pretty good" - it's only hypocritical when you turn around and then suggest that any criticism of Kubrick is "denying the obvious." In reality, both are considered masters, and it's still fine to not be a big fan of one or the other. No one should feel obligated to conform to the perceived "consensus" of perceived "serious film circles."

Jun 20 - 08:49 PM

Jesse Waitkoss

Jesse Waitkoss

I popped on and saw that Wes gave his top5. Was like Christmas to see that up here today. I must say, 4 of these are great but I have not seen Toni.

Jun 8 - 06:50 AM

Tom DeFrank

Tom DeFrank

Be nice or shut the fuck up.

Jun 8 - 07:08 AM

Zak Santucci

Zak Santucci

I know! It seems a little disingenuous to not mention it since Hal Ashby is clearly his biggest influence.

Jun 8 - 07:15 AM

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