Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tying Up Loose Ends.

Since I never finished this list and since I've barely posted anything in ages I'll try and wrap this up quicker than usual with a few posts listing a handful of movies rather than one time, but first a short recap:

92. American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, 2003)
93. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002)
94. Human Nature (Michel Gondry, 2001)
95. Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh, 2008)
96. Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos, 2009)
97. Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)
98. Mother (Joon-ho Bong, 2009)
99. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog, 2009) 
100. Oldboy (Chan-wook Park, 2003) 

Lets get right into the next few movies.

91. A Mighty Wind (Christopher Guest, 2003)

Another hilarious ensembled mockumentary from Christopher Guest. While I may find Best in Show to be his funniest movie, A Mighty Wind I find to be his most heartfelt. Much like the way Waiting for Guffman first made me feel such empathy for the band of theater performances who one could say aren't the most talented actors, A Mighty Wind has the same effect on me with its group of folk singers trying to recreate the brief success they had in early years. I don't think Eugene Levy's ever been better and the rest of the cast is a joy to watch, as usual. One of the best comedies of the decade and surprisingly the music isn't too bad either.

90. The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

Not only surprisingly funny, it's one of those true story based films that sounds so absurd that it's remarkable that it's based on true events and makes you think "No one could make this up!" Well apparently that's true. Matt Damon stars as a company man who turns whistle blower about a price fixing scandal within his own company. Damon's Mark Whitacre is in over his head from the very start and things unravel from there, in hilarious and surprisingly intriguing fashion. It begins as one of the funniest movies of the year and then show its colors as something more half way through and Damon gives a career best performance. If you can't find the time to get around to all of Sodebergh's films (he does make 2 a year it seems) make The Informant! a priority, it's one of his better outings.

89. Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005) 

George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck chronicles the on-air battle between seasoned television host and journalist Edward R. Murrow and senator Joseph McCarthy over McCarthy's anti-communist hearings and investigations in the 1950s. It's primary intent is to address the use of our news media and primarily television journalism as an outlet for delivering information rather than just entertainment, to use television to address important issues rather than just run cigarette ads and comedic talk shows. Clooney bookends his film with a speech from Murrow on the state of television journalism and its uses and above all its importance.

What interests me even more about the film is what the state of televised journalism has become today as well as the conflict between opinioned journalism and unbiased reporting. Though Murraw's actions blur the line between the two we can see the nobility in his actions, or at least admirable from my perspective. He and his crew saw what they viewed as injustice and took action. However, today not only has the line between opinion journalism and unbiased reporting become almost nonexistent, conflicting news outlets push political agendas almost shamelessly or attempt to create divide among political views for sake of ratings and it seems that Murrow's push for integrity in journalism and its use to inform has been misshapen and discarded. They took what was useful for personal gain and abandoned what was important in principle.