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What was the best year in movies?

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cinewest
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Re: What was the best year in movies?

#41

Post by cinewest » March 7th, 2019, 8:52 am

Another repeat post

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#42

Post by cinewest » March 7th, 2019, 9:30 am

joachimt wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 8:26 am
cinewest wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 8:18 am
Old Aussie wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 8:00 am
1957
Why?
I've got five movies from 1957 in my all time top 100:
12 Angry Men
The Cranes Are Flying
Throne of Blood
Kanal
Witness for the Prosecution

That's reason enough for me.
It's been a while since I've seen any of those (and I have a criterion of Cranes are Flying that I haven't seen yet), but while Kanal was certainly groundbreaking in one sense, and I liked all of the others, none are among my favorites by their directors.
Thanks for chiming in with your reasoning, though, as at least a couple of others chose '57.

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#43

Post by Fergenaprido » March 7th, 2019, 1:59 pm

I'll separate it into two broad categories: years for which I've seen 43+ films, and years for which I've seen less than 34 films (33-43 films is the biggest gap in my viewing at the moment, aside from 2004 leading the way with 92 films, 16 above the 3-way tie for second at 76).

By average rating of all films from a given year (average above 7.5 for many films and 7.75 for fewer films):
Many films: 2002 (7.62), 2013 (7.54), and 1998 (7.52)
Fewer films: 1942 (7.95,) 1939 & 1943 (7.85), 1940 (7.82), 1944 (7.78), 1950 (7.77), 1954 (7.76)

Obviously, when watching films from older years, I start with the classics, so they're skewed to be higher.
(Data above is up until end of February, data below is up until the end of December)

So, looking at it differently, where I only look at the top 20 films (or less) for a given year:
2001 - Top5 average 9.00, Top20 average 8.40
2005 - Top5 average 9.00, Top20 average 8.33
2002 - Top5 average 8.92, Top20 average 8.41

It progresses fairly predictably further back in time, with earlier years having fewer films that I've seen. Looking at which years buck the expected trend, we find the following:
1957: Top5 average 8.52, Top18 average 7.64

It's the highest average year where I haven't seen at least 20 films (and it's also cited as one of the most common "best" years for film that I've seen thrown around, along with 1939, 1994, and 1999).

Most consistent year/year with the greatest depth:
2013 - Top5 average 8.28, Top20 average 8.15 (0.13 difference)
2004 - Top5 average 8.48, Top20 average 8.34 (0.14 difference) - this is also the year that comes to mind when I think of my favourite year subjectively, aside from being the year I've seen the most films from. It's also the year for which I have the most number of favourites (excluding shorts) - 12 (2001 has 9 faves, and 2007 & 2002 have 8 faves)

So, I think 2004 is my final answer, though 1957, 2001, 2014, 1950, and 1942 are all strong or promising challengers for the title.

Worst year? 1981, 1970, and 1934 are all circling around the prize, but there are a lot of gaps in my viewing for those years, so I won't crown a champion just yet.

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#44

Post by cinewest » March 7th, 2019, 3:43 pm

@Fergenaprido,

I also like the 2000's a lot (It deserves a lot more appreciation, too, especially the non-English language cinema), and they are a lot fresher in my memory than most of the films from previous decades that I haven't seen for 30-40 years (I haven't even rated or checked those that are too distant to remember well, especially as my taste has changed a lot over the years).

My sense is that our taste may be quite different, though, and I am certainly a tougher grader (I am not only very selective to begin with, but probably only give 25% of what I see an 8 or above, while over 50% falls in the 6 or 7 range, which is still very watchable to good (5 is the balance point between up or down for me, and I do my best to stay away from the downers).

What are your 5 favorites from your favorite years?

I saw 87 films from 2004, and my 5 favorites are L' Intrus, Brodre, Kings and Queen, A Very Long Engagement, and 2046, though I also maintain copies of Eternal Sunshine, The Holy Girl, Don't Move, Head On, Familia Rodante, Deadwood (TV Series), Intimate Strangers, Mar Adentro, Buffalo Boy, The House of Flying Daggers, A Tout De Suite, Mondovino, The Taste Of Tea, The World, 3-Iron, and Turtles Can Fly, all of which merit roughly an 8 in my book (There are another 20 I have rated a 7 or above that are also quite good).

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#45

Post by Fergenaprido » March 7th, 2019, 4:29 pm

I'm a relatively easy grader (as in I have a lot of films 7/10 and up) but I don't throw out favourites that often (8.4/10 and up). The bulk of the films I see end up between 7.2 and 7.8, it seems. One of the reasons I seem to rate so high, though, is that I'm very picky about what I see; if I don't think I'll enjoy it, I'll skip it. It's only been in the last few years since joining the forum that I've started to force myself to watch things I might not enjoy, with mixed results. Of the 2667 feature-length films I've rated, 2079 are 7.0 or above, and 606 are 8.0 or above, which works out to 22.7%, so we're actually pretty comparable in that sense.

I agree that the 2000s was a great decade for international cinema, and a number of countries exploded onto the scene (or finally started to get the respect/coverage they deserved).

My Top from my favourite years (by rating, and ranked within each rating)

2004
8.8 - Summer Storm
8.4 - Crash, Incredibles, Shaun of the Dead, Howl's Moving Castle, Eternal Sunshine, Very Long Engagement, Life Aquatic, Mean Girls, Mysterious Skin, Brothers, Saved
8.2 - Downfall, Harry Potter 3, Duck Season, Million Dollar Baby, Bear Cub, Closer, Mother's Guest, Super Size Me
8.0 - Notebook, Motorcycle Diaries, Machuca, Garden State, Touch of Pink, The Lizard, Bourne 2, Vera Drake

Some of those need a rewatch, though. And of the ones you mentioned, I very much still want/need to see 2046, Head On, Mar Adentro, and Turtles Can Fly.

2001
10.0 - Amelie
8.8 - Moulin Rouge, LOTR:FOTR, Shrek
8.6 - Donnie Darko, Life as a House, Gosford Park

1957
8.8 - Twelve Angry Men, Witness for the Prosecution
8.4 - Paths of Glory, Cranes Are Flying
8.2 - Seventh Seal

2014
9.0 - The Way He Looks
8.8 - Pride
8.6 - Mommy, Ex Machina, Selma

1950
8.8 - All About Eve
8.4 - Young and the Damned
8.2 - Harvey, Winchester 73
8.0 - Sunset Blvd.

1942
8.8 - Bambi
8.4 - To Be or Not To Be
8.2 - Casablanca
8.0 - Mrs. Miniver
7.8 - Palm Beach Story, Murderer Lives at No. 21
(7.4 Cat People and 7.2 Aniki Bobo are the other two I've seen from this year, so I've yet to see a stinker from 1942 (or 1941 or 1943, incidentally).

Not sure what conclusions you can draw from this, but there you go :D

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#46

Post by weirdboy » March 7th, 2019, 6:11 pm

mightysparks wrote:
February 25th, 2019, 4:53 am

Some of my faves:
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
The Matrix (1999)
eXistenZ (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Idle Hands (1999)
Jawbreaker (1999)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
Office Space (1999)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Ravenous (1999)
That is the one where they contrived for the female lead to be trapped in a room with a shark, and in order to escape she had to take off her clothes, right?
Also L.L. Cool J saying lots of stupid things and licking his lips every 30 seconds.

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#47

Post by joachimt » March 7th, 2019, 6:36 pm

I analyzed my ratings:

Image

Image

Top 5 most movies seen:
1997: 270x
1896: 243x
1993: 238x
1996: 236x
1897: 234x

Top 5 highest rating (not counting years of which I saw just a handful or less):
1958: 7.51
1956: 7.44
1957: 7.41
1959: 7.28
1937: 7.27

I'm not surprised my favorite period is somewhere in the second half of the 50's, but still pretty incredible to see four consecutive years topping this list.
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#48

Post by mightysparks » March 7th, 2019, 10:53 pm

weirdboy wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 6:11 pm
mightysparks wrote:
February 25th, 2019, 4:53 am

Some of my faves:
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
The Matrix (1999)
eXistenZ (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Idle Hands (1999)
Jawbreaker (1999)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
Office Space (1999)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Ravenous (1999)
That is the one where they contrived for the female lead to be trapped in a room with a shark, and in order to escape she had to take off her clothes, right?
Also L.L. Cool J saying lots of stupid things and licking his lips every 30 seconds.
Yea it’s stupid but I like it. It was my favourite movie for a while when I was like 8-9 so is good nostalgic fun.
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#49

Post by cinewest » March 8th, 2019, 3:03 pm

Fergenaprido wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 4:29 pm
I'm a relatively easy grader (as in I have a lot of films 7/10 and up) but I don't throw out favourites that often (8.4/10 and up). The bulk of the films I see end up between 7.2 and 7.8, it seems. One of the reasons I seem to rate so high, though, is that I'm very picky about what I see; if I don't think I'll enjoy it, I'll skip it. It's only been in the last few years since joining the forum that I've started to force myself to watch things I might not enjoy, with mixed results. Of the 2667 feature-length films I've rated, 2079 are 7.0 or above, and 606 are 8.0 or above, which works out to 22.7%, so we're actually pretty comparable in that sense.

I agree that the 2000s was a great decade for international cinema, and a number of countries exploded onto the scene (or finally started to get the respect/coverage they deserved).

My Top from my favourite years (by rating, and ranked within each rating)

2004
8.8 - Summer Storm
8.4 - Crash, Incredibles, Shaun of the Dead, Howl's Moving Castle, Eternal Sunshine, Very Long Engagement, Life Aquatic, Mean Girls, Mysterious Skin, Brothers, Saved
8.2 - Downfall, Harry Potter 3, Duck Season, Million Dollar Baby, Bear Cub, Closer, Mother's Guest, Super Size Me
8.0 - Notebook, Motorcycle Diaries, Machuca, Garden State, Touch of Pink, The Lizard, Bourne 2, Vera Drake

Some of those need a rewatch, though. And of the ones you mentioned, I very much still want/need to see 2046, Head On, Mar Adentro, and Turtles Can Fly.


If I were to compare my own cinematic attractions and assessments with yours, I would start out by saying that while we both may be selective about what we see, we are most attracted to and prize different kinds of films highest.

Just by looking at our top 25ish from 2004, I can only see 3 films that appear on both of our lists (3 of the more mainstream art house favorites of the year): Eternal Sunshine, A Very Long Engagement, and Brothers (I have seen a majority of the others you have listed, and rated them mostly 6's or 7's, which is by no means a putdown since my average ratings seem to be about 3/4 of a point lower than yours (despite my selectivity), and a 7 for me might mean roughly the same as a 7.75 for you.

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#50

Post by Old Aussie » March 30th, 2019, 1:24 am

cinewest wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 8:18 am
Old Aussie wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 8:00 am
1957
Why?
Many favourites including

Bridge on the River Kwai
Paths of Glory
12 Angry Men
Witness for the Prosecution
Sweet Smell of Success

and quite a lot more.

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#51

Post by blocho » March 30th, 2019, 3:41 am

I read an excerpt today from a new book called Best Movie Year Ever. It goes with 1999. I don't know if the book makes an actual comparative argument or just discusses great movies from 1999 (I suspect the latter).

Anyway, here's the book: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/ ... 1501175381

And here's an entertaining excerpt about Fight Club from the book: https://www.theringer.com/movies/2019/3 ... ard-norton

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#52

Post by OldAle1 » May 23rd, 2019, 3:36 pm

blocho wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 3:41 am
I read an excerpt today from a new book called Best Movie Year Ever. It goes with 1999. I don't know if the book makes an actual comparative argument or just discusses great movies from 1999 (I suspect the latter).

Anyway, here's the book: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/ ... 1501175381

And here's an entertaining excerpt about Fight Club from the book: https://www.theringer.com/movies/2019/3 ... ard-norton
BUMPing this cuz I'm reading this book now. It actually doesn't do either of the things blocho suggests in his first statement, or perhaps it combines them in a totally useless, self-serving way - in fact, Raftery asserts over and over that 1999 is an unprecedented, incredible year, great top-to-bottom, but he does this with virtually no references to past film history - the theory of ignoring precedents makes your picks seem more original is what's at work here. I think the guy just wants to sell books and appeal to 90s nostalgia, especially his own (he was in his early 20s at the time. Cases in point - in the Blair Witch Project chapter there's no reference to earlier found-footage films or the earlier kinds of meta-filmmaking that go back to...jeez, the 10s? (Starewicz and Chaplin among others); when discussing The Matrix the only indication that VR wasn't something entirely new is when he mentions recent non-hits Virtuosity and Johnny Mnemonic. You get the point. If this was just a "this is my favorite year cuz I love these flicks" book that'd be fine, but he sets out at once trying to claim the year is something more than that, and goes about it mostly through hyperbole and ignoring the past. No foreign films mentioned except Lola rennt as near as I can tell.

Dreck as film criticism, so far, but it's an easy read and for me it's fun to be reminded of some of these films (he discusses 30 films in some "depth" and I've seen 26 of them) which I haven't seen in 20 years.

Anybody here care to make a better argument for the quality of 1999?

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#53

Post by blocho » May 23rd, 2019, 6:07 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
May 23rd, 2019, 3:36 pm
BUMPing this cuz I'm reading this book now. It actually doesn't do either of the things blocho suggests in his first statement, or perhaps it combines them in a totally useless, self-serving way - in fact, Raftery asserts over and over that 1999 is an unprecedented, incredible year, great top-to-bottom, but he does this with virtually no references to past film history - the theory of ignoring precedents makes your picks seem more original is what's at work here. I think the guy just wants to sell books and appeal to 90s nostalgia, especially his own (he was in his early 20s at the time. Cases in point - in the Blair Witch Project chapter there's no reference to earlier found-footage films or the earlier kinds of meta-filmmaking that go back to...jeez, the 10s? (Starewicz and Chaplin among others); when discussing The Matrix the only indication that VR wasn't something entirely new is when he mentions recent non-hits Virtuosity and Johnny Mnemonic. You get the point. If this was just a "this is my favorite year cuz I love these flicks" book that'd be fine, but he sets out at once trying to claim the year is something more than that, and goes about it mostly through hyperbole and ignoring the past. No foreign films mentioned except Lola rennt as near as I can tell.

Dreck as film criticism, so far, but it's an easy read and for me it's fun to be reminded of some of these films (he discusses 30 films in some "depth" and I've seen 26 of them) which I haven't seen in 20 years.

Anybody here care to make a better argument for the quality of 1999?
Well, thanks for providing more info on that one. It's clear that it's a pretty basic and silly marketing ploy.

I remember a while ago I went to a book reading by an author named David Maraniss. He was discussing his latest book, which was called Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World. The first thing he said was that he didn't actually think that the 1960 Rome Olympics changed the world, the title was forced on him by his publisher, and he wasn't making any actual argument about historical change but rather just providing a compendium of interesting stories. I appreciated his honesty.
https://www.npr.org/books/titles/138017 ... -the-world

All that being said, I like the storytelling tactic of building a narrative around a selection of movies from a given year. I really enjoyed Mark Harris' Pictures at a Revolution, which was about the five Academy Award best picture nominees of 1967. Fortunately, he did not make any grandiose claims about the greatness of 1967, and actually described one of the nominees (Doctor Dolittle) as being pretty dreadful.
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/book ... 143115038/

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#54

Post by Rainy Red Carpet » June 8th, 2019, 11:28 pm

1991. I watched a lot of films that year because I was unemployed for ten months. I had a great routine. I'd go to the gym and then drop into the video store on the way home. Good times.
Money talks and bullshit walks.

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