Bi-Weekly Essay Question (Apr. 30, 2015)

Every couple of weeks, the OFCS polls its members with a question related to movies. It can be serious or amusing, but each member is given the opportunity to submit a short response to the question, which we will then post on Thursday mornings. Here is this week’s query.

Essay Question #11: Which films made in the past five years do you think will be remembered half a century from now, and why?
Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

Responses

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
A film to endure has to reach the emotional core of an audience. It has to say something other than how big it all is.

Whiplash I think will be remembered for its insight into the artistic drive and brilliant performances. American Sniper will be remembered for its celebration, not of war itself, but of those who wrestle with the consequences of war. Selma: for humanizing a icon. The Wind Rises: for celebrating the pursuit of beauty even if it is used to bring misery. Nebraska: for celebrating the oddity that is family. There really are too many to mention briefly, but these are the ones that I could think of right away.

Josh Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
This is a tough question to answer, since cultures evolve in exponential ways seemingly year by year, in this digital age. However, universal stories such as one’s coming of age are timeless moments in a person’s life that span languages, races, classes and the like. So to me, one of the last five years’ most timeless pictures will prove to be Spike Jonze’s Her. Not only is the film beautifully made and includes rich performances, but it speaks to both a person’s experience falling in love and the digital aspect of the film is simply window dressing. It’s a far more human and humane picture than the premise would lead you to believe, and its focus on both the human relationship with love as well as mortality is beautiful.

Robert Cashill @ Popdose
Asghar Farhadi’s A SEPARATION was far and away my favorite film from 2011. And his ABOUT ELLY, just now in release, may turn out to be my favorite film from 2009. THE PAST (2013) was a slight downturn, but one that may augur a new direction for him. Regardless–he is a master filmmaker, and a true humanist. This work will endure.

Andy Crump @ Paste Magazine
That’s a really broad question, but off hand I’d say 12 YEARS A SLAVE for its bold, unflinching honesty; BOYHOOD, because if any independent film released this decade will impact how people approach shooting independent films in the future, it’s this one; HER, which out of the crop of movies focused on budding technology is the one that feels the most accurate about where our obsession with and reliance on technology is taking us; THE AVENGERS, as it’s the comic book movie that has totally changed the comic book movie game (for better or worse); THE ACT OF KILLING for showing us all that a documentary can be so much more than just talking heads, and for presenting a terrifying, sterling portrait of what a totalitarian regime looks like; and THE BABADOOK, if only because watching the movie feels akin to watching the live birth a great, inventive, intelligent voice in horror.

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk Online
Django Unchained, because it was a fresh premise with amazing characters

John Gilpatrick @ JohnLikesMovies.com
Certainly, “big” movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, Furious 7, Skyfall, and Frozen will be remembered for their contributions to both their respective franchises’ box office totals as well as popular culture more broadly. But I’ll focus on some titles that we’ll hopefully remember more because of their quality and their ability to speak to the human condition in some way.

Nightcrawler is at the top of that list for me, as Lou Bloom immediately struck me as the sort of anti-hero that will linger with us for a long time. Others that I’m sure won’t go away any time soon: The Tree of Life, The Social Network, Before Midnight.

Marty Mapes @ http://moviehabit.com
My first instinct in answering this question is to look backward 50 years and see what films we still watch and admire today. What stands out from the early 1960s? Dr. Strangelove. The Birds. Lawrence of Arabia. Liberty Valance. West Side Story (and to a lesser degree other musicals such as My Fair Lady). La Dolce Vita. The Apartment. Spartacus. Psycho.

What do these films have in common? I see good films of talented directors at the peaks of their career. That makes me think that 50 years from now we’ll still remember the films of Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan… maybe P.T. Anderson. I’m sure I’m overlooking other filmmakers who never fail to make a good movie. It seems that the weight of a good career helps your movies survive.

João Pinto @ Portal Cinema
I believe unique films like “Boyhood” or “The Artist” will be remembered just as much as some major Oscar winners like “Gravity”, “Grand Budapest Hotel” or “12 Years a Slave”. Some biopics like “The Theory of Everything” or “The Social Network” will also be remember because of the personal story of some important individuals of our time. Some major blockbusters like “Interstellar”, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2”, “The Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises” will also be remembered because of their success and commercial value.

Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
THE SOCIAL NETWORK: It’s a great film in isolation, but it also reflects the zeitgeist of the mid-2000s, and I think that sort of “time capsule” element tends to give films staying power in the public’s memory.

THE TREE OF LIFE: Unless Terrence Malick delivers something truly earth-shattering in his remaining years, I suspect that the critical consensus will continue to regard Tree as his director’s magnum opus, which will give it a certain gleam even decades from now.

12 YEARS A SLAVE: A phenomenal film–backlash be damned—but also a Best Picture Oscar winner, which assures it a place of prominence in any discussion of film history.

THE MASTER: It seems as though a reputation is slowly (and deservedly) crystallizing around this one as an incredibly important and complex film; the AV Club recently named it the best feature of the 2010’s so far. So let’s call it a dark horse candidate for being remembered in 2065.

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