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Gustav Zhuravlev
Gustav Zhuravlev

Top Des Films Lesbiens Liste 2017 BETTER



Anyway, 2017 was the year I finished my book on Walter Hill's films. It's over 400 pages in its rough form and James Ellroy is writing the introduction for it. I'm in the middle of a deep edit on it with my editor Bill Chambers. Bill has been my steadfast friend for, lo, these last 18 years or so. This was one of those years where I realized how much I value and, indeed, need my friends. I started writing the book after a screening of The Warriors on 35mm at one of the two Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas I manage in Denver. I wanted to understand why I loved so many of Hill's films. I wanted to understand, too, why it is there's no longform examination of his pictures in English. Two years later, there still isn't--but we're close.




Top Des Films Lesbiens Liste 2017



2017 is the year I wrote about fewer films than ever before. The list that follows will have titles in groups of 5 to spare Bill, as much as it is possible at this point, from the extra headache. After so long doing these, I've found that, for me, 50 is the number I'm most comfortable with. 10 isn't enough. More than 50 isn't realistic.


What I saw in 2017 were more great films with female protagonists--including a Star Wars picture that features the first Asian-American lead in the franchise in all its 40-plus years. The Chinese and geologists appreciate that kind of patience; I wish it were patience that drives that kind of wait. 21 of my 50 feature women as the hero. I saw a year where even the worst movies--downsizing for one, The Greatest Showman for another--took stabs at diversity in their ham-handed, oddly-intended way. Notable pictures missing from this list are Lady Bird and Molly's Game, both of which I liked just fine. Ditto The Post and Darkest Hour, which are like "For Dummies" primers for the easily distracted. Dunkirk I did not like, and Three Billboards I loathed with an unusual intensity. I wonder if that's because Martin McDonagh is still given the "boys will be boys" pass for some reason, what with his appalling misogyny and continued "getting away with something" treatment of dwarf characters. Maybe it was just the scene where someone talks to a deer. Or maybe it was how it made me dislike Abbie Cornish for the first time in her career. Anyway, fuck that guy and fuck his preening, ugly movies. A note, too, about Matt Reeves's conclusion to the Planet of the Apes trilogy--an exceptional piece when taken as part of a three-film whole that couldn't quite stick the landing. Still, it's grim enough, nihilistic enough, to be a key product of this time regardless.


Anyway, the best films of 2017 are indicated by a winsome sort of grief, but there are signs of life, there's a particular feeling of resolve. There are poison mushrooms and fair warnings. Revolution is in the air. That scrape you hear is pitchforks sharpening. There wouldn't be this energy among the better of us if it weren't for the dedicated lizard activity of the worst of us. Yeats was only part right: Sometimes passionate intensity can inspire an equivalent reaction from the resistance. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. God, let's hope so. And hurry.


Paul Thomas Anderson and Darren Aronofsky both created apologias for masculine creation in 2017, and the results were magnificent. The Phantom Thread deals with a genius-level dress designer who "discovers" a young woman in a diner, his muse. But she has agency--as does Jennifer Lawrence's poet's wife in mother!, who sacrifices herself for her husband's creation as the heart of the home they share and that she's in the midst of restoring and protecting. It's a metaphor, of course (both films are), and it's an indictment of the dangers of the male artist in his solipsistic, often-destructive, always-narcissistic wills to power. mother! and Phantom Thread are stories about God. A Christian one specifically. And they are stories of how gender roles are often more complicated, if no less abusive, than they would first appear. On the Beach at Night Alone is Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's self-laceration over his much-publicized (and getting ugly) affair with actress Kim Min-hee, who, in the film, plays a beautiful young actress whose life has been changed, irrevocably, by an affair with an older, legendary director. She vacillates between an aggressive playfulness and sudden explosions of outrage. These are the stories of muses and the men they inspire. They are all tragedies in action and they are all relationships that "work."


In its 2017 Studio Responsibility Index, GLAAD found an abysmal lack of LGBT representation in films produced by major studios. And the representation that exists is, unfortunately, reduced to small parts that amount to sight gags or punch lines for outdated humor. Queer people deserve more than the mockery of trans/nonbinary people seen in the Zoolander 2 character of All, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, or the butt-of-gay-jokes character Bradley in Dirty Grandpa. We can be hilarious -- but not at the expense of our dignity.


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