Monday assorted links


#6 But nothing on Brazil's election, a much more important issue.
"History will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening."- Ronald Reagan

"The best way to come across new ideas"

Try this: Brain storm with interested people from different walks of life. Do this multiple times with different groups/committees. Create a prioritized list of problems. Try to keep the list succinct and perhaps to a single sentence or statement. For example "solid waste is a huge problem and becoming worse all the time.".

Try to get the list to a manageable number, say the top 20 problems. Then offer cash prizes for viable solutions for each of the 20 problems and publish this, preferably in an article not an ad in the various tech magazines. Give a reasonable example of what it is you are looking for. Perhaps a solution that can be used by entrepreneurs to build a company and make a profit. Or maybe a solution that cuts costs of local governments or businesses. Or even leave this more open ended.

Set up qualified judges for each problem on the list and process the suggestions. Reward those with the best viable ideas. Those problems not solved (or at least without really viable suggestions) remain on the list. After a set period, for example, six month, close the "contest" and print the results in the same periodicals.

Then do it again, retain unsolved problems from the prior list, select new problems to
add to and create the new list. Repeat.

The wisdom of the crowd.

#5 Might there also be gains from cursing?

Wasn't it Nietzsche who said that cursing can supply sometimes a bigger psychological relief than praying?

There are - it increases the pain threshold. Though the effect is stronger for those who don't curse often in daily conversation.

2. The parallels to my own life and beliefs are stunning! Except of course I would never rope together a bunch of shady patents and try to extort forward innovators.

#2 - I had a chance to work with this man, and report directly to Bill Gates, but turned down Microsoft in the early 1990s, as I thought they had no patent future (at that time they did not). Oh well, I probably lost a million dollars on that move.

But this strikes me as wrong: "This failure gives Myhrvold great joy. “Wine experts! They cannot tell white from red, if you blindfold them. There’s a famous experiment, where they tinted a white wine with food colouring, and they end up writing them up like a red wine.” (I looked up this cruel exercise and found that it was done by Frédéric Brochet of the oenology department of the University of Bordeaux in 2001. He fooled 54 critics into thinking two glasses of the same white wine were different, simply by adding food colouring to one of them. The red was praised for being “jammy” and having a savour of “crushed red fruit”."

It turns out white wine is basically red wine without the coloring of the red grape skin, so adding red food color is not that big a change to the real thing.

6. Twerp from The Economist making the sausage.

3. Moderator never says whether he's counting up or counting down from #34; so, we don't know whether his conception of a 'bad' movie includes Around the World in 80 Days, West Side Story, A Man for All Seasons,Braveheart, The Sound of Music, and Rain Man or whether it incorporates Annie Hall, Rocky, The Sting, On the Waterfront, Rebecca, Terms of Endearment, The Best Years of Our Lives, Patton, Lawrence of Arabia, and Casablanca.

I would supposed from #34 to #1.

Actually reading what is written for each film makes the scale direction pretty clear.

Well, if by moderator you mean Prof. Cowen, no need to worry about it - he will simply provide the answer that seems most appropriate to the audience he is addressing.

Le Cocu doit mourir pour que la nation vive!!!!

6. Is this hipster twerp the best the Economist can offer? How about a proper adult?

3. There is a real recency bias in this list. "The Departed?" Seriously? It was a lifetime achievement award.

Upon further reading, its clear Kate Arthur is a poseur who doesn't really understand what movies are or why they win awards. Here's a hint for her: the Oscar is awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SCIENCES.

I gave up when she admitted she didn't understand the plot of The Sting.

+1, it's clear the reviewer was just trying to be provocative "65. Forrest Gump (1994)" - I'm not a movie go-er but Gump was a pretty good film, but she lists it as 65 since she's mad it beat out Pulp Fiction. Yet she lists the howler "Silence of the Lambs", a supernatural horror thriller, as no. 5 or so, showing she caters to public opinion. That movie was shocking but no more so than the "human centipede" film, "I spit on your grave", "boxing Elena" (which I believe came out after Lambs) or some such horror fantasy. Serial killers do strange and gross stuff, no need to elevate it to profound theater. To show she is learned, she rates the obscure "1. All About Eve (1950)" as the number one Oscar film of all time, which probably 95% of people have never seen. BTW I've not seen in toto most of these films; the only reason I saw Gump was it was a group event with friends. I rather read a book, code or play chess. Or lift weights/workout.

Bonus trivia: the human body has about 5.5 liters, that's 1.5 gallons, and it takes about a minute to circulate through the entire body; so those horror films showing gallons of blood coming out are unrealistic, especially since I doubt, even if you puncture the aorta like in the Godfather opening scene, you'll get more than a few ounces of blood come out at once, as most of it stays within the body. I know from my work slaughtering chickens. BTW I am firmly convinced some chickens know they are about to have their little throats cut, but I can't prove it.

She's a modern women. The entire list can be read through that political prism. There's little discussion of the merits of a film as a film, it matters only whether it agrees with her political sensibility as a woman of 2014--which explains why Titanic ranks so high and Birdman ranks so low...

Also has a Baby Boomer problem. In 1972 The Godfather could win best film, because the Academy was happy to give the award to a great, violent movie. But in 1994, Forest Gump beats Pulp Fiction because the Olds running the Academy prefer a bad movie about their generation over a *shockingly offensive* movie by a young auteur.

I suppose I'm grousing about the Academy instead of the list in question.

1. What if "tech" hadn't produced what it produces best, billionaires, would we still believe that the boy wonders are "smart" and that their "ideas" are great? In other words, do we judge ideas by the amount of money they generate? I've commented before that all of those vanity projects that the billionaires in "tech" pursue might suggest that what they have produced thus far weren't such great ideas. As far as I know Peter Thiel has no vanity projects, other than his project to destroy Gawker. Indeed, his reputation as a libertarian collides with his idea for Palantir, a company he founded in the business of snooping on people for government.

3. Beliefs seem to affect everything else we do (even what and how much we eat), so it seems reasonable to assume that peoples' preference for particular films is based on belief that the film is good rather than what might be called critical viewing. After all, everyone wants to see the film that everyone else is seeing. And everyone wants to eat at the restaurant where everyone else is eating. I know that it's common practice for some restaurants to pay people to stand outside the restaurant to give the impression that lots of people wish to eat there. Do film distributors do something similar? It was something of a scandal when it was learned that distributors of music were doing essentially the same thing by paying radio stations to play particular records. And, of course, we know about social media and "fake news" and manipulation of public opinion. Does social media manipulate peoples' beliefs about films, convincing them that a film is good when it is in fact wretched. The old standby is wine: when told that a particular wine was expensive, it was savored, and when told it was cheap, it was rejected, even though the wines had been switched (i.e., the cheap substituted for the expensive and vice versa). One cannot believe his ears, eyes, or taste buds because they lie.

Tech produces billionaires because enough of the companies work really well. The large majority do not produce billionaires, and if they do, they are paper millionaires, because theres no way anyone would really pay for all the shares in an open market.

As far as whether those execs are smart and have great ideas, it's hit or miss, but it's mostly hits among billionaires. It's apparent in conversation: Patrick is very smart, pretty personable, and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to learn things (whether it's just to compensate for the fact that he is a college dropout is a matter for debate). Similar things can be said of many other billionaire founders. At the same time, there's plenty of other execs in SF that believe themselves to be messiahs, but ultimately have the wisdom of a sack of bricks. There's great men and posers, and sometimes charisma makes it hard to tell which is which.

3. "How Green was my Valley" is one of the finest "Best Picture" winners ever. Sure, it probably didn't deserve to beat Citizen Kane in 1941. But among Best Picture films, it is one of the best. And should be at the top of the list.

Not sure why it is ranked as low as 58.

This was written by someone who put Gigi in last place because of squick, was offended at stereotypes in Cavalcade, and thought “Reds” was one of the best movies of the dreadful 1980s.

However Tyler is right, from #34 up it is actually pretty thoughtful and interesting.

"Reds" was a fantastic movie, easily Beatty's best (of the movies he directed).

"... was offended at stereotypes in Cavalcade."
You mean in "Around the World in 80 Days"

I basically agree with you and Tyler. But there are a lot of not-that-great movies ranked above #34 (that is from #1 to #34). Frankly, 12 years a slave is not that great, Django Unchained is so so much better. Godfather II is really boring (the scenes in Cuba ridiculous for instance, only the flashback scenes about the youth of the old godfather have some interest) and certainly does not belong to be ranked #4. Godfather I is excellent, though even it is over-rated at rank #2. Also overrated (in my opinion) in this top of the list are the French Connection (#19), On the Water Front, and a few others. The others (at least those I have seen) are all excellent, and it was a great pleasure to be reminded movies I really enjoyed but had long forgotten, such as My Fair Lady, The apartment, Unforgiven.

In general I think the Academy Award are pretty much white noise. I do not understand or am interested about all the fuss when they are attributed every year. Though not really comparable, since it is an international competition, I think that the Palme d'or at the Cannes Festival has a much much better track record over time.

Seems like hyperlexicality was probably a big component of Nathan's success.

3. Fairly difficult for a Best Picture Winner not to be overrated, since winning means it's rated quite highly. The number of outright bad films, however, is somewhat shocking.

The bottom portion, the last twenty or so ranked contain a lot of underrated movies.

Cimarron is a very good adaptation of Edna Ferber, an underrated author, and has some great scenes, the first Sunday Service in the new town is fantastic for example, and it is hard to remember how contemporary it was.

Whatever one thinks of Gigi’s sexual politucs it is a rather amazing production with great performances, I din’t know if it underrated or just too embarrassing.

Going My Way is the most important American Catholic movie ever, but it is very underrated by the non religious. Mrs Miniver is better at anglophilia than anything else Hollywood has ever done. A Tyler Cowen dream.

The author was right in noting How Green was My Valley is underrated as is Shakespeare in Love, Rocky is another example, a lot of people refuse to recognize how good it is.

Winner's Curse.

"3. So many of these movies are bad or overrated or both. Some start being good at #34 or so. Some."

I feel like all such lists shouldn't include anything within the last 20 years. If it's at the top of the list and it's 50 years old, it's probably a timeless classic. If it's more recent, it's relevance may be much more situational.

"Some start being good at #34 or so. Some.”"

Also, is Tyler being a little Straussian with this comment? #34 is Titanic.

Titanic is the maybe third best Titanic picture.

Watch a Night to Remember instead.

Have you read this interpretation of Titanic? I actually thought it clever:

That strikes me as more nutty than clever.

The articles premise being that Titantic was supposed to be about a Lesbian couple but that Cameron couldn't openly produce it. So instead he slyly cast DiCaprio as an androgynous figure and deliberately set up the scenes so that if you squint your eyes just the right way, DiCaprio could be a butch female. That's just a fantastically convoluted conspiracy theory.

Of course, it's on Cracked. So it's supposed to be Nutty. It's satire.

1. Studying history, then, as Elon Musk advises, going to first principles.

For example, I watched a gain the PBS American Experience episode "Racing Underground" which is centered on Sprague, a better model for Elon for electric vehicles than Tesla. However, Sprague was much more successful even after being screwed by Edison, than Tesla was, so Sprague as a corporate name and brand is taken.

Sprague worked for Edison building power plants and distribution because Edison wouldn't hire him to work on electric motors. Which ended up being a good thing because he quit when Edison asked him to work on electric motors.

He then used his own money, mostly, to build the first practical electric trolley. He was on the verge of bankruptcy when he did an Elon and promised to build an electric trolley system for Richmond, VA, on a short schedule, or get paid nothing. He delivered after working on it 24x7, like Elon. That success was just in time for Spague to sell Boston on switching to electric. Leading to building the Boston underground to eliminate street congestion caused by the overwhelming success of the horse drawn trolley system, built to eliminate the congestion of horse drawn vehicles.

The precursor to the MBTA was created by the Boston government because the private trolley company created when it's founder convinced the government to give him a monopoly on all trolley lines had been so successful the streets were clogged, but he was unwilling to build underground. Sprague solved the problems of electric trolleys that made going underground feasible.

By 1900, just over decade after completing the Richmond system, virtually every horse drawn trolley was converted to electric trolley.

Competition was tough and Sprague lacked the capital to grow, so he sold out to essentially Edison. GE is identified in the US with electric transportation.

So, congested roads? Take a page from history and go underground with electric drive.

Going to first principles, redesign the underground, redesign the electric drive, redesign the tunnelling.


...which is evolving from constantly going back to first principles.

And looking at history.

3. Might better be captioned "Jejune comments on past works of art from a wholly conventional, politically correct contemporary perspective."

You might as well write that Michelangelo's David (i) is uncircumcised (how culturally insensitive!--although Andrew Sullivan would probably approve) and (ii) is rather young (an offensive glamorizing of pedophilia).

3. Oh god, Dances With Wolves. I and my siblings made raucous fun at Costner's perennially flat affect. We were kids who shouldn't have known better. We absolutely did. Then, there's my wife, who came to America only hearing him dubbed in films, where he had been given a wonderfully evocative voice actor. She thought Costner was such an incredible actor. Then she watched half of a film in English, and turned the TV off in disgust.

#3 says it's an outrage that Crash beat Brokeback Mountain. I haven't heard anyone talk about Brokeback Mountain in more than a decade. Not that I thought Crash was any good back when I saw it.

Unspoken reason: Brokeback Mountain was soooo, soooo brave about gays so should have won.

Same reason she ranks Moonlight so high.

And then there is this silly comment:

"Released in a different time for LGBT representation — as in, there was none — The Silence of the Lambs was troubling in 1991."

This is a bizarre statement to make, particularly because Kiss of the Spider Woman was a 1985 nominee. Revenge of the Nerds came out in 1984. Victor Victoria 1982, etc.

Most movies are bad or overrated. Why pick on Oscar winners? They are selected, after all, by people who made a living making bad or overrated movies.

Le Cocu danse sa danse et chante sa chanson!

kit le pauvre hypocrite! lui-même le roi des cocus .... le pauvre!

The writer lets his SJW prejudices get in the way.

Gone with the Wind may be retrograde about the Civil War and slavery but is a top 5 movie among both Academy winners and overall.

Sorry, her.

I guess I shouldn't complain, its a Buzzfeed column after all.

Gone With The Wind should have been two movies. There's a perfect place where it should have been split almost dead center in the middle.

As far as I know, there are two actors from the movie still alive. One is Olivia deHavilland, who is still alive at 105 or 106, and the actor that played the baby.

Olivia deHavilland is 102, or will be in July. The only other credited actor still living is Mickey Kuhn, who played Beau Wilkes, Melanie's son, in her death scene.

Everyone else still living was an extra, including Gary Geise, who played both Beau and Bonnie as newborns.

And I worry that Gone with the Wind will be banished from the top 10 of AFI within the next few years. I wrote about it here:

#3 shows how tough it is to order a list that long without any firm standards.

Just one example:
39) The King's Speech
38) Chariots of Fire

These are two dramas about the English class system. Coincidentally, the time between their settings and their release years are about the same. But the quality is totally different. Chariots of Fire is genuinely interesting and has a lot to say, and I don't think anyone has thought about The King's Speech since they left the theater. I don't see how you can put them right next to each other unless quality of execution doesn't matter at all.

The opening credits of "Chariots of Fire" alone are better than 90% of the Best Picture winners. Those beautiful boys running across the crescent of beach to that transcendent music. Is there anything more life affirming vision in all of art? (I barely recall the rest of the film.)

I generally agree with Kate Arthur's ranking of movies. I think Titanic is way too high and Amadeus is way too low. And I have perhaps an irrational loathing of the Godfather movies. But I think this is the best ranking of Oscar movies that I've seen.

And yes, most of these movies are pretty bad.

"And I have perhaps an irrational loathing of the Godfather movies. "

No perhaps about it. The Godfather will be one of the very few movies still watched 50 years from now.

I'm not a fan of the Godfather franchise because, in some important respects, it romanticizes organized crime. I much prefer Goodfellas.

I recently watched 1, 2, and 3. I found them increasingly depressing and terribly bloody. I don't see how they romanticize organized crime at all.

For me, the depiction of friends and family is far-fetched: “Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family.”

Gangsters don't really live by a super honor code.

#3 - I think this calls for a Cowen list!

Gone With The Wind only #13, and just to rub the political correctness further in, just under Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave. Obviously Annie Hall offended her given the ridiculously low rating.

I want my five minutes back.

#3 - So Shape of Water is gonna win then?

Judging by their poor track record

3. Movies are a conversation with an audience at a specific time. You can look back and think about how you felt many years ago, or you can ask young students about how they experience them now, but both are only a shade of what the movies were, and were meant to be.

In other words, don't rate old movies. You've changed too much to know.

First off, No I haven't (changed to much to know).

That is a good way of looking at it, but wrong.

People do not study the stupidity of the past or the lack of attention of the past, not because stupidity and lack of attention are not in themselves fascinating and profound objects of study, but because one learns nothing from studying the stupid that one does not learn from studying the wise, and one learns nothing from studying the lazy folks that one does not learn from studying the kind and generous folks.

All movies are bad after 10 years, in the same way old magazines are bad: full of out-dated styles that were glommed onto by the ambitious but incompetent, alongside whatever few moments of actual talent that can be found.

No director in the last 100 years has learned the trick of hiring assistants who were able to hide their artistic shortcomings from future generations. "Out of the Past" came close, and so did "They Were Expendable" and "Harvey" and "the fatidic Bottle of Beer" (just to stick to black and white talkies in English.) None of the others you have heard of came close.

Just rewatched "The Fatal Bottle of Beer".(it is only 18 minutes) . Not unflawed. Saw Harvey, last month, it was as good as I remember.

I agree with your analysis (conversation with a specific audience at a specific time), more or less. Just making conversation, I guess.

The Fatal Glass of Beer is a most excellent reference.

I recently watched a lot of old TV, and I found most of the old stuff that I remembered fondly to be unwatchable. The only very old series that I think held up well was Combat!. It's the only WW2 series I recall where the Germans speak German and the French speak French. I prefer the early episodes in black and white, partly becase the stories are better and partly because it's less obvious they're fighting in a eucalyptus forest.

Among old but more recent shows, I'm a big fan of Hunter even though I normally hate cop shows. The later ones with Stefanie Kramer are best, even better if Garrett Morris is a supporting actor. Also, I find it amusing how badly the cars handle in car chases -- you can see why they don't make them that way anymore.

Monty Python and Fawlty Towers are still great!

Agreed. On the other hand, Laugh-In is practically unwatchable. I wonder what I would think of the first few seasons of Saturday Night Live, which I haven't seen since they were first aired. I remember laughing so hard I'd stuff a corner of my pillow in my mouth to keep from disturbing the neighbors.

Mash reruns are still my favorite. Loved Mash when it was new. Love it today.

All movies are bad after 10 years, in the same way old magazines are bad:

I take it you amuse yourself saying witlessly outre things.

Are you the real "Art Deco" ? I expect better from you, you are so often correct about civilizational issues. I did not say anything that a true connoisseur of the arts would not say, and I think that the real Art Deco should denounce the false Art Deco of seven fifty five PM!!!.

I remember, as a raw untutored youth, my first movie at Radio City Music Hall, that excellent beyond price palace dedicated to the exuberant art of days gone by, and it (the movie, not the palace) was "Where were you when the Lights went Out," a kitsch-fest.

That year, a real genius - Gjertud Schnackenberg - wrote her first good lines of poetry. The better-than-Proust of our days, Mark Helprin, had visions, that year, of future bravery - and when I say visions, Art, I mean visions. I myself would walk home from school, that year, humming snatches of Beethoven and some variations thereon, and to tell the truth, Art, not none of the melodies I came up with were uninspired. That year, feeling the oncoming lethargy of age, Picasso tried - vainly - to recover that vanishing enthusiasm he once felt in his youth (the result was some good crockery and a few non uninspired lithographs - true), and Beckett penned a few dozen kind and amusing letters to friends. Richard Wilbur wrote a few undying lines of poetry, a couple hundred miles north of my elementary school, and my older brother adopted a dog (Regulus) from the shelter that P.G. Wodehouse had created. And Plum himself. five railroad stops down the Montauk branch of the LIRR, was still writing a few good novels.

And Hollywood was turning out "Where were You when the Lights Went Out", and films like that. And the pattern has repeated itself. "Movies", my young friend "Art", are almost always business deals made among the privileged and rich with "artistic" connections and rarely rise above the level of last August's issue of Vanity Fair or last December's post-election issue of "National Review." The real Art Deco knows that. I know that. Everyone who lives in Hollywood knows that.

I do not find myself "amusing", "Art", and even if I did (I really don't) is it not a kindness to try to amuse others in these so-often-banal-even-when-they-are-not-very-superficial days? If I amuse others, that is good: I try to say what is true. My friends, my descendants, my dogs, my cats, my beloved local fauna, my favorite verses in the Bible (all of them) - they all amuse me. And you, too - if you are the real "Art Deco." Anyway, thanks for reading.

John Simon said there were no more than 5 good movies in the entire silent film era.

that being said, "Blast from the Past" and "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona" are all more than 10 years old and have nothing of old-magazine staleness about them. Perhaps you were thinking of those films when you criticized me, on behalf of Whit Stillman and the recently deceased director of "Blast from the Past"? By the way, the scene in the first of those movies where the male star looks sidewise at the female star and consciously (like Gary Carter used to do right before a pitch) opens one eye wider (well Gary Carter would open both eyes wider, he was playing baseball not performing for the camera) so that we, in the screen audience, would see the actor with both eyes (apparently) equally wide open the same way in the real world (being filmed) the actress (assuming the world on screen were the real world) should be assumed to have seen those eyes both equally wide open (but of course, as people who understand art, you and me both know that one eye was more wide open than the other) - this is simple High Renaissance perspective theory, applied to portraiture for more than 500 years, but it is not something you see in many old Hollywood films, for obvious reasons (they did not know much about High Renaissance Art being the most obvious): and that was a trick I taught to a guy who played a guy who sat near James Bond and his honey at a roulette table (or something like that) back in the 70s, and who wanted to be noticed as a virtuoso professional. Check it out in "Blast from the Past" - it is the scene where Brendan Fraser explains to Alicia Silverstone why Perry Como, whose song was on the radio at the time, was a true artist.

Like I said, most films older than 10 years are as fresh as the magazines of their day. There are some exceptions. Tell me again why I am wrong.

Don Colacho: Lo que aquí digo parecera trivial a quien ignore todo a lo que aludo.

Perhaps someday someone will publish the correspondence we (not me and Doris Day, a different we) participated in regarding the comedic adaptations of John 4, 1-42 (the allegedly Samaritan woman); the lighter letters to the happier churches in the early passages of Revelation; the real story behind those 14 years Jacob spent far from home; or, my favorite, the book of the Bible Shakespeare himself never felt equal to the task of alluding to, not even once: the life and times of the beloved friend and unnoticed hero of the Book of Proverbs, the fool we all prayed for, who defied all the prescriptions of the Book of Proverbs yet came to a good end, on a summer day, because God loved her, for no other apparent reason than because someone asked. Such is the power of prayer.

Tell me why I am wrong! (I am not wrong and neither was good old Don Colacho, not on this subject, anyway)

Agrafena Alexandrovna, Dmitri Fyodorovich, Aleksandr Fyodorovich, Lieutenant Zinovii (Starets Zossima), Efim Polenov, Lise Hohlakov: I can picture how each would be treated, in a Hollywood film: there have been tens of thousands of characterizations in Hollywood films. Based on what I know of those characterizations, I am fairly certain that Agrafena Alexandrovna, Dmitri Fyodorovich, Aleksandr Fyrodorovich, Lieutenant Zinovii, Efim Polenov, and Lise Hohlakov would not be well portrayed by even the most respected of Hollywood "artists". As always when I ponder the lack of talent and the lack of passion in the modern world, I would love to be wrong. But you know - I'm not wrong. Not today, anyway.

800 or more free words, all in reply to the possibly fake Art Deco. the last Monday in February, 2018.

You were saying, Art, that I am witless (your word, at 7:55 PM). Please back up those words with accurate criticism. Be a man of whom your civilization might be proud. Remember, it is easy to say harsh words and we should all therefore guard our language from anger and scorn (Ephesians). Thanks in advance for the accurate criticism: I would write it out for you, but it is better if you say it yourself. You can do it, I have faith in that!

God loves you, Art. Calm down with the insults, my young friend.; that being said::: And again: if you have accurate criticism, please go ahead and gladden our hearts with the truth: everyone loves the truth. And none of us have anywhere near the access to it that you or me would want.

Or just don't say anything. That would be wonderful, too. Nobody cares, and I do not want anyone to care. The world is huge and movies and arguments and words are small. I know you know that. This is not 2018 and people only still speak English or any other language of 2018 out of nostalgia -remember?

Art, I have lost arguments on the internet before. Make us all happy: try and win an argument tonight!!!!

Or maybe I am right and this is not 2018 and there are no more arguments to be won in 2018. That is extremely more probable than the alternative. Even if I wish it weren't it would be.

Well, Good luck, my friend!

(Lo que aqui digo paracera trivial a quien ignore todo a lo que aludo).

900 words and counting, all of them free.

I apologize if you wish you had not read all those words!

Art will not respond, I know that: well, perhaps somewhere I said a few dozen words worth reading, so there's that.

If not, God will not, I trust, be offended if you wish you had not read anything I had to say, and are unhappy with my efforts.

God loves us all, after all.

Welcome to 2074.

Mark - interesting observations.

I look forward to a rewatch of "Rat Patrol" with the advantage of 40 more years of military historians weighing in - Osprey Press is really good on those theaters of war where the British fought and died. It will be fun to watch Rat Patrol after a few years of familiarity with the Osprey Press volumes on the North Africa military actions.

And that unfindable TV show about the military crew of the plane that crashed in the desert and they did not realize that they had lived 50 days on 2 days worth of water - that was as good as Edgar Allan Poe. I am not sure, but I think I was it again in 2015 for the first time since the 1960s.

I watched some Rat Patrol not too long ago, and I thought it was terrible. The equipment was so badly faked it was distracting. One thing I liked about Combat! was its authenticity -- I recognized lots of original WW2 equipment. A lot easier to do 15 years after the war.

I am sad to hear that about Rat Patrol, but your comment makes me look forward to watching Combat!

Also, the performance of the lead actor of Combat!, Vic Morrow, was first-rate. I wasn't familiar with his work before I watched the show. He added a level of grimness to everything. I don't think they could have made a better choice.

Thanks, Art, for engaging in a conversation. It is easy to call people witless, and less easy to justify one's insults, and I appreciate that fact. If you don't have the heart to explain why you enjoy criticizing people please don't criticize them in the first place. Such moral advice should not be necessary, of course: but it saddens me to think that you might be unaware of it. Well, it saddens me a little.

seriously, Art, I do appreciate your many wise comments here, on various subjects. Not that you care - but if this is 2074, who really cares? Well, God cares. You know that better than me, my young friend.

Most compelling thing about the movie list is each year's also-rans. Is there any doubt that 1939 -- almost 80 years ago now -- is still the greatest movie year ever?

Big injustice: Robin Hood loses to You Can't Take it With You?

1939 was of course outstanding but I'm a fan of a lot of 1999's stuff. Very different time, so hard to say any one year is THE best. Each era has its great films.

#3....As with old best -selling books lists, I find some films almost unbelievable on these lists. Did people really go and see movies on Zola and Disraeli?

+1, culture really does meaningfully change


I don't really care how smart Myrhvold is. He is an extortionist. Al Capone was probably pretty smart too.

But his boast then, that IV had never gone to court over a patent infringement, no longer holds. Several high-profile cases have been fought recently. He says those are a simple matter of defending rightful ownership of ideas and with it the ability of inventors to make a living.

Boast? Well, OK. But the whole point is to exact tribute without going to court. Only giant companies can afford patent litigation. It is hugely expensive. So deep pockets, not the justice of your case, make you a winner by intimidation.

I believe if you infringe, you should pay. It doesn't matter whether the patent is owned by a patent lituigation firm or a lone inventor. And if it is owned by a lone inventor, sometimes the only way for that guy to get a fair compensation is to sell it to a patent litigation firm. I don't see anything wrong with that.

That was a pretty awful ranking. All About Eve is fine, but doesn't deserve first. Some new movies far too high, others too low. The top 8 are solid, but the next 8 should have been swapped out with the eight below that.

It's criminal that these lists always exclude best picture Winner Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans which is an utterly magnificent silent film (if you need proof it's the 5th best film in the most recent iteration of the prestigious Sight and Sound poll). It won "Academy Award for Best Unique and Artistic Picture" and Wings won "outstanding picture" before the former award was phased out the next year and at some point the academy decided to pretend it was always a lesser award.

In truth there were two "best picture" winners for the first academy awards but the better one of these two is excluded on a retroactive technicality.

#3: Amadeus was a delightful movie. I'd wager most people would rather rewatch it than 80% of the movies on that list.

And yeah, Silence of the Lambs at 5? What a joke.

#6 studiously ignoring the most important chart in the world on African demographics. Italians are starting to figure out that the choice is (1) sink the boats and expel the invaders (2) Be served as cannibal stew like that poor young girl.

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