Listmania and American solipsism

It’s pretty irresponsible for me to be blogging right now, so I won’t comment much on the Badger Herald’s list of the top 50 films of the 2000s. It’s worth mentioning, however, that this list is nothing if not symptomatic of a certain arrogance we Americans seem to have about our own culture; it’s the same arrogance that leads well-meaning ignoramuses to assume that all French cinema has going for it are tits and pseudo-poetry; it’s the same arrogance that blinds us to the fact that our continent was hardly the site of the decade’s most aesthetically challenging cinema (that’d be Asia); it’s the same arrogance that seduces us into pretending that the rest of the world simply doesn’t exist. To put it bluntly (and somewhat disgustingly): we really, really adore the scent of our own shit—so much so that we’re disinterested in smelling anybody else’s. The BH’s list is a fine distillation of this naïveté, which is why I find it so telling.

I hope this post didn’t come off as overly vitriolic or—gulp—elitist. I just think it’s stunning to see film critics flaunt such blatant unfamiliarity with cinema outside the pages of Entertainment Weekly. Y’all read the New York Times, don’tcha?

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2 Responses to “Listmania and American solipsism”

  1. Anthony Says:

    As a reader of the NYT and a fellow elitist, I found this quite disturbing:

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/al-pacino-barry-levinson-and-buck-henry-team-up-on-a-roth-tale/?ref=movies

    Why have they not made “American Pastoral” yet? I guess that’s up to us to do…

  2. Slane Says:

    1, count ’em, 1 foreign film… and it was one of the most widely released foreign films of the past decade, and by a director who has already had plenty of success in America… terrible list.

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