Village VOICE 5th annual VOICE critics’ poll 2003

Posted in Film on December 23rd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: The Village VOICE has released its list of winners of the 5th annual VOICE critics’ poll. Here’s how it works:

    We asked each critic to cite 10 films, five lead performances, five supporting performances, five undistributed films (unranked), and one choice each in the other categories. As usual, participants were drawn mainly from North American alternative weeklies, online publications, and film journals (those few daily or mass-market critics invited were either Voice alumni or veterans of the New York Film Festival selection committee). Again, the scoring system is borrowed from the long-standing Pazz & Jop formula. Each film and performance in an unranked ballot received 10 points. Ranked ballots were weighted as follows: For film #1 (15 points), #2 (14), #3 (13), #4 (12), #5 (11), #6 (9), #7 (8), #8 (7), #9 (6), #10 (5). For performance #1 (14), #2 (12), #3 (10), #4 (8), #5 (6). (Ties were allowed, and computed accordingly. Some critics squeezed in more than 10 films; we list their ballots in full but assigned points only to the first 10.) * We asked our voters to focus on films that opened for a theatrical engagement in North America during the past 12 months. (Titles that have yet to open wide[r]—like films with brief Oscar-qualifying December runs—will have their 2003 points carried over to Take Five’s tally if they get more points next year than they did this year.) For performances that received votes in both lead and supporting, we shifted the points to the more popular category. We allowed splits in one-choice categories like director and screenplay.

Categories include Best Film, Performance, Supporting Performance, Director, Screenplay, First Film, Documentary, Cinematography and Undistributed.

Individual ballots of the participating critics can be viewed here. A collection of essays on the year’s films is also provided. The VOICE film critics, J Hoberman, Michael Atkinson, and Dennis Lim, listed their top films of the year as Spider, Platform/Unknown Pleasures, and Medea, none of which I have seen. Medea was made in 1988 for Danish television by Lars Von Trier. No wonder I missed it.

Top Ten Movie Lists Begin to Appear

Posted in Film on December 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Top Ten movie lists have begun to appear. What’s interesting is the choice for top film is different on the four lists provided here. Time Magazine critic Richard Corliss picked Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as the top film (and I agree.) His colleague, Richard Schickel, chose Mystic River. Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert gave the nod to Monster, and his Ebert & Roeper partner Richard Roeper chose In America as his top film of 2003.

I saw In America today, and it’s a wonderful, brilliant, moving film, highly recommended.

World Trade Center Rebuild

Posted in Film, NYC on December 20th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: A revised model of the Freedom Tower, to be built at the WTC site in Lower Manhattan, was unveiled yesterday. The tower will be 70 stories tall, have an angular shape, and a 276-foot spire, bringing the height to 1,776 feet, the same number as the year of American independence. Add the broadcast tower to the the spire, and the total height will be above 2000 feet. It will be the tallest free-standing structure in the world, and have turbines at the top of the main structure, to harvest wind energy to provide 20% of the buildings energy. The building will be constructed with additional safety features absent from the WTC: “The tower is to have a concrete core and be encased in a steel cable netting that will brace the building.” The building is scheduled for completion in 2008. A 360-degree view is here (requires Real Player.) Details of the finalists for the design of the WTC Memorial Site can be seen here.

:: I saw Lord of the Rings The Return of the King yesterday, and it is indeed the movie event of the year. I hope the Academy recognizes Peter Jackson’s stunning achievement, and awards him the Best Director Oscar he so deserves, along with Best Picture of 2003.

Lord of the Rings

Posted in Film on December 18th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I haven’t seen The Return of the King yet, but hope to tomorrow. Three friends have, and report that it’s quite the cinematic experience. James Berardinelli describes it as “…not only the best movie of 2003, but the crowning cinematic achievement of the past several years. In fact, labeling this as a “movie” is almost an injustice. This is an experience of epic scope and grandeur, amazing emotional power, and relentless momentum.Rotten Tomatoes as of this evening was recording a 97% favorable rating, with 146 positive reviews of 150 listed. However, the review that left me howling was found at Derryl’s site, written by Neill Cumpston and posted on Ain’t It Cool News. Be forewarned that it is rude, politically incorrect, full of obscenities, and is hilariously funny.

Golden Globe nominations

Posted in Film on December 18th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: The 2004 Golden Globe nominations were announced today. I don’t know what the big deal is with Seabiscuit. It was ok, but didn’t do much for me. Overall, I don’t think this is a spectacular year for top quality movies. I hope LOTR:TROTK sweeps the big awards. Peter Jackson is overdue for recognition of what he has accomplished with the three Rings films.

2003’s Best Web Tips, 2003 TV Season’s 10 Worst Ideas

Posted in Internet, Photography, Research, Television on December 17th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Sree Sreenivasan has gathered together the year’s best web tips, as reported in the Web Tips column on Poynteronline. Sreenivasan also has a site for “sharing tips on various topics“, such as photography, Google, hoax sites, and graphics and image sites.

All web tips since Sept 2001 are listed here.

:: The 10 worst ideas of the fall 2003 television season include the dumbing down of The West Wing, and the full-frontal assault of the three Law & Order franchises, both of with which I agree. While you’re at it, check Lost Remote, a television blog founded by Cory Bergman. And in case you missed Paris Hilton on SNL two weeks back, here’s the transcript of her brief sketch with Jimmy Fallon during Weekend Update. It’s totally brilliant and funny.

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