CP on Facebook


CP on Twitter
Print Email

The Mail

Attack the Critical Bloc

I was greatly disappointed by City Paper’s selections as listed in “The Year in Film”

As usual, I was greatly disappointed by City Paper’s selections as listed in “The Year in Film” (Top 10, Dec. 14) and the other selections on the web site.For whatever reasons, CP critics ignore, for the most part, socially conscious movies. Instead I see films such as Drive or Hanna, both dripping with ultra-violence, or Bridesmaids with its heavy dose of toilet humor. Also listed was Melancholia, a film more excruciating to watch than a Republican presidential campaign debate.

Super 8 is somewhat cute, but it is lightweight. Any Terrence Malick film, including The Tree of Life, deserves to be on the list, and who did not love Midnight in Paris, with Woody Allen’s alter ego Owen Wilson dreaming of the literary life in 1920s Paris?

Eric Hatch’s guest list includes the brilliant and socially conscious Better This World.But he drank the Kool-Aid and included Melancholia.

On the various other lists, there were several must-see films: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Beginners, Hugo, Win Win, and Potiche. However, my major complaint is the fact that so many films are missing.

Three of the best films, not just for 2011 but for the decade, have to be on a Best list: Of Gods and Men, one of the best-ever perambulations about the power of nonviolence; Even the Rain, which begins with a quotation from Howard Zinn’s The People’s History of the United States and compares the exploitation of Native Americans 500 years ago to the situation today; and the marvelous The Hedgehog, which reeks with class-consciousness, promotes Leo Tolstoy, and features two unforgettable leads, a dumpy concierge and a girl living in the privileged class.

Other films that raised important issues and did not insult our intelligence are as follows: Margin Call, Wall Street malfeasance; Buck, child abuse and the power of animals; Incendies, memory and the Middle East; Made in Dagenham, women’s rights and union rights; Miral, finally a film about Palestinian women; J. Edgar, a love story featuring the man most responsible for the shredding of the Bill of Rights, which continues today; Sarah’s Key, about good people refusing to take action against injustice; The Whistleblower, sex trafficking; and finally Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, about the Lincoln assassination, but really about today’s War on Terror and military tribunals.

Since I see about 50 films a year, I have not seen many of CP’s selections for best films of 2011, though a number of them I avoided. Many of them could well be worthy of being listed. However, there is an obvious inattention to socially conscious films and an attraction to quirky movies, a number of which say nothing about the awful state of the world where injustice is rampant.

Max Obuszewski


Correction: During our recent coverage of the sentencing of attorney Stanley Needleman, it has become apparent that previous coverage contained some mistaken information. An April 16 News Hole blog post (“Needleman Search Nets More Than $600,000”) incorrectly reported that money was seized from a safe in Needleman’s office; the money seized was retrieved from his home. In addition, an Aug. 1, 2008, News Hole post on Needleman client Jose Morales (“City Paper Responds to Your Tips!”) incorrectly reported that Morales appeared at a Howard County Circuit Court hearing on bad-check charges on July 25, 2008; Needleman appeared alone on behalf of Morales, his client. City Paper regrets the errors.

  • In the Weeds Pot laws can expand the minds and skills of those who need or want it. | 4/23/2014
  • Tough Sell Few real-estate developers have the capacity or the perseverance to take on such a difficult undertaking as developing, or redeveloping, affordable housing. | 4/16/2014
  • Faith Shaken, Not Stirred What would the future hold for Charm City’s beloved alternative weekly? | 4/9/2014
  • For the Birds I’ll know CP is toast when you all run a cover with the headline “That Sure Was A Lotta Snow.” | 4/2/2014
  • Adjunct Poverty I came to consider my two classes as volunteer work to justify working so hard for so little. | 3/26/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus