Film Poll Comments: A Year of Upheaval

“Still waiting for Woody Allen and Roman Polanski to experience some of those consequences though!”


On #MeToo and the Weinstein Reckoning:

“…and the increasing public awareness that the proclivities of terrible men are not just a behind-the-scenes concern but are instead much of the reason that so many studio (and major indie) releases are so limited in their thematic reach.” —Alan Scherstuhl

“We shall see if it has significant impact on hiring — not just firing — going forward.” —Anne Thompson

“My hope is for a domino effect across all industries. So far the winds of change have mostly blown in entertainment and politics, which makes sense, I suppose, since these are highly visible positions. Where are the shamed bosses at, I dunno, General Motors, and every other big corporation? The U.S. Department of Agriculture? Your local Panera Bread? Or a tiny stationery store with a terrorized employee who works the quiet shift? Bosses are bosses no matter where you go, and many of them are abusing their power. This is a fact. Maybe this will change.” —Jordan Hoffman

“I have repeatedly tried to write about this, but it went from shock to cliché in about two weeks. There has been some excellent writing inspired by the #MeToo campaign and critics, mostly women, coming to terms with their now-tainted appreciation of Woody Allen and Louis C.K., but if I read one more ‘review’ of Wonder Wheel that spends 600 words calling Allen a pedophile, you will be able to hear my scream in New Jersey.” —Steve Erickson

“That was a loooooooooong time coming!” —Craig D. Lindsey

“Hollywood started taking sexual harassment and assault seriously, even going so far as to erase certain individuals from the public eye completely. I shed no tears for them. But let’s not kid ourselves. Taking down a few bad apples won’t in and of itself dismantle structural sexism and racism. This could very well be another self-congratulatory gesture from a pseudo-liberal industry that loves nothing better than patting itself on the back.” —Michael Sicinski

“Still waiting for Woody Allen and Roman Polanski to experience some of those consequences though!” —Ren Jender

“Prefaced by the fallout from the Faraci–Alamo Drafthouse controversy, the reckoning begun by the Weinstein allegations seemed even more of a shake-up to the current power system. There is more to be done, but at least women’s voices are being heard and believed.” —Elizabeth Stoddard

“Harvey Weinstein is no more. And as he went down so too have a slew of other alleged abusers. We’re saying ‘enough’ with a bullying and abusive culture that has too long thrived in Hollywood (and beyond). And we’re already seeing a shift with the reshoots of All the Money in the World, the cancellation of I Love You, Daddy’s release, and more. I’m hopeful these waves will continue to rock the film world, and from it will rise a more inclusive and healthier system that’s nonetheless creative and thrilling. After all, there’s plenty of artists out there who don’t need to bully to be great.”
Kristy Puchko

“May he rot in hell.” —Odie Henderson

On Twin Peaks and category anxiety:

Twin Peaks: The Return was the clear cinematic event of the year, hence it deserves my number one slot. But it’s not a film, hence it doesn’t deserve any slot. I’m a man of compromise, hence it gets my number ten slot.” —Eric Henderson

“I expect to see outward ripples from David Lynch’s magnum opus through the whole of filmmaking for years to come.” —Alice Stoehr

Twin Peaks: The Return: This was a season of television, not a film. Big Little Lies: also not a film. The season finale of Nathan for You: also not a film. Some random episode of Barney Miller: also not a film. This Is Not a Film (2011, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb): a film.” —Mike D’Angelo

“Please do not send me your angry category fraud comments about Twin Peaks, we’ve done this dance many times already. The ballot said it was OK!” —Vadim Rizov

On Netflix, Amazon, and Hollywood’s ongoing “distribution fuckery”:

“For better, worse, and all the rest, including Cannes jury bickering, Netflix made its intentions to be, if not the home of the best original films, definitely home to the most original films.” —Alison Willmore

“Mainstream movies are officially boring. In 2017 — somehow even worse than in 2016 or 2015 or 2014 — the only films to hit major screens were franchise entries. Variety is the spice of life, and the multiplex is now (more than ever!) an unseasoned bowl of gruel or those slimy bug bars the proles eat in Snowpiercer. I know, the market has spoken, and the ‘adult’ fare that used to fill screens before and after summer blockbuster season moved over to Netflix and Amazon. But I don’t have to like it. Things have gotten so bad I now miss middlebrow biopics and reductive history lessons and vanilla dramas. I hated those films too, and once upon a time I wished they’d go away forever. I now realize I’ve stumbled into my very own version of The Monkey’s Paw: They did go away, but in their place came nothing but interchangeable comic book movies. Bring back blandly inspiring docudramas! Bring back Scott Hicks!” —Matt Prigge

“This was actually a great year for film, but because of theatrical distribution fuckery, even attentive audiences who regularly went to art houses missed out on some of the best films, most egregiously BPM (Beats Per Minute) but also Thelma and Netflix-distributed films like Mudbound and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).” —Ren Jender

On films that showed HIV+ people having sex:

“Not only did HIV+ people get to have sex, they got to feel sexy doing it. BPM, in particular, understands the political implications of being queer on a molecular level.” —Kyle Turner

And another thing…:

“2017 was a bad year in many regards, but the cinema continues to provide us with a vibrant cultural conversation on an array of topics. Oh yeah, and Twin Peaks came back and it was awesome.” —Sean Mulvihill

I, Tonya: 120 minutes. Thor: Ragnarok: 130 minutes. Molly’s Game: 140 minutes. The Last Jedi: 152 minutes. Movies have gotten too damn long.” —Michael Sicinski

“2017 was a sensational year for cinema. The superhero genre got sophisticated with Logan. Monsters danced. Man-eating mermaids sang, and the world fell hard for Wonder Woman, Rey, and an angry misfit who calls herself Lady Bird. Instead of the standard parade of stern biopics for award season, we were gifted foul-mouthed heroines, a peachy gay romance, a dreamy love story where girl meets beast, and a fearless and challenging horror movie. It was a year full of surprises and films so beautiful, moving, and unique that many felt like miracles.” —Kristy Puchko

“Here’s what you should do in 2018: Once a week this year, watch a movie that was made before the year you were born. Make sure one out of four each month is in a language other than English. (Assuming English is your native tongue, that is.) FilmStruck will help, and FilmStruck is a blessing. But: If you live in New York City, you have no excuse not to see a lot of these IN A THEATER WHERE THEY BELONG. The Quad, MOMA, MOMI, BAM, Anthology, Film Forum, IFC, Metrograph, the Alamo Drafthouse, the French Institute, and others are mixing it up for you every single night. Money is tight, I know, but bag your lunch Monday and Tuesday and you’ve earned your Wednesday ticket. (Bring in Junior Mints from Duane Reade.) Movies at home are OK, but it’s really not the same.” —Jordan Hoffman


To see the winners from this year’s Village Voice Film Poll, click here