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Hoganman1

Current Films that will be Classics

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As someone new to the forum this may have been discussed before but I wonder how many films made in the last decade will become classics. It seems to me that a lot of today's offerings aren't that memorable. Granted I'm pretty old and  I feel sure the millennials will have their lists of favorites when they become the TCM viewers of the tomorrow. It just seems like a lot of today's films are mostly old comic book stories or vehicles for the latest in special effects. I'm part of the problem because I haven't been in a theater this year. With Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and TCM, my wife and I watch everything at home.  I do think the last two Best Picture winners were great. Moonlight was very moving and I especially liked Spotlight. I haven't seen Fences as yet, but I'm betting it's really good too. I'm curious as to what you other posters think will be considered the best twenty years from now (hoping I'll still be around).

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The AFI 100 list was made in 1998 for the Centennial of Motion Pictures, but that needed to be updated every ten years or so:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFI's_100_Years...100_Movies_(10th_Anniversary_Edition)

When the '08 list had to consider whether we'd had any "Great American movies" to include from between 1997-2006, was it crazy to put Saving Private Ryan (#71), Titanic (#83), The Sixth Sense (#89) and Fellowship of the Ring (#50) on the same great-essential century watchlist as A Night at the Opera, Ben-Hur and Bridge on the River Kwai?....Not a bit, IMO.  :)  

But then, I was one just glad to see Unforgiven go up 30 points in the ranking.

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1 hour ago, Hoganman1 said:

As someone new to the forum this may have been discussed before but I wonder how many films made in the last decade will become classics. It seems to me that a lot of today's offerings aren't that memorable. Granted I'm pretty old and  I feel sure the millennials will have their lists of favorites when they become the TCM viewers of the tomorrow. It just seems like a lot of today's films are mostly old comic book stories or vehicles for the latest in special effects. I'm part of the problem because I haven't been in a theater this year. With Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and TCM, my wife and I watch everything at home.  I do think the last two Best Picture winners were great. Moonlight was very moving and I especially liked Spotlight. I haven't seen Fences as yet, but I'm betting it's really good too. I'm curious as to what you other posters think will be considered the best twenty years from now (hoping I'll still be around).

The first thing to remember is that one person's classic is another person's turkey. No matter the film, someone will love it while another will hate it, no matter the critical consensus or box-office take. I personally would rank There Will Be Blood as an all-time classic, but there have been several heated debates about the movie's merits on here (and elsewhere) so there was no agreement. The Social Network is another one that some have called a modern classic that others were left indifferent by. Some people prefer middle-of-the-road, easily grasped and digested filmmaking, while others appreciate experimental or difficult narrative structures and visual aesthetics. Some are dismissive of entire genres, and often seem unwilling to even consider the possible merits of a movie that's, say, a horror movie, or a science fiction movie, or, as is so popular now, a superhero movie. And a few of our regular posters don't bother with newer films at all

There are some that I would include on a list of modern classics, like There Will Be Blood, as well as 12 Years a SlaveThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert FordNo Country for Old Men, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, maybe one or two more if I can think of them. But I don't expect many, if any, of the other posters to agree with any of these choices.

Films becoming "classics" can be an organic process, with the film in question being dismissed on its initial release, but later gaining esteem. Christmas Story comes to mind as a "classic" that made little impact when it came out, but has slowly become considered one of the top Christmas movies of all time. Another, more recent, movie in this vein is Love Actually, which came out to moderate reviews but box office success. It has slowly become a perennial favorite in the years since. The Shawshank Redemption is another one.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

The first thing to remember is that one person's classic is another person's turkey. No matter the film, someone will love it while another will hate it, no matter the critical consensus or box-office take. I personally would rank There Will Be Blood as an all-time classic, but there have been several heated debates about the movie's merits on here (and elsewhere) so there was no agreement.

Like, complaints about Paul T. Anderson basically throwing out the entire point, plot and central character of Sinclair's labor-union book, and turning it into his own personal wishful-atheist revenge stroke-fantasy of being mean and badass enough to drink fraud-preachers' milkshakes?

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Films becoming "classics" can be an organic process, with the film in question being dismissed on its initial release, but later gaining esteem. Christmas Story comes to mind as a "classic" that made little impact when it came out, but has slowly become considered one of the top Christmas movies of all time. 

It was good, but much of the "classic" love not only seems to have come from 80's generational sentimentality, but Ted "Svengali" Turner hypnotizing us with 24-hour marathons of one of the only MGM/UA Christmas movies his channel owned (apart from the Chuck Jones Grinch), every year for...how many years, ten, twelve?  Later, Ted bought New Line, and let's go out and hit the first person who claims Will Ferrell's "Elf" is a "modern Christmas classic".   (Then Turner was absorbed into Warner, and we can both go out and gang up on the Chevy Chase "Christmas Vacation" disciples.)

It's hard to distinguish "Great" Christmas movies from "Ritual" ones, much as Frank Capra and "It's a Wonderful Life" have to distinguish their reputations apart from the "Stockholm syndrome" of holding audiences hostage everywhere on TV at the same time every year for a generation.

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Unless there's a specific time frame to use as a guide, I don't know if I could make any choices.  The last two movies I've seen in any movie theater were ALICE IN WONDERLAND with Johnny Depp, and the more recent GRAVITY.  And you know how far apart they are, and anything more recent that may have wound up on some TV presentation or in OnDemand I probably haven't yet seen either.  I don't have any "premium" cable stations nor do I subscribe to Netflix or any other subscription movie services.  But I might be able to go back 25-30 years with some ideas....

 

Sepiatone

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22 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Like, complaints about Paul T. Anderson basically throwing out the entire point, plot and central character of Sinclair's labor-union book, and turning it into his own personal wishful-atheist revenge stroke-fantasy of being mean and badass enough to drink fraud-preachers' milkshakes?

Yeah, like I mentioned, some people seem to have entirely missed the boat on that movie. But if anyone was an expert on stroke-fantasies, based on your posts, it would be you.

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Forget about current films we are just too close to them still, we should start is say 1960 and list a bunch of films from each decade and see how many we find a consensus on. It's like you can't see the good trees because of the forest. Hell, I've found some great recent films that went straight to DVD. And there were some great HBO and Showtime films that came out of Cable TV.

We should have a good idea of what we'd include in the 1990-2000 decade but after that another thing to consider viable to this discussion past a certain point of time are the quality mini series that have come out, with today's cinema largely about comic characters, films are becoming the equivalent of what Saturday Morning Cartoons were, and now Mini Series are the adult themed fare on the "new" 55 inch or so home cinemas. 

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This question is in the same family as the "what makes a film a classic?" question that comes up on this board every now and then.  As an old millennial, my idea of "a classic" may be different than someone else's.  It all depends on the criteria that someone uses when defining a film "a classic."  For me, it has less to do with when a film comes out and more about whether or not the film holds some sort of memory for me or I find myself going back to this film over and over.  As an 80s-90s kid, there are a lot of films that are nostalgic and classics to me, but to someone in say my parents' generation (my parents were born in the early 60s), they may have no regard for the film whatsoever.  

As for the OP's question...

I think some time needs to pass before we can even declare a recent film "a classic." Will people still be discussing La La Land ten, fifteen years from now? Who knows.  It may only be mentioned as being part of the infamous Best Picture Oscar debacle.  I think any of the more modern films, say from the 80s-90s, maybe early 00s, can just now start being declared "classics" if they're still relevant, still being discussed and still being discovered by new generations.  Films like Back to the Future, the John Hughes movies, Ghostbusters, Dirty Dancing are all classics.  From the 90s, we've got The Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, all classics.  From the 00s, we'll probably have the Lord of the Ring Series and at least some of the Harry Potter series.  I don't know if I'd go as far as to declare all of them classics, but the first one for sure.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of LOTR or Harry Potter, so I wouldn't declare them classics, because I find them boring.  However, these films are still beloved and are starting to be discovered by a new generation.

Recent Christmas films were mentioned.  There are the classic classic Christmas films like It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn and White Christmas, which are almost watched out of a sake of tradition more than anything else (though I love White Christmas, I watch it multiple times during the holiday season).  But for more recent films, these are ones that I find myself returning to year after year, so to me, they're classics:

Home Alone

Christmas Vacation

Elf (yes I love Elf.  I don't care what anyone says)

Love Actually

Grumpy Old Men

A Christmas Story

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Gremlins

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

Recent Christmas films were mentioned.  There are the classic classic Christmas films like It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn and White Christmas, which are almost watched out of a sake of tradition more than anything else (though I love White Christmas, I watch it multiple times during the holiday season).  But for more recent films, these are ones that I find myself returning to year after year, so to me, they're classics:

Home Alone

Christmas Vacation

Elf (yes I love Elf.  I don't care what anyone says)

Love Actually

Grumpy Old Men

A Christmas Story

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Gremlins

I love GREMLINS, especially the scenes with Mrs. Deagle.

I just watched the entire movie again recently.

Question  to the message board: How many of Mrs. Deagle's cats can you name without googling?

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Ah, yes, the last 10 years, we might as well expand it to the last 17 years, actually back to 2000. What has become common in the years is that the film industry has basically split into two levels, the major studios, which thrive ever increasingly on big budget adventure films and the independent circuit, usually reserved for more adult-driven films. The mid-budget studio film is an endangered species outside of a smattering of comedies and year-end Oscar films. That is why I think it  the years since 2000 are the hardest to judge on what will be classics, everything was so fractured into different types of audiences that it will be hard to judge what will pass the test of time. Plus also, its kind of hard to judge on films so close to the modern day....but I will try to take a stab at things here.

There are a few big box office hits that I think are here to stay like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter series, The Dark Knight,  probably the 2015 Star Wars film,  and some of the Pixar animated films in the 2000s (their output from 2011 onward won't get that except for Inside Out)  Avatar, despite its huge success in 2009/2010, is already fading fast.

The award films. Many of the Oscar films might not be big box office anymore, but many of them stay in the public consciousness longer. Ones 2000 and later (aside from the aforementioned Lord of the Rings trilogy and 2 Pixar films  that made the cut) that seem entrenched in the public's eye to one degree or another (not that I personally enjoyed all of them) are: Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, Moulin Rouge, Gosford Park, Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Pianist, Lost in Translation, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Brokeback Mountain, The Departed, Littlr Miss SunshineThere Will be Blood, No Country for Old Men, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Juno, Slumdog Millionaire, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Inglourious Bastards, The Hurt Locker, The Social Network, The King's Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, True Grit, The Help,  Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash, Mad Max:Fury Road, Spotlight. I also think though that 2015's Brooklyn will also be able to succeed over time due to its timeless feel, and The Queen really sparkles on rewatches.

And then there are cult films. These are films not nominated for Best Picture, nor were they massive box office successes, but due to various attributes, they catch on with happy audienves. They can be foreign films (In the Mood for Love), Sci-Fi (Ex Machina, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), dramas (The Assassination of Jesse James, Carol, Mulholland Drive), romantic comedies (Love Actually, About Time, Bridget Jones' Diary), other comedies (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Ghost World, the films of Wes Anderson, Adaptation.Legally Blonde, Almost Famous,  Mean Girls )

 

Now, again, not all of these have a classic feel, but I tried to answer from the way the public might see it. I also know sadly that some of my favorites from recent years probably will become obscured with time (last year's 20th Century Women is a lovely film), but I will still hold onto them dearly.

Time will be able to tell us more, but for now, this seems appropriate from this vantage point of today

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Thanks for responding. Especially those who provided their lists. There are some great films mentioned. I realize there are going to be a variety of opinions. In fact there are plenty people that vehemently disagree with the AFI list. My main goal was to find some recent films that I hadn't seen or about which I haven't heard. So, my motive was somewhat selfish. Now, I need to find and watch "There Will Be Blood".

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14 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

The award films. Many of the Oscar films might not be big box office anymore, but many of them stay in the public consciousness longer. Ones 2000 and later (aside from the aforementioned Lord of the Rings trilogy and 2 Pixar films  that made the cut) that seem entrenched in the public's eye to one degree or another (not that I personally enjoyed all of them) are: Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, Moulin Rouge, Gosford Park, Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Pianist, Lost in Translation, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Brokeback Mountain, The Departed, Littlr Miss SunshineThere Will be Blood, No Country for Old Men, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Juno, Slumdog Millionaire, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Inglourious Bastards, The Hurt Locker, The Social Network, The King's Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, True Grit, The Help,  Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash, Mad Max:Fury Road, Spotlight. I also think though that 2015's Brooklyn will also be able to succeed over time due to its timeless feel, and The Queen really sparkles on rewatches.

Basically it's the Oscar-vs.-Classic question of "How many times have YOU watched Shakespeare in Love, English Patient, American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire, or A Beautiful Mind?" vs. "How many times have you seen Saving Private Ryan, Fargo, Field of Dreams, Wall-E or Fellowship of the Ring?"

...That's what the AFI meant by "a Classic".

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That's a good point. I guess for me Saving Private Ryan, Man on Fire, and Jurassic Park would qualify because I've seen each of them multiple times. I watch Tombstone (which is older) every time it comes on TV.

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If you start back in 1960-70 decade, since that is where TCM film library starts to thin out, then list films by genre the best in a genre by decade we should get a good handle on things. I don't myself go to the cinema all that much with all the superhero stuff that I don't care about. I did go see the new Blade Runner, but that was it, one film for 2017 so far. But there are so many good films that that have just went off the radar screens between 1970-1999 that compared to what's out there now are well worth looking for. I'm not talking big Box Office stuff just good stylistic genre pictures that need a channel like TCM to keep them in front of the public eye. We don't have that for 50 years of content. 

It's a crying shame. That's a lot of years and a big hole in the filmography of our times. 

 

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

If you start back in 1960-70 decade, since that is where TCM film library starts to thin out, then list films by genre the best in a genre by decade we should get a good handle on things.

Of course, AFI already did that too, when they wanted flimsy excuses to crank out more TV specials and no centennial:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFI's_10_Top_10

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 But there are so many good films that that have just went off the radar screens between 1970-1999 that compared to what's out there now are well worth looking for. I'm not talking big Box Office stuff just good stylistic genre pictures that need a channel like TCM to keep them in front of the public eye. We don't have that for 50 years of content. 

I'll give you '69-75, but are you saying that movies from '82-99 aren't being shown ENOUGH??

"Pre-1975" is already Milliennial-codeword for "Probably old boring critically-acclaimed film I haven't seen."

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5 minutes ago, EricJ said:

I'll give you '69-75, but are you saying that movies from '82-99 aren't being shown ENOUGH??

"Pre-1975" is already Milliennial-codeword for "Probably old boring critically-acclaimed film I haven't seen."

Where are you watching them? I don't have any all inclusive source. You need a channel without commercials like TCM with knowledgeable hosts and interesting guests that will talk about them, showcase them. You have something like that, that you watch? 

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20 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Where are you watching them? I don't have any all inclusive source. You need a channel without commercials like TCM with knowledgeable hosts and interesting guests that will talk about them, showcase them. You have something like that, that you watch? 

I TRY to watch old movies showing up on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc., and most of the attention is at "Titles people already know", most of them 80's-90's.  Not to mention, most of those are from the glory days of Sequel Franchises, which is all studios send to subscription-streaming services anymore.  (Because remember, studios are more important than movies.)

Even the TCM Fathom screenings in theaters, but anyone notice that Fathom's screening of The Princess Bride got about three times the amount of promotional hype that their regular screenings of Casablanca and GoodFellas did?  If you noticed, you can probably guess why, and it doesn't have to do with quality.

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Yea that's the way I find them too, and I have to research them out by reading articles, or books. What I'm getting at is for all the great wealth of knowledge that TCM provides it only goes so far pretty much to the end of the studio era. Then we got a big hole like the dark ages.  Oh sure we will have Oscar winners and box office hits, but the where are equivalent of the "B" type pictures that aren't seen, whole and uncut without commercials. Look how Film Noir's are highly regarded now, how many of them were Oscar winners, or big box office, see what I mean. 

 TCM is great but if you been watching it for 15 plus years it tends to repeat itself a bit, and we have 40 years plus of films since the end of the studio era out there then add in international films.

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For the Oscars-vs.-Classics rundown of famous latter-century titles, another good source I found surfing the public-domain backwaters of Amazon Prime (ah, it's like looking at those old dusty VHS shelves in that mom-and-pop store around the corner) was a documentary clip-recap series, "30 Years of Oscar: 1972-2001"

(Which, while on the streaming app, doesn't seem to be on the website, but appears to be the digital equivalent of https://www.amazon.com/Years-Academy-Award-Winners-1972-2002/dp/B0000V48IE/ )

It may look as if it was made on the cheap, with the footage coming mostly from free sources of promotional interviews and classic trailers (but then 70's-80's were when trailers were trailers), but it's a surprisingly comprehensive sampler-recap introduction to EVERY major-category Oscar nominee year by year.  Even the obscure ones--Anybody remember Jack Lemmon winning for "Save the Tiger", or Glenda Jackson for "A Touch of Class"?

I'm not sure if your complaint was about not seeing great movies from the 70's, 80's and 90's aired, or just being out of touch not to know what New Classics were on the list, but it's just about the best first reading-list to give any modern seeker.  As for classic Oscar films from after 2004, don't worry, there weren't any, and it's all Harvey Weinstein's fault.

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My complaint is not about not seeing the great movies. I'm not talking about the Oscar bait, or the major box office films, I talking about getting a look at the bulk of the various genre films, specifically those that were good, including some cable TV films that were just as great as Hollywood productions, that aren't recycled and aired, with no commercials and uncut, like TCM does with films from 1900-1950s. My complaint is about the fact we have no TCM type channel to cover the bases from the 60s onwards.

PS another point, the stuff you can find on Youtube, Dailymotion, etc., aren't necessarily complete, uncut and uncensored, and rarely does the OP detail exactly what version is uploaded. So how exactly can you make a judgement on a piece of work if you are not seeing that work as originally presented. That's the real value of TCM they have, as best as they can, a preservationist mentality in regards to film.

 

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12 minutes ago, drednm said:

Easy one. NONE!

If you are talking about this decade, we're too close to it, we won't know. Classics are found by looking through the lens of time.  

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Right, Joe.  "Oscar bait" isn't a factor since there's probably a few dozen "Oscar" heavy hitters that never made the "classic"  cut.  And some, like "It's a Wonderful Life" never did that well at the box office initially, but HAVE become beloved "classics" over time.  And what's a "true" classic is usually decided in the court of public opinion and NOT by a panel of "so-called" self appointed "experts".

Sepiatone

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