Recent comments

  • Movies Watched in 2016 (First time viewed)   14 weeks 3 days ago

    Thanks but no thanks. I don't track everything I watch. That's a little more dedication than I can muster

  • 2015 IMDB Top 250 movies   14 weeks 3 days ago

    This is the list I have compiled. IMDB has not yet finished their official 2015 Top 250 so this list may change when that happens. Then the title will change from "Preliminary ..."

    I have also created lists of IMDB's annual top 250 compiled since 1996, 20 years of lists. If you look at my lists, you will find them all under the heading "250"

    Happy viewing!

  • 2015 IMDB Top 250 movies   14 weeks 3 days ago

    Have watched more than half from this list. Will watch the remaining one asap. Thanks for the list.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   14 weeks 3 days ago

    Thanks for your careful and well-reasoned explanations.
    These were actually impressions and doubts more than accusations. As I was writing I started to respond to myself and erasing entire parts of the comment - these are difficult things to articulate. I guess I have an instinctive suspicion/dislike of rankings and detailed numerical ratings in an area so volatile, varied, and transcendent such as music.
    The superiority bit: I didn't question your investment and dedication to any album you rate (You seem to be way more dedicated and organized than me). This issue was related to the previous ones - the feeling I have is that you can easily dismiss, say, a Louis Armstrong song or a pop album just because you would put your personal criteria above the kind of enjoyment that music was created to transmit (your joke about Beethoven's 9th when talking about a Beatles song led me to assume this). I know "enjoyment" is a dubious word and I'm not advocating music as just thoughtless pleasure. I'm advocating music as a multifaceted, versatile means of expression. And your lists, while they can include lots of different genres of music (not what I'm talking about) tend to privilege an elitist view of music (the best music is difficult and made by geniuses) that often disregards simpler types of music and the intentions of its creators.
    This was just a clarification from my side, no need to answer to this part because you already did.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this conversation, which was really enlightening to me as to where you're coming from.

  • Year-by-year music rankings, for the sake of nothing more than organization on my own behalf   14 weeks 3 days ago

    Awesome! I'm glad you liked it so much. Micheal Larsen (AKA Eyedea (he's also Carbon Carousel's singer); one of the rappers on that disc) was a huge factor in my education.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   14 weeks 4 days ago

    Re: Artists motives taken into account ... I would say I them into account insofar as they can be experienced and are relevant to the result. I agree that knowing more about an artist can and does help in evaluations. Not always though. It just depends on how much that artist mixes his/her real life with their art.

    Re: Seem too self-centered ... If all you mean is that I am basing the ratings and rankings on my criteria, then I suppose I agree with you.

    Re: Distinct goals lumped together competing equally ... By rating two albums the same, I am not saying they are the same other than they each accomplish their separate ends to very similar degrees of success within my criteria. But I very definitely do not get the same experience out of any of them. Each is their own, individual, work of art accomplishing its own unique end.

    Re: Ideal alien to all of them ... Obviously my opinion is alien to all of them but I do believe all artists are attempting to make an emotional or conceptual impact (to whatever degree, large or small), and that is the essence of my criteria. The ones that are rewarded the most are those that accomplish this with more creativity and ingenuity. I think you'd find very few serious artists, purposeful and dedicated to their craft, that didn't have that as a fundamental goal. Obviously, the ratings and rankings are determined by how well I feel this was done and the artists are not aware of that or striving to appease me particularly.

    Re: Superiority, commit ... I'm not sure where this comes from. All these artists are far superior than I at creating in their respective fields. I am simply listing how much they've affected me in a disciplined, uniform, logical progression. The lists are for myself and anyone with similar ideals or that wants to discuss those ideals (such as here). Though no single person should or will agree with all of my ratings and rankings, a good deal of them should seem logical providing one has a similar criteria as mine (or Scaruffi's of course). Also, Ive committed myself quite a bit to the works I list and have put more time and attention into it than I care to try and calculate.

    Not sure if any of that clears that up...

  • Critics Ranked and Reviewed   14 weeks 4 days ago

    Only losers go to school...

    It's beautiful and innovative. Very much so in both cases. So genuinely intense and complicated that I don't listen to it a lot these days (my current mindset mostly drives me toward jazz and hip hop). The Michael Jackson influence is particularly interesting because he transforms it to something completely different and so much better.

    I heard "Ether". It's wack. Most of it doesn't even rhyme. Homophobic crap, schoolyard insults and pretty much zero facts. He sounds butthurt. Sad to see how much he declined from the amazing layered rhymes and metaphors of Illmatic to this.

    Are you keeping up with the new GOOD Fridays? I can't wait for February 11th, despite the fact that none of his recent songs have done much for me.

  • Year-by-year music rankings, for the sake of nothing more than organization on my own behalf   14 weeks 4 days ago

    I got Waste Age Teen Land yesterday and listened to it while taking a walk. It was just about the best way to spend 41 minutes. Thirteen made me laugh like a maniac in the street and I couldn't possibly stop. The entire thing is soooooooo freaking amazing.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   14 weeks 4 days ago

    wOOt!

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   14 weeks 4 days ago

    FINAL UPDATE

    WELCOME BACK MATTMAKINS!

    Mightysparks made a mighty leap to tie Ultimo Lee for 7th place. Not to be outdone, julesyoung leaped over Ultimo Lee to claim 6th and a place in the 1+ films per day group. Loonapick rose one spot to own 15th and nybella joined skllduggerish for a tie at 24. Mattmakins took a page from mightysparks and julesyoung to leap to 22nd place.

    Eleven players finished in the 1 or more movies per day rank: te18, schwabe, dashforcover, Puzzgal, guardianryoga, julesyoung, Ultimo Lee, mightysparks, McJoJo, kaplan, bpchicky.

    Oh my goo'ness! (to quote little Shirley Temple). As a group we logged 242 movies since the last update for a Grand Total ... (isn't dot dot dot from Mamma Mia?) Drum Roll please ... of 7000 films. Can you believe that? an even 7000 films! Congratulations to all and thanks so much for playing Listology Scoreboard 2015.

    Happy viewing and I hope to see you on the 2016 edition of Listology Scoreboard! God willin' and creek don't rise.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   14 weeks 5 days ago

    You raise some interesting points that deserve clarification. I'll get back to you as soon as I'm not in a rush (probably Sunday night).

  • Movies Watched in 2016   14 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi nyybella. I hope you'll be playing the Scoreboard again this year. If so, please post a comment on the Scoreboard page. Thanks!

  • Movies Watched in 2016 (First time viewed)   14 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi foreverland. Are you interested in playing an innocent, but fun game for film lovers here at Listology, called Listology Scoreboard? If so, please post a comment on the Scoreboard page. Thanks!

  • Movies Watched in 2016   14 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi Jordan C Wellin. Are you interested in playing an innocent, but fun game for film lovers here at Listology, called Listology Scoreboard? If so, please post a comment on the Scoreboard page. Thanks!

  • A Still-Entirely-Redundant (But More Useful than Expected) Viewing Log for 2016   14 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi Critico. Can we welcome you again, after some years, at the Scoreboard? If so, please post a comment on the Scoreboard page. Thanks!

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   14 weeks 5 days ago

    That makes sense. I also agree with your opinion on Bowie, even though I loved him as a teenager (R.I.P. is right and well deserved).

    I guess where I was trying to get to was that an artist's relation with his work (his motives for doing it, his devotion to it, even his opinion about the finished product) is something we as consumers, and especially as critics, should take into account. I know sometimes it's common to view this relationship as something irrelevant and even unsuitable to an unbiased critique of the work, but I feel I'm always in a better position to understand the work if I know about the person who made it. And ideally that also includes knowing about the artist's peers, influences, his social context, etc.
    My problem with these rankings - our old disagreement - is that they always seem too self-centered to me. In that completely different works (from people with different backgrounds and with distinct goals in mind) are lumped together to compete as equals, like in a teacher's excel gradebook, for a subjective ideal of perfection that's alien to all of them. I think that this ideal of perfection is completely artificial and way less important than the actual works you get to admire, and I'm not sure you'd immediately agree with me here. It's this position of superiority I complain about. I always feel I'm the one who has to learn from the artist and make the effort to understand what he's trying to do. And in doing that maybe figure out that my standards don't meet his. I'm the one that should have to commit, not the other way around.

  • Greatest Live Rock Albums   14 weeks 6 days ago

    I'll have to check that out, thanks for the recommendation. This list needs some earlier rock n roll, for sure.

  • Greatest Live Rock Albums   14 weeks 6 days ago

    Jerry Lee Lewis' Live at the Star Club in Hamburg is unbelievable!

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   14 weeks 6 days ago

    Re: Could you really call it superficial?

    Relative to all time greats, perhaps. Its not so much that I would be calling it superficial if I gave it, say, a 6/10 or something. Maybe an ultimate in expressed conviction could be Beethoven's greatest works, or if you don't like that overused example, say, Mahler. Or, with regards to rock, maybe Van Morrison's Astral Weeks. ... ... Anyway, I would simply be saying that its not nearly as expressively compelling in its emotional/conceptual content as a work such as that. One of Bowie's weaknesses (R.I.P) has long been that he expresses himself vocally like he is disconnected from real emotions and serving an artificial construct/character (which can also be done impressively, as he has at times, but imo he is inconsistent). My guess would be that this may be a result of drugs (disconnecting him from reality) and being so successful in the 70s with all the artificial characters he took on for his art (thus continuing to do so in order to retain/re-obtain past glories).

    Anyway, I did check the new album out and found the title track intriguing and some other parts of songs pretty good. I would probably rate it under-7/10 and would have to re-listen to it again or a couple times if I were to work out an exact rating. Still, I appreciate the recommendation and your insights and queries. Always feel free to send some more! :-)

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2016   15 weeks 12 hours ago

    Thanks!

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   15 weeks 12 hours ago

    Yeah, I am familiar with Station to Station. It would probably be my 4th choice after Ziggy Stardust.

    The ratings and rankings are decided by me and aren't intended to be objective. "Conviction" is probably an imperfect descriptive word as it can imply I am focusing my evaluation on the artists intentions, which isn't really the emphasis. On my criteria page I went with "Expressed Emotional Conviction" to emphasize that the conviction must be expressed and evident.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   15 weeks 13 hours ago

    Thank you for answering so quickly. I like Low and Heroes too, but I'd say my favorite Bowie album is Station to Station. If you haven't already I highly recommend you check that one out. To me it's the most Bowie-esque of all (if such category exists), combining retro and futuristic aesthetics in a very engaging way despite the cold and artificial detachment.
    Re: I see... kind of. I found your connection between emotional conviction and singularity of expression an interesting idea. I'm not yet sure if these concepts are completely meaningful or the best guide to study or evaluate all artworks but I have to recognize that as criteria they cover a lot of ground without imposing on the artwork's characteristics. It's the evaluations of emotion that bother me. What's 'a lot of conviction'? Who gets to decide? Imagine you'll end up thinking Blackstar is mediocre. Could you really call it superficial or emotionally uninteresting? I don't think so, in this particular case that would sound very impolite and dangerously self-centered. The relations between artist-artwork and artwork-consumer are different ones and complex ones too. We should think about these things more often.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   15 weeks 14 hours ago

    Excellent questions :)

    Re: Heard Bowie's Blackstar? ... Nope, haven't heard it, but you've got me interested and I'll probably try and squeeze it in soon. My favorite albums of his are rather easily Low and Heroes so I'd love to find something else that approximates or even surpasses those!

    Re: How do I evaluate depth in cases where we're sure about the artist's conviction? ... If the artist is indeed singing/performing with a lot of conviction, it would then come down to the degree of singularity of expression, the combination of which (for me) goes a long way in determining just how much depth is there. If the expression is so singular that nothing else can really be likened to it and it can't really be replicated by anyone else then it is very likely doing something highly extraordinary and transcendent (so long as said expression is not just "unique" but has been relayed with ingenuity). By "ingenuity" I mean that it in the expression is represented a singular intelligence. Being so rare and extraordinary, such a work will usually have a duality to it in that it can be assimilated & "connected to" (intensely so) but will also seem to have a vast potentiality of interpretation that can't be found anywhere else. This gives it a quality where, no matter how many listens and how much other music consumed, it tends to remain among the most historically impressive.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2016   15 weeks 14 hours ago

    Finally watched some movies to actually make a list!:

    http://www.listology.com/tatum/list/feature-films-seen-2016

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   15 weeks 15 hours ago

    Have you listened to David Bowie's Blackstar? I've only heard Lazarus and the impressive title track and I'm curious about your opinion. They seem to carry more weight than any other Bowie song that I remember. Even if they don't by your standards or mine, they sure must've for Bowie, considering him being aware of his illness and imminent death. How do you evaluate things like "depth" or "emotional depth" in cases like this where we're sure about the artist's conviction and we have a conscious last work (or close to last if Tony Visconti is correct) in our hands? Isn't our criteria meaningless in this case and any attempt of ranking emotional content ludicrous?

    I know this will take a bit to answer, sorry about that.