What is The New Yorker? I know it’s a great magazine and that it’s a tremendous source of pleasure in my life. But what exactly is it? This blog’s premise is that The New Yorker is a work of art, as worthy of comment and analysis as, say, Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Each week I review one or more aspects of the magazine’s latest issue. I suppose it’s possible to describe and analyze an entire issue, but I prefer to keep my reviews brief, and so I usually focus on just one or two pieces, to explore in each the signature style of its author. A piece by Nick Paumgarten is not like a piece by Dana Goodyear, and neither is like a piece by Ian Frazier. One could not mistake Finnegan for Friend, or Bilger for Lepore, or Collins for Khatchadourian. Each has found a style, and it is that style that I respond to as I read, and want to understand and describe.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My 25 Best Films of the Century So Far

Richard Brody’s “My Twenty-Five Best Films of the Century So Far” (, June 12, 2017) got me thinking about what my own list might look like. Here’s a quick stab at it:

1. “Lost in Translation” (2003, Sofia Coppola)

2. “Up in the Air” (2009, Jason Reitman)

3. “The Descendants” (2011, Alexander Payne)

4. “Incendies” (2010, Denis Villeneuve)

5. “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012, Kathryn Bigelow)

6. “The Kid with a Bike” (2011, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)

7. “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013, Martin Scorsese)

8. “The Social Network” (2010, David Fincher)

9. “Like Someone in Love” (2012, Abbas Kiarostami)

10. “Walk the Line” (2005, James Mangold)

11. “This Is 40” (2012, Judd Apatow)

12. “Monsieur Lazhar” (2011, Philippe Falardeau)

13. “Brokeback Mountain” (2005, Ang Lee)

14. “The Great Beauty” (2013, Paolo Sorrentino)

15. “The Trip to Italy” (2014, Michael Winterbottom)

16. “A Separation” (2011, Asghar Farhadi)

17. “Leviathan” (2014, Andrey Zvyagintsev)

18. “Paul à Québec” (2015, François Bouvier)

19. “The Best of Youth” (2003, Marco Tullio Giordana)

20. “The Secret in Their Eyes” (2009, Juan José Campanella)

21. “The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004, Walter Sailes)

22. “Blue is the Warmest Color” (2013, Abdellatif Kechiche)

23. “Sideways” (2004, Alexander Payne)

24. “I Am Love” (2009, Luca Guadagnino)

25. “Le Grand Voyage” (2004, Ismaël Ferroukhi)

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