“I have had enough serious interest in the products of the ‘higher’ arts to be very sharply aware that the impulse which leads me to a Humphrey Bogart movie has little in common with the impulse which leads me to the novels of Henry James or the poetry of T.S. Eliot…To define that connection seems to me one of the tasks of film criticism, and the definition must be first of all a personal one. A man watches a movie, and the critic must acknowledge that he’s that man.”
--Robert Warshow, The Immediate Experience, 1955.
We seemed to have come a slippery distance from the time when critic Robert Warshow eagerly expressed curiosity about an impulse, or a justification to make a connection between what is often deemed “high culture” and “low culture.” One look at the TIFF Cinematheque Best of the Decade list tells you that there is no desire, or curiosity, to connect with anything but their own church of refined taste. This is why it is really immaterial to discuss what’s on their list of the best films of the past decade. In examining their choices, I’m sure that we can all find things we love (The Gleaners and I, Yi Yi), things we dislike (Syndromes and a Century, Caché), even things we didn’t see – and perhaps might want to (Songs from the Second Floor). What is more important, as the previous writers on this site attested, is to discuss what isn’t on it – and why.