All My Stars (33)

By: Joanne McNeil
August 18, 2016


One in a weekly series in which Joanne McNeil recommends books, films, exhibitions, and more. You can also subscribe to the All My Stars newsletter here.



Over the weekend, Twitter was busy with the hashtag #fav7films. The week before that, some friends and I were talking about our top 5 films. So I already had a head start considering mine and also what I forgot.

So my 5: They shoot horses don’t they?, Possession, Dr Strangelove, Neverending story, Solaris
became 7 with: Synecdoche New York and What time is it there?

There are a few others that come to mind still: Paris Texas, The Conversation, The Science of Sleep, Scanners, Return to Oz, Lady Vengeance, All About Lily Chou Chou, Thief, Beginners, All About Eve​….

Normally After Hours would be on the list, but it’s the film I used to watch when I needed to fall in love with New York again and now that I’ve left, I’d rather not. (Maybe LA Story will take its place?) Blade Runner seems too canon now. I mean, of course, and yes, Citizen Kane and Vertigo too. I haven’t seen any Fassbinder films in a while. Fox and His Friends and Ali Fear Eats Soul were the ones I loved, but I can’t remember why. Seeing other people’s lists reminds me that I have got to see McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

Really, any Kubrick will do. But I think Dr Strangelove is the best comedy ever made and that comedy is the hardest kind of film to do right. And that putting 2001 and Solaris on the same list seems wrong. (“Tarkovsky supposedly made Solaris in an attempt to one-up Kubrick after he had seen 2001 (which he referred to as cold and sterile).”) (Here’s Kubrick’s list of 10, then 93 favorite films by the way.)

They shoot horses don’t they? and Possession are at the top of my list because I don’t associate either with anyone. I found out about both at random, and turned them on, not knowing what to expect. I guess I can say the same about Neverending Story since I first saw it when I was five. Rare is the film, the book or record that comes without baggage of a shared experience in a past relationship, or the expectations of a critic, or someone else’s appraisal.

I guess I should spend more time looking through whatever the digital equivalent of a VHS cutout bin might be. The canon will always be there but it’s harder and harder to be taken by surprise.



CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators