[2010 Film Round-up]

2010 by the numbers
Total: 150
Festival (Noir, SIFF, SLGFF): 67
Free: 45
Remaining revival: 18
Remaining regular sort of movies which I paid for like a normal person: 20 (though only 4 of them were full price. Booyah.)

Revival is a total separate thing that I’d like to talk about, because I had so many awesome experiences, so this post is just 2010 films by my totally arbitrary and yet amazing categories. To hell with top tens!:

Best films: Black Swan, Exit Through the Gift Shop (is it a documentary? is it performance art? yes.), 127 Hours

Best genre films: Inception, The Eclipse (a criminally overlooked ghost story), Buried

Most beloved films: Monga, Castaway on the Moon, Howl, Never Let Me Go

Best director: Danny Boyle, 127 Hours, for bringing us from wide desert vistas down to a few drops of water, for making a single guy alone on screen for basically the whole movie visually compelling, for two harrowing minutes of film that even without watching affected my whole being.

Best queer film: Undertow, Eyes Wide Open, Monga (wait, that was just subtext? Oh.)

Best musical: Hipsters, sex & drugs & rock & roll

Best trifecta about America at war: Green Zone, Fair Game, & The Tillman Story

Favorite but overlooked performances that I can remember at the moment: Ryan O’Nan as the returning veteran in The Dry Land, Frances O’Connor as one of several troubled mothers in Blessed, Paul Chiang as the unflappable Gao in Au Revoir Taipei, Greta Gerwig as the PA & then some in Greenberg, Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2,Togo Igawa as the lovely new neighbor in The Hedgehog & as the restaurateur/sumo coach in A Matter of Size

Most fun I had at the theater: Legion, RED, RoboGeisha, K-20: The Fiend with 20 Faces

List of awesome features: Greenberg (my favorite solo Baumbach since Kicking & Screaming), The Hedgehog (charming French adaptation of the novel), Cell 211 (not your average prison movie), Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Never Let Me Go (unjustly ignored all over the place), Carlos (the whole damn thing), Rabbit Hole, The King’s Speech, The Fighter

List of awesome documentaries: Marwencol, The Secrets of the Tribe, The Tillman Story. Thunder Soul, Prodigal Sons

List of movies that aren’t out in Seattle yet, but that I am obsessed with: Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Another Year, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Annoyed I missed: Mesrine, Animal Kingdom, Get Low, Fish Tank, The American, I Am Love

Stuff I saw on DVD worth mentioning: Cairo Time, Easy A, A Prophet (which I think is technically 2009, but is showing up on a bunch of lists this year, deservedly so), Please Give

Movies everyone else went batshit over, and I thought were solid, but not omg amazing: The Kids Are All Right (a conservative little movie about how marriage is hard that just happened to be about a lesbian couple) & True Grit (beautifully shot & perfectly cast, but no *there* there)

Also, the ones I spent the year pissed off about:

Most stylish & snappy representation of rich white man pain: The Social Network

Second movie in which I desperately wanted to punch the lead in the nose: Solitary Man

Most frustrating waste of talent: Shutter Island

Most disturbing: Splice (“It’s not what it looks like!”)

First movie I ever walked out of: Hot Tub Time Machine (I am honestly not sure if I can deal with anyone who enjoyed this movie. *That* is how upsetting it was. So if you thought all the gay panic and rape jokes were great, you should maybe not tell me. And you should rethink some things. I’m just saying.)

Second movie I ever walked out of: Perfect 10, which was really a perfect storm of things that make my head pop off.

[Year in film: 2009 roundup]

Total: 108 (it would have been 110, but I was v sick during SIFF and missed two films I had tickets for. Boo.)
69 series: 21
Other revival: 13
Other festivals: 29
Free: 15
What remains: 30 (though even those 30 are a largely esoteric lot, including things like the Oscar shorts & the 4+ hour roadshow edition of Che. And some of them were free via volunteer vouchers.)

So, what we see from this is that the weird thing about this year is clearly that, even though I saw a lot of film, not much of it was actually released in 2009. But, onward! Totally random categories after the jump!

Continue reading “[Year in film: 2009 roundup]”

[Film: best of 2008]

First, the numbers:
Total: 67 (fewer than 07, one more than 06)
Festival: 22
Revival: at least 12
Foreign or documentary or shorts not at the festival: 9
Free: 12
What’s left, being the total regular releases that I paid for like a normal person: 12. See, that’s not many at all.


Best film: Man on Wire & My Winnipeg, both of which were genre busting in the best of ways. For one thing, they’re both technically documentaries. For another, they’re both awesome.

Best film not coming to a theater near you: Sita Sings the Blues. This, folks, is a perfect example of why current copyright law BLOWS. Seriously. Also, Che, unless you’re in a city that got the roadshow edition. Screw the two part release.

More categories than you can shake a stick at after the jump. Continue reading “[Film: best of 2008]”

[2007 film round-up]

By title in chronological order

In my Letterboxed profile for now. It’ll get moved to a page here when I have time to fix all the links.

By the numbers:

Total: 90, if you like round numbers & include sing-along Buffy.
Free: 22
Revival: 18
Festivals: 26 (4 of which were free)
Collections of shorts: 3
Actual first-run features I went to and paid for like a normal person: 26. THAT IS NOT THAT MANY, PEOPLE. It’s one every two weeks.

By the totally made-up and random categories:

Best features: No Country For Old Men, Zodiac, Once.

Runners-up: Atonement, Lust, Caution, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Also touching: Juno, Hula Girls.

Feature I respect, but could never see again: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Best documentaries: Red Without Blue, Blood on the Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls, Manufactured Landscapes

Best feature by a new director: Away From Her, Dir. Sarah Polley

Best gay films: No Regret, The Bubble (Which isn’t saying a lot. Really, I’d like to just say Happy Together. It’s definitely the best one I saw. Bless revival!)

Most surprisingly gay films: Spider-Man 3, Superbad

Movie worth seeing solely for Chris Cooper: Breach

Proof that commercial films can still be awesome: The Bourne Ultimatum, Michael Clayton

Biggest inducer of directorial expectation whip-lash: The Boss of It All, Dir. Lars von Trier

Best supporting cast: Into the Wild

Best use of genre: Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz, The Host, Sunshine

Film that left genre behind: I’m Not There

Best song: “Falling Slowly”, Once

Best cinematography: Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Dariusz Wolski (and, let’s be honest, Tim Burton), Sweeney Todd

Best special effects: Zodiac, for seamless background work *seriously*, The Golden Compass, for Pantalaimon.

Still unseen, for which I am sorry: For the Bible Tells Me So (because it only played for a week), The Savages, Persepolis, & There Will Be Blood (because they are only just coming out), Grace is Gone (because fuck if I know *when* it’s coming out), Control & This is England (because I suck).

[Best of 2006]

Best feature: Children of Men

Runners-up: The Death of Mister Lazarescu, Little Miss Sunshine, Pan’s Labyrinth, Volver

Most Beautiful: The Prestige, Pan’s Labyrinth

Best Remake: The Departed

Best Reinventions: Brick, Casino Royale

Movies that reached in and grabbed my heart: The History Boys, Little Miss Sunshine, The Science of Sleep

Best of SIFF: C.R.A.Z.Y., Go West, Perhaps Love, Wristcutters: A Love Story.

Best Queer Movies: C.R.A.Z.Y., Go West, The History Boys

Best stuff I saw in 2006 that really came out in 2005, and no one else saw anyway: The New World, The Three Burials of Meliquiades Estrada, Tsotsi

Stuff wot I haven’t seen yet that might have fit an above category: The Last King of Scotland, Little Children, The Lives of Others, Letters from Iwo Jima/Flags of Our Fathers, The Queen, Venus.

Most fun you can have in a theater: Snakes on a Plane, Stick It!, Take the Lead

Best Guilty Pleasure RomCom: A Good Year

Worst movie that wasn’t PotC2: Trust the Man. I still get angry when I think about it.