Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Quote for the Week

'"Theatre is based on the assumption of its own falsity...and through that falsity you can express truth. In cinema, the raw materials are always fragments of reality. Whether you shot a person, a stone or a tree, it has a real material existence in the world. But cinema also enables you to make the audience aware of hidden spiritual energy in the material things that you shoot"'. Eugène Green, quoted in Spirit level by Mar Diestro-Dópido in Sight & Sound February 2011.

Monday, 3 January 2011

My Top Films of 2010

Just over a week ago Directors Notes published my Top Ten Films of 2010. As in previous years, however, I decided to wait until 2010 was well and truly over before posting my list here. Since the DN list was published I've been able to catch up on some of the much-loved films from 2010, so I'm glad I waited...even if only one of them penetrated my top ten (it really does appear to have been a year of overrated, mediocre work – and certainly a much weaker year than either 2008 or 2009, at least judging by what I've seen: even with my last-minute catch up there were still a number of films I didn't get to see which I wish I had, including I Know You Know, City of Life and Death, The Social Network, Carlos and The Arbor). As well as containing my original top ten list, the DN piece also includes my comments on nine of the ten films I've included in my 2010 list below, so swing by and check it out.

As with
last year, I have also included a list of 'The Best Films from Previous Years that I Saw for the First Time in 2010'. This time round I decided to limit myself to one film per director, so in a way Mamma Roma also stands for Oedipus Rex, and The Circus also stands for The Kid. I should also point out that I've included Metropolis as I'm considering the restoration a new film in its own right - hence it can take the number one spot even though I've seen previous versions of the film before. Maybe this is cheating, but it's my blog with my rules so I don't care...

Where applicable titles link to pieces I've written on the films, while all director names link to their IMDb profiles.

My Top Films of 2010
01) The Days of Desire (dir. József Pacskovszki)
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (dir. Florin Şerban)
03) Lion's Den (dir.
Pablo Trapero)
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (dir. Werner Herzog)
05) Agora (dir.
Alejandro Amenábar)
Shutter Island (dir. Martin Scorsese)
07) Kick-Ass (dir.
Matthew Vaughn)
08) The Island (dir.
Pavel Lungin)
09) Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (dir.
Craig McCall)
Undertow (dir. Javier Fuentes-León)

Special mention: Revolución. Even though the majority of this portmanteau film failed to impress, it gave
Fernando Eimbcke the chance to once again prove himself as one of the world's best young directors.

The Best Films from Previous Years that I Saw for the First Time in 2010
01) Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)
02) Mamma Roma (1962, dir.
Pier Paolo Pasolini)
03) The Leopard (1963, dir.
Luchino Visconti)
04) The Beekeeper (1986, dir.
Theodoros Angelopoulos)
The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928, dir. Germaine Dulac)
06) The Bride of Glomdal (1926, dir.
Carl Th. Dreyer)
07) The Circus (1928, dir.
Charles Chaplin)
08) A Man Escaped (1956, dir.
Robert Bresson)
Private Road (1971, dir. Barney Platts-Mills)
The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958, dir. Karel Zeman)

Special mention: Bridge to Terabithia (2007,
Gabor Csupo), for being a kid's film with enough intelligence and emotional pull to outshine most 'grownup' fantasy dramas being made these days.