Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Film Comment

According to AwardsDaily:


these are the top 20 films of the year, according to Film Comment.

1. Wendy and Lucy Kelly Reichardt, U.S. 580
2. Flight of the Red Balloon Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France 564
3. A Christmas Tale Arnaud Desplechin, France 557
4. Happy-Go-Lucky Mike Leigh, U.K. 538
5. WALL·E Andrew Stanton, U.S. 534
6. Still Life Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong/China 521
7. Paranoid Park Gus Van Sant, France/U.S. 465
8. Waltz with Bashir Ari Folman, Israel/France/Germany 424
9. My Winnipeg Guy Maddin, Canada 406
10. Milk Gus Van Sant, U.S. 356
11. Let the Right One In Tomas Alfredson, Sweden 351
12. The Duchess of Langeais Jacques Rivette, France/Italy 335
13. The Class Laurence Cantet, France 334
14. Synecdoche, New York Charlie Kaufman, U.S. 297
15. Hunger Steve McQueen, U.K. 289
16. Silent Light Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands 286
17. Ballast Lance Hammer, U.S. 283
18. Man on Wire James Marsh, U.K. 282
19. The Exiles Kent Mackenzie, U.S. 257
20. Gomorrah Matteo Garrone, Italy 253

I've been railing lately against arthouse critics who seem to be retreating increasingly into a eliltist shell. This top 20 basically states my case. Even if I would agree with the brilliance of a number of these choices, this is a list of films headed to the My Dinner With Andre Land of Insignificance.

I worry about the increasing gap between the taste of the elitist critical establishment and the public at large. In the end, this is a public art form, and I think the desire to turn film criticism into an elitist pursuit is ultimately detrimental to the form.


Allison said...

Maybe the taste of the public is becoming increasingly unbearable. I think Wall-E is perhaps the worst film on the list. I still have to see Gomorra, but I've heard it's great.

K. Bowen said...

I too am looking forward to Gomorrah.

I'm not sure about the public's taste. I would say that Hollywood prestige films are getting more predictable and stale, while, strangely, action films are getting more complicated and serious.

K. Bowen said...

Oh, and I more respect Wall-E than love it.

Sam Juliano said...

"WALL-E is perhaps the worst film on this list."

I have a New year's resolution which forbids me from starting fights with my big mouth, so I will let that pass.......LOL!

WALL-E is my own #1 film of the year.

nick plowman said...

Ah well, I love a lot of those and would love to see the rest, but I like random, fringe and commercial stuff too sometimes.

Gomorrah is great, and so are most of those films on the list. In fact, its a brilliant list.