Sunday, May 1, 2011
Here it is. My list of top 10 films of 2006, for what it's worth. I'm sure I'll get shit for a few, but that's okay. I can take it. Overall, a pretty decent year for films. I'm not even remotely consistent with any of these release years, so I'm sorry.
1. The Fountain - Has already been discussed, but a beautiful, brilliant film that is highly underrated. I never thought it would actually be made, considering how much shit Aronofsky went through after Brad Pitt left the production to make Troy (what a great decision that turned out to be, Brad). I was deeply excited to see it and it didn’t disappoint. Visually stunning, but it’s emotional grip is what drew me in so intensely. I was moved beyond words by the experience. I think it’s Aronofsky’s best.
2. Inland Empire - The ultimate David Lynch nightmare. A full measure immersion in all his glorious strangeness. It’s an experience. Baffling and frantic. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what happens, but I would be able to say that I loved every minute of it. Some might find this frustrating, but I just gave in and enjoyed the trip. Let me have it if you will, but I will hold firm. I love David Lynch.
3. Half Nelson - Before we knew each other Brandon, I saw this for the first time at the screening with Shareeka Epps that Mysterious Mysteries played. You guys were awesome and I loved the film. It’s crazy because Shareeka used to go watch my old band play at Ranelle’s and she approached me after the film. I was pretty honored because she is wonderful in it and I let her know. Too bad the screening was filled with all these wack yuppies asking lame questions, but still a great film and an incredible performance by Gosling too. An important film.
4. Little Children - Brandon, I already know you are going to say how much you hate this. I know you loathe films about suburban secrets and underbellies. But here is a film that is far superior to American Beauty and Revolutionary Road and any other film of the like. It’s all in the way it is directed by Todd Field. I think he’s a very fine filmmaker. He’s patient, smart, and adept as a storyteller and dramatist. Any film that can give you such a wide range of emotion for a pedophile is achieving something. Let the discord begin.
5. Pan’s Labyrinth - This one surprised me. I went into it thinking I’d get a straight fantasy like Alice in Wonderland, and instead got a brutal look at war and the desire for imagination as an escape from such a reality. I was surprised in a good way. It ended up being more profound than just a visual feast. It is beautiful and creative to look at, but much more heartbreaking as a narrative. Would make an awesome double feature with The Fall.
6. The Departed - I would have thought that a film that uses texting as a plot device would make me want to kill myself, but Scorsese can make you see past almost any of your stupid pet peeves. This is expertly directed by Marty and edited by the great Thelma Schoonmaker. The last shot is lousy, but it is so thoroughly interesting up until that point, that it gets a pass. Not among my favorites of Marty’s films, but entertaining as all hell and replete with a terrific cast of actors. A fun one to quote with an outrageously horrible accent.
7. The Wind that Shakes the Barley - My friend Liam, who used to play guitar in the band Titus Andronicus, is a huge fan of Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, The Simpsons, and 70s punk. We roomed together when I went to Manhattan College for a bit. Needless to say, we got along great and talked endlessly about our admiration for all those things. I haven’t seen him in a long while, but this one reminds me of him, so it gets a place on here. Beautiful Irish country side, Cillian Murphy, and a wonderful story that I reflected on long after seeing it. I need to see it again though.
8. The Proposition - This one only slips so low because I don’t remember it too well (sad, I know). I saw it once and that was too long ago. I remember digging the hell out of it. It’s an awesome Western, Cormac McCarthy style. Beautiful music by Nick Cave and a great script by him too. How badass is he? I need to see this again and then maybe it will rise on the list.
9. Brick - Very Enjoyable. I couldn’t get that great score out of my head after I saw it, and I kept wishing that I were in a film noir myself. It seems like it was fun to make. It had the potential to be gimmicky, but it ended up being damn cool and actually refreshing. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the man.
10. Children of Men - Beautifully shot and told. I liked this quite a bit when I saw it in theaters, but it slips because I had to read the book for a class and absolutely HATED it. The film deviates heavily from the book (which is good thing), but it still carries the onus of being based on that piece of shit. Unfair, I know. But a really solid movie regardless.