Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Movies For Music Lovers: 2007 Alternate Version

List making is the junk food of criticism.
--Paul Schrader

Every year, I compile a top 30. I'm not sure how long I've been at it. Since around 1993, I would imagine. Titles include features, documentaries, and reissues (my favorite release of 2006 was Jean-Pierre Melville's long-lost Army of Shadows). In other words, I count pretty much anything film-related, except short subjects and television exclusives.

Right: Gordon Pinsent and the one and only Julie Christie in Away from Her

Then, I sort the remaining non-fiction and archival entries into separate top 10s for a grand total of 50 films. Since 2005, I've been posting the results, plus commentary, to my personal site. This year, I'm cross-posting an abbreviated version. For the entire magilla, please click here. The following represents the top 8.6% of the movies I saw this year.

Links are to my Amazon, Seattle Film Blog, and Stranger reviews.

Sam Riley in Control

TOP 10:
1. Away From Her (Sarah Polley)
2. Into the Wild (Sean Penn)
3. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg)
4. Daratt (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
5. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett)
6. Control (Anton Corbijn)
7. Zodiac (David Fincher)
8. Tie: Once (John Carney) / Lady Chatterly (Pascal Ferran)
9. This Is England (Shane Meadows)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen)

Thomas Turgoose and the gang in This Is England

11. INLAND EMPIRE (David Lynch)
12. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes)
13. Talk to Me (Kasi Lemmons)
14. Letters From Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)
15. I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai Ming-Liang)
16. Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck)
17. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Sidney Lumet)
18. Le Petit Lieutenant (Xavier Beauvois)
19. Blame It on Fidel! (Julie Gavras)
20. Brand Upon the Brain! (Guy Maddin)

The "real" Bob Dylan...with D.A. Pennebaker

21. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel Von Donnersmark)
22. Black Book (Paul Verhoeven)
23. El Aura (Fabian Bielinsky)
24. Ratatouille (Brad Bird)
25. Red Road (Andrea Arnold)
26. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa)
27. Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright)
28. Half Moon (Bahman Ghobadi)
29. Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy)
30. Rescue Dawn (Werner Herzog)
Click here for Songs for Swingin' Cineastes

The year's other comeback kid: Charles Burnett

Endnote: Every actor/film/director pictured has some relation to popular music, including Julie Christie, who has collaborated with Robert Wyatt, and Charles Burnett, who compiled the soundtracks for Killer of Sheep and My Brother's Wedding (the lack of clearances delayed the former by 30 years). Image from The New York Times (Credit: Michael Gibson/Lionsgate Films). 

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