Friday, December 25, 2009

The Decade's Best: #61-#70

Animation. Adaptation. Resurrection. Cannes sensations. Oscar winners. Up and comers. Old masters. Lots going on in the next bracket of ten, as we wend our way around Poland, France, Greece, San Francisco, Montana, Vienna, Australia, the Tex-Mex border, two trips to Japan, and one inside the ring.

And for those of you to whom it matters, merry Christmas! All I want from Santa is more good movies in the 10s.



Blogger Sam Brooks said...

I'm really hoping that by the end of this I disagree with a few of your picks! But for the time being, I'm loving these choices and especially your write-ups of them.

And I don't think any director has had a decade quite like Olivier Assayas. Sentimental Destinities to demonlover to Clean to Boarding Gate and then Summer Hours. That's enough tonal and thematic ground for an entire career; and I totally agree with you choice of Clean here. Not only does it, and Maggie Cheung, avoid the cliches of the time, but it doesn't self-consciously avoid them. It just does. It seems like a silly distinction, but it's so valuable to the film being as good as it is. And hell, I'd rank demonlover and Summer Hours above it.

1:21 AM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger Andrew K. said...

I'm so glad to see Before Night Falls. I only saw it once, and I'm still not sure if I loved it but I knew it was special. Wish Bardem had won the Oscar for that.

Merry December 25th.

1:29 AM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@BB: No need to rush into disagreement! I'm tickled that you're so into the list so far, since I wouldn't consider this a catalog of consensus favorites, necessarily. We'll have at least one film in tomorrow's group that almost everybody seems to hate, so we'll see how you're feeling then. And I agree with your feeling that Assayas makes a serious claim as the director of the decade. The Césars' complete refusal to have anything to do with him is mind-boggling to me.

@AEE: Merry 25th to you, too! And agreed about Bardem in '00, though I actually think they picked a pretty strong winner.

2:02 AM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger Colin Low said...

Given that your list is going on my personal Top 100s of the Decade challenge, I'm totally relishing that you're giving me the impetus to finally seek out all these movies that I've often told myself I should really start watching. (I should be starting on Clean next.)

Merrily, I picked up Syndromes and a Century at my national library yesterday, and I can't even tell what you mean by its "modest, basically familiar techniques". The film's quirks of editing, framing and narrative were so immodest and idiosyncratic to me, unless you mean how they're tempered by the stillness of the camera and the lived-in quality of the performances and sound design; I can't wait to dig out the rest of Apichatpong's filmography. Thanks for the recommendation!

6:53 AM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Colin: Glad you liked it, and glad you even tracked it down! You're right about what I had in mind, but I agree that it's actually a very strange way to pitch that idea, so I've revised a little. Thanks for the nudge.

11:21 AM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger Lev Lewis said...

I'll forgive you for "Melquiades Estrada", but only because you've got "Clean" one spot ahead of it.

11:45 AM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i do not understand the love for Clean -- which I think is the worst of the Assayas films (that I've seen) i... maybe because the subject is just so overfamiliar whereas I love how idiosyncractic most of his topics and films are.

anyway. i'm enjoying and remembering that you really really love the documentary form. I've actually been having a lot of conversations about documentaries with friends lately and I'm standing my ground: i just feel like it's a different artform and I have to separate it in my mind.

That said i was thrilled to see PRODIGAL SONS so high up.

10:11 PM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

The pro- and anti-Clean camps have been pretty stable around here for a while, so I'm thrilled to see new recruits to the cause! I totally think it's fun that I can never predict which of my listings is going to prompt a response.

Lev, what's your beef with Melquiades?

9:56 PM, December 26, 2009  
Blogger Glenn Dunks said...

Count me in as pro-Clean!

And, yes, thank you for the Jindabybe present! So glad to see others citing it.

Going through your list makes me want to completely scrap any list I plan on doing. My list is the usual suspects whereas yours is so delightful and surprising and inspiring and thought-provoking. Gah!

12:02 AM, December 28, 2009  

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