Saturday, January 01, 2011

Thanks for the Memories, 2010

You'll be able to tell from this list that I devoted quite a bit of film-rental energy this year to Best Actress nominees and to catching up with classics from the mid-1940s, while Nathaniel and Mike and I slowly advanced through our Best Pictures from the Outside In series, for which a new installment goes live any day now. (One way to counteract the frustration with early Oscar victors as tepid as Going My Way, The Lost Weekend, and Gentleman's Agreement is to use those screenings as excuses for making dates with all the superior films that coulda and shoulda been contenders.) No time for adding explanatory text, but these were my 25 favorite viewing experiences in 2010 of non-first-run films:

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Elia Kazan, 1945)
2. To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944)
3. Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945)
4. Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
5. Borom sarret (Ousmane Sembene, 1963) - full review
6. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)
7. The Emigrants (Jan Troëll, 1971)
8. Dillinger (Max Nosseck, 1945)
9. A Star Is Born (George Cukor, 1954)
10. Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
11. No Fear, No Die (Claire Denis, 1990)
12. At Land (Maya Deren, 1944) - full review
13. The River (Tsai Ming-liang, 1997)
14. Wild River (Elia Kazan, 1960)
15. Kiss of Death (Henry Hathaway, 1947)
16. The Man I Love (Raoul Walsh, 1947)
17. Pandora's Box (G.W. Pabst, 1929) - full review
18. Red Dust (Victor Fleming, 1932)
19. This Sporting Life (Lindsay Anderson, 1963)
20. The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975)
21. The Abyss (James Cameron, 1989) - full review
22. Splendor in the Grass (Elia Kazan, 1961)
23. Boy! What a Girl! (Arthur C. Leonard, 1947)
24. The Nun's Story (Fred Zinnemann, 1959)
25. The Sundowners (Fred Zinnemann, 1960)

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Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

I should keep a list like this each year. Since it's January 1st. perfect time to start

THE SUNDOWNERS has been sitting by my tv for 4 weeks now. Must put in player. And your A STAR IS BORN writeup is one of my favorite memories of 2010.

6:44 AM, January 01, 2011  
Anonymous Ivan said...

Some of these are idiosyncratic choices: high camp, low camp, films that present a high degree of absurdity with absolute conviction. What they lack in craft and coherence they make up for in surprise and unique sensibility.

1. L'Argent
2. The Fountainhead
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
4. Splendor in the Grass
5. Wild River
6. La Signora di Tutti
7. Cluny Brown
8. The Night Caller (1975)
9. Drive a Crooked Road
10. Fly-by-Night
11. Demon Lover Diary
12. Gone with the Pope
13. Alice in Wonderland: A X-Rated Fantasy
14. Billy Liar
15. Seventeen (1983)
16. A Canterbury Tale
17. Two O'Clock Courage
18. The First Time (1968)
19. A Thief in the Night
20. 3 A.M. (1975)
21. A Labor of Love (1976)
22. 10 Rillington Place
23. Carnival Magic
24. Image of the Beast
25. Room at the Top

11:11 AM, January 01, 2011  
Blogger Andrew Rech said...

What a great list. I remember how I excited I was when I was reading your The Nun's Story write-up because of how wowed you were by Audrey's performance. I loved when you watched The Abyss and wrote about it because it was so unexpected and insightful. Really nice of you to give it the spotlight as it's quite under-appreciated.

I think the best non-first-run viewings was probably either Sansho the Bailiff or Hud as they were both late night viewings by myself and I simply could not get them out of my mind, both incredibly moving.

Also I'd seen The Thin Red Line before but when I purchased the Criterion blu-ray of it a couple of months ago, and viewed it for the first time in several years I immediately was overwhelmed by it all over again, perhaps even more so than the first time. I'd forgotten how much the phone conversation between Elias Koteas and Nick Nolte had affected me, and how every time that Miranda Otto would haunt the film I would become so misty eyed. Best purchase I made this year, bar none.

5:11 PM, January 01, 2011  
Blogger tim r said...

I may have to ape this idea, as with all your great ideas, for my forthcoming end-of-year blog effort. Hope you don't mind!

1:57 PM, January 02, 2011  
Blogger Nick Duval said...

I'm with Tim. Your post inspired this:

2:28 PM, January 02, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite a specific list. I feel lucky now to live near Toronto after the Bell Lightbox opened. Already I've seen the restored Metropolis with live music, and 70mm screenings of 2001: A Space odyssey and Playtime. It's like being a born-again theatre-goer after spending hours looking for films on the Internet.

9:17 AM, January 05, 2011  

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