Tuesday, January 04, 2011


For new releases with distribution in the U.S., I posted my ten best list at Indiewire here. However, I got to go hog wild with an 11-spot for Michael J. Anderson's site Ten Best Films. There I wasn't limited by distribution - it's just the eleven films I saw at festivals and/or regular screenings that stuck with me the longest. I should have posted that sure-to-be-legendary list here, but I was being reliably lazy and simply e-mailed it to him. So here we are, uncomfortably close to each other, baring our tastes and lacy undergarments. But I'm not done! Yes, I'm also going to copy Singer's "best older films" I saw this year as well, because I can (get excited! it's really about to happen!):

5. Kid Auto Race at Venice (1914), on the necessary for organic life CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE box set.

4. The Last Flight (1931), directed by William Dieterle, the cheeriest Lost Generation drunken escapade you'll ever deign to watch. On the Warner Archive, my lover and enemy.

3. The Strawberry Blonde (1941), directed by Raoul Walsh. James Cagney, justifying the invention of sound film. Also leveraged my Walsh interest into a full blown obsession.

2. Three Good Friends, (1930), directed by Wilhelm Thiele. I was walking on air after exiting the theater. Musical buddy comedies that break the fourth wall don't come any crazier or fizzier than this. Fell deeply in lust with Lilian Harvey with this one.

1. Cluny Brown (1946), directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Holy shit go see this movie somehow. It's on YouTube. Contains characters you want to kidnap and store in your jacket pocket. Also: confirms that foolishness is next to godliness.

God: How Green Was My Valley (1941), directed by John Ford. Wait, I hadn't seen this yet? What the fuck is wrong with me? Immortal. Like God. Hence the designation.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Singer's Best of 2010

Published in conjuction with Tativille and Ten Best Films' Mini-Poll, here are my favorite films of 2010. My complete list, along with my thoughts on each film, is on IFC.com. In abridged, comment-free form, my picks are:

3)Black Swan
4)Winter's Bone
5)Exit Through the Gift Shop
6)The Social Network
8)Blue Valentine
10)I'm Still Here

Honorable mentions in alphabetical order: Catfish, Cyrus, Everyone Else, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, The King's Speech, NY Export: Opus Jazz, The Other Guys, Splice, Tiny Furniture

By my count, I saw 137 "new" movies in 2010, twelve less than I saw in 2009. I saw 255 older films, almost exactly as many as last year (when I saw 260). As always, here's a list of the best older films I saw for the first time in 2010:

5)Vanishing Point (Richard C. Sarafian, 1971)
4)The Red Shoes (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
3)The Duellists (Ridley Scott, 1977)
2)The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel, 1962)
1)The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Peter Yates, 1973)

And, last and certainly least, a hale and hearty salute to my favorite so-bad-they're-good discoveries of 2010:

3)Death Wish 3 (Michael Winner, 1985)
2)She (Avi Nesher, 1982)
1)L.A. Streetfighters (Richard Park, 1985)