The Entries

Michael J. Anderson

Geoff Andrew

Sean Axmaker

Martyn Bamber

Michael Bartlett

Paolo Bertolin

Christopher Bourne

Stephen Brower

Thomas Caldwell

Michael Campi

Lesley Chow

Jesus Cortes

Fergus Daly

Adrian Danks

Michael Da Silva

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Russell Edwards

David Ehrenstein

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

Patrick Friel

Jamie Garwood

John Gianvito

Antony I. Ginnane

Chiranjit Goswami

Paul Grant

Lee Hill

José Sarmiento Hinojosa

Peter Hourigan

Cerise Howard

Brian Hu

Christoph Huber

Darren Hughes

Rainer Knepperges

Jay Kuehner

Marc Lauria

Kevin B. Lee

J.B. Mabe

Miguel Marias

Olaf Möller

Bill Mousoulis

Peter Nagels

James Naremore

James L. Neibaur

Sarah Nichols

Darragh O’Donoghue

Marcos Ribas de Faria

Peter Rist

Howard Schumann

Mark Spratt

Brad Stevens

Richard Suchenski

Mark Wilde

Virginia Wright Wexman

Neil Young


PhD candidate in Film Studies and History of Art at Yale University, working on the early films of Howard Hawks.

Ten best of 2010

Lung Boonmee raluek chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raúl Ruiz, 2010)

Aurora (Cristi Puiu, 2010)

Marti, dupa craciun (Tuesday, After Christmas, Radu Muntean, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010)

Unstoppable (Tony Scott, 2010)

O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)

2010 US premieres (which retrospectively ranked among 2009’s best)

Alle Anderen (Everyone Else, Maren Ade, 2009)

Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, 2009)

Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

And one of 2008’s finest

Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto (Our Beloved Month of August, Miguel Gomes, 2008)

Most important belated New York premiere

La libertad (Freedom, Lisandro Alonso, 2001)

Most exciting repertory discovery

Laughter (Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast, 1930)


Head of Film Programme at London’s BFI Southbank, Contributing Editor of Time Out London and the author of numerous books on the cinema.

20 films (in alphabetical order) from a pretty good year, particularly for films from relatively young directors making their first, second or third features. Some slightly regrettable omissions: Mike Leigh’s Another Year, for example, contains some of his very best work, but is also hampered in the earlier scenes by some slightly mannered acting and clumsy dialogue; I was also very tempted to include Pablo Trapero’s Carancho, Olivier Assayas’ Carlos, Risteard O’Domhnaill’s The Pipe and Natalia Smirnoff’s Rompecabezas, but for various reasons they didn’t make it into the final 20. The Coens’ True Grit would definitely be in there had it been released early enough, and it was probably the best new film I saw all year. As it is, if I had to choose just one title as my film of the year from the 20 listed below, it would probably have to be either Aurora or Nostalgia de la Luz.

Aita (Father, Jose Marie de Orbe, 2010)

Alamar (To the Sea, Pedro González-Rubio, 2009)

El Ambulante (The Peddler, Eduardo de la Serra/Lucas Marcheggiano/Adriana Yurovich, 2009)

Aurora (Cristi Puiu, 2010)

Archipelago (Joanna Hogg, 2010)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Copacabana (Marc Fitoussi, 2010)

Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois, 2010)

En Ganske Snill Mann (A Somewhat Gentle Men, Hans Petter Moland, 2010)

Haishang Chuanqi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhangke, 2010)

Un Homme qui crie (A Screaming Man, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2010)

Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2009)

Loong Boonmee raluek chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

La Mosquitera (The Mosquito Net, Agusti Vila, 2010)

Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzman, 2010)

Si (Poetry, Lee Changdong, 2010)

La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier, Bertrand Tavernier, 2010)

Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010)

Rebecca H (Return to the Dogs) (Lodge Kerrigan, 2010)

Schastye Moye (My Joy, Sergei Loznitsa, 2010)


DVD columnist for MSN Entertainment, contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online and managing editor of Parallax View.

Top Ten List

1. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

2. Carlos (Olivier Assyayas, 2010)

3. Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raoul Ruiz, 2010)

4. Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)

5. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

6. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

7. Si (Poetry, Lee Changdong, 2010)

8. Red Riding Trilogy (Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, Julian Jarrold, 2009; Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980, James Marsh, 2009; Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983, Anand Tucker, 2009)

9. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

10. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

And Best Unreleased film of 2007 finally getting an American release in 2010 (but still feels like a film from another era): Milyang (Secret Sunshine, Chang-dong Lee).

This list was made without having seen some major films on the international film festival circuit, namely L’illusionniste (The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet, 2010), Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010), O Estranho Caso de Angelica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010) and Kynodontas (Dogtooth, Giorgos Lanthimos, 2009). And it leaves off some of the most interesting, artful and ambitious films of the year that, on other days, might make the list (and, in fact, some of them appeared in other incarnations of the list): Sweetgrass (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ilisa Barbash, 2009), Les herbes folles (Wild Grass, Alain Resnais, 2009), Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010), Aquele querido mês de Agosto (Our Beloved Month of August, Miguel Gomes, 2008), Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010), Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira, 2009), Alamar (To the Sea, Pedro González-Rubio, 2009), Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010).

I made a few Top Ten lists where only American releases were eligible. For this list, I was able to include two of my three most transcendent cinematic experiences of the year missing from those American lists: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s mysterious Uncle Boonmee which is at once haunting and comforting and utterly entrancing, and Mysteries of Lisbon, which may turn out to be the masterpiece of Raul Ruiz’s career. I saw both films only once, both in a film festival setting, and within moments of leaving the theatre I wanted nothing more than to see them again. But that will have to wait. Uncle Boonmee, at least, has a distributor and, if nothing else, will emerge on DVD in 2011. Mysteries of Lisbon has no American distributor as of this writing, but then it may re-emerge in a different form: Ruiz is preparing a longer TV version, and the thought of even more threads woven through the magnificent tapestry is exciting news indeed. Carlos, like these films, is a magnificent meeting of subject and storytelling, but where Weerasethakul and Ruiz cast a spell of stillness and grace around their characters, Olivier Assayas creates a riveting style that appears artless, a film of pure momentum with a camera plucking out characters and details as the events rush by, but is magnificently organised and perfectly composed, capturing the ironies and at times the absurdities of Carlos and his transformation from political activist to celebrity terrorist without stopping to make sure we “got it.”


Head of Subtitling at the European Captioning Institute in London, and a freelance writer.

Favourite new releases from 2010 seen in the UK (in alphabetical order):

The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010)

Black Death (Christopher Smith, 2010)

Chico and Rita (Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba, 2010)

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, 2009)

The Hole in 3D (Joe Dante, 2009)

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Please Give (Nicole Holofcener, 2010)

Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Takeshis’ (Kitano Takeshi, 2005)

Tamara Drewe (Stephen Frears, 2010)

Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola, 2009)


Freelance film writer based in London who contributes to BFI Screenonline and Moviemail.

Best of 2010 (in alphabetical order)

Archipelago (Joanna Hogg, 2010)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Gake no ue no Ponyo (Ponyo, Miyazaki Hayao, 2008)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010) / Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie, Hong Sang-soo, 2010) / “Lost in the Mountains” (Hong Sang-soo) segment of Visitors (a.k.a. Jeonju Digital Project, 2009)

Hai shang chuan qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

No Greater Love (Michael Whyte, 2009)

Shi (Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

Survival of the Dead (George Romero, 2009)

Though I enjoyed the above, I got more pleasure from discovering these films, all of which remain neglected or underrated

Anchoress (Chris Newby, 1993)

Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi (A Scene at the Sea, Takeshi Kitano, 1991)

Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire (Alan Clarke, 1987)

Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2008)

Comrades (Bill Douglas, 1986)

Dekigokoro (Passing Fancy, Yasujiro Ozu, 1933)

The Final Programme (Robert Fuest, 1973)

La fleur du mal (The Flower of Evil, Claude Chabrol, 2003)

John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (John Carpenter, 2001)

Juggernaut (Richard Lester, 1974)

Martin (George Romero, 1977)

The Moon and Sixpence (Albert Lewin, 1942)

Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis, 2001)

Unrelated (Joanna Hogg, 2007)

Waterloo Road (Sidney Gilliat, 1945)

and almost the whole back catalogue of Hong Sang-soo.

And it was wonderful to re-discover

Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7, Agnès Varda, 1961)

The Damned (Joseph Losey, 1963)

Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (A Brighter Summer Day, Edward Yang, 1991)

The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

The Missouri Breaks (Arthur Penn, 1976)

Sayat Nova (The Colour of Pomegranates, Sergei Parajanov, 1968)

Most overrated films of the year

Double Take (Johan Grimonprez, 2009)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)


Programmer for a number of international film festivals (among them, Venice, Bratislava and the Udine Far East Film Festival).

Best movies of 2010

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

2. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

3. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

4. TRON: Legacy (Joseph Kosinski, 2010)

5. Amigo (John Sayles, 2010)

Most overrated

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

I love David Fincher, and I also love Facebook, but watching this movie made me feel as if Fincher was trying too hard to make a big deal out of nothing. The cinematography, the music, the editing, the script, it’s like turning a throwaway status update into Shakespeare, and failing.


Writer and cinéphile based in New York City.

Top 10 films with US distribution or which played for at least a week in NYC:

1. Milyang (Secret Sunshine, Lee Chang-dong, 2007)

2. Talentime (Yasmin Ahmad, 2009)

3. Madeo (Mother, Bong Joon-ho, 2009)

4. Ahasin Weitei (Between Two Worlds, Vimukthi Jayasundara, 2009)

5. Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

6. Jao Nok Krajok (Mundane History, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2009)

7. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

8. Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

9. Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira, 2009) / O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)

10. Kynodontas (Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009) / Les herbes folles (Wild Grass, Alain Resnais, 2009)

The best of the rest, in alphabetical order:

Choi voi (Adrift, Bui Thac Chuyen, 2009)

Ajami (Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, 2009)

Alamar (To the Sea, Pedro González-Rubio, 2009)

Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

Children of Invention (Tze Chun, 2009)

City Island (Raymond de Felitta, 2009)

Cyrus (Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, 2010)

Double Take (Johan Grimonprez, 2009)

Etienne! (Jeff Mizushima, 2009)

The Exploding Girl (Bradley Rust Gray, 2009)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, 2009)

Hausu (House, Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977)

Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, 2010)

Last Train Home (Lixin Fan, 2009)

Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2009)

Machete (Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis, 2010)

Mademoiselle Chambon (Stéphane Brizé, 2009)

Pranzo di ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch, Gianni Di Gregorio, 2008)

La teta asustada (The Milk of Sorrow, Claudia Llosa, 2009)

NY Export: Opus Jazz (Henry Joost and Jody Lee Lipes, 2010)

The Oath (Laura Poitras, 2010)

Restrepo (Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, 2010)

Uihyeongjae (Secret Reunion, Jang Hoon, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Püha Tõnu kiusamine (The Temptation of St. Tony, Veiko Õunpuu, 2009)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

Best Undistributed (in the US) Films Seen in 2010 (in alphabetical order):

1428 (Du Haibin, 2009)

9500 Liberty (Eric Byler and Annabel Park, 2009)

Ototo (About Her Brother, Yoji Yamada, 2010)

Yeobaewoodeul (Actresses, E J-yong 2009)

Kūki Ningyō (Air Doll, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 2009)

Animal Town (Jeon Kyu-hwan, 2009)

Annyong Yumika (Tetsuaki Matsue, 2009, Japan)

Bangdokpi (Anti Gas Skin, Kim Gok and Kim Sun, 2010)

Changpihae (Ashamed, Kim Soo-hyun, 2010)

Au Revoir Taipei (Arvin Chen, 2010)

Aurora (Cristi Puiu, 2010)

Fuwaku no Adagio (Autumn Adagio, Tsuki Inoue, 2009)

Pasuggun (Bleak Night, Yoon Sung-hyun, 2010)

Boys on the Run (Daisuke Miura, 2010)

Kim-ssi pyoryugi (Castaway on the Moon, Lee Hae-jun, 2009)

Bay Rong (Clash, Le Thanh Son, 2009)

Kokuhaku (Confessions, Tetsuya Nakashima, 2010)

Dance Town (Jeon Kyu-hwan, 2010)

Dear Doctor (Miwa Nishikawa, 2009)

Jiabiangou (The Ditch, Wang Bing, 2010)

Dog Pound (Kim Chapiron, 2009)

Dooman kang (Dooman River, Zhang Lu, 2009)

Wai dor lei ah yut ho (Dream Home, Pang Ho-cheung, 2010)

Ddangui yeoja (Earth’s Women, Kwon Woo-jung, 2009)

Shui yuet sun tau (Echoes of the Rainbow, Alex Law, 2010)

Tsuki to Cherry (Electric Button (Moon & Cherry), Yuki Tanada, 2004)

Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Wu (Fog, Kit Hui, 2010)

The Fourth Portrait (Chung Mong-hong, 2010)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Les Derniers jours du monde (Happy End, Arnaud & Jean-Marie Larrieu, 2009)

Le Hérisson (The Hedgehog, Mona Achache, 2009)

Hi-So (Aditya Assarat, 2010)

Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante (I’m Glad That My Mother Is Alive, Claude and Nathan Miller, 2009)

À l’origine (In the Beginning, Xavier Giannoli, 2009)

Ip Man 2 (Wilson Yip, 2010)

Le Roi de l’évasion (The King of Escape, Alain Guiraudie, 2009)

Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza, 2009)

La terre de la folie (The Land of Madness, Luc Moullet, 2009)

Raibu têpu (Live Tape, Tetsuaki Matsue, 2010)

Lola (Brillante Mendoza, 2009)

Lian ren xu yu (Lover’s Discourse, Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan, 2010)

Magic and Loss (Lim Kah Wai, 2010)

Himpapawid (Manila Skies, Raymond Red, 2009)

Miss Kicki (Håkon Liu, 2009)

Miyoko asagaya kibun (Miyoko, Yoshifumi Tsubota, 2009)

E Ji (My Mongolian Mother, Ning Cai, 2010)

Akumu Tantei 2 (Nightmare Detective 2, Shinya Tsukamoto, 2008)

Norteado (Northless, Rigoberto Perezcano, 2009)

Shikisoku zenereishon (Oh, My Buddha!, Tomorowo Taguchi, 2009)

Okhui ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie, Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Paju (Park Chan-ok, 2009)

Paredo (Parade, Isao Yukisada, 2009)

Petition (Zhao Liang, 2009)

Polytechnique (Denis Villeneuve, 2009)

Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín, 2010)

R (Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm, 2010)

Jeeja Deu Suay Doo (Raging Phoenix, Rashane Limtrakul, 2009)

Rapt (Lucas Belvaux, 2009)

Chi Bi (Red Cliff [uncut 2-part film], John Woo, 2008-09)

Geobuki dalinda (Running Turtle, Lee Yeon-woo, 2009)

Kawa no soko kara konnichi wa (Sawako Decides, Yuya Ishii, 2010)

She, A Chinese (Xiaolu Guo, 2009)

Guang ban (Sun Spots, Yang Heng, 2009)

Suito ritoru raizu (Sweet Little Lies, Hitoshi Yazaki, 2010)

Symbol (Hitoshi Matsumoto, 2009)

Di 36 ge gu shi (Taipei Exchanges, Hsiao Ya-chuan, 2010)

Tehroun (Nader T. Homayoun, 2009)

Hu chang (The Tiger Factory, Woo Ming-jin, 2010)

La Vida Útil (A Useful Life, Federico Veiroj, 2010)

Vapor Trail (Clark) (John Gianvito, 2010)

Akunin (Villain, Lee Sang-il, 2010)

Viyon no tsuma (Villon’s Wife, Kichitaro Negishi, 2009)

Dang ai lai de shihou (When Love Comes, Chang Tso-chi, 2010)

Die Fremde (When We Leave, Feo Aladag, 2010)

Keshtzarhaye Sepid (The White Meadows, Mohammad Rasoulof, 2009)

Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You, Mommy, Stephanie Wang-Breal, 2010)

La Famille Wolberg (The Wolberg Family, Axelle Ropert, 2009)

Woman on Fire Looks for Water (Woo Ming-jin, 2009)

Yang Yang (Cheng Yu-chieh, 2009)

Berkelana (Year Without a Summer, Tan Chui Mui, 2010)

Zonad (John Carney and Kieran Carney, 2009)

Zoom Hunting (Cho Li, 2010)


Film contributor for Flaunt Magazine who resides in Santa Monica, California.

1. Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

Guadagnino’s domestic tragedy is at once familiar and endlessly refreshing. Working within the well-established framework of a large, monied European family, the director subsumes a barrage of influences (from Max Ophuls to Nicolas Roeg to Claude Chabrol, amongst others) into a vision that is, in the end, wholly and masterfully his.

2. Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

A sweeping and fully realised prison saga, Un prophète is Audiard’s best film to date by some margin. Tahir Rahim’s Malik El Djebena has definite echoes of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta in Goodfellas [Martin Scorsese, 1990]), and, like Scorsese’s protagonist, is that rare character that seems to authentically evolve on screen.

3. Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)

Coppola draws from a cadre of European and Asian influences (think Claire Denis and Tsai Ming-liang) in crafting this intimate and enchanting riff on American alienation.

4. True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2010)

The Coens’ reboot of True Grit (Henry Hathaway, 1969) is a wholly original experience, and all the hallmarks you expect are there – Roger Deakins’ immaculate vistas, a panoply of perfectly pitched characters, and, most noticeably, a veritable thesaurus full of funny, flowery talk.

5. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Polanski’s latest is an unfussy, efficient, and effective mystery. Much like Brad Anderson and his similarly classicist Transsiberian (2008), Polanski draws from Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, et al to create an eminently watchable yarn.

6. Bellamy (Claude Chabrol, 2009)

The most consistently great director of the French New Wave delivers yet another dignified, engaging, and well-made movie with this, his last film. Set against the tacit backdrop of a procedural, the film is ultimately more a twilight-years examination of things left unsaid, and, as such, represents a fitting and graceful coda for one of cinema’s best filmographies.

7. The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010)

Corbijn’s film is a precise, deliberate, and labyrinthine thriller, recalling closely the classic European crime cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Julien Duvivier.

8. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Lisa Cholodenko’s latest film is, on its face, a solid but unremarkable film. That it, much like the director’s previous work, is a witty, approachable, sexy, and well-acted film for adults, however, might just be remarkable enough.

9. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

While a bit overlong, Arnold’s grimy, sub-working class distillation of the Lolita trope is, ultimately, an engaging piece of cinema. Katie Jarvis’ Mia rings true as an outwardly defiant, inwardly naive youth and the ever-solid Michael Fassbender is at once disarming and unsettling as the lecherous Connor.

10. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

Arguably the most commanding screen presence of her generation, Isabelle Huppert positively dominates Denis’ fractured tale of civil and cultural unrest in contemporary Africa.


Freelance writer and broadcaster who specialises in film criticism and educational writing on film.

Top ten films with a theatrical release in Melbourne, Australia in 2010

1. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

This almost clinical and mechanical representation of the human subconscious facilitated an extraordinary exploration of cinematic space in order to deliver an intriguing heist story with wonderfully thrilling action sequences. This year’s masterpiece.

2. Enter The Void (Gaspar Noé, 2009)

This mesmerising assault on the senses by the director of Irréversible was a strange, brilliant and audacious first-person head-trip into drugs, death, sex and the neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo.

3. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Martin Scorsese’s latest film was a typically brilliant example of subjective filmmaking, but where the point-of-view belongs to an unreliable protagonist. A sophisticated exercise in film style dressed up as a pulp thriller. So much more than a spot-the-twist film.

4. Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

The Australian film to receive the most hype this year was also the most deserving. The low-key filmmaking resulted in a tense, gritty and at times horrifying crime drama.

5. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

The combination of tight writing, powerful sentiment, humour and characters with so much heart delivered one of the greatest animated films ever made. Possibly the most perfect resolution to a trilogy too. Not a dry eye in the house.

6. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

An extraordinarily empathetic film about the everyday and commonplace tragedy that love doesn’t always prevail. Contains the year’s strongest performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.

7. El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes, Juan José Campanella, 2009)

The surprise winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year, this Argentinean murder mystery/romance contains hidden depth. A thrilling and intriguing genre film in its own right but also a moving representation of Argentina’s history of political turmoil.

8. The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010)

To reduce this to merely a generic hit man film ignores how immaculately crafted Corbijn’s second film is. The rich use of style of homage offers multiple rewards for a visually literate audience.

9. The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom, 2010)

Another great example of subjective filmmaking where the film gets increasingly deranged as its psychopathic protagonist increasingly loses his grip on reality. A superb adaptation of Jim Thompson’s hardboiled novel featuring some incredibly upsetting acts of violence.

10. Splice (Vincenzo Natali, 2009)

It wasn’t an old-school David Cronenberg film but the glorious blend of science-fiction, horror, melodrama and psycho-sexual thriller made it feel like one. Transgressive wicked fun.

Honourable mentions

11. The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009)

12. Boy (Taika Waititi, 2010)

13. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

14. Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

15. Crazy Heart (Scott Cooper, 2009)

16. The Messenger (Oren Moverman, 2010)

17. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

18. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

19. Un Prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

20. Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)

Top ten unreleased films

(Films with either very short seasons or only festival screenings, and to the best of my knowledge aren’t scheduled for a general release in 2011)

1. Son of Babylon (Mohamed Al Daradji, 2009)

2. I Love You Phillip Morris (Glenn Ficarra and John Reque, 2009)

3. Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2010)

4. L’illusionniste (The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet, 2010)

5. Shi (Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

6. Nobody’s Perfect (Niko von Glasow, 2008)

7. William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, 2009)

8. When You’re Strange (Tom DiCillo, 2009)

9. World’s Greatest Dad (Bobcat Goldthwait, 2009)

10. L’Armée du crime (The Army of Crime, Robert Guédiguian, 2009)


1. The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948) at the Astor Theatre.

2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) with a live orchestra at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

3. Tim Burton: The Exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

4. The Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa and Jacques Demy seasons plus the Max Ophuls and Tod Browning nights at the Melbourne Cinémathèque.

5. The experience of seeing The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003) as part of the on-going Cult Cravings program at Cinema Nova.

An earlier (and since revised) version of the top ten film list appeared in the December 2010 edition of the Triple R magazine The Trip.


Programming consultant for the Melbourne International Film Festival, who has been involved in non-commercial film exhibition.

Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, 2009)

Haishang chuanqi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010)

Jimseung ui Kkut (End of Animal, Jo Sung-Hee, 2010)

Jao nok Krajok (Mundane History, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2010)

Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2009)

Marti, dupa craciun (Tuesday, After Christmas, Radu Muntean, 2010)

Nostalgia por la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzmán, 2010)

O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)

Otôto (About Her Brother aka Younger Brother, Yamada Yoji, 2010)

Shi (Poetry, Lee Changdong, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Very close behind are some other remarkable works:

Bi, Dung So! (Don’t be Afraid, Bi!, Phan Dang Di, 2010)

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, 2009)

The Depths (Hamaguchi Ryusuke, 2010)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

L’illusionniste (The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet, 2010)

Jiabiangou (The Ditch, Wang Bing, 2010)

Kosmos (Reha Erdem, 2010)

Kumbukumbu Za Mti Uunguao (Memories of a Burning Tree, Sherman Ong, 2010)

Kyatapirâ (Caterpillar, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2010)

Lung Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Nochi no Hi (The Days After, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2010)

Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

Rewizyta (Revisited, Krzysztof Zanussi, 2009)

Tou Xi (Judge, Liu Jie, 2009)

Tuan yuan (Apart Together, Quan’an Wang, 2010)

White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (Women Without Men, Shirin Neshat, 2009)

Other screen pleasures have included the tributes to Krzysztof Zanussi (Melbourne Cinémathèque and slightly differently at Hong Kong International Film Festival), the adventurous and beguiling work of Shimazu Yasujiro (Hong Kong International Film Festival), Isaac Julien’s extraordinary nine-screen video installation, Ten Thousand Waves, at the Sydney Biennale and (also exhibited internationally), the Hong Kong International Film Festival presentation of the latest restoration of Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) with live orchestra. In the tribute to Shibuya Minoru at Tokyo FILMeX, Gendaijin (Modern People, 1952) and Seigiha (Righteousness, 1957) were incisive and arresting in their depiction of postwar recovery in Japan.

Disc releases of special interest in 2010 have included the Korean Film Archive’s tribute to Lee Man Hee and late silent films by Josef Von Sternberg from Criterion.

Other video pleasures have included Hayat var (My Only Sunshine, Reha Erdem, 2008) Adoration (Atom Egoyan, 2008) and revisiting Chuyen Tu Te (How to Behave, 1985), the unique cine-essay by Tran Van Thuy on human kindness in the aftermath of human conflict.


Australian film critic who writes for Bright Lights Film Journal and programmed the Australian section at the Inshadow International Festival of Dance Film in 2010.

Best Films

1. Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola, 2009)

2. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

3. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

4. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

5. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

6. The Other Guys (Adam McKay, 2010)

McKay’s film manages to keep two realities activated at the same time: the world of Will Ferrell and Saturday Night Live, and a noir tale of cops on the beat. Although the former is more marketable, the film is just as invested in the latter story. The result is a slapstick comedy with an unusual, melancholy feel. McKay sustains this mood via the tension held in Mark Wahlberg’s face – it’s all in the nostrils – and the frequent bleak shots of the city.

The marvellous closing credit sequence, which explains the nature of a Ponzi scheme, is reminiscent of the one in The Ghost Writer. In both films, the final clue which cracks the master narrative is presented just as the film ends and the audience is tuning out. In The Ghost Writer, the letters in a manuscript flip to reveal a magic code-breaker, but all of this evidence is literally scattered to the winds. At the end of The Other Guys, McKay gives us the tools to dismantle the major financial conspiracy of our times, but in the shuffle to leave the theatre, no one is watching or listening.

7. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

8. The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009)

This passionate film draws as fully on the cultural legacy of New Orleans as Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006). Even in a glorious presentation of the city’s high life, or a scene set in the Louisiana swamps, the subtext is that this is a world which has already vanished. What we’re left with is images like a wondrous Mardi Gras sequence, composed almost entirely out of abstract shapes: space seems to expand as black, pink and purple lines dart all over the frame. Throughout, the animators show an absolute mania for jazz detailing in their depictions of nature, magic and daily life. The story of a 1920s black maid is matched with a visual style that meaningfully expresses a harsh economic reality as well as images of dreams and witchcraft. This is also one of the best scripts Disney has produced since the underrated The Emperor’s New Groove (Mark Dindal, 2000). The film is intriguingly ambivalent in its attitude to various character types – for instance, a thoughtless, likeable and casually prejudiced Southern belle.

9. Les herbes folles (Wild Grass, Alain Resnais, 2009)

10. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Best Performances

1. Juliette Binoche in Copie Conforme

2. Casey Affleck in The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom, 2010)

3. Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine

4. Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

5. Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here (Casey Affleck, 2010)

6. Sarah Polley in Splice (Vincenzo Natali, 2009)

7. Christian McKay in Me and Orson Welles (Richard Linklater, 2008)

8. Mark Wahlberg in The Other Guys

9. Olivia Williams in The Ghost Writer

10. Cherry Jones in Mother and Child (Rodrigo García, 2009)


Spanish film writer for magazines and cinema sites like El Unicornio, Un blog comme les autres, Transit, Foco and Détour.

BEST NEW (relatively recent) films I have seen during the past year
Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010), L´Armée du crime (The Army of Crime, Robert Guédiguian, 2009), Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010), The Japanese Wife (Aparna Sen, 2010), State Legislature (Frederick Wiseman, 2007), Le Genou d´Artémide (Jean-Marie Straub, 2008), Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010), A religiosa portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun, Eugène Green, 2009), Yumurta (Egg, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2007), Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois, 2010), L´Aimée (Arnaud Desplechin, 2007), Yuki & Nina (Nobuhiro Suwa & Hyppolite Girardot, 2009), Jitsuroku rengō sekiguni: Asama sansōe no michi (United Red Army, Kōji Wakamatsu, 2007), Shirin (Abbas Kiarostami, 2008), Un Lac (A Lake, Philippe Grandrieux, 2008), Imburnal (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008), Je veux voir (I Want to See, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, 2008), Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza, 2009), Visitors (Naomi Kawase, Hong Sang-soo, Lav Diaz, 2009), Süt (Milk, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2008), Correspondances (Eugène Green, 2009), Bam gua nat (Night and Day, Hong Sang-soo, 2008), White Material (Claire Denis, 2009), O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010), Bal (Honey, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2009), Sehnsucht (Longing, Valeska Grisebach, 2006), Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009), La Fille du RER (The Girl on the Train, André Téchiné, 2009), The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010), Les Plages d´Agnès (The Beaches of Agnès, Agnès Varda, 2008), 36 vues du Pic Saint Loup (Around a Small Mountain, Jacques Rivette, 2009), Transe (Teresa Villaverde, 2006), Diese nacht / Nuit de chien (Werner Schroeter, 2008), Lola (Brillante Mendoza, 2009), Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009), Survival of the Dead (George A. Romero, 2009), Nachmittag (Afternoon, Angela Schanelec, 2007), Jardins en automne (Gardens in Autumn, Otar Iosseliani, 2006), La terza madre (Dario Argento, 2007), Command Performance (Dolph Lundgren, 2009), Heshang aiqing (Cry Me a River, Jia Zhang-ke, 2008), In the Electric Mist (Bertrand Tavernier, 2009), Hai Shang chuang qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010), Schastye moe (My Joy, Sergei Loznitsa, 2010), Itineraire de Jean Bricard (Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 2008), Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2009), Crazy Heart (Scott Cooper, 2009), Machete (Robert Rodriguez, 2010), Le Premier venu (Just Anybody, Jacques Doillon, 2008), Parc (Arnaud des Palliéres, 2007), A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009).

BEST OLDER FILMS. Seen for the first time in 2010. The wonderful, the very good ones and finally a bunch of very interesting films

Haru no mezame (Spring Awakens, Mikio Naruse, 1947), Magokoro (Sincerity, Mikio Naruse, 1939), Poema o morie (Poem of the Sea, Yuliya Solntseva, 1958), Miss Lulu Bett (William DeMille, 1921), The Inside Story (Allan Dwan, 1948), Oboroyo no onna (Woman in the Mist, Gosho Heinosuke, 1936), Tian yun shan chuan qi (Legend of Tianyun Mountain, Xie Jin, 1980), Kafuku zempen / Kafuku kohen (Learn from Experience, part I & II, Mikio Naruse, 1937), L´Amour d´une femme (Jean Grèmillon, 1953), Métiel (The Blizzard, Vladimir Basov, 1964), The Counterfeit Traitor (George Seaton, 1962), Kimi to yuku michi (The Road I Travel with You, Mikio Naruse, 1936), L´Hirondelle et la Mésange (André Antoine, 1920), Désiré (Sacha Guitry, 1937), Tonari no Yae-chan (Our Neighbor, Miss Yae, Yasujiro Shimazu, 1934), I bambini ci guardano (The Children are Watching Us, Vittorio de Sica, 1943), Ariane (Paul Czinner, 1931), Okuni to Gohei (Okuni and Gohei, Mikio Naruse, 1952), Ze soboty na nedeli (From Saturday to Sunday, Gustav Machatý, 1931), Deti veka (Children of the Age, Evgenii Bauer, 1915), Rue Fontaine (Philippe Garrel, 1984), M (Joseph Losey, 1951), Woman They Almost Lynched (Allan Dwan, 1953), Behindert (Stephen Dwoskin, 1974), The Affairs of Anatol (Cecil B. DeMille, 1921), Grosse Freiheit nr 7 (Great Freedom no. 7, Helmut Käutner, 1944), Kon´yaku samba-garasu (The Trio´s Engagements, Yasujiro Shimazu, 1937), Mashenjka (Yuli Raízman, 1942), 2084 (Chris Marker, 1984), Il processo de Santa Teresa del Bambio Gesú (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1967), The Silent Village (Humphrey Jennings, 1943), La schiava del peccato (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1954), No Name on the Bullet (Jack Arnold, 1959), Invasión (Invasion, Hugo Santiago, 1969), Thunder on the Hill (Douglas Sirk, 1951), Apache Drums (Hugo Fregonese, 1952), De bruit et de fureur (Sound and Fury, Jean-Claude Brisseau, 1986), Nu lan wu hao (Woman Basketball Player no. 5, Xie Jin, 1957), Kanzennaru shiiku: akai satsui (Perfect Education 6, Koji Wakamatsu, 2004), Flaming Star (Don Siegel, 1960), V lyudyakh (On his Own, Marc Donskoi, 1938), A Bill of Divorcement (George Cukor, 1932), Divine (Max Ophuls, 1935), Jinsei no onimotsu (Burden of Life, Heinosuke Gosho, 1935), Monpti (Helmut Käutner, 1957), Illegal (Lewis Allen, 1955), Le quattro giornate di Napoli (The Four Days of Naples, Nanni Loy, 1962), China 9 Liberty 37 (Monte Hellman, 1978), The Big Night (Joseph Losey, 1951), The Outfit (John Flynn, 1973), Antigone di Sofocle (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1959), Romanze in moll (Helmut Käutner, 1943), Deutschland bleiche mutter (Helma Sanders-Brahms, 1979), Hideko no Sasho-san (Hideko, the Bus Conductress, Mikio Naruse, 1941), Suez (Allan Dwan, 1938), Immensee (Veit Harlan, 1943), Night Has a Thousand Eyes (John Farrow, 1948), Friedemann Bach (Traugott Müller, 1941), I love Melvin (Don Weis, 1953), Anzukko (Little Peach, Mikio Naruse, 1958), One Way Street (Hugo Fregonese, 1950), Mystery Submarine (Douglas Sirk, 1950), Jealousy (Gustav Machatý, 1945), Le bleu des origines (Philippe Garrel, 1978), I persiani (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1975), Raduga (Marc Donskoi, 1944), Mollenard (Robert Siodmak, 1938), Love is News (Tay Garnett, 1937), Bella di notte (Luciano Emmer, 1997), The Glass Web (Jack Arnold, 1953), Hoa-binh (Raoul Coutard, 1970), Second Honeymoon (Walter Lang, 1937), Nostos, il ritorno (Franco Piavoli, 1989), Le Lion des Mogols (Jean Epstein, 1924), La Cecilia (Jean-Louis Comolli, 1975), De två saliga (Ingmar Bergman, 1986), Liberté et patrie (Jean-Luc Godard, 2002), Dama s sobachkoj (Iosif Kheífits, 1960), Man in the Shadow (Jack Arnold, 1957), Dark Waters (André de Toth, 1944), Missione Wiesenthal (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1967), The Eagle and the Hawk (Lewis R. Foster, 1952), The Happy Ending (Richard Brooks, 1969), Il pianeta azzurro (Franco Piavoli, 1981), The secret of Convict Lake (Michael Gordon, 1951), Erreur tragique (Louis Feuillade, 1912), Il Cristo proibito (The Forbidden Christ, Curzio Malaparte, 1951), Wutai jiemei (Stage sisters, Xie Jin, 1964), Simone Barbès ou la virtue (Marie-Claude Treilhou, 1979), Unter den brücken (Under the Bridges, Helmut Käutner, 1945), L’allodola (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1973), Tokyo no onna (Woman of Tokyo, Yasujiro Ozu, 1933), The Cool World (Shirley Clarke, 1963), Doughboys (Edward Sedgwick, 1930), Workingman´s Death (Michael Glawogger, 2005), Moses und Aaron (Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 1975), Himmel ohne sterne (Helmut Käutner, 1955), Il mulino delle donne di pietra (Mill of the Stone Women, Giorgio Ferroni, 1960), Wolfsburg (Christian Petzold, 2003), The Way of Lost Souls (Paul Czinner, 1929), Koi no hana saku Izu no odoriko (Heinosuke Gosho, 1932), Passage West (Lewis R. Foster, 1951), Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946), Red Sundown (Jack Arnold, 1956), Treno popolare (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1933), At Close Range (James Foley, 1985), Les sentiments (Noémie Lvovsky, 2003), Eva (Gustaf Molander, 1948), Una donna ha ucciso (A Woman has Killed, Vittorio Cottafavi, 1952), Jardines colgantes (Pablo Llorca, 1989), Höehenfeuer (Alpine Fire, Fredi M. Murer, 1985), Kreutzerova sonáta (Kreutzer Sonata, Gustav Machatý, 1926), Partner (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1968), The Last Valley (James Clavell, 1971), Des Teufels General (The Devil´s General, Helmut Käutner, 1955), Two-Faced Woman (George Cukor, 1940), Die innere seicherheit (The State I Am In, Christian Petzold, 2000), Nurse Edith Cavell (Herbert Wilcox, 1939), Un Homme qui dort (The Man who Sleeps, Bernard Queysanne, 1974), Yoru no nagare (Evening Stream, Mikio Naruse & Yuzo Kawashima, 1960), Un angelo per Satana (Camillo Mastrocinque, 1966), Rien sur Robert (Nothing on Robert, Pascal Bonitzer, 1998), Staryy naezdnik (The Old Jockey, Boris Barnet, 1940), Spare Time (Humphrey Jennings, 1939), Les blessures assassines (Murderous Maids, Jean-Pierre Denis, 2000), The Bottom of the Bottle (Henry Hathaway, 1956), Annushka (Boris Barnet, 1959), Bianca (Nanni Moretti, 1983), Meleğin düşüşü (Angel´s Fall, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2005), Love is a Racket (William A. Wellman, 1932), After Dark, My Sweet (James Foley, 1990), Obreras saliendo de la fábrica (José Luis Torres Leiva, 2004), Totter mann (Something to Remind Me, Christian Petzold, 2001), Les ombres (Jean-Claude Brisseau, 1982), Ludwig II Glanz und Ende eines Königs (Mad Emperor: Ludwig II, Helmut Käutner, 1955), Shchedroye leto (Generous Summer, Boris Barnet, 1950), Appointment with Danger (Lewis Allen, 1951), This Above All (Anatole Litvak, 1942), Auf wiedersehen, Franziska (Helmut Käutner, 1941), Thomas l´imposteur (Georges Franju, 1963), Die wunderbare lüge der Nina Petrowna (The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna, Hanns Schwarz, 1929), La petite chartreuse (The Girl From the Chartreuse, Jean-Pierre Denis, 2005), The Beginning or the End (Norman Taurog, 1947), I nostri sogni (Our Dreams, Vittorio Cottafavi, 1943), Der träumende mund (Dreaming Lips, Paul Czinner, 1933), Der Herrscher (Veit Harlan, 1937), Obyknovennyy fashizm (Ordinary Fascism, Mikhail Romm, 1964), Too Much, Too Soon (Art Napoleon, 1958), Vanina Vanini (Roberto Rossellini, 1961), Moi universitety (My Universities, Marc Donskoi, 1939), Kradetzat na praskovi (Vulo Radev, 1964), Elsker hverandre (Love One Another, Carl Th. Dreyer, 1922), Lábios sem beijos (Humberto Mauro, 1930), Margie (Henry King, 1946), Jeanne Eagels (George Sidney, 1957), Abschied von gestern (Alexander Kluge, 1974), Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad Castillo, 1977), I lunghi capelli della morte (Antonio Margheriti, 1964), The Web (Michael Gordon, 1947), The Miser´s Heart (David W. Griffith, 1913), Toutes ces belles promesses (Jean-Paul Civeyrac, 2003), Evariste Galois (Alexandre Astruc, 1965), Nostra Signora dei Turchi (Our Lady of the Turks, Carmelo Bene, 1968), Die arme Jenny (Poor Jenny, Urban Gad, 1912), Himala (Ishmael Bernal, 1982), The Adventures of Dollie (David W. Griffith, 1908), All This and Heaven Too (Anatole Litvak, 1940), Két lány az utcán (Two Girls on the Street, Toth Endre, 1939), Korol Parizha (Evgenii Bauer, 1917), Ashita no namikimichi (Morning´s Tree-Lined Street, Mikio Naruse, 1936), Mein stern (Be My Star, Valeska Grisebach, 2001), Les revenants (They Came Back, Robin Campillo, 2004), Die verräterrin (Urban Gad, 1911), Passion Flower (William DeMille, 1930), Le doux amour des hommes (Man´s Gentle Love, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, 2002), Verdun, visions d´histoire (Léon Poirier, 1929), Malombra (Carmine Gallone, 1917), Le Mystère des roches de Kador (Léonce Perret, 1913) Kuchizuke – Dai-san-bu: Onna Dôshi (Mikio Naruse, 1955), Die beischlafdiebin (Christian Petzold, 1998), Balnearios (Mariano Llinás, 2002)

REVISITED. From greater to very good films

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962), Angel in Exile (Allan Dwan, 1948), Detstvo Gorkogo (The Childhood of Maxim Gorki, Marc Donskoi, 1938), Red Line 7000 (Howard Hawks, 1965), Assassins et voleurs (Lovers and Thieves, Sacha Guitry, 1957), Hachi no su no kodomotachi (Children of the Beehive, Hiroshi Shimizu, 1948), Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947), Run For Cover (Nicholas Ray, 1955), Till We Meet Again (Frank Borzage, 1944), The Struggle (David W. Griffith, 1931), Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minnelli, 1962), Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949), The Quiet American (Joseph Leo Mankiewicz, 1958), Japanese War Bride (King Vidor, 1951), Merlusse (Marcel Pagnol, 1935), My Man and I (William A. Wellman, 1952), Dvoryanskoe gnezdo (A Nest of Gentry, Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, 1969), Husbands (John Cassavetes, 1970), La Fille du puisatier (The Well-Digger´s Daughter, Marcel Pagnol, 1940), Park Row (Sam Fuller, 1952), Les Savates de bon Dieu (Workers for the Good Lord, Jean-Claude Brisseau, 1999), Anima nera (Roberto Rossellini, 1962), Sommarnattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night, Ingmar Bergman, 1955), Le Ciel est à vous (The Sky is Yours, Jean Grémillon, 1942), Samson and Delilah (Cecil B. Demille, 1949), It´s Always Fair Weather (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1955), Keeper of the Flame (George Cukor, 1942), Madame Bovary (Jean Renoir, 1934), The Last Flight (William Dieterle, 1931), Designing Woman (Vincente Minnelli, 1957), Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940), Juventude em marcha (Colossal Youth, Pedro Costa, 2006), Opfergang (The Great Sacrifice, Veit Harlan, 1944), J´entends plus la guitare (I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar, Philippe Garrel, 1991), Que la bête meure (The Beast Must Die, Claude Chabrol, 1969), The Next Voice You Hear… (William A. Wellman, 1950), Lo straniero / L´Étranger (Luchino Visconti, 1967), J´ai pas sommeil (I Can´t Sleep, Claire Denis, 1994), Fuga in Francia (Mario Soldati, 1948), Voci nel tempo (Franco Piavoli, 1996), None Shall Escape (André de Toth, 1944), À flor do mar (Joao César Monteiro, 1986), Uomini e cieli (Francesco de Robertis, 1943), Cross of Iron (Sam Peckinpah, 1977), The Young One (Luis Buñuel, 1960), Alumbramiento (Lifeline, Víctor Erice, 2002), Cleopatra (Cecil B. DeMille, 1934), Faisons un rêve… (Let Us Do a Dream, Sacha Guitry, 1936), M/other (Nobuhiro Suwa, 1999), Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960), Undercurrent (Vincente Minnelli, 1946), Adieu, plancher des vaches! (Otar Iosseliani, 1999), White Shadows in the South Seas (W. S. Van Dyke, 1928), La vera storia della Signora dalle Camelie (Mauro Bolognini, 1981), Un jeu brutal (A Brutal Game, Jean-Claude Brisseau, 1983), The Killer is Loose (Budd Boetticher, 1956), Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino, 1985), Chiyari Fuji (A Bloody Spear on Mount Fuji, Tomu Uchida, 1955), Strange Illusion (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945), Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier, 1963), Novvy vavilon (The New Babylon, Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, 1929), Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga, 1985), The Proud Ones (Robert D. Webb, 1956), La Nuit du carrefour (Night at the Crossroads, Jean Renoir, 1932), Adieu (Arnaud des Pallières, 2003), Best Seller (John Flynn, 1987), Flesh and Bone (Steve Kloves, 1993), Mission to Moscow (Michael Curtiz, 1943), Fräulein Else (Miss Else, Paul Czninner, 1929), The Serpent´s Egg (Ingmar Bergman, 1977), Mr. Klein (Joseph Losey, 1976), Dödskyssen (Kiss of Death, Victor Sjöström, 1916), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (Michael Curtiz, 1939), Mountains of the Moon (Bob Rafelson, 1989), Falbalas (Jacques Becker, 1944), Les voleurs de la nuit (Thieves after Dark, Sam Fuller, 1984), The Apostle (Robert Duvall, 1997), Desperate Hours (Michael Cimino, 1990), Le Sang des bêtes (Blood of the Beasts, Georges Franju, 1949), Une Vie (A Life, Alexandre Astruc, 1958), Caribbean (Edward Ludwig, 1952), Von heute auf morgen (Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 1996), La mano dello straniero (Mario Soldati, 1954), Le chignon d´Olga (Jerôme Bonnell, 2002), Tian qiao bu jian le (The Skywalk is Gone, Tsai Ming-liang, 2002), Petites coupures (Small Cuts, Pascal Bonitzer, 2002), L´avventuriero/The Rover (Terence Young, 1967), Age of Consent (Michael Powell, 1969), Diplomatic Courier (Henry Hathaway, 1952), Incident at a Corner (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960), Stranger on Horseback (Jacques Tourneur, 1955), The Lineup (Don Siegel, 1958), Michurin (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1948), Senza pietá (Without Pity, Alberto Lattuada, 1948), The Moonlighter (Roy Rowland, 1952), Kressin und die tote taube in der Beethovenstrasse (Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street, Sam Fuller, 1973), Renaldo & Clara (Bob Dylan, 1978), La sindrome di Stendhal (The Stendhal Syndrome, Dario Argento, 1996), Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979), Fair Wind to Java (Joseph Kane, 1953), Barocco (Andre Techiné, 1976), Roma, ore 11 (Giuseppe de Santis, 1952), O fantasma (João Pedro Rodrigues, 2003), Beau travail (Claire Denis, 2002), Les Signes (Eugène Green, 2006), The True Story of Lili Marlene (Humphrey Jennings, 1944), Aniki-Bóbó (Manoel de Oliveira, 1942), Jane Eyre (Robert Stevenson, 1948), Nju: Eine unverstandene Frau (Paul Czinner, 1924), Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987), Street of No Return / Sans espoir de return (Sam Fuller, 1989).


Co-director of The Art of Time.

Best Films seen in 2010

Tribute to Eric Rohmer (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

36 vues du Pic Saint Loup (Around a Small Mountain, Jacques Rivette, 2009)

“Lost in the Mountains” (Hong Sang-soo) segment of Visitors (a.k.a. Jeonju Digital Project, 2009)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

X+ (Marylène Negro, 2010)

Il nous faut du bonheur (We Need Happiness, Alexander Sokurov and Alexei Jankowski, 2010)

Light/Sound (Maximilian Le Cain and Vicky Langan, 2010)

Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira, 2009)

Inventorium Sladow (Brothers Quay, 2009)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog, 2009)

Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, 2009)

A Religiosa Portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun, Eugène Green, 2009)

Mount Analogue Revisited (Walker and Walker, 2010)


Senior Lecturer and Head of Cinema Studies in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University (Melbourne). He is also co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque, and an editor of Senses of Cinema.

To the memory of Kathy Dudding and Monique Phillips.

25 best “new” films screening somewhere in Melbourne (in preferential order)

1. Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzmán, 2010)

By some distance the greatest film of the year. A subtle, profound and wonderfully measured essay on the underlying philosophy of astronomy, the legacy of Chile’s murderous recent history, archaeology, time, memory, the vastness of space (both on earth and between the stars), and the cold gaze of the cosmos on human activity. One of the rare cases where a simple metaphor or symbol – the contrast between the vast passage of time registered by a radio-telescope and the endless archaeological dig in the vast desert to recover the scattered remains of Chile’s “disappeared” (one looking out, away and far back in time, the other sifting through the human detritus of the Pinochet regime littered across the country) – actually works and provides a profound study of the relativity of time, place, space and experience. Beautifully shot on 35mm, it is a devastating, Markeresque portrait of history as an act of forgetting and the actions of a few people (including Guzmán) to maintain vigilance against the easy amnesia of the relentless forward momentum of the present moment.

2. Shi (Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

3. Chekhov for Children (Sasha Waters Freyer, 2010) screened in Cork, Ireland

4. My Lai (Barak Goodman, 2010)

5. Tuan yuan (Apart Together, Quan’an Wang, 2010)

6. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

7. Das weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009)

8. Mad Men Series 4 (2010)/Boardwalk Empire Series 1 (2010)

9. Over Your Cities Grass will Grow (Sophie Fiennes, 2010)

10. The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog (Johann Lurf, 2009)

11. Day and Night (Teddy Newton, 2010)

12. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

13. Long Live the New Flesh (Nicolas Provost, 2009)

14. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

15. Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

16. Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

17. The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009)

18. Kûki ningyô (Air Doll, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2009)

19. Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

20. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

21. Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (Women without Men, Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, 2009)

22. Still in Cosmos (Makino Takashi, 2009)

23. Nénette (Nicolas Philibert, 2010)

24. Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

25. The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009)

Overrated and major disappointments

Robinson in Ruins (Patrick Keiller, 2010)

The Time That Remains (Elia Suleiman, 2009)

Sweetgrass (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009)

In the Loop (Armando Iannucci, 2009)

La Danse – Le ballet de l’Opéra de Paris (Frederick Wiseman, 2009)

Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

36 vues du Pic Saint Loup (Around a Small Mountain, Jacques Rivette, 2009)

Predictable disappointments

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Precious (Lee Daniels, 2009)

Worst film I’ve waited decades to see

Je t’aime moi non plus (Serge Gainsbourg, 1976)

Hokiest film of the year (but still quite good)

Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009)

Just plain bad

Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola, 2009)

The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson, 2009)

For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (Gerald Peary, 2009)

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog, 2009)

When You’re Strange (Tom DiCillo, 2010)

Not sure where this one fits in

Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Retrospective and screening highlights

Screenings of the restored Lola Montès (Max Ophuls, 1955), Who’s That Knocking at My Door (Martin Scorsese, 1968), Taking Off (Milos Forman, 1971), Plein soleil (René Clement, 1959), Mr. Klein (Jospeh Losey, 1976), One Hour with You (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932), The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Ernst Lubitsch, 1927), and Körkarlen (The Phantom Carriage, Victor Sjöström, 1921) at the Melbourne Cinémathèque (admission: I co-curated this program); the eye-poppingly restored The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948) and “Chromatic Mysteries” (a screening of work by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill with live accompaniment) at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image; Hanyo (The Housemaid, Kim Ki-young, 1960) and Welt am Draht (World on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973) at the Melbourne International Film Festival; various screenings of the work of Joseph Morder at the Saving Private Reels Conference (Cork, Ireland); Kerry Laitala’s experimental 3D work at the Horse Hospital (London); Tea and Sympathy (Vincente Minnelli, 1956) at the BFI; and at home of The Story of G.I. Joe (William A. Wellman, 1945), A Farewell to Arms (Frank Borzage, 1932), Gaslight (Thorold Dickinson, 1940), The Three Cabelleros (Norman Ferguson, 1945), Espionage: “A Free Agent” (Michael Powell, 1964), The Dead (John Huston, 1987), Elsa la rose (Agnès Varda, 1965), Ulysse (Agnès Varda, 1982), Ydessa, les ours et etc. (Agnès Varda, 2004), and Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter” (2002) – an extraordinary, revealing and instructively maddening two-and-a-half hour compilation of deleted scenes/shots and alternate takes from The Night of the Hunter (1955) that is a profound statement on the filmic process. And, finally, the following DVD releases: Criterion’s Close-Up (Nema-ye Nazdik, Abbas Kiarostami, 1990 – for its copious extras including Mossafer/The Traveler, 1974), Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939 – particularly for 1917’s Bucking Broadway), By Brakhage: An Anthology Volume Two, The Night of the Hunter, Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937), and 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg; Masters of Cinema’s La signora di tutti (Max Ophuls, 1934); Madman’s The Immortal Story (Histoire immortelle, Orson Welles, 1968) – confession: I wrote the booklet for this one; Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II; Warner Bros. and TCM’s Errol Flynn Adventures; the BFI’s Shadows of Progress: Documentary Film in Postwar Britain 1951-1977; and Artificial Eye’s The Agnès Varda Collection Volume 2.


Graduate of the University of King’s College with a diverse list of cinematic interests.

The most significant development in my film spectatorship this year was the opening of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox. This was my first year attending the festival itself and I was excited to see Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raoul Ruiz, 2010) on the first day that the Lightbox was open to the public. I have since spent a good deal of money at the Lightbox attending Essential 100 screenings, foreign language films and the best new Canadian cinema. The highlights of my year included a screening of The Searchers (John Ford, 1956) introduced by Peter Bogdanovich and a screening of Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975) introduced by John Waters. Bogdanovich and Waters each stuck around for intriguing question and answer periods as well. Unfortunately, I was unable to get tickets to many of the marquee events at the festival and have yet to see some of the films I was most hoping to see in 2010, such as Biutiful (Alejandro González Iñárritu) and Somewhere (Sophia Coppola, 2010).

I greatly enjoyed many of the films I did see (including my pick for film of the year) as well as Caranchi (Pablo Trapero, 2010), though I am still trying to get my head around Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010) months later. Like last year, I will limit my list to English-language films as I did not see a wide enough breadth of international cinema to properly create a fully inclusive list. My list is considerably more mainstream this year as my art-house viewing has been more classical due to the opening of the Lightbox. I have to catch up on this year’s top art-house releases in 2011. I consider The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010) to be the most overrated film of the year.

Top Ten

1. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

2. True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010)

3. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

4. Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2010)

5. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

6. The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)

7. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

8. Buried (Rodrigo Cortés, 2010)

9. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

10. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)


Ryan Professor of Film Studies, Coordinator of the Film Studies Program, Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and Editor in Chief, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, of Quarterly Review and Film and Video.

2010 was a deeply interesting year for the cinema, the year the medium went finally and irrevocably digital. This isn’t a bad thing. While 35mm projection is still (for the moment) the norm for final theatrical presentation, that’s changing, too, and all-digital theatres are popping up across the globe. Digital production is now commonplace, and becoming the rule, not just for spectacle films like James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), but also for intimate films, such as David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010). Neither is a particularly interesting film, though Avatar is now the most commercially successful film of all time (or, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average viewer), and The Social Network is being hailed as an Oscar front-runner, and will probably walk away with Best Picture and Best Director, despite the fact that it’s nothing more or less than a B+ TV movie. Fincher’s penchant, in particular, for doing multiple digital takes of even the simplest scenes, and then erasing them before going on to do more, raises a host of interesting questions. William Wyler was notorious for shooting up to 40 takes of a scene to get the naturalism he wanted from this actors, but in his case, all the takes were preserved on film, giving him a much wider range of performances to choose from. Who knows what values are lost in Fincher’s erased takes?

The new RED digital cameras make high-definition digital production easily accessible to even the most cost-conscious production, and you can even do a creditable job with “prosumer” equipment, as Gareth Edwards’ Monsters (2010) ably proved, in a film shot for a minimal budget which is infinitely more interesting than either of the two films mentioned above. In addition, Monsters was distributed online via streaming video on Amazon in the United States, as well as On-Demand television; it never really got a theatrical release, but still got out to a wide cross-section of viewers. The same thing was true of the nearly all-digital release of Claire Denis’ superb White Material (2009). Watch on an iPad, or a laptop, or a television; no need for prints or distribution costs, and most advertising is word-of-mouth. Jalmari Helander’s transgressive Finnish Christmas tale, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010), in which Santa is revealed to be a ravening monster, became a solid hit in the United States through digital downloads alone. Also, in late 2010, the mail order DVD giant Netflix announced plans to do away with DVDs entirely, and move to streaming video exclusively as fast as they could; with instant gratification a click away, why bother waiting for the postman? Blockbuster Video subsequently cut its three-day rental rate for in-store DVDs to 99 cents for most releases; an act of pure desperation. It won’t work. Books, movies, music; they’re all going online to stay, and that’s the way it rolls at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

So, in the midst of this rapidly changing landscape, my list of the Ten Best of 2010, in no particular order, is:

White Material


Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

Please Give (Nicole Holofcener, 2010)

The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

Shtikat Haarchion (A Film Unfinished, Yael Hersonski, 2010)

Get Low (Aaron Schneider, 2009)

Restrepo (Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, 2010)

Most Overrated

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

The Social Network

The reconstruction of Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom, 2010)

Madeo (Mother, Bong Joon-ho, 2009)


Film critic for Variety.

1. Tangshan Dadizhen (Aftershock, Feng Xiaogang, 2010)

2. Get Him to the Greek (Nicholas Stoller, 2010)

3. Kokuhaku (Confessions, Nakashima Tetsuya, 2010)

4. Shi (Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

5. Bang-kah (Monga, Niu Doze, 2010)

6. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

7. Ichimai No Hagaki (Post Card, Kaneto Shindo, 2010)

8. Kaittanshi Jokei (Sketches of Kaitan City, Kumakiri Kazuyoshi, 2010)

9. A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009)

10. Yukai Rapusodi (Accidental Kidnapper, Hideo Sakaki, 2010)


Writer on film, literature and politics, whose books include The Scorsese Picture: The Art and Life of Martin Scorsese and Open Secret: Gay Hollywood 1928-2000.

1. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Godard at his very best ever.

2. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

“Joe” at his very best – to date.

3. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Polanski directs the year’s best documentary.

4. Howl (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 2010)

Rob and Jeffrey, greatly aided by James Franco and Jon Hamm, evoke the spirit and art of Allen Ginsberg.

5. Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

Guadagnino revives the spirit of Luchino Visconti with the invaluable aide of Tilda Swinton.

6. L’enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot (Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea, 2009)

A lost film saved.

7. Guy and Madeleine on a Park Bench (Damien Chazelle, 2009)

As if the ghosts of John Cassavetes and Jacques Demy collaborated on a musical version of Guns of the Trees (Jonas Mekas, 1961).

8. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Or the perils of social climbing.

9. The City of Your Final Destination (James Ivory, 2009)

Ivory without Merchant scores a triumph that sadly far too few saw.

10. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Leave It To Beaver 2010.


Professor in the Film Studies program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the author of numerous books, including the forthcoming 21st Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation and A Short History of Film, both co-authored with Wheeler Winston Dixon.

This list reflects the fact that although many of my “greatest films of 2010” were in fact theatrically released last year, I was only able to see them in 2010, usually through pay-per-view, on our 42-inch flat screen plasma television. While it is great to have access to them at home, I’d be much more satisfied to view them on the big screen and enjoy them as they are meant to be viewed: on a huge screen in a dark room, in a communal atmosphere with an informed and opinionated audience.

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss national theatrical distribution. I like to go to the movies. I love the whole experience. I have driven to Kansas City from Nebraska and flown to New York to view a film on the big screen. But with the rapid evolution of streaming video distribution, I fear that soon only blockbusters and the “safe” indies (often documentaries) and unchallenging but “pretty” foreign films will be theatrically released on the big screen. On the other hand, many brilliant small and foreign films are finding their audiences through word of mouth and critical opinion and flourishing because of the availability of these new digital platforms.

Nevertheless, I should stress that I depend on the opinions of numerous critics, many of whom I have been following for years, to guide me in my choices as a viewer; from there, I make up my own mind as to the values of the films I see. I am one cineaste who does not think film criticism is dead. Far from it. With the plethora of releases in so many emerging platforms, we need informed and opinionated critics more than ever.

As a side note, I’m happy to see so many women filmmakers doing so well, making foreign and American independent films on a modest budget and finding a wide and enthusiastic audience. I’d also like to mention La mujer sin cabeza (The Headless Woman, Lucrecia Martel), shot in 2008, but only now getting a US release. And Claire Denis’ White Material would be on this list, as it’s just being released in 2010 in the US, but it was on my list last year.

Best Films of 2010

Please Give (Nicole Holofcener, 2010)

The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Get Low (Aaron Schneider, 2009)

Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

Cairo Time (Ruba Nadda, 2009)

Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manuel de Oliveira, 2009)

Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Au fond des bois (Deep in the Woods, Benoît Jacquot, 2010)

Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2009)

Most Overrated

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Cyrus (Jay and Mark Duplass, 2010)

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, 2009)


Former Program Director at Chicago Filmmakers (1996-2007), now Festival Director and Programmer of the Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival (run by Chicago Filmmakers).

I don’t see enough new releases to make a meaningful “best of” list, so what follows are those films and videos (seen in any format) that resonated the most for me the past year. Some are clearly great; others not so, but excited me none-the-less. I’m omitting many great (but obviously so) older films seen for the first time this year (Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, Gregory Markopoulos, etc.), concentrating primarily on new films and on unexpected or unexpectedly great viewing experiences.

Revelatory repeat screening of the year

7 Women (John Ford, 1966)

It took 25 years to see this again, but what originally left me cold as a young college student has revealed itself as a profound, beautiful and transcendent masterpiece.

New work by Kyle Canterbury



Nov. Untitled


June 23, 2010

June 30, 2010



Canterbury continues to be the most astonishing (and still overlooked!) artist working today.

WTF? viewing

A Thief in the Night (Donald W. Thompson, 1972)

A Distant Thunder (Donald W. Thompson, 1977)

Image of the Beast (Donald W. Thompson, 1980)

The Prodigal Planet (Donald W. Thompson, 1983)

The Paradise Trail (Donald W. Thompson, 1974)

Blood on the Mountain (Donald W. Thompson, 1979)

A quartet of Christian End Times quasi-sci-fi films, a Christian-themed western, and a Christian-themed criminals-on-the-run thriller all show that independent, regional filmmaking will always have gems to discover. Thompson is no Don Siegel or Samuel Fuller, but he did have a definite sense of visual style that moves these oddities beyond their primary religious intent.

Ethnography / cinema-verite / essay film / documentary

Blind Child (Johan van der Keuken, 1964)

N!owa T’ama: The Melon Tossing Game (John Marshall, 1970)

Children Throw Toy Assegais (John Marshall, 1972)

An Argument About a Marriage (John Marshall, 1969)

Debe’s Tantrum (John Marshall, 1972)

Lion Game (John Marshall, 1970)

The Meat Fight (John Marshall, 1974)

Playing with Scorpions (John Marshall, 1972)

A Rite of Passage (John Marshall, 1972)

Tug-of-War – Bushmen (John Marshall, 1974)

Trobriand Cricket: An Ingenious Response to Colonialism (Jerry Leach and Gary Kildea, 1973)

Children’s Magical Death (Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon, 1974)

Fußball wie noch nie (Football as Never Before, Hellmuth Costard, 1970)

Promised Lands (Susan Sontag, 1974)

Poto and Cabengo (Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1979)

Demon Lover Diary (Joel DeMott, 1980)

Seventeen (Jeff Kreines and Joel DeMott, 1983)

Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)

Fei Cheng (Ghost Town, Dayong Zhao, 2008)

Helsinki, Ikuisesti (Helsinki, Forever, Peter von Bagh, 2008)

Wait, did I just unwittingly put together an amazing documentary class screening list?

Crucial early cinema DVD releases

Chaplin at Keystone

Segundo de Chomón ­ 1903-1912: El Cine de la Fantasia

Fantômas (Louis Feuillade, 1913-14)

Asian cinema

Fuk sau (Vengeance, Johnnie To, 2009)

Heshang aiqing (Cry Me a River, Jia Zhang-ke, 2008)

Dung che sai duk (Ashes of Time Redux, Wong Kar-wai, 1994/2008)

Bu san (Good Bye, Dragon Inn, Tsai Ming-liang, 2003)

He liu (The River, Tsai Ming-liang, 1997)

An exciting (but much too small) group of films that reminds me that I still have a lot of catching up to do with Asian film.

Additional new and retrospective features (alphabetical by director)

Assault on Precinct 13 (John Carpenter, 1976)

35 Rhums (35 Shots of Rum, Claire Denis, 2008)

Slightly Scarlet (Allan Dwan, 1956)

Erie (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2009)

Mossafer (The Traveler, Abbas Kiarostami, 1974)

Der starke Ferdinand (Strongman Ferdinand, Alexander Kluge, 1976)

L.A. Zombie (Bruce La Bruce, 2010)

Reign of Terror (Anthony Mann, 1949)

My Sister Eileen (Richard Quine, 1955)

Corneille-Brecht (Jean-Marie Straub and Cornelia Geise, 2009)

The Pirates of Capri (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1949)

The Revolt of Mamie Stover (Raoul Walsh, 1956)

Face (Andy Warhol, 1965)

Additional new and retrospective short films and videos (alphabetical by director)

Shadow Cut (Martin Arnold, 2010)

giving, taking (Jake Barningham, 2010)

primordium (Jake Barningham, 2010)

ok (Jake Barningham, 2010)

concerning flight (Jake Barningham, 2010)

face (Jake Barningham, 2010)

centered (Jake Barningham, 2010)

lines (Jake Barningham, 2010)

paper (Jake Barningham, 2010)

Brune Renault (Neil Beloufa, 2010)

Sayre and Marcus (Neil Beloufa, 2010)

TV as a Fireplace (Jan Dibbets, 1968-69)

Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009)

Ten Minutes Older (Herz Frank, 1978)

Toads (Milena Gierke, 1997/2008)

Untitled Live Projector Performance (Joe Grimm, 2010)

A Thousand Julys (Lewis Klahr, 2010)

April Snow (Lewis Klahr, 2010)

Sugar Slim Says (Lewis Klahr, 2010)

Multiple SIDosis (Sid Laverents, 1970)

To Another (JB Mabe, 2010)

To Touch (JB Mabe, 2010)

To Turn (JB Mabe, 2010)

010101 (T. Marie, 2010)

Slave Ship (T. Marie, 2010)

Through Some Trick of Nature It Appears (Bruce McClure, 2010)

Fist I ­ Improper Frictions (Bruce McClure, 2010)

Fist II ­ Into a Sotspot (Bruce McClure, 2010, live projector performances)

Cup/Saucer/Two Dancers/Radio (Jonas Mekas, 1983)

india (Yoel Meranda, 2009)

incrivere (Yoel Meranda, 2009)

firewaters (Yoel Meranda, 2009)

bsorb (Yoel Meranda, 2009)

Sorry (Luther Price, 2010)

Filmmontagen I (Film Montages I, Peter Roehr, 1965)

Filmmontagen II (Film Montages II, Peter Roehr, 1965)

Filmmontagen III (Film Montages III, Peter Roehr, 1965)

Trypps #7 (Badlands) (Ben Russell, 2010)

Jan Dibbets: 12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective (Gerry Schum, 1969)

Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (Jean-Marie Straub, 2008)

Black Is (Aldo Tambellini, 1965)

Black Trip (Aldo Tambellini, 1965)

Black Trip 2 (Aldo Tambellini, 1967)

Black Plus X (Aldo Tambellini, 1966)

Blackout (Aldo Tambellini, 1965)

Black TV (Aldo Tambellini, 1968)

Black Gate Cologne (Aldo Tambellini and Otto Piene, 1968-69)

The Velvet Underground in Boston (Andy Warhol, 1967)


Freelance writer who lives in Essex, England, and writes primarily for the website Talking Pix.

Hello all. It’s that time of year again as we get closer and closer to the beginning of a new year and look back at the receding one and what we can remember of it. Luckily, I can recall most of what I have seen. My response is tinged with regret over the films I have not seen but grateful for the ones I have. The films may not all be new, but in the last calendar year these are the films that have most thrilled and entertained me. So, for me, the populist cinemagoer, the films of the year, in no particular order, are:

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Nolan follows up The Dark Knight (2008) with another behemoth of a film that is large in scale and subject matter, and in which dreamscapes abstract into landscapes as dreams become reality and vice-versa. This is matched by astounding central performances – none more so than that of Leonardo DiCaprio as the man who may or may not be locked in his own dream world. With a work vast in its ideas, and brilliant in its execution, Nolan returned with another summer blockbuster that entertained and treated the audience with respect rather than as popcorn-fed dunces.

Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

The story is complete, and Toy Story 3 is perhaps the greatest third film of any trilogy (sorry D3: The Mighty Ducks [Robert Lieberman, 1996]). Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex, Hamm, all returned in a film that was about accepting your lot in life, and that was also so careful in its depiction of ageing and mortality. Yes, it made me cry and anyone who did not was a person made of stone. Full of memorable moments: the “Great Escape” parody; the toy talking phone as an informant; the Spanish language Buzz; and the greatest reach out and touch someone moment in cinema history.

The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010)

When you have so many films to see, you miss out on some. I still have not seen Gone Baby Gone (2007), Affleck’s directorial debut, but it might have given me some briefing on his style. But if his sophomore effort or difficult “second album” is anything to go by, Affleck conducts himself as a director of great competence and assurance in handling a very generic “cops and robbers” plot with great purpose and vigour. He even throws in one of his best smouldering performances to boot.

Madeo (Mother, Bong Joon-ho, 2009)

First seen at the London Film Festival in 2009, and seen again on release this year, Bong’s film is mesmerising in its depiction of a woman who will go to great lengths to protect her beloved son. Featuring a great performance from television star Kim Hye-ja as the synonymous mother, this is yet another instance of South Korea slowly becoming a powerhouse in world cinema and producing distinct cinematic works.

Easier with Practice (Kyle Patrick Alvarez, 2009)

I always have a soft spot for small, independent American films that can connect with people universally. This picture stars the brilliant Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker [Kathryn Bigelow, 2008]) as Davy, a character who answers his motel phone one night and whose life changes when he connects with the voice on the other end of the line. A road movie with no clear ending, it is helped along by a great lead role that is witty instead of reliant on gross-out American humour. I hope this film finds a wider audience that can appreciate it.

Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

Vaughn’s eventual stab at Hollywood comic-book cinema (after his removal from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 2009) is a film that takes you by surprise. Visceral in its violence and laugh-out-loud funny in its knowledge of the genre, it is “endorsed” by Nicholas Cage doing his best Adam West impersonation along with help from Aaron Johnson, Mark Strong, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and the scene-stealing Chloe Moretz as “Hit Girl”, the cussing, true kick-ass star of the film.

How to Train Your Dragon (Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, 2010)

Odd, I know, to have two animated pictures in a year-end poll, but this Dreamworks effort from the directors of Lilo & Stitch (2002) is a film that grows on you and that takes itself in unexpected directions. Its hero, a flawed figure who finds respect from his peer group through his use of initiative, is a role model for the youth of today. As a character who is not afraid to wear his battle scars in public he provides a nice parallel with the Allied forces serving in Afghanistan.

Forbidden (Frank Capra, 1932)

The BFI ran a near complete career retrospective of Capra’s oeuvre from his work with Mack Sennett and the Keystone Cops to George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946) via Barbara Stanwyck. Offering a rare opportunity to see his films on the silver screen in all their glory, I afforded myself the pleasure of a matinee showing of this forgotten gem from 1932 in which Stanwyck fights for the love of the married Adolphe Menjou against the advances of a whimsical Ralph Bellamy. The shooting, editing and acting are characteristic of the Columbia style of the early 1930s, but it is astonishing to see how Capra developed from this to the eventual triumph of It Happened One Night (1934) and his other Oscar winners. Just as astonishing is the influence this film must have had on Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941), an effect that many are either unwilling to testify to or just will not believe in terms of plot, specific shots and the film’s general feel. A gem that I will always remember – as much for the experience as for the film.

The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges, 1960)

This was a treat for my father who is a Western genre nut, and can recite passages from this film by heart. Seen countless times huddled around a small television set in my youth, it was a pleasure to see it on the big screen at London’s Southbank. All sat there quietly as the curtains drew back and Elmer Bernstein’s unforgettable score roared off the screen. My Dad sat on the aisle (the original aisle sitter?) as the other six people in his group all looked at him, observing the big smile growing upon his face. It features a fascinating screenplay (in terms of its economy of words) and acting of the highest order (with Steve McQueen duelling with Yul Brynner for screen time but losing). Adapted from Akira Kurosawa’s Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai, 1954), and itself influencing countless filmmakers, audiences are still encountering it due to the general power of its filmmaking. A highpoint for so many involved in its making, it is also a highpoint of my 2010 filmgoing.

Salt (Phillip Noyce, 2010)

An admirable effort by Noyce to sex-up the spy film with Angelina Jolie as an “is she/isn’t she” Russian spy. Considering that this was originally intended as a vehicle for Tom Cruise (who lifted motorcycle stunts for his own Knight and Day [James Mangold, 2010]), Jolie makes the role of Evelyn Salt her own, and in so doing, created the necessary franchise that every Hollywood starlet should have.


The Other Guys (Adam McKay, 2010)

A let down in that I found many of its punchlines flat and unoriginal; Will Ferrell to be at his annoying, shouting worst; Mark Wahlberg criminally miscast; and Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson shamefully underused in their all too brief cameos.

Date Night (Shawn Levy, 2010)

Featuring yet another American comedian (Steve Carell) shouting a lot. Both Carell and Tina Fey seem lost, and it tells you something when the best punchline is in the post-credit gag reel. A bit of a mess that makes Dude, Where’s My Car? (Danny Leiner, 2000) look like Dickens. After the success of last year’s The Hangover (Todd Phillips, 2009) this, coupled with the above title, was a step back for American comedy cinema.

The Wolfman (Joe Johnston, 2010)

It was going so well until the “truth” is revealed, and then the poor CGI that had delayed the original release date, and so should have been an improvement, meant that this film – featuring a decent turn by Benicio Del Toro – descended into an unnecessary monster mash-up that does not give you nightmares.

Gentlemen Broncos (Jared Hess, 2009)

An unfortunate mess considering that it was written and directed by Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, 2004). With the talent he had at his disposal, I expected something akin to Galaxy Quest (David Parisot, 1999) and instead got sub-par sci-fi mumbo-jumbo.


Filmmaker, teacher, and curator based in Boston, Massachusetts. His latest film is Vapor Trail (Clark).

Of what crossed my path in 2010, the following films (in no particular order) are the works I can presently recollect that mattered most to me:

Free Land (Minda Martin, 2009)

Amanar Tamasheq (Lluis Escartin, 2010)

Sawan Baan Na (Agrarian Utopia, Uruphong Raksasad, 2009)

Ukranian Time Machine series (Naomi Uman, 2008)

Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzman, 2010)

Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008)

My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946) Extended director’s cut.

Comrades (Bill Douglas, 1986)

Numero zero (Jean Eustache, 1971)

Hitparkup (Dissolution, Nina Menkes, 2010)

El familiar (Octavio Getino, 1973)

Qu’ils reposent en revolte (Des figures de guerre) (Sylvain George, 2010)

Gloria Mundi (Nico Papatakis, 1975/2005)

Algerie en flammes (Rene Vautier, 1958)

Independencia (Raya Martin, 2009)

Missa on missa? (Where is Where?, Eiji-Liisa Ahtila, 2009)

Toujours moins (Luc Moullet, 2010)

Fe cheng (Ghost Town, Zhao Dayung, 2008)

Additionally, I would cite the exhibition, Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine.


Producer, distributor and commentator based in Melbourne and Los Angeles. He is President of FG Film Productions (Australia) Pty Ltd/IFM World Releasing Inc., as well as President of the Screen Producers Association of Australia.

Top 10 (Eligibility: 2010 theatrical, festival or premiere DVD first release in The United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand – listed alphabetically by title)

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

A mesmerising baroque blend of horror and melodrama. Seamlessly mixes vintage Brian De Palma and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965) with All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950).

Brighton Rock (Rowan Joffe, 2010)

More overheated melodrama – a seaside story that replaces the sci-fi of Losey’s The Damned (1963) with Get Carter Brit crime.

Los abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces, Pedro Almodóvar, 2009)

Sirkian obsession and blindness as a metaphor for contemporary cinema.

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, 2010)

The sexual voyeurism Hitchcock would have created if he were working today. The camera refuses to let the guilty off the hook.

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Corruption and duplicity – modern politics and ’70s paranoia with an ironic overlay.

Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010)

Eastwood considers Fritz Lang for predestination; Vincente Minnelli for Parisian passions and The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Minnelli, 1962) and Claude Lelouch for every dream-like reverie and time-slip of cinema since the ’60s.

Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Tough mob-style prison thriller recalls early Don Siegel. Taught and unforgiving.

La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier, Bertrand Tavernier, 2010)

Lush historical cinema with a contemporary edge. Tavernier channels George Cukor and Jean Renoir with his feisty heroine.

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Jacques Tourneur and his zombies meet Sam Fuller and his racists in this excitable piece of grand guignol.

The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010)

With his second feature, Ben Affleck joins Ron Howard as a classicist to watch. Affleck is a contender for Eastwood’s crown if he keeps at it.

Other titles that have excited or inspired me during the year include

1. The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010)

2. Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

3. The Crazies (Breck Eisner, 2010)

4. Daybreakers (Michael and Peter Spierig, 2009)

5. Devil (John Erick Dowdle, 2010)

6. Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

7. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

8. Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

9. Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)

10. Machete (Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis, 2010)

11. L’Instinct de mort (Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Jean-François Richet, 2008)

12. L’Ennemi public n°1 (Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1, Jean-François Richet, 2008)

13. Hors-la-loi (Outside the Law, Rachid Bouchareb, 2010)

14. Pirahna 3D (Alexandre Aja, 2010)

15. Predators (Nimród Antal, 2010)

16. Robin Hood (Ridley Scott, 2010)

17. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

18. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone, 2010)

19. Das weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009)

20. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)


Resides in Winnipeg, Canada, where Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010) and Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010) have, unfortunately, yet to open.

Best Films of 2010

1. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)

2. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

3. True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010)

4. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

5. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

6. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

7. Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2010)

8. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

9. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

10. The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010)

10. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Honourable Mentions

Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010)

Youth In Revolt (Miguel Arteta, 2009)

The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman, 2010)

The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)

Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

Green Zone (Paul Greengrass, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010)

Solitary Man (Brian Koppelman and David Levien, 2009)


PhD candidate in Cinema Studies at New York University and the translator of Serge Daney’s Postcards from the Cinema. He is currently living in France finishing his dissertation on 1970s French militant cinema.

Just like the 2009 poll, I find myself still living somewhere between the Jura and Meillonas, France. The result is that much of my 2010 list is about ephemera, archives and interviews. I guess its what one might call a Personal best…

1. Strange appearance of Yann Le Masson’s Regarde elle a les yeux grands ouverts (1980) streaming on internet.

1 a. Also, spending time with Le Masson on his boat listening to him recount his work with Vautier, MLAC and Michelle Firk.

2. Jacques Kebadian’s collective project Albertine, le souvenir parfumé de Marie Rose (1972, Collectif Eugène Varlin).

3. Jean-Louis Le Tacon’s super-8 Le Cochon qui s’en dedit (1979) at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and its scheduled 2011 DVD release on Editions Montparnasse.

4. Sabine Mamou and Jean-Luc Heridel’s Âmes charitables s’abstenir (1976) super-8 film about the militant handicapped.

4a. Also found at the BnF old issues of militant handicapped journals Les Mechants handicapés and Bankalement votre.

5. Editions Montparnasse DVD release of Jean Rouch’s Une Aventure Africaine.

6. DVD release of Henry Brandt’s Quand nous étions petits enfants as well as the 50th anniversary screening with the participants in la vallée de la Brévine, Neuchatel.

7. Strange appearance of Lionel Soukaz’s IXE (1980) streaming on the internet.

8. Marcel Hanoun’s posting of all his films online.

9. Seeing Paul Meyer’s Dèja s’envole la fleur maigre (1960) at the BnF.

10. INA’s release of Jean Prat’s adaptation of Roger Vaillant’s 325,000 francs. (I think last year this was on my list because someone had given me a DVD copy with time code burned into it…)


Death of Jacques Panijel, author of Octobre à Paris (1961), the film long-banned (first by France, then by Panijel himself) about the massacre of demonstrators in 1961 for Algerian Independence.


Author of A Grand Guy: The Art and Life of Terry Southern and a BFI book on Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969).

Top ten (in order of preference)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010) / Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2010) (tied)

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Les Amours imaginaires (Heartbeats, Xavier Dolan, 2010)

The Trip (Michael Winterbottom, 2010)

Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)

Waste Land (Lucy Walker, 2010)

Imagine: Ray Davies (Julien Temple, 2010)

Essential Killing (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2010)

Honourable mentions (in order of preference)

Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

Mandelsohn: The Real PM (Hannah Rothschild, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Carancho (Pablo Trachero, 2010)

Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman, 2010)

Four Lions (Chris Morris, 2010)

Archipelago (Joanna Hogg, 2010)

The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010)

Treacle Jr (Jamie Thraves, 2010)

Cross Channel (Ron Peck, 2009)


Wild River (Elia Kazan, 1960)

Lost and Found: The BBS Story. Another essential Criterion DVD boxed set which includes superbly packaged discs of Head (Bob Rafelson, 1968), Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969), Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970), Drive He Said (Jack Nicholson, 1970), A Safe Place (Henry Jaglom, 1971), The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971) and The King of Marvin Gardens (Bob Rafelson, 1972)

Not awful, but seriously disappointing

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Hors la loi (Outside The Law, Rachid Bouchareb, 2010)

Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010)

Worst (made reality TV look honest)

Self-Made (Gillian Wearing, 2010)

Not a great year, but one when I saw more films in the space of a month, as a trade delegate at the London Film Festival, than I had in several years. It was a year of worthy films, but far too many lacked precision and energy. The control that Polanski, Baumbach or Sofia Coppola had over their seemingly familiar material won me over far more than the sound and fury of Inception, a film that made me long for the gravitas of a Little Nemo comic. Other films, like The Arbor, about the short life of playwright Andrea Dunbar, had content that transcended the pretensions of their director or the technical constraints of zero budgets (Jamie Thraves and Ron Peck). I am not sure what it says about 2010 that my two favourite films, The Ghost Writer and Greenberg, were by and about a pariah respectively, but for many in the world, 2010 was probably a lonelier and more alienating year than that found on the silver screen.


Research and development consultant, musician and independent filmmaker in Lima, Peru.

Absolute Masterpieces:

1. Un lac (Philippe Grandrieux, 2008)

2. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

3. Visage (Tsai Ming-liang, 2009)


4. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

5. Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, 2009)


6. Les herbes folles (Wild Grass, Alain Resnais, 2009)

7. Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

8. Bang bang wo ai shen (Help me Eros, Kang-sheng Lee, 2007)

9. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Bansky, 2010)

10. Si (Poetry, Lee Chang-Dong, 2010)


Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)

White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

I’m Still Here (Casey Affleck, 2010)

Chelsea on the Rocks (Abel Ferrara, 2008)

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex, Uri Edel, 2008)

Mudanza (Pere Portabella, 2008)

Barbe bleue (Bluebeard, Catherine Breillat, 2009)

Kûki ningyô (Air Doll, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2009)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Das Weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009)

A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (Apitchapong Weerasethakul, 2009)

Oxhide II (Liu Jiayin, 2009)

Have some redeeming features:

Kynodontas (Dogtooth, Giorgos Lanthimos, 2009)

Finisterrae (Sergio Caballero, 2010)

Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In, Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008)

Los abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces, Pedro Almodóvar, 2009)

And yes, I have seen Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010) and The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010).


Cinéphile living in Melbourne, Australia, and a regular contributor to Senses of Cinema.

Top 10 (selections are listed alphabetically by director)

Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Confronting, and challenging, but also very humane.

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)

I loathe mockumentaries – but here the format is used so provocatively, that issues and ideas really do arise.

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, 2010)

The deleted scenes on the DVD show how much Egoyan can enhance by simplifying.

Alamar (To the Sea, Pedro González-Rubio, 2009)

Simplicity itself – more viewings are needed.

Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzmán, 2010)

A wonderful, challenging, inspiring essay.

Das weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009)

Black-and-white hasn’t been used so well for years.

Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2009)

All the pilgrim extras are part of the richness of this film.

Habitación en Roma (Room in Rome, Julio Medem, 2010)

A film can have the point-of-view of a room

O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)

And not only because it’s the best film from a centenarian.

And, courtesy of The Melbourne Cinémathèque, my first viewing of The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Ernst Lubitsch, 1927) – a revelation typical of many from this enterprising organisation, and an example of a somewhat downplayed film that is such a joy.

My picks are usually films I want to see again, knowing that they will yield even more richness on subsequent viewings. There are some other films seen this year that probably deserve a higher ranking, but one viewing (which may have been under less than ideal circumstances) means I’m holding back some judgements, for example: Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, 2010); Revanche (Götz Spielmann, 2008), Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010).


Freelance writer and film critic, her involvement with Senses of Cinema dates back to 2001.

Favourite films of 2010

(Criteria for inclusion: to have been seen in a cinema in 2010, or to have first hit the big screen in Melbourne, whether in commercial release or under other auspices, in 2010.)

Ibn Babil (Son of Babylon, Mohamed Al-Daradji, 2009)

I Love You Phillip Morris (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, 2009)

Das weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009)

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)

Shinboru (Symbol, Hitoshi Matsumoto, 20009)

Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell, 2010)

White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

Boy (Taika Waititi, 2010)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

Soudain le vide (Enter the Void, Gaspar Noé, 2009)

Fig Trees (John Greyson, 2009)

In The Loop (Armando Iannucci, 2009)

Ehky Ya Shahrazad (Scheherazade Tell Me a Story, Yousry Nasrallah, 2009)

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Reel Injun (Neil Diamond, 2009)

Sahman (Border, Harutyun Khachatryan, 2009)

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)

Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Plus three brilliant animated features

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)

L’illusionniste (The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet, 2010)

Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

And not to forget that it was preceded by the marvellous and ingenious short, Day & Night (Teddy Newton, 2010).

Honourable mentions

TRON: Legacy (Joseph Kosinski, 2010)

Four Lions (Christopher Morris, 2010)

Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)

Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

The first ¾ of Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola, 2009)

Precious (Lee Daniels, 2009)

Kûki ningyô (Air Doll, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2009)

Bibliothèque Pascal (Szabolcs Hajdu, 2010)

Me and Orson Welles (Richard Linklater, 2009)

Kawasakiho růže (Kawasaki’s Rose, Jan Hřebejk, 2009)

Rubber (Quentin Dupieux, 2010)

Hanyo (The Housemaid, Im Sang-soo, 2010)

Welt am Draht (World on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)

The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009)

Reykjavik-Rotterdam (Óskar Jónasson, 2008)

Peepli Live (Anusha Rizvi & Mahmood Farooqui, 2010)

La danse – Le ballet de l’Opéra de Paris (Frederick Wiseman, 2009)

Summer Coda (Richard Gray, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, 2009)

Retrospective revelations

Lásky Jedné Plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde, Miloš Forman, 1966)

Taking Off (Miloš Forman, 1971)

Ya shagayu po Moskve (I Step Through Moscow, Georgi Daneliya, 1963)

Ôkami to buta to ningen (Wolves, Pigs and Men, Kinji Fukasaku, 1964)

Omocha (The Geisha House, Kinji Fukasaku, 1999)

West of Zanzibar (Tod Browning, 1928)

The Unknown (Tod Browning, 1927)

Yuen Ling-yuk (Centre Stage, Stanley Kwan, 1992)

One Hour With You (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)

The War Game (Peter Watkins, 1965)

Six Shooter (Martin McDonagh, 2004)

Meta-cinematic events of note

Much trumpeting vaunted the staging in Melbourne of two discrete theatrical adaptations of films themselves heavily concerned with matters theatrical. The Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of All About My Mother was a great disappointment, an accidental Australian analogue of a Europudding production that trampled all over my love of Pedro Almodóvar’s wonderful 1999 film. Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s take on John Cassavetes’ Opening Night (1977), however, was several other whole kettles of fish, a superbly executed, multimedia re-imagining of its inspiration text replete with some very clever (and amusing) site-specific manoeuvrings.

Also: hats off to all involved in the performed cinema free-for-all that was “Superstream”, staged during the Melbourne Fringe Festival by members of the Grenoble-based live cinema quartet, Superflux, in collaboration with Melbourne AV collective Stream, and to Jake Wilson for curating “Grain of the Voice: 50 Years of Sound and Image by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill” at ACMI over more Sundays than, regrettably, I managed to get along to.


Much kudos to Madman Entertainment, whose prodigious Region 4 output never ceases to amaze, and to whose extras-rich, great-pains-taken Directors Suite imprint in particular is owed a tremendous weight of gratitude on the part of Australia’s cinéphile community. With their recent Yasujirō Ozu boxset, Madman have outdone themselves, but here’s also making appreciative noises for superb Directors Suite releases in 2010 of canonical titles from Max Ophuls, Orson Welles, Kenji Mizoguchi, Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, Luis Buñuel, and others.

Looking farther afield, there have been terrific home cinema releases from all of the usual celebrated suspects, so here’s singling out just one lesser trumpeted label for special attention: the Czechophile’s friend, the UK’s Second Run, for such restored wonders as Juraj Herz’s Morgiana (1972).

Worst film news of the year

Deaths of various film notables and Screen Australia’s withdrawal of all of its funding of Senses of Cinema notwithstanding, there’s simply no contest. The imprisonment of Jafar Panahi by a tyrannical Iranian regime is an appalling development nonpareil.


Editor at Asia Pacific Arts and PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

20 favourites, from a year of watching movies in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

1. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

2. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

3. Hai shang chuan qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010)

4. Han jia (Winter Vacation, Li Hongqi, 2010)

5. Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

6. Last Train Home (Lixin Fan, 2009)

7. Tangshan da di zhen (Aftershock, Feng Xiaogang, 2010)

8. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

9. Jackass 3D (Jeff Tremaine, 2010)

10. Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

11. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

12. Kûki ningyô (Air Doll, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2009)

13. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)

14. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

15. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

16. Chun feng chen zui de ye wan (Spring Fever, Lou Ye, 2009)

17. Red Dragonflies (Liao Jiekai, 2010)

18. Woman on Fire Looks for Water (Woo Ming Jin, 2009)

19. Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

20. The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)


Main film critic for Die Presse (Vienna).

2010: sixteen suggestions

La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier, Bertrand Tavernier, 2010) & Road to Nowhere (Monte Hellman, 2010)

Kamisama no pazuru (God’s Puzzle, Takashi Miike, 2008) & Final Flesh (Vernon Chatman, 2009)

The Expendables (Sylvester Stallone, 2010) & Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois, 2010)

Im Schatten (In the Shadows, Thomas Arslan, 2010) & Im Angesicht des Verbrechens (In The Face of Crime, Dominik Graf, 2010) & Unter dir die Stadt (The City Below, Christoph Hochhäusler, 2010)

El sicario – Room 164 (Gianfranco Rosi, 2010) & Machete (Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis, 2010)

Yatterman (Miike Takashi, 2009) & Amer (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, 2009)

Oca (Dad) (Vlado Škafar, 2010) & Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone, 2010)

Unstoppable (Tony Scott, 2010) & Raavanan (Mani Ratnam, 2010)

Vapor Trail (Clark) (John Gianvito, 2010) & Kyatapirâ (Caterpillar, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2010)

Essential Killing (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2010) & The Eagle Path (Jean-Claude Van Damme, 2010)

Mörderschwestern (Peter Kern, 2011) & Assault Girls (Oshii Mamoru, 2009)

Oda az igazság (So Much for Justice, Miklós Jancsó, 2010) & Di Renjie zhi tongtian diguo (Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Tsui Hark, 2010)

Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010) & Nishi no majo ga shinda (The Witch of the West is Dead, Shunichi Nagasaki, 2008)

Kyonyû doragon: Onsen zombi vs sutorippâ 5 (Big Tits Zombie 3D, Takao Nakanao, 2010) & Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2010)

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceasuescu, Andrei Ujică, 2010) & Balada triste de trompeta (A Sad Trumpet Ballad, Àlex de la Iglesia, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010) & Das rote Zimmer (The Red Room, Rudolf Thome, 2010)

some shorter sensations

Oedipus Monument. Test. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler, 2008)

Tse (Out, Roee Rosen, 2010)

Get Out of the Car (Thom Andersen, 2010)

Brilianty (Diamonds, Rustam Chamdamov, 2010)

O somma luce (Jean-Marie Straub, 2010)

Mystery Music (Nikolaus Mahler, 2009)

Le rapport Karski (Claude Lanzmann, 2010)

En el futuro (In the Future, Mauro Andrizzi, 2010)

Chef d’oeuvre? (Luc Moullet, 2010) & Toujours moins (Luc Moullet, 2010)

13x Glück (Klaus Lemke, 2010) & Papas Staatskino ist tot (Klaus Lemke, 2010)

Restauratiewagens (Arianne Olthaar, 2010)

Painéis de São Vincente de Fora, visão poética (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010)

the treasure trove

Buio in sala (Dino Risi, 1948) & Il siero della verità (Dino Risi, 1949) & Una vita difficile (A Difficult Life, Dino Risi, 1961) & La marcia su Roma (March On Rome, Dino Risi, 1962) & Anima persa (The Forbidden Room, Dino Risi, 1977)

The Outer Limits: Don’t Open Till Doomsday (Gerd Oswald, 1964) & The Twilight Zone: The Star (Gerd Oswald, 1985)

Tatakau heitai (Fighting Soldiers, Kamei Fumio, 1939)

The Most Dangerous Man Alive (Allan Dwan, 1961)

[Vermählung des künftigen Thronfolgers Erzherzogs Karl Franz Josef mit Prinzessin Zita von Parma auf dem Schloss zu Schwarzau (21. Oktober 1911)(Mit allergnädigster Bewilligung des Kaiserhauses alleiniges Aufführungsrecht)] (unknown, 1911)

Der lachende Mann – Bekenntnisse eines Mörders (Walter Heynowski, Gerhard Scheumann, 1966) & Schlachtfelder (Peter Voigt, 1986)

Beröringen (The Touch, Ingmar Bergman, 1971)

Kong Fuzi (Confucius, Fei Mu, 1940)

The Exterminator (James Glickenhaus, 1980) & Shakedown (Blue Jean Cop, James Glickenhaus, 1988)

[Marines] (unknown, ca. 1905)

Il federale (The Fascist, Luciano Salce, 1961)

Etwas über A Corner in Wheat (Helmut Färber, 1980) & Drei Minuten in einem Film von Ozu (Helmut Färber, 1988)

It’s Always Fair Weather (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1955) & Two For the Road (Stanley Donen, 1967)

Alyonka (Boris Barnet, 1961)

Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (Let’s Go With Pancho Villa, Fernando De Fuentes, 1936)

Le gardian de Camargue (Léonce Perret, 1910) & Coeur-Ardent (Jean Durant, 1912)

Auf Wiedersehen, Franziska! (Helmut Käutner, 1941) & Schwarzer Kies (Helmut Käutner, 1961)

Lo scatenato (Catch as Catch Can, Franco Indovino, 1967)

Silver River (Raoul Walsh, 1948)

Erste Liebe (Peter Schreiner, 1983) & Kinderfilm (Peter Schreiner, 1985)

Daleká cesta (Distant Journey, Alfréd Radok, 1950)

Jeux de langues (Francis Leroi, 1977) & Je suis à prendre (Francis Leroi, 1977)

The Whispering Chorus (Cecil B. De Mille, 1918) & Miss Lulu Bett (William C. de Mille, 1921)

La moglie più bella (The Most Beautiful Wife, Damiano Damiani, 1970)

Espionage: Medal for a Turned Coat (David Greene, 1964) & It’s Alive 3: Island of the Alive (Larry Cohen, 1987)

Little Friend (Berthold Viertel, 1934)

The Magician of Lublin (Menahem Golan, 1979) & The Apple (Menahem Golan, 1980)

Wilhelmsburger Freitag (Egon Monk, 1964)

Youth Runs Wild (Mark Robson, 1944)

Gloria Mundi (Nicos Papatakis, 1976)

. . . a páty jezdec je Strach (. . . and the Fifth Horseman is Fear, Zbyněk Brynych, 1965)

Unversöhnliche Erinnerungen (Johann Feindt, Karl Siebig, Klaus Volkenborn, 1980)

Il boom (Vittorio De Sica, 1963)

Steel Arena (Mark L. Lester, 1973)

Notre-Dame de Paris (Albert Capellani, 1911) & Les misérables (Albert Capellani, 1913)

Fame is the Spur (Roy Boulting, 1947)

Why Man Creates (Elaine & Saul Bass, 1968) & The Solar Film (Elaine & Saul Bass, 1980)

Der Prozess (Eberhard Fechner, 1984)

Autumn Leaves (Robert Aldrich, 1956) & The Legend of Lylah Clare (Robert Aldrich, 1968) & The Blonde (Elliot & Harry Lewis, 1980)

Jdi za štĕstím (On the Way to Happiness, Jan Špáta, 1970)

most hoped for illusory two-in-one-sequel

Yatterberg 2 3D (Miike-Tsangari)


Writer and web developer in Knoxville, Tennessee, who can be found at the website long pauses… .

Favourite New York theatrical releases of 2010

1. Milyang (Secret Sunshine, Lee Chang-dong, 2007)

2. Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira, 2009)

3. Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard, Catherine Breillat, 2009)

4. Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto (Our Beloved Month of August, Miguel Gomes, 2008)

5. Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman, 2010)

6. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009)

7. Sweetgrass (Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009)

8. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

9. The Exploding Girl (Bradley Rust Gray, 2009)

10. 36 vues du Pic Saint Loup (Around a Small Mountain, Jacques Rivette, 2009)

Favourite new films I saw in 2010

1. Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009)

2. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

3. Promises Written in Water (Vincent Gallo, 2010)

4. Meeks Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

5. Ruhr (James Benning, 2009)

6. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

7. Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira, 2009)

8. Coming Attractions (Peter Tscherkassky, 2010)

9. Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman, 2010)

10. Marti, dupa craciun (Tuesday, After Christmas, Radu Muntean, 2010)

Favourite discoveries of 2010 (one film per director, in alphabetical order)

The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)

The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa, 1956)

The House is Black (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1963)

The Long Gray Line (John Ford, 1955)

Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937)

A Married Couple (Allan King, 1969)

Les rendez-vous dAnna (Chantal Akerman, 1978)

Stroszek (Werner Herzog, 1977)

Tender Mercies (Bruce Beresford, 1983)

Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956)


Filmmaker who resides in Cologne, Germany.

Top 12 of 2010

Eyyvah, Eyvah (Hakan Algül, 2010)

The Other Guys (Adam McCay, 2010)

Namibya Şehir Iken (When Namibia was a City, Ilker Çatak and Johannes Dunker, 2010)

Gentlemen Broncos (Jared Hess, 2009)

Gainsbourg (Joann Sfar, 2009)

Crime d’amour (Love Crime, Alain Corneau, 2010)

3 Kreuze für einen Bestseller (Klaus Lemke, 2010)

Die Eroberung der inneren Freiheit (The Attainment of Inner Freedom, Silvia Kaiser & Aleksandra Kumorek, 2009)

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

Everybody’s Fine (Kirk Jones, 2009)

Letzter Moment (Sathyan Ramesh, 2010)

Get Him to the Greek (Nicholas Stoller, 2010)

Films seen in 2010 for the first time or again after years (in cinemas in Bologna, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hof, Oberhausen, Lisbon, or simply at home) – my momentary mini-history of film:

Le bagne des gosses (1907), Lea e il gomitolo (1913), Protéa (Victorin Jasset, 1913), Manhandled (Allan Dwan, 1924), Isn’t Life Wonderful? (D.W. Griffith, 1924), Imitation of Life (John M. Stahl, 1934), The Black Room (Roy William Neill, 1935), Gentleman Jim (Raoul Walsh, 1942), Le ciel est a nous (Jean Gremillon, 1943), Nightmare Alley (Edmound Goulding, 1947), Seminole (Budd Boetticher, 1953), Woman They Almost Lynched (Allan Dwan, 1953), It’s Always Fair Weather (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1955), Picnic (Joshua Logan, 1955), Whirlpool (Lewis Allen, 1959), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1960), The Time Machine (George Pal, 1960), Belphégor (Claude Barma, 1965), Funny Girl (William Wyler, 1968), Marooned (John Sturges, 1969), Beröringen (The Touch, Ingmar Bergman, 1971), Sylvie (Klaus Lemke, 1973), Stay Hungry (Bob Rafelson, 1976), Robert & Robert (Claude Lelouch, 1978), The Postman Always Rings Twice (Bob Rafelson, 1981), The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983), Mask (Peter Bogdanovich, 1985), Barfly (Barbet Schroeder, 1987), La vie est un long fleuve tranquile (Etienne Chatiliez, 1988), L’arbre, le maire et la mediatheque (The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque, Eric Rohmer, 1993), Hearts and Souls (Ron Underwood, 1993), Der Busenfreund (The Bossom Friend, Ulrich Seidl, 1997), Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003), Nacho Libre (Jared Hess, 2006)


Freelance writer currently based in Seattle and frequent contributor to Cinema Scope magazine.

A memorable annual for film, in a World Cup year no less. The following come to mind, in no particular order of preference, easily subject to change (hierarchy and consensus only serve to narrow the field of view…):

Alamar (To the Sea, Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, 2009)

A Religiosa Portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun, Eugène Green, 2009)

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu (The Autobiography of Nicolae

Ceausescu, Andrei Ujica, 2010)

Aurora (Cristi Puiu, 2010)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)

White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

Un Sourire malicieux éclaire son visage (A Mischievous Smile Lights Up Her Face, Christelle Lheureux, 2009)

Marti, dupa craciun (Tuesday, After Christmas, Radu Muntean, 2010)

Oki-eui Younghwa (Oki’s Movie, Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Karamay (Xu Xin, 2010)

Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010)

Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010)

Tournée (On Tour, Mathieu Amalric, 2010)

Hai shang chuan qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010)

Foreign Parts (Verena Paravel, J.P. Sniadecki, 2010)

Todos vós sodes capitáns (You Are All Captains, Oliver Laxe, 2010)

Año Besiesto (Leap Year, Michael Rowe, 2010)

Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín, 2010)

O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)


Freelance cinéphile and the screenwriter of the upcoming film Dartworth.

1. Politist, adj. (Police, Adjective, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2009) At once abstract and dialectic, this Kafkaesque police thriller questions the very nature of law itself.

2. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010) Another beautiful cine-essay by Uncle Jean, and his first in HD video.

3. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009) Tactile and disturbing, this is Denis’ best since Beau Travail (1999), with a career-best performance from Isabelle Huppert.

4. Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, Andrei Ujică, 2010) A mixture of newsreels and home movies, this absurdist documentary shows Ceauşescu as he believed the world saw him.

5. Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2010) What’s it like to be inside a tank during warfare? Special mention must be made of its remarkable soundtrack.

6. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) Reminding me of Costa-Gavras’ superb late ’60s films Z (1969) and The Confession (1970), this rollicking thriller flies by in its five-and-a-half hour running time.

7. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010) Call me Mr Consensus, but this well-written, directed and acted film simultaneously sucks up to, and mocks, its own zeitgeist.

8. Greenberg (Noan Baumbach, 2010) Reminiscent of ’70s Robert Altman, this seriously screwed-up romantic comedy transcends its genre.

9. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010) Polanski, working!

10. L’illusionniste (The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet, 2010) Jacques Tati lives!

Runners-up, alphabetically:

Green Zone (Paul Greengrass, 2010)

L’Enfer d’ Henri-Georges Clouzot (Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea, 2009)

Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

The Juche Idea (Jim Finn, 2008)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)


Editor of Fandor Keyframe and Vice President of Programming and Education for dGenerate Films.

The 20 best films I saw for the first time this year:

Abschied von gestern – (Anita G.) (Yesterday Girl, Alexander Kluge, 1966)

The Best of Everything, Chapter One: Quantum of Solace (Steven C. Boone, 2010)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2010)

Jackass 3-D (Jeff Tremaine, 2010)

Jiao dai (Tape, Li Ning, 2010)

Asakusa no hi (Lights of Asakusa, Yasujiro Shimazu, 1937)

The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)

Menshen am Sonntag (People on Sunday, various, 1930)

October Country (Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, 2009)

Placido (Luis Garcia Berlanga, 1961)

A Religiosa Portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun, Eugene Green, 2010)

Schenec-Tady I-III (Heinz Emigholz, 1972-1975)

Tulare Road (James Benning, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Skazka skazok (Tale of Tales, Yuri Norstein, 1979)

Suan ming (Fortune Teller, Xu Tong, 2010)

Sweetgrass (Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009)

Wei Wen (Condolences, Ying Liang, 2010)

Xiao dongxi (Thomas Mao, Zhu Wen, 2010)


Librarian in Chicago who makes and shows films.

New(er) work

1. Distance (Julie Murray, 2010) / February/Neither/Nov. Untitled (all Kyle Canterbury, 2010)

2. Slave Ship (T. Marie, 2010)

3. Sorry (Luther Price, 2010)

4. Collision of Parts (Mark Street, 2008)

5. Shadow Cuts (Martin Arnold, 2010) / Walang alaala ang mga paru-paro (Butterflies Have No Memories, Lav Diaz, 2009) / Step Up 3D (Jon Chu, 2010)

6. Haterz (Chad Knutson, 2009)

7. non-Ayran (Abraham Ravett, 2009)

8. Beneath Your Skin of Deep Hollow (Malena Szlam, 2010) / Daylight + the Sun (Karen Johannesen, 2009) / Sound Over Water (Mary Helena Clark, 2009) / Trypps #7 (Badlands) (Ben Russell, 2010)

9. Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009) / Hot Tub Time Machine (Steve Pink, 2010) / Ledo and Ix go to Town (Emily Carmichael, 2010)

10. When Does a Dream Become a Nightmare? (WolfgoreShow, 2010) / Gimme Pizza Slow (philipmserious, 2010)

Great screenings

Super-8 Rides Again (Chicago Filmmakers, Chicago)

Zummer Tapez: Jodie Mack (Roots and Culture, Chicago)

The Work of Stuart Sherman (Hopscotch Cinema/The Nightingale, Chicago)

Brakhage series (Doc Films, Chicago)

Older work seen for the first time

I’ve Always Loved You (Frank Borzage, 1946)

Last of the Comanches (André de Toth, 1953)

Lie Back and Enjoy It (JoAnn Elam, 1982)

I pirati di Capri (Pirates of Capri, Edgar G. Ulmer, 1949)

Seepage (Henry Selick, 1982)

Shoulder (Andy Warhol, 1964)

Sorrows (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 1969)

The Mammals of Victoria (Stan Brakhage, 1994)


Former Director of the Spanish Film Archive (1986-88), he is the author of books on Manuel Mur Oti and Leo McCarey and numerous articles online and in Spanish journals.

A) Great films seen for the first time, made since 2005

L’Armée du crime (The Army of Crime, Robert Guédiguian, 2009)

Jitsuroku rengō sekiguni: Asama sansō e no michi (United Red Army, Kōji Wakamatsu, 2008)

Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

Kyatapirâ (Caterpillar, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2010)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008)

Nuit de chien (Werner Schroeter, 2008)

The Japanese Wife (Aparna Sen, 2010)

Les herbes folles (Wild Grass, Alain Resnais, 2009)

Teza (Haile Gerima, 2008)

Imburnal (Sewer, Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008)

State Legislature (Frederick Wiseman, 2006)

White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

Transe (Trance, Teresa Villaverde, 2006)

Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie, Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

B) Great films seen for the first time, made before 2005

Haru no Mezame (Spring Awakens, Mikio Naruse, 1947)

Kafuku (zempen/kohen) (Learn from Experience Part I/Part II, Mikio Naruse, 1937)

Tsuma no kokoro (A Woman’s Heart, Mikio Naruse, 1956)

Maihime (Dancing Girl, Mikio Naruse, 1951)

Oboroyo no Onna (Woman in the Fog, Heinosukē Goshō, 1936)

Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Evolution of a Filipino Family, Lav Diaz, 2004)

Surrender (Allan Dwan, 1950)

L’Étrangleur (The Strangler, Paul Vecchiali, 1972)

Infinitas/Beskonechnóst (Infinity, Marlen Khutsiiev, 1992)

None Shall Escape (André de Toth, 1943)

In jenen Tagen (Helmut Käutner, 1947)

Kentucky Pride (John Ford, 1925)

“I Persiani” di Eschilo (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1975)

Driftwood (Allan Dwan, 1947)

Deti veka (Children of the Age, Ievgenií Bauer, 1915)

La Punition ou Les Mauvaises Rencontres (Jean Rouch, 1962)

Kotan no Kuchibue (Whistling in Kotan, Mikio Naruse, 1959)

Six et Demi, Onze (Jean Epstein, 1927)

Mashénka (Iulií Raízman, 1942)

Le Lion des Mogols (Jean Epstein, 1924)

The Brat (John Ford, 1931)

“Il processo di Santa Teresa del Bambino Gesù” di Marcelle Maurette (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1967)

“Antigone” di Sofocle (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1958)

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas, 2000)

Jinsei no onimotsu (Burden of Life, Heinosukē Goshō, 1935)

O Último Mergulho (The Last Dive, João César Monteiro, 1992)

Opfergang (The Great Sacrifice, Veit Harlan, 1944)

Konyaku Samba-Garasu (The Compromises of the Trio, Yasujirō Shimazu, 1937)

Tsuma (Wife, Mikio Naruse, 1953)

Apache Drums (Hugo Fregonese, 1950)

Changer d’Image (Jean-Luc Godard, 1982)

Fuga in Francia (Flight to France, Mario Soldati, 1948)

Beatrice Cenci (Riccardo Freda, 1956)

Madamu to nyobo (The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine, Heinosukē Goshō, 1931)

Ann Buchanan/’Baby’ Jane Holzer (Toothbrush)/ Paul Johnson ‘America’/Nico (Screen Tests) (Andy Warhol, 1964/5/6)

Poussières d’Amour (Abfallprodukte der Liebe, Werner Schroeter, 1996)

“Vita di Dante” di Giorgio Prosperi (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1965)

La Trincea (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1961)

Maya Darpan (Mirror of Illusion, Kumar Shahani, 1972)

I Love Melvin (Don Weis, 1953)

Iiúlskií dózhd (July Rain, Marlen Khutsiiev, 1966)

Barbed Wire (Rowland V. Lee, 1927)

Wutai jiemei (Two Stage Sisters, Xie Jin, 1965)

Den starkaste (The Strongest, Alf Sjöberg & Axel Lindblom, 1929)

Success Is the Best Revenge (Jerzý Skolimowski, 1984)

Mor-Vran (La Mer des corbeaux, Jean Epstein, 1931)

La Dame aux camélias (La storia vera della Signora dalle Camelie, Mauro Bolognini, 1981)

Il diavolo sulle colline (The Devil on the Hills, Vittorio Cottafavi, 1985)

Os Mutantes (The Mutants, Teresa Villaverde, 1998)

Saddle Tramp (Hugo Fregonese, 1950)

L’allodola (The Lark, Vittorio Cottafavi, 1973)

Tarang (The Wave, Kumar Shahani, 1984)

Berliner Stilleben (Berlin Still Lifes, Moholy-Nagy László, 1931)

Il tradimento (Pasato che uccide) (Riccardo Freda, 1951)

Bella di Notte (Luciano Emmer, 1997)

C) Very good films seen for the first time, made since 2005

Demasiado futuro (ex Tierras bajo un sol invernal favorable) (Mercedes Álvarez, 2010)

Le streghe (Femmes entre elles) (Jean-Marie Straub, 2008)

La Famille Wolberg (Axelle Ropert, 2009)

Ruhr (James Benning, 2009)

Ehky ya Schahrazad (Schehrazade Tell A Tale, Yousry Nasrallah, 2009)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2009)

Tournée (On Tour, Mathieu Amalric, 2010)

Ddongpari (Breathless, Yang Ik-joon, 2009)

Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza, 2009),

Crazy Heart (Scott Cooper, 2009)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Le rapport Karski (Claude Lanzmann, 1978//2010),

Survival of the Dead / George A. Romero’s “Survival of the Dead” (George A. Romero, 2009)

Carmel (Amos Gitai, 2009)

Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgie de la lumière, Patricio Guzmán, 2010),

Calle de la Pietà (Karine de Villers, 2010)

Machete (Robert Rodríguez, 2010)

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

Command Performance (Dolph Lundgren, 2009)

Süt (Milk, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2008)

El Amarillo (Sergio Mazza, 2006)

In the Electric Mist (Dans la brume électrique, Bertrand Tavernier, 2009)

Koyamaru, l’hiver et le printemps and Koyamaru, l’été et l’automne (Jean-Michel Alberola, 2010)

Rolling Like A Stone (Stefan Berg & Magnus Gertten, 2005)

Bal (Honey, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2010)

Rachel (Simone Bitton, 2008)

Katalin Varga (Peter Strickland, 2008)

La Forteresse (The Fortress, Fernand Melgar, 2008)

Sodankylä ikuisesti-Elokuvan vuosisata (Sodankylä Forever – The Century of Cinema, Peter von Bagh, 2010)

Guest-Diario de registros septiembre 2007/septiembre 2008 (José Luis Guerín, 2010)

Mylène Farmer: California (Abel Ferrara, 2010)

Zum Vergleich (In Comparison, Haroun Farocki, 2009)

NakedEyes (Leos Carax, 2009)

C’était quand Non Il y avait quoi Oui (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

D) Very good films seen for the first time, made before 2005

Monpti – Eine Pariser Geschichte (Monpti, Helmut Käutner, 1957)

Yoru to Nagare (Evening Stream, Mikio Naruse & Yuzo Kawashima, 1960)

Ikari no Machi (The Angry Street, Mikio Naruse, 1950)

Jealousy (Gustav Machatý, 1945)

The Cool World (Shirley Clarke, 1963)

Kardiogramma (Cardiogram, Darejan Omirbaev, 1995)

Killer (Darejan Omirbaev, 1998)

Kaïrat (Darejan Omirbaev, 1991)

Victor Schœlcher, L’Abolition de l’esclavage (Victor Schœlcher, The Abolition of Slavery, Paul Vecchiali, 1998)

Oliver Cromwell: Ritratto di un dittatore (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1969)

Young People (Allan Dwan, 1940)

Iris och Löjtnantshjärta (Iris and the Lieutenant’s Heart, Alf Sjöberg, 1946)

Wolfsburg (Christian Petzold, 2002)

Die innere Sicherheit (Domestic Security, Christian Petzold, 2000), Toter Man (Christian Petzold, 2001)

Il mulino delle donne di pietra (Mill of the Stone Women, Giorgio Ferroni, 1960)

Change pas de main (Paul Vecchiali, 1975)

Combat d’amour en songe (Raoul Ruiz, 2000)

Storia di una monaca di clausura (Domenico Paolella, 1973)

Le Baccanti (Giorgio Ferroni, 1961)

Jardin du Luxembourg (Mannus Franken, 1927)

Dennis Hopper / Edie Sedgwick / Susan Bottomly / Mary Woronov (Screen Tests) (Andy Warhol, 1964/5/6)

Un mauvais fils (Claude Sautet, 1980),

Himmel ohne Sterne (Heaven without Stars, Helmut Käutner, 1955)

Walk the Walk (Robert Kramer, 1995)

“Il taglio del bosco” di Carlo Cassola (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1963)

“La Signora dalle Camelie” di Alessandro Dumas figlio (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1971)

The Way of Lost Souls (Paul Czinner, 1929)

Immensee – Ein deutsches Volkslied (Immensee, Veit Harlan, 1943)

Le Dama d’Ambara (Jean Rouch & Germaine Dieterlen, 1974)

Kak zakalialás stál (How the Steel Was Tempered, Mark Donskoí, 1942)

Ferdydurke (30 Door Key, Jerzý Skolimowski, 1991)

Doomsday (Rowland V. Lee, 1928)

Heimkehr (Homecoming, Joe May, 1928)

Passion Flower (William C. de Mille, 1930)

Berlin 10/90 (Robert Kramer, 1990)

Kasba (Kumar Shahani, 1991)

Der Herrscher (The Master, Veit Harlan, 1937)

Six Black Horses (Harry Keller, 1961)

Königskinder (Children of Kings, Helmut Käutner, 1950)

Hikō shōjo (Drifting Girl, Kirio Urayama, 1963)

Giuseppe Verdi (Carmine Gallone, 1938)

Les Halles Centrales (Boris Kaufman, 1927)

L’Histoire du Soldat Inconnu (Henri Storck, 1928//32)

Sanjūsangendō Tōshiya Monogatari (Tales of Archery of Sanjūsangendō, Mikio Naruse, 1945)

Montparnasse (Eugène Deslaw, 1929)

Circoncision (Jean Rouch, 1949)

Le Chaud Lapin ou Le Confident malgré lui (Pascal Thomas, 1974)

Kozure Ōkami: Ko wo kashi ude kashi tsukamatsuru (Kenji Misumi, 1972)

Kozure Ōkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubaguruma (Kenji Misumi, 1972)

The Moonlighter (Roy Rowland, 1953)

The Brasher Doubloon (The High Window, John Brahm, 1947)

Kreutzerova sonáta (Gustav Machatý, 1926)

Le quattro giornate di Napoli (Nanni Loy, 1962)

La Venere d’Ille (The Venus of Ille, Mario & Lamberto Bava, 1979)

Kozure Ōkami: Shinikazeni mukau ubaguruma (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades, Kenji Misumi, 1972)

Meleğin düşüşü (Angel’s Fall, Semíh Kaplanoğlu, 2004)

Elle (Valeria Sarmiento, 1995)

Baby Face Nelson (Don Siegel, 1957)

Wild Is the Wind (George Cukor, 1957)

Nju, eine unverstandene Frau (Nju / Husbands or Lovers, Paul Czinner, 1924)

Két lány az uccán (Two Girls in the Street, Tóth Endre [André de Toth], 1939)

Ornette: Made in America (Shirley Clarke, 1985)

Kozure Ōkami: Jigoku e Ikuzo! Daigorō (Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell, Yoshiyuki Kuroda, 1974)

La Cambrure (The Curve, Edwige Shika, Eric Rohmer, 1999)

Ma Mère (My Mother, Béatrice Romand, 2003)

Sex Hygiene (John Ford & Otto Brower, 1941)

Disque 957 (Germaine Dulac, 1928)

Anémone (Philippe Garrel, 1966)

Ein Bild (Haroun Farocki, 1983)

E) Great films rediscovered or re-evaluated by a new vision

Isn’t Life Wonderful (David W. Griffith, 1924)

Merry-Go-Round (Erich von Stroheim; cl. Rupert Julian, 1922/3)

Angel in Exile (Allan Dwan & Philip Ford, 1948)

Magokoro (Sincerity, Mikio Naruse, 1039)

The Inside Story (Allan Dwan, 1948)

Kimi to yuku michi (The Road I Travel With You, Mikio Naruse, 1936),

Yogoto no Yume (Each Night I Dream, Mikio Naruse, 1933),

Il Messia (Le Messie / The Messiah, Roberto Rossellini, 1975)

Anzukko (Mikio Naruse, 1958)

American Guerrilla in the Philippines (American Guerilla in the Philippines / I Shall Return, Fritz Lang, 1950)

Tonari no Yae-chan (Our Neighbor Miss Yae, Yasujirō Shimazu, 1934)

M (Joseph Losey, 1951)

The Last Flight (William Dieterle, 1931)

Že soboty na neděli (From Saturday to Sunday, Gustav Machatý, 1931)

“…All The Marbles” / The California Dolls (Robert Aldrich, 1981)

Four’s A Crowd (Michael Curtiz, 1938)

The Naked and the Dead (Raoul Walsh, 1958)

Riley The Cop (John Ford, 1928)

Young Cassidy (John Ford, Jack Cardiff, 1965)

The Big Sky (Howard Hawks, 1952)

El mundo sigue (The World Goes On, Fernando Fernán-Gómez, 1963)

Une vie (A Life, Alexandre Astruc, 1958)

Simone Barbès ou La Vertu (Marie-Claude Treilhou, 1979)

Nyonin Aishu (A Woman’s Sorrow, Mikio Naruse, 1937)

Sign of the Pagan (Douglas Sirk, 1954)

Scandal Sheet (Dark Page, Phil Karlson, 1952)

Peter Pan (Clyde A. Geromini, Hamilton Luske & Wilfrid Jackson; p.Walt Disney, 1952)

Okuni to Gohei (Okuni and Gohei, Mikio Naruse, 1952)

Love with the proper stranger (Robert Mulligan, 1963)

La Machine (Paul Vecchiali, 1977)

Canción de Cuna (Cradle Song, José Luis Garci, 1994)

Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga, 1985)

Arakure (Untamed, Mikio Naruse, 1957)

Hideko no Shasho-san (Mikio Naruse, 1941)

Tavaszi zápor (Spring Shower, Fejös Pál, 1932)

Die verkaüfte Braut (The Sold Bride, Max Ophuls, 1932)

Divine (Max Ophuls, 1935)

White Shadows in the South Seas (W.S. Van Dyke II; collab. Robert J. Flaherty, 1928)

2084 (Chris Marker, 1984)

Una Donna libera (Femmes libres, Vittorio Cottafavi, 1954)

Wild Oranges (King Vidor, 1923) Lightning Strikes Twice (King Vidor, 1950)

Kagirinaki hodo (Street Without End, Mikio Naruse, 1934)

Kimi to Wakarete (Apart from Me, Mikio Naruse, 1933)

The Brides of Dracula (Brides of Dracula, Terence Fisher, 1960)

Raduga (Rainbow, Mark Donskoí, 1943)

Io la conoscevo bene (I Knew Her Well, Antonio Pietrangeli, 1965)

Most Dangerous Man Alive (Allan Dwan, 1958//60)

La Glace à trois faces (The Three-Faced Mirror, Jean Epstein, 1927)

La Fracture du myocarde (Jacques Fansten, 1990)

Montana Belle (Allan Dwan, 1948/51/2)

Woman They Almost Lynched (Allan Dwan, 1952)

Chi ‘e senza peccato…. (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1952)

The Sound Barrier (Breaking the Sound Barrier, David Lean, 1952)

Erotikon (Gustav Machatý, 1929)

Ride, Vaquero! (John V. Farrow, 1953)

The Nickel Ride (Robert Mulligan, 1974)

Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino, 1985)

Izu no odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu, Heinosukē Goshō, 1933)

Keeper of the Flame (George Cukor, 1942)

Doughboys (Forward March, Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton, 1930)

Two-Faced Woman (George Cukor, 1941)

The First Legion (Douglas Sirk, 1950/1)

Tormento (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1950)

One Way Street (Hugo Fregonese, 1950)

Il bandito (The Bandit, Alberto Lattuada, 1946)

Los Pulpos (Octopuses, Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1947)

Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (A River Called Titas, Ritwik Kumar Ghatak, 1973)

Four Sons (John Ford, 1928)

Mado (Claude Sautet, 1976)

Moana, A Romance of the Golden Age (Robert J. & Frances Hubbard Flaherty, 1925)

Impressionen von alten Marseilles hafen (Impressions of Marseille Old Port, Moholy-Nagy László, 1929)

La balandra Isabel llegó esta tarde (Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1949)

Mystery Submarine (Douglas Sirk, 1950)

3 Bad Men (John Ford, 1926)

Night and the City (Jules Dassin, 1950)

Tōkyō no Onna (A Woman of Tokyo, Yasujirō Ozu, 1933)

Intermezzo: A Love Story (Gregory Ratoff; collab. William Wyler, 1939)

The Brothers Rico (Phil Karlson, 1957)

The Fearmakers (Jacques Tourneur, 1958)

Thunder On the Hill (Bonaventure, Douglas Sirk, 1951)

El verdugo (The Executioner, Luis García Berlanga, 1963)

Vanina Vanini (Roberto Rossellini, 1961)

Fiamma che non si spegne (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1949)

Jofroi (Marcel Pagnol, 1933)

The Long Voyage Home (John Ford, 1940)

Les Godelureaux (Claude Chabrol, 1960)

Femmes Femmes (Paul Vecchiali, 1974)

La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962/3)

Hôtel des Amériques (André Téchiné, 1981)

Ma Saison préférée (My Favorite Season, André Téchiné, 1993)

F) Very good pictures rediscovered or re-evaluated (not always for the best) by a new vision

Les Enfants jouent à la Russie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1993)

Allemagne 90 neuf zéro (Jean-Luc Godard, 1991)

Adhémar ou Le Jouet de la Fatalité (Fernandel/Sacha Guitry, 1951)

La Vie à deux (Clément Duhour/Sacha Guitry, 1958)

V liudiakh (My Apprenticeship, Mark Donskoí, 1938)

The Man With the Golden Arm (Otto Preminger, 1955)

The Strawberry Blonde (Raoul Walsh, 1941)

Edna Ferber’s “Come And Get It” / Come And Get It (Howard Hawks; completed William Wyler, 1936)

Desperate Journey (Raoul Walsh, 1942)

Ice (Robert Kramer, 1969)

Michurin (Alieksandr Dovzhenko & Iulia Soltseva, 1948)

The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby; p. Howard Hawks, 1951)

Appointment with Danger (Lewis Allen, 1950)

Rope of Sand (William Dieterle, 1949)

The File on Thelma Jordon (Thelma Jordon / The File on Thelma Jordan / Thelma Jordan, Robert Siodmak, 1949)

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, 1954)

Hikinige (Hit and Run, Mikio Naruse, 1966)

Juarez (William Dieterle, 1939)

Camilla (Luciano Emmer, 1954)

Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, Luchino Visconti, 1963)

De Mayerling à Sarajevo (Max Ophuls, 1940)

La Dixième Symphonie (The Tenth Symphony, Abel Gance, 1917)

The Strange Woman (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946)

Beyond the Forest (King Vidor, 1949)

Desperate Hours (Michael Cimino, 1990)

Svengali (Archie L. Mayo, 1931)

El ángel desnudo (O Anjo Nu) (The Naked Angel, Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1946)

La muerte camina en la lluvia (Death Walks in the Rain, Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1948)

Straítsi zhizni (Pages of Life, Boris Barnet & Alieksandr Macheret, 1948)

The Secret of Convict Lake (Michael Gordon, 1951)

Moi universitete (My Universities) (Mark Donskoí, 1939)

Wakare mo tanoshii (Even Parting is Enjoyable, part II of Yottsu no koi no monogatari / Four Love Stories, Mikio Naruse, 1947)

The Outfit (John Flynn, 1973)

Comment ça va? (Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville, 1978)

Koshiben Gambare (Mikio Naruse, 1931),

La 317e Section (Pierre Schoendoerffer, 1965)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (Tommy Lee Wallace; collab., s.,p. John Carpenter, 1982)

Young Bess (George Sidney, 1953)

5 Against the House (Phil Karlson, 1955)

The Glass Web (Jack Arnold, 1953)

Dolci inganni (Les Adolescentes, Alberto Lattuada, 1960)

Summer of ’42 (Robert Mulligan)

Anantaram (Monologue, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1987)

The Last Challenge (The Pistolero of Red River, Richard Thorpe, 1967)

Così come sei (Así como eres) (Alberto Lattuada, 1978)

The Midnight Story (Joseph Pevney, 1957)

The Eagle and the Hawk (Lewis R. Foster, 1950)

Thomas l’imposteur (Thomas the Imposter, Georges Franju, 1965)

Jeopardy (John Sturges, 1952)

Southside 1-1000 (Union 1000 / Forgery, Boris Ingster, 1950)

Max Mon Amour (Max My Love, Nagisa Ōshima, 1986)

Shibaido (The Way of Drama, Mikio Naruse, 1944)

The Paradine Case (Alfred Hitchcock, 1947)

Fais-moi plaisir! (Please Me, Emmanuel Mouret, 2009)

Edge of Eternity (Don Siegel, 1959)

Una Donna ha ucciso (A Woman Has Killed, Vittorio Cottafavi, 1952)


A cinéphile, writer, translator and curator based in Cologne, Germany.

And suddenly it’s December 31st and another year is over and… . If 2009 had felt lost in a haze, even less remains of 2010: in my mind it’s but a bunch of speedlines, fragments of seeking (pace Curtis Harrington). So much – mainly good and fun – happened in such short time, yet barely anything had time to register in any meaningful way; when I should have enjoyed something or other, my mind was usually occupied by projects ahead for which problems asked to be solved, ideas, notions, convictions made text or light, etc. I look at pictures people send me and notice that, yes, I did this and that, and I’m aware that many people more often than not liked what they got to see or read or both – still; and I look at the lists below thinking, Well, well, well, that’s certainly a lot of glory while remembering each screening fondly, the happiness of these encounters – still. It’s something I know but don’t feel, for want of a better expression.

I guess this frenzy cost many others dearly. I would like to take the opportunity here to say sorry to all the editors, translators, print coordinators etc. who found themselves in dire straits due to me delivering ten seconds to ultimo (if not twenty minutes past, in some cases…), which more often than not meant ruined evenings, weekends and whathaveyou. I can only say (in memoriam Thomas Harlan: genius, troublemaker, creator of the truth, man of myths and stories): Ich habe mir Mühe gegeben, as I don’t like to be a nuisance; but really, what would you do when, to give but one example, the phone rings one morning and a young female voice says, Hi! I’m that student your friend told you about – the one who’s working on a documentary about the White Fathers retirement home. Today I’ll have a look at the order’s film collection – do you have time to come along? I need your advice and the monk who takes care of the films as well. Of course you do – who knows what you’ll find there, what new perspective might open up, suddenly! Besides: you never say no when a monk asks for assistance.

Speaking of which: I’d also like to thank the many who helped Michael Omasta and me with our Romuald Karmakar book; if there’s one thing of 2010 I remember clearly it’s this: people saying or writing, you’re doing a book on Karmakar? Super. What do you need? and being given freely and plenty. It certainly showed how much he means to many people. Karmakar was also the centre of an unforgettable Vienna evening, March 25th, at the Austrian Film Museum: for three hours, he talked about life and cinema, showed excerpts from his films, finds from his archive, choice scenes of works to come – and in the process laid bare his soul, poured his heart out. At the end, the FRG’s finest stood there, completely exhausted, facing a genuinely moved audience that got that they had been part of something rare and precious.

So, yes, I finally co-did the book I wanted to do for years, and I could also help the Viennale with realising a retrospective I wanted to see being done for a long time: Larry Cohen. Let’s also mention the war program the International Film Festival Rotterdam invited me to do: that was definitely an honour – I hope the late Nikos Papatakis heard about some people’s fascination with Gloria Mundi (1976/2004)… Those are my beacons of 2010: not grand revelations like Lattuada and Solan last year, but work done that seems to have meant something to some.

All that said, these are but private trifles, fancies and vanities once we look at certain cinepolitical developments. Anti-Semitism was, for me, the year’s ugly leitmotif: early on, there was Portretul luptătorului la tinereţe (Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man, Constantin Popescu, 2010) which celebrates a bunch of anti-Semitic fascist thugs as freedom fighters (which they might have been – just that I wouldn’t want to live in that freedom of theirs); at the end a wave of trailers rose all over the net for Kurtlar Vadisi: Filistin (Valley of the Wolves: Palestine, Zübeyr Şaşmaz, 2011) which suggest new heights of anti-Semitism in a franchise well known for catering to such sentiments and notions (coming late January 2011 to your neighbourhood theatre if you are Turkish, FRGerman, Austrian etc.). The somewhat cavalier attitude still too many sported vis-á-vis Jud Süß – Film ohne Gewissen (Jew Süss – Rise and Fall, Oskar Roehler, 2010) didn’t help matters, to say the least; let’s state again as clearly as possible that it’s ethically insupportable, nay, w-r-o-n-g to invent a Jewish character in order to turn a Nazi-collaborator into a victim, and if one doesn’t accept this then one should definitely take a very long and very hard look at one’s own political beliefs. There is no margin for discussion here – ambivalence has its limits. We might want to remember that, before it’s too late (said in homage to Cezanne, Bernhard and Karmakar, all at once).

Written while Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof are facing hard and serious time in the prison of a country whose president non-elect isn’t exactly known as a friend of Israel in particular and too much of a philosemite in general. One wonders what indeed does need to happen for the powers that claim to be to do something of consequence about this.

Olaf Möller’s Eleven Friends 2010

Team Manager Team (Films of the Year)

Des hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois)

Le rapport Karski (Claude Lanzmann)

First Team (Line-up in strictly alphabetical order)

Amer (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani)

Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari)

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, Andrei Ujică)

Essential Killing (Jerzy Skolimowski)

Final Flesh (Vernon Chatman)

Jiābiān’gōu (The Ditch, Wáng Bìng)

Las (The Forest, Piotr Dumała)

Oča (Father, Vlado Škafar)

Road to Nowhere (Monte Hellman)

Das rote Zimmer (The Red Room, Rudolf Thome)

Sodankylä ikuisesti. Elokuvan vuosisata (Sodankylä Forever. The Century of Cinema, Peter von Bagh)


Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman) // Brilianty (Diamonds; Rustam Chamdamov) // Carlos (Olivier Assayas) // Kyatapirâ (Caterpillar, Kôji Wakamatsu) // Discrepancy (8-screen version as well as the eight stand-alone works) (William E. Jones) // Durs Grünbein liest die dritte Satire des Juvenal (Klaus Wyborny) // En el futuro (In the Future, Mauro Andrizzi) // Ensemble (Eva Könnemann) // The Expendables (Sylvester Stallone) // The External World (David O’Reilly) // The Forgotten Space (Noël Burch & Allan Sekula) // Gesang der Jünglinge (Markus Löffler & Andrée Korpys) // Get Out of the Car (Thom Andersen) // Guest (José Luis Guerin) // Hilarious (Roee Rosen) // Hitparkut (Dissolution, Nina Menkes) // Im Schatten (In the Shadows, Thomas Arslan) // Instruction (Wendelien van Oldenborgh) // Invictus (Clint Eastwood) // Inwentaryzacja (Inventory, Paweł Łoziński) // Jean Gentil (Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas) // King Kongs Tränen (King Kong’s Tears, Peter Kern) // Kosmos (Reha Erdem) // Nainsukh (Amit Dutta) // Noir Océan (Black Ocean, Marion Hänsel) // O somma luce (Jean-Marie Straub) // Ödipus Monument Test 01 (Norbert Pfaffenbichler) // Ovsjanki (Silent Souls; Aleksej Fedorčenko) // Painéis de São Vicente de Fora, Visão Poética (The Panels of São Vicente de Fora. A Poetic Vision, Manoel de Oliveira) // Putty Hill (Matthew Porterfield) // Der Räuber (The Robber, Benjamin Heisenberg) // Robinson in Ruins (Patrick Keiller) // Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese) // El sicario – Room 164 (Gianfranco Rosi) // Studien zum Untergang des Abendlandes (Studies for The Decay of the West, Klaus Wyborny) // Sukunsa viimeinen (Pudana – Last of the Line, Anastasia Lapsui & Markku Lehmuskalio) // Die Taube auf dem Dach (The Pidgeon on the Roof, 1972-73/2009, Iris Gusner) // Tse (Out; Roee Rosen) // Tsumetai nettaigyo (Cold Fish, Shion Sono) // Unstoppable (Tony Scott) // Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone) // Weihnachten? Weihnachten! (Anja-Christin Remmert & Stefan Hayn)

Extended Team

Balada triste de trompeta (A Sad Trumpet Ballad, Álex de la Iglesia) // HaBodedim (The Loners, Renen Schorr) // Boundary (Devin Horan) // Di renjie zhī tōngtiān dìguó (Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Tsui Hark) // Fan tin hei si 2010 (All’s Well Ends Well 2010, Herman Yau Lai To & Raymond Wong Bak Ming) // Festival (Jean-Claude Rousseau) // Ink (Peter Tukei Muhumuza) // Itaewon salinsageon (The Case of Itaewon Homicide, Hong Ki-seon)// Koma (Coma, Ludwig Wüst) // Kuulustelu (The Interrogation, Jörn Donner) // Kyonyū Dragon: Onsen Zombies vs. Stripper 5 3D (Big Tits Zombie, Nakano Takao) // LA ZOMBIE: The Movie that Would not Die (Bruce LaBruce) // Machete (Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis) // Madame & Little Boy (Magnus Bärtås) // Moscou (Moscow, Eduardo Coutinho) // Mozg (Brain, Andrej Sil’vestrov) // The Nine Muses (John Akomfrah) // Norway no mori (Norwegian Wood, Trần Anh Hùng) // Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today [The 2009 Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration] (1948/2009, Stuart Schulberg) // Oleg (Jaan Toomik) // Promises Written in Water (Vincent Gallo) // Raavanan (Ravana; Mani Ratnam) // Rose and Jasmine (Michael Pilz) // Shtikay HaArchion (A Film Unfinished, Yael Hersonski) // Symbol (Hitoshi Matsumoto) // Twelve (Joel Schumacher) // Wai do lei ah yat ho (Dream House, Edmond Pang Ho Cheung) // Zero no shōten (Zero Focus, Isshin Inudo)

Olaf Möller’s Eleven Veterans 2010

Team Manager Team (Revelations of the Year)

Kǒng Fūzì (Confucius, Fèi Mù, 1940)

Onna doreisen (Female Slave Ship, Yoshiki Onoda, 1960)

First Team (Line-Up, in strictly alphabetical order)

Cheung (The Window, Patrick Lung Kong, 1968)

Cóndores no entierran todos los días (A Man of Principle, Francisco Norden, 1984)

Contactos (Contacts, Paulino Viota, 1970)

Evakko (Evacuated, Ville Salminen, 1956)

Fatalità (Giorgio Bianchi, 1947)

Gizli Yüz (The Secret Face, Ömer Kavur, 1991)

It’s Always Fair Weather (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1955)

Komissary (Comissars, Nikolaj Maščenko, 1969)

Mir kumen on (We Are on Our Way, Aleksander Ford, 1936)

Lo scatenato (Catch as Catch Can, Franco Indovina, 1967)

Youth Runs Wild (Mark Robson, 1944)


A Matter of Time (Vincente Minnelli, 1976) // Asakusa no tomoshibi (The Lights of Asakusa, Yasujirō Shimazu, 1937) // Barbagia – La società del malessere (The Tough and the Mighty, Carlo Lizzani, 1969) // Bouteille cassée (Father Piet Verstegen M. Afr., 1952) // Chiheisen ga gira-gira! (The Horizon Glitters, Michiyoshi Doi, 1961) // Come le foglie (Like the Leaves, Mario Camerini, 1934) // Comment les pauvres mangent à Paris (Société Pathé Frères, 1910) // Dai yat lui ying aau him (Dangerous Encounters: 1st Kind, Tsui Hark, 1980) // La Danseuse de Kali [fragment] (Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, 1913) // Les Equilibristes Godayou (Société Pathé Frères, 1910) // Le Gardian de Camargue (Léonce Perret, 1910) // Giorno di nozze (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1942) // Il gobbo (The Hunchback of Rome, Carlo Lizzani, 1960) // Graziella (Giorgio Bianchi, 1954) // Great Society (Ōe Masanori & Marvin Fishman, 1967) // Jen o rodinných záležitostech (About Family Affairs Only, Jiři Svoboda, 1990) // Kaibyō Otama-ga’ike (Ghost Cat of Otama Pond, Yoshihiro Ishikawa, 1960) // Vermählung des künftigen Thronfolgers Erzherzogs Karl Franz Josef mit Prinzessin Zita von Parma auf dem Schloss zu Schwarzau (21. Oktober 1911) (Mit allergnädigster Bewilligung des Kaiserhauses alleiniges Aufführungsrecht) (1911) // Két lány az utcán (Two Girls on the Street, Toth Endré [André De Toth], 1939) // Kon’yaku sanbagarasu (The Trio’s Engagment, Yasujirō Shimazu, 1937) // Lángshān diéxuě jì (Blood on Wolf Mountain, Fèi Mù, 1936) // Leave Her to Heaven (John M. Stahl, 1945) // La Légende du fantôme (Segundo de Chomón, 1908) // Mappa Master – Hartmut Geerken, Autorenbuchhandlung (Romuald Karmakar, 1989) // Marines (Société des établissements Gaumont, 1910) // Mezi světlem a tmou (Between Light and Darkness, Jan Špáta, 1990) // Les Misérables (Albert Capellani, 1912) // Mitchell and Kenyon 614 Tram Ride into Halifax (1902) // Il mondo vuole così… (Giorgio Bianchi, 1946) // No Game (Ōe Masanori & Marvin Fishman, 1967) // Oradour-sur-Glane (Pierre Céria, 1945) // Organ (The Organ, Štefan Uher, 1964) // La Peine du talion (Gaston Velle, 1906) // Positano (bobine 30B01) [unfinished/fragment] (Pierre Clémenti, 1969) // Proposta in quattro parti (Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 1985) // Les Pyrénées pittoresques (Société Pathé Frères, 1910) // Tiānlún (Song of China, Fèi Mù & Law Ming Yau, 1935) // Tombolo, paradiso nero (Tombolo, 1947; Giorgio Ferroni) // Tri dcéry (Three Daughters, Štefan Uher, 1967) // [Tulpen] ([Anonymous], circa 1910-14) // Ultimo giorno di scuola (Thomas Harlan, 1980) // Valeria dentro e fuori (Valerie Inside Outside, Brunello Rondi, 1972) // Woman Draped in Patterned Handkerchiefs (George Albert Smith, 1908)

Extended Team

Caen relève de ses ruines (Raymond Bisch, 1952) // La casa del tappeto giallo (The House of the Yellow Carpet, Carlo Lizzani, 1983) // Coiffures et types de Hollande (Société Pathé Frères, 1910) // Dog Outwits the Kidnapper (Lewin Fitzhamon, 1908) // Education physique étudiée au ralentisseur (Société Pathé Frères, 1915) // L’Épouvante (Albert Capellani, 1910/11) // Feu d’artifice ([Anonymous], 1905) // Les Grandes Eaux de Versailles (Société Pathé Frères, 1904) // Inaba no shirousagi (White Hare of Inaba, Yoshihiro Katō,1970) // Kapitán Dabač (Captain Dabač, Paľo Bielik, 1959) // Krasnye poljany (The Red Meadows, Émil Lotjanu, 1966) // Kyujūkyu-honme no kimusume (Bloody Sword of the 99th Virgin, Morihei Magatani, 1958) // Místo (Zbyněk Brynych, 1964) // Non ti pago! (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, 1942) // Nyotai sanbashi (Flesh Pier, Teruo Ishii, 1958) // L’ombra (The Shadow, Giorgio Bianchi, 1954) // Onna shikeishū no datsugoku (Death Row Woman, Nobuo Nakagawa, 1960) // Le Pied de mouton (Albert Capellani, 1907) // Požar v Peterburge (Aleksandr Drankov, 1908) // Le Portrait de Mireille (Léonce Perret, 1909) // Il processo di Verona (The Verona Trial, Carlo Lizzani, 1963) // Respice finem (Jan Špáta, 1967) // La Révolution en Russie (Lucien Nonguet, 1905) // Salome’s Children (Ōe Masanori, 1968) // Souvenirs souvenirs (bobine 27) [unfinished/fragment] (Pierre Clémenti, 1968) // Les Timidités de Rigadin (George Monca, 1910) // V pasti (Caught, Alfréd Radok, 1955) // Works and Workers of Denton Holme (North of England Film Bureau, 1910) // Ženščina zavtrašnego dnja (The Woman of Tomorrow, Petr Čardynin, 1914)


Founding editor of Senses of Cinema and an Australian independent filmmaker now based in Europe.

Best Films of the Year

1. Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2009)

2. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

3. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

4. O Estranho Caso de Angelica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)

5. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

6. Aurora (Cristi Puiu, 2010)

7. Si (Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

8. Kyatapirâ (Caterpillar, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2010)

9. Mesa sto Dasos (In the Woods, Angelos Frantzis, 2010)

10. Hai shang chuan qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010)

(Re) Discoveries of the Year

1. Thanasis Vengos

2. Yoyo (Pierre Étaix, 1965)

3. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

4. Aliki Vougiouklaki

5. Bruno Dumont

6. Petrolejové lampy (Oil Lamps, Juraj Herz, 1971)

7. Principio y fin (Beginning and End, Arturo Ripstein, 1993)

8. You Killed the Underground Film or the Real Meaning of Kunst Bleibt (Wilhelm Hein, 2001)

9. Musical Four Letters (Marcus Bergner, 1989)

10. Proini Peripolos (Morning Patrol, Nikos Nikolaidis, 1987)


Melbourne-based cinéphile.

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

A Religiosa Portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun, Eugène Green, 2009)

A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009)

Over Your Cities Grass will Grow (Sophie Fiennes, 2010)

The Men Who Stare at Goats (Grant Heslov, 2009)

Rewizyta (Revisited, Krzysztof Zanussi, 2009)


Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa (Ossos, No Quarto da Vanda, Juventude Em Marcha, 1997-2006)

While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang, 1956)

Welt am Draht (World on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)

Three Films: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (Chronik der Anna Magdelena Bach, Sicilia!, Une visite au Louvre, 1968-2003)

Sous le soleil de Satan (Under the Sun of Satan, Maurice Pialat, 1987)

À nos amours (Maurice Pialat, 1983)


À bout de souffle (Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)

The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)

Il gattopardo (The Leopard, Luchino Visconti, 1963)

Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition – including Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979), Apocalypse Now Redux (Francis Ford Coppola, 2001), and Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper, 1991)


Author of numerous books on film, including More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts (1998) and On Kubrick (2007).

1. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

2. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)

3. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

4. Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

5. Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raul Ruiz, 2010)

6. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009)

7. Alle Anderen (Everyone Else, Maren Ade, 2009)

8. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

9. Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

10. O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)


American film historian, author of eight books and hundreds of articles, including over 40 essays in the Encyclopedia Britannica. His latest book is The Fall of Buster Keaton.

When a year provides films as bad as Grown Ups (Dennis Dugan, 2010), It’s Complicated (Nancy Meyers, 2009), Burlesque (Steve Antin, 2010), Sex and the City 2 (Michael Patrick King, 2010), and Hot Tub Time Machine (Steve Pink, 2010), it is rather daunting to pick out truly great examples of the cinematic year.

Here are five I liked

Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman, 2010)

The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)

Madeo (Mother, Bong Joon-ho, 2009)

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

The Tillman Story (Amir Bar-Lev, 2010)

The I don’t care if you liked it, it’s blasphemy Award

True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010)

The never mind the great reviews, I’m not sitting through this Award

127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010)

Best on DVD and Blu-ray

Chaplin at Keystone (Flicker Alley)

Chaplin’s important first 35 films for Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios have suffered from relentless editing, retitling, and duping in virtually every motion-picture format over the past 86 years. It was a formidable mess for the British Film Institute to clean up, and they spent years restoring and remastering each title. While some, especially Recreation (Chaplin, 1914), could have benefited from better pre-print material than was readily available, this set, restored with the help of Lobster Films, allows us to savour the genesis of Chaplin’s genius during a time when he was first performing for the intimate movie camera and learning the rudiments of film direction. The boorish slapstick of the Chaplin Keystones show Charlie at the level of his working class immigrant audience, and are what made the comedian and filmmaker an immediate superstar who went on to help create the language of film comedy. Absolutely essential for any film collection that purports to be at all comprehensive.

Lost Keaton (KINO)

Buster Keaton’s career did not end abruptly upon the advent of talking pictures. He kept working until his death in 1966, albeit not always in the best projects. At the low budget Educational Studios he appeared in 16 two-reel short comedies that vary in merit, but are proof of the comedian’s continued skills beyond his silent-era triumphs.

The Black Pirate (Albert Parker, 1926) (KINO Blu-ray)

Silent films are slowly being remastered and released as Blu-ray discs when the pre-print material warrants such a restoration. In the case of this Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler, the original two-strip Technicolor is restored beautifully.

Word Is Out (Nancy Adair, Andrew Brown and Rob Epstein, 1977) (Milestone)

Documentary from the Mariposa Film Group about the struggles of gay men and women in an era where the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or the ability for gay people to marry in some states would be nearly impossible to fathom. 26 diverse people recount their own personal experiences from eras where suppression was even more severe than now. Fascinating, disturbing, and ultimately triumphant.


Poet and cinéphile living and writing in Connecticut, USA.

Reflections on 2010

In my contribution to the 2009 World Poll, I wrote about my disappointment about not being able to see Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island until February of 2010. February arrived, and the furies of Leonardo de Caprio’s mind with it. How can I not love a film that reworks Shock Corridor (Sam Fuller, 1963)? A film whose pulpy source allows Scorsese to take his expressionism all the way to a literal interpretation of l’amour fou? My favorite movie of the year.

Which brings me to…. My favorite nine minutes and thirty-two seconds of the year. The video for Lady Gaga’s and Beyonce’s “Telephone.” A woman who is a walking Surrealist exhibit decides to riff on women-in-prison exploitation movies, Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991), and Kill Bill (Quentin Tarantino, 2003/4), all the while singing about an annoying caller. It makes no sense. It doesn’t have to. I suppose I could delve into the sometimes murky waters of performance theory, or wonder aloud over what Gaga is or isn’t doing for feminism, but I simply don’t want to. You can call if you want, but I’ll be up in da club.

David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010) was met with great praise, and I suppose that it deserves it. I say “suppose” because there’s no doubt that it’s finely crafted, and Trent Reznor was the perfect person to provide a score for a chronicle of a product borne of a largely joyless era. Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg, has beady eyes and a surly mouth, speaking only when the subject is of interest to him. “The Winklevii,” he says of the twins who supposedly helped with the nascent ideas that became Facebook. I think about that line now, and it was a bit like hearing Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) saying that he couldn’t keep working with all of those people. But Day-Lewis made my flesh prickle and crawl. This kid (Eisenberg or Zuckerberg) seems like a soulless android trying on emotions, and I’m not sure which is worse, for him, or for us.

I want to leap into wild praise for Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), but I imagine that this has already been done, by better and more careful writers than I am. The portrayal of this life, as I understand the facts of it, could have easily become a histrionic mess. A watchable mess, maybe, but still a mess that could have been relegated to the pile of “Lives of Doomed Artists” on film. Instead, it summons the terror of creation.


An archivist working in Dublin.

Top 5

1. Glee (Ryan Murphy et al, 2009)

That whole ‘We’re inspiring, we’re a ragtag bunch of misfits’ thing may be so 2009, but 22 musicals in one year?!! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

2. My Name is Khan (Karan Johar, 2010)

The first great film about 9/11 (and the first to be widely viewed); though any movie reuniting Kajol with Shahrukh Khan was going to be a must. I also appear to be the only person to rate Kites (Anurag Basu, 2010) and We Are Family (Sidarth Malhotra, 2010).

3. Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)

Paper Moon recast as morality play. If you need proof of the double-standards still existing in film criticism, compare reviews of this to those for the risible Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009) – more Franco Zeffirelli than Luchino Visconti (!) or Michelangelo Antonioni (!!), winner of the Bad Sex in Film award – or the lovely Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2009).

4. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

5. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009)

With respect to:

Aruitemo, aruitemo (Still Walking, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2008). Only some self-conscious ‘poetry’ prevents it achieving Ozu-like perfection.

La fille du RER (The Girl on the Train, André Téchiné, 2009)

marxism today (prologue) (Phil Collins, 2010)

La nana (The Maid, Sebastián Silva, 2009)

Le père de mes enfants (Father of My Children, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010). Against my better judgment. For Fincher’s generally baleful influence on contemporary cinema, see Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010).

White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)


1. Films new to me in 2010: Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoire (Bob Quinn, 1975); The Criminal (Joseph Losey, 1960); Dhrupad (Mani Kaul, 1983); Faithful Departed (Kieran Hickey, 1969); La femme de l’aviateur (Eric Rohmer, 1981); Fog Line (Larry Gottheim, 1970); From Time to Time (Hilton Edwards, 1954); HE Who Gets Slapped (Victor Seastrom [Sjöström], 1924); Hum dil de chuke sanam (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 1999) – but not Guzaarish (Bhansali, 2010), a film so tasteless and remarkable it may be a masterpiece; Intimni osvetleni (Intimate Lighting, Ivan Passer, 1965); Jaane tu…ya jaane na (Abbas Tyrewala, 2008); Jis desh men Ganga behti hai (Radhu Karmakar, 1960); Lásky jedné plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde, Milos Forman, 1965); Magnificent Obsession (John M. Stahl, 1935); Ménilmontant (Dimitri Kirsanoff, 1926); On a Paving Stone Mounted (Thaddeus O’Sullivan, 1978); Il posto (Ermanno Olmi, 1961); Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Albert Lewin, 1951) – what Lewin might have been if he’d had an Emeric Pressburger!; Seven Men From Now (Budd Boetticher, 1956); Terminal Station (Vittorio de Sica, 1953); There’s Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk, 1956); Trois places pour le 26 (Jacques Demy, 1988); Umrao Jaan (Muzaffar Ali, 1981); The Way to Shadow Garden (Stan Brakhage, 1954)

2. In this age of digital ‘restorations’, one of the few pleasures left for the ‘aura’-seeking filmgoer is a 70mm re-issue of Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967), Irish Film Institute, Dublin.


1. The naked reaction of His & Hers (Ken Wardrop, 2009) and the reactionary nakedness of Room in Rome (Julio Medem, 2010) – whatever happened to Julio Medem?

2. The Moderns: The Arts in Ireland From the 1900s to the 1970s, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

A ‘landmark’ exhibition exploring the visual arts in Ireland, where films are treated as the poor relation: celluloid shown on DVD, academy-ratio-shot works in ‘widescreen’, silent films at the wrong speed. Even models for a bus station are treated with more respect. It should come as no surprise that the main supplier of material is the Irish Film Archive, who released a DVD entitled Seoda: Treasures From the Irish Film Archive 1948-1970 (Irish Film Institute, 2009), with films cropped to fit modern televisions! Aren’t archives supposed to preserve films?

3. The ‘restoration’ of Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). While it’s obviously wonderful to have the new material – which really tells in the ‘Furioso’ section – I am getting a bit sick of these Frankenstein’s-monster ‘definitive’ versions cobbled together from prints with all sorts of provenance. Battered and cropped as it is, I’d much rather have seen the Buenos Aires print in its entirety.

Best DVD

The COI Collection. Vol. 2. Design for Today (British Film Institute, 2010). In particular the colour marvels of Sam Napier-Bell, a kind of dandy, UK Alain Resnais.

Best performance

Mark Ruffalo, an actor I’ve never had much time for, is hilarious in The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010).

Non-film, film-related events

1. Katya Sander, A Landscape of known Facts, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, April 2010.

An installation reworking one of cinema’s precursors, the cyclorama.

2. Biscuits for Breakfast Theatre Company, Somewhere Under the Rainbow: The Lifestory of Liza Minnelli, Cobalt Café, Dublin, May 2010.

An extraordinary monologue co-written and performed by Sharon Sexton.

3. Motion Colour: The Birth of Motion and Colour Photography – Rare Original Photographs by Eadweard Muybridge and the Lumière Brothers, Mondrian’s Room, Dublin, July 2010.

4. Marcel Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs (optical disks) (second series, 1953), shown at Post-war American Art: the Novak/O’Doherty Collection, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, September 2010.

In memorium

Among the many great names that died this year, a special mention for Mick Lally, best known in Ireland for co-founding the Druid Theatre and playing Miley Byrne on the soap Glenroe. His finest screen performance was arguably a monologue as the tormented landlord in Eugene McCabe’s Tales From the Poor House (1998).


Brazilian critic who writes for the website web4fun. He also wrote for the magazines Filme e Cultura and Guia de Filmes, where he was assistant editor, and was the film critic for the magazines Opinião, Jornal do Brasil, O Jornal and Última Hora, and for the website No.com.

My top 10 films released commercially in Brazil during 2010

1. Les herbes folles (Wild Grass, Alain Resnais, 2009)

2. Das weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009)

3. Un prophète (A Prophet, Jacques Audiard, 2009)

4. J’ai tué ma mere (I Killed My Mother, Xavier Dolan, 2009)

5. Film socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

6. Non ma fille, tu n’iras pas danser (Making Plans for Lena, Christophe Honoré, 2009)

7. Hadewijch (Bruno Dunont, 2009)

8. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009)

9. The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010)

10. London River (Rachid Bouchareb, 2010)


Teaches at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and contributes regularly to the online film journal Offscreen.

At first glance, 2010 would not seem to be one of the better recent years for new cinema. One film completely dominated world attention, “Joe” Weerasethakul’s Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), while another, David Fincher’s The Social Network dominated the US film critics awards. Here in Montreal we are always playing catch-up, so that I caught a number of 2009 films over the last twelve months, including a number of fine French films: Un prophète (Jacques Audiard), Claire Denis’ White Material, and two comeback films by nouvelle vague veterans, Alain Resnais (Les herbes folles [Wild Grass]) and Jacques Rivette (36 vues du Pic Saint Loup [Around a Small Mountain]). It was also a very good year in Montreal for Latin American films, with no fewer than four small festivals occurring at a single cinema complex, Cinéma du Parc. Lucrecia Martel’s La mujer sin cabeza (The Headless Woman, 2008) and Lisandro Alonso’s Liverpool (2008) were finally screened at one of these events, albeit in digital versions. We also got to see the Chilean film, La Naña (The Maid, Sebastián Silva, 2009) and the beautiful Mexican mix of documentary and fiction, Alamar (To the Sea, Pedro González-Rubio, 2009), while Oscar Ruiz Navia’s El vuelco del cangrejo (Crab Trap, 2009) was even released. All were films made in 2009. The only two contemporary film festivals I visited outside of Canada were in Buenos Aires (BAFICI) and Havana, so my list certainly leans towards Latin America this year. Nevertheless, I found last year to be a great year for Italian films – the best for a long, long time – with both La bocca del lupo (The Mouth of the Wolf, Pietro Marcello, 2009), another clever doc/fiction hybrid, and Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010) making my top ten, ahead of Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, 2009) directed by Luca Guadagnino. 2010’s Giornate del Cinema Muto, back permanently in Pordenone, was one of the best ever silent film festivals, and everyone was talking about Mikhail Kalatozov’s truly amazing Lursmani Cheqmashi (The Nail in the Boot, 1931), while I also appreciated seeing Abram Room’s charming Tretya Meshanskaya (Bed and Sofa, 1927) for the first time. I also came to appreciate the work of the second-generation Shochiku, Kamata director, Hiroshi Shimizu more than ever, especially for Kinkanshoku (Eclipse, 1934), and Tokyo no eiyu (A Hero of Tokyo, 1935). Indeed, 2010 was a good year in Montreal for revivals and restorations with our summer genre festival, FanTasia showing Kaneto Shindô’s Kuroneko (1968), arguably the most visually striking of all filmed ghost stories, and filling the huge Salle Wilfred Pelletier of Place des Arts for the newly restored Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), graced with a remarkable new score composed and conducted by our own Gabriel Thibaudeau.

10 (actually 13) best list

Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) even though I’ve yet to see the full-length mini-series

Lursmani Cheqmashi (The Nail in the Boot, Mikhail Kalatozov 1931) silent

The rest in no particular order

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat

Raavanan (Tamil version) (Mani Ratnam, 2010)

Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín, 2010)

Lo que más quiero (What I Love the Most, Delfina Castagnino, 2010)

La bocca del lupo

Le quattro volte


Two documentaries

Fei cheng (Ghost Town, Zhao Dayong, 2009)

Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzmán, 2010)

A 2-shot film

Double Tide, Sharon Lockhart (2009)

And an experimental, documentary short

Qu da hai de lu shang (On the Way to the Sea, Gu Tao, 2010)


Freelance writer living in Vancouver, Canada.

1. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

2. Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010)

3. The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)

4. 36 vues du Pic Saint Loup (Around a Small Mountain, Jacques Rivette, 2009)*

5. Ajami (Scandor Copti and Yaron Shani, 2009)*

6. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

7. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)*

8. Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mirchell, 2010)

9. Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2010)

10. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

11. Belle Épine (Dear Prudence, Rebecca Zlotowski, 2010)

12. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

13. Exit through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)

14. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

15. Waste Land (Lucy Walker, 2010)

16. Please Give (Nicole Holofcener, 2010)

17. O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliviera, 2010)

18. Armadillo (Janus Metz Pederson, 2010)

19. El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes, Juan Jose Campanella, 2009)*

20. La Belle Endormie (The Sleeping Beauty, Catherine Beillat, 2010)

*These films were not released in Canada until 2010

Most Disappointing Films of 2010:

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

It’s Complicated (Nancy Meyers, 2009)

Mao’s Last Dancer (Bruce Beresford, 2009)

Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010)

Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009)

When You’re Strange (Tom DiCillo, 2009)

Io sono l’amore (I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino, 2009)


Melbourne-based independent film distributor.

A Top Ten (in no particular order)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Hanyo (The Housemaid, Sang-soo Im, 2010)

Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats, Xavier Dolan, 2010)

Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010)

Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

Kyatapirâ (Caterpillar, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2010)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) (330 min version)

Almost on the list:

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010)

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Woody Allen, 2010)

Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

Monsters (Gareth Edwards, 2010)

The year’s viewing highlights definitely included an introduction to the works of Raymond Depardon at the Melbourne Cinémathèque and elsewhere various works by James Benning, especially Deseret (1995), 13 Lakes (2004) and RR (2007). Long form American TV continued to outclass most American mainstream cinema, especially Treme, Breaking Bad and Mad Men and a faintly disappointing Martin Scorsese/Mark Wahlberg production Boardwalk Empire.


Author of Monte Hellman: His Life and Films and Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision.

1. Road to Nowhere (Monte Hellman, 2010)

2. Im alter von Ellen (At Ellen’s Age, Pia Marais, 2010)

3. Napoli Napoli Napoli (2009) and Mulberry St. (Abel Ferrara, 2009)

4. Dharma Guns (F. J. Ossang, 2010)

5. Survival of the Dead (George Romero, 2009)

6. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

7. Jal aljido mothamyeonseo (Like You Know It All, Hong Sang-soo, 2009)

8. Un lac (Philippe Grandrieux, 2008)

9. Visage (Tsai Ming-liang, 2009)

10. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)

11. Bellamy (Claude Chabrol, 2009)

12. I skoni tou hronou (The Dust of Time, Theodoros Angelopoulos, 2008)

13. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009) and Rigoletto a Mantova (Pierre Cavassilas, 2010)

Retrospective Discoveries

The Living Idol (Albert Lewin, 1956)

Duvidha (Mani Kaul, 1973)

Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937)

Yogoto no yume (Every Night Dreams, Mikio Naruse, 1933)

Saakasu gonin-gumi (Five Men in the Circus, Mikio Naruse, 1935)

Nyonin aishu (A Woman’s Sorrows, Mikio Naruse, 1937)

Tabi yakusha (Travelling Actors, Mikio Naruse, 1940)

Hideki no shasho-san (Hideko the Bus Conductress, Mikio Naruse, 1941)

Haru no mezame (Spring Awakens, Mikio Naruse, 1947)

Ginza gesho (Ginza Cosmetics, Mikio Naruse, 1951)

Tsuma (Wife, Mikio Naruse, 1953)

Bangiku (Late Chrysanthemums, Mikio Naruse, 1954)

Tsuma no kokoro (A Wife’s Heart, Mikio Naruse, 1956)


Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at Bard College.

Conditions: With one exception, I restricted myself exclusively to films that were first screened publicly somewhere in the world in 2010.

1. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

2. Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

3. O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliveira, 2010)

4. Compline (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2009)*

5. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)

6. Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raoul Ruiz, 2010)

7. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

8. Hai shang chuan qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhangke, 2010)

9. Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois, 2010)

10. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

*Also for Dorsky’s Pastourelle (2010) and Aubade (2010)

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical):

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, Andrei Ujica, 2010)

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

O somma luce (Jean-Marie Straub, 2010)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

There were many excellent films released in 2010 – including another glorious, unpredictable masterpiece by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and essential works by Manoel de Oliveira, Nathaniel Dorsky, and Olivier Assayas – but, for me, the richest was Film Socialisme. Nothing has given me more hope for the future of digital cinema – and especially for the development of new forms of montage – than this vital, adventurous, and uncompromising work, the latest (hopefully not the last) “first film” by a director who never stops redefining his art.


Graduate from Truman State University with a BA in English and Philosophy/Religion. His main passions have always been writing and filmmaking.

Film of the year

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

The realm of cinema needs the true grit of reality from time to time to purify it (without resorting to didacticism – a key flaw besetting much realistic cinema today). As Roger Ebert concluded in his review of Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970), the best experience of realism in movies is when

It involves us in these people, this time and place, and we care for them, even though they don’t request our affection or applause… because they are so completely themselves, so stuck, so needy, so brave in their loneliness. Once you have seen movie characters who are alive, it’s harder to care about the robots in their puppet shows. (1)

Winter’s Bone’s Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is one of those characters. The Missouri Ozarks, circa the “Great Recession”, is the place and time. What’s most important here, however, as many critics have noted, is that the representation of this hardened, bitter region in the middle of America, forgotten for so many decades, does not request the usual PC pleas to the red/blue states of a patchwork nation. It is a region still ensconced in its rural Americana roots as it struggles with the throes of poverty and drug abuse.

What is also fundamental about the film, and sets it apart from other “realist” films of its ilk, is that it recognises the central themes of its story, stagnation and loss, as more than merely the sociopolitical topics of the contemporary message film. It sees in the death rattle of the backwoods of the state of Missouri (Misery?) birth pangs of what is most noble and true in the human condition. It digs deeper than the other American films of this year (and certainly deeper than the glossy and overly didactic majority of films produced over the past decade) in its exploration of family, home and survival.

As the film’s title suggests, it is in the bleakness of winter and the primitive ancestral “will to live” in our bones that we may find regeneration from the scars of our past.


Roger Ebert, “Five Easy Pieces”, rogerebert.com 16 March 2003:


Professor Emerita of English and Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago and author of A History of Film (now in its seventh edition) and other books on cinema. Her website Film Festival Tourism welcomes comments.

Best of the fests 2010

I attended 12 film festivals last year: Palm Springs, Sundance, Todos Santos, Wisconsin (Madison), EbertFest (Champaign, IL), Cannes, Cinema Ritrovato (Bologna), Woods Hole, CineCon (Los Angeles), Vancouver, Chicago, and AFIFest (Los Angeles). The following are some of the highlights:

Best new international films

1. Das weisse Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, 2009) (Palm Springs)

2. Shi (Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 2010) (Cannes)

3. Un Homme qui crie (A Screaming Man, Mahamet-Saleh Haraoun, 2010) (Chicago)

4. Copie conforme (Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 2010) (Cannes)

5. Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie, Hong Sang-soo, 2010) (AFI)

6. Hai shang chuan qi (I Wish I Knew, Jia Zhang-ke, 2010) (Cannes)

7. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010) (Sundance)

8. Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010) (Vancouver)

9. My Year Without Sex (Sarah Watt, 2009) (Wisconsin)

10. Stonewall Uprising (Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, 2010) (Woods Hole)

Best Revivals/Restorations

1. 3 Bad Men (John Ford, 1926) (Bologna)

2. Bombshell (Victor Fleming, script by Jules Furthman and John Lee Mahin; 1933) (CineCon)

3. King of Burlesque (Sidney Landfield, 1936) (CineCon)

4. Flandersui gae (Barking Dogs Never Bite, Bong Joon-ho, 2000) (Wisconsin)

Festival Awards

Best Retrospective: Early John Ford (Bologna), Bong Joon-ho (Wisconsin)

Best Festival Venue: Egyptian (CineCon)

Best Live Musical Accompaniments: Timothy Brock’s rousing score for 3 Bad Men (Bologna); Donald Sosin’s wistful piano variations on “Santa Lucia,” played during the screening of a poetic documentary of the same title (Bologna); The Alloy Orchestra’s colorful score for the screening of a newly restored print of Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with A Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov, 1929) (Ebertfest)

Best Outdoor Screenings: Piazza Maggiore (Bologna)

Best Introductions: Joseph McBride introducing John Ford films (Bologna)

Best Program Notes: Bologna

Best Website: AFIFest (disclosure: I contributed)

Classiest Festival Promo Reel: Cannes

Best Festival Staff: Cannes

Worst Abuse of Cell Phones During Screenings: Cannes

Worst Screening Conditions: Todos Santos (DVDs shown on a wall in the local community centre with plastic lawn chairs for the audience)

Most Congenial and Enthusiastic Audience: Todos Santos

Most Beautiful Surroundings: Sundance, Vancouver

Most Puzzling Prize: The FIPRESCI award to the Swedish film De ofrivilliga (Involuntary, Ruben Östlund, 2008) at Palm Springs.


Film critic/reviewer and film-festival programmer/consultant based in Sunderland, UK.

La bocca del lupo (The Wolfs Mouth aka The Mouth of the Wolf, Pietro Marcello, 2009)

Bone: A Bad Day In Beverly Hills (aka Bone, aka Dial Rat For Terror, Larry Cohen, 1972)

Chrzest (The Christening, Marcin Wrona, 2010)

Konets Sankt-Peterburga (The End of St Petersburg, Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1927)

Je criais contre la vie, ou pour elle (I Was Crying Out At Life, Or for It (Vergine Keaton, 2009 short)

Permille (aka Promill, Marteinn Thorsson, 2010, short)

Shinboru (Symbol, Matsumoto Hitoshi, 2009)