Friday, 29 October 2010

The Belated Class of 2009

Whilst those in the know and correct location can formulate an end of year listing at...the end of the given calendar year, many of us (for various reasons) are not able to create such a worthwhile list 'til months after and me, being a control fr...meticulous individual is finally satisfied enough to join in the fun and games. Furthermore, a little reflection is always good for one's sense of clarity, and upon such musings, 2009 was an excellent conclusion to the decade. I wasn't so confident at the time and whilst I'm not sure any pictures obtainted that elusive A grade, there are an abundance of titles which brought entertainment, strong technique, quality performances and a worthy field of emotions. Any number of the following films (which are listed in a roughly descending order) could have made my top ten in a lesser year and if you haven't already, would highly recommend checking them out for future viewing.
Tony Manero
Up in the Air
Broken Embraces
The Damned United
District 9
The Road
Where the Wild Things Are
The Hurt Locker
Somers Town
El Bano del Papa
In the Loop
Two Lovers
Julie & Julia
(500) Days of Summer
35 Shots of Rum
Cherry Blossom
Summer Hours
The Messenger
Lemon Tree

And finally, before we hit the storm of 2010 film and Oscar season, which is currently being touted as The Social Network vs. The King's Speech (will this change?), I present Burning Reels' top ten (ok eleven, I cheated) films of the year.

In the end the top ten comprises of a Mexican slowburner, an ode to Tarkovsky, an ode to Love, an ode to Death, the complexities of family, the astuteness of the outsider, the perils of parenthood, the joy of cinema, the beautiful irreverance of existing, Nic Cage and Werner Herzog being themselves but being gloriously batshit together, and numerous talking foxes and other animals - voices including the warmth of Meryl and the everlasting tones of Sir Bill Murray...which all sums me up very nicely.

01 Silent Light
02 Antichrist
03 Bright Star
04 Goodbye Solo
05 Still Walking
06 A Prophet
07 The White Ribbon
08 Inglourious Basterds
09 A Serious Man
10 The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
Fantastic Mr. Fox

So now the dust has settled, your thoughts on 2009?


  1. Excellent idea to include films that could have made your top 10, but didn't .

    Your no 1 "silent light", I'll have to check that one out ( : I haven't seen "Still Walking"
    or "35 Shots of Rum" yet either.

    I haven't done a top 10 2009 list yet (and I doubt I will, as I tend to watch films late, so I can tell if IMDB and RT likes it)

    What I will do soon, is list the best films I've seen in 2010 (no matter what year they were produced)

  2. BTW, "Mother and Child", "The Vicious Kind" ,I noticed are not here, a coulpe of really good films IMO, I would have both on my 2009 list

  3. Well we have 4 movies in common in our Top Ten which makes up for the fact that I didn{t really like "Silent Light". I honestly don't know what the big deal about Reygadas is. I admire his craft but his movies seem mostly ripoffs of better movies. And by ripoff I don't mean homage which is what Antichrist does for example.
    Anyway nice list!

  4. Thanks for the recommendations moviesandsongs - not seen either and yes, release dates and distribution differences are a routine nuisance:)

    And what be your top ten Jose?

    I thought Reygardas' previous two features were intriguing but not really anything more, yet the pacing and general feel of Silent Light entranced me, plus I hadn't seen Ordet (the film he heavily refers to in one key scene) at that point.

  5. Your welcome (with the 2009 recommendations)

    Have you seen Kelly Reichardt's "Wendy and lucy" (2008), Urszula Antoniak's "Nothing Personal" (2009), or Ki-duk Kim's Spring summer fall winter...and spring (2003)

    I liked all 3, maybe you might, the style is similar to your no 1 "Silent light", minimal dialogue, slow-pacing, and much meaning in non-verbal gestures. I am unsure what to call this genre, is there a name I wonder ( :

  6. I have seen Wendy and Lucy (which is a perfect late night relaxation film) - a second viewing really enhanced the lovely blend of the lowkey style and it's vivid imagery. I probably enjoyed Reichardt's Old Joy even more.

    And I did admire 'Spring...' but my then frame of mind was probably not ideally suited to such a piece so perhaps another viewing is required.

    I'm hardly aware of 'Nothing Personal' - worth a punt?

    Haha know what you mean - those 'wordless emotions' which now and then can be so wonderfully captured through cinema.

  7. Well, 'Nothing Personal' I would call the least interesting of the
    three. It was good, but not great. I would suggest waiting for the dvd.

  8. sometimes it takes until a year later to truly sort through what you saw before (and had a chance to see everything you wanted to see).

    Nice list.

  9. Thanks RC - I agree, plus one can reflect a little better on the year as a whole instead of these waves of lists we get at the same time period every year.

    Do you have a top ten or anything of sorts for 2009?