Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorites of the Decade

Everyone seems to be compiling these best of the decade lists right now. And I must admit, at first, I was a little reluctant.  Tastes change so much in ten years.  And it's difficult for me to gauge whether or not a response I had in 2001 would still be the same today.

But I like the idea of filters, and have seen my fair share of movies this decade, so I thought I would jump in the game:

1.  All the Real Girls (2003)
My favorite David Gordon Green film.  I still marvel at his naturalism and fully formed style here.

2.  Mulholland Dr (2001)
One of my very favorite films from one of my very favorite directors.  I couldn't explain the plot to you better than anyone else, but I love the labyrintine and alternate world that Lynch lets us play in here.

3.  Funny Ha Ha (2002)
I love Bujalski's ability to be smart, sweet, human, and restrained all at once.  His approach has an ease and grace that I really admire.

4.  Regular Lovers (2005)
A difficult film, probably.  But it's like McCabe & Mrs. Miller or The Mother and the Whore, films that create their own rules for time and space and ones that I never really want to leave.

5.  What Time Is It There? (2001)
When it comes to using color and composition, I'm not sure I like anyone as much as the Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang.  Of all of his films I've seen so far, this one seems the most accessible.

6.  Yi Yi (2000)
Epic but also personal.  Feels like the work of a wise and honest director, capturing many of life's truths.

7.  4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007)
That great blend of character and plot that I'm always after in my own work.  Direction at a remarkably high level.

8.  Tulpan (2008)
Another challenging film that's probably not for everyone.  But brings fiction to life in a way that completely awed and inspired me.

9.  Under the Sand (2000)
For me, just a very compelling story well-told.  Not flashy; "the invisible director" in the way that I sometimes really like it.

10.  Milk (2008)
Van Sant back in Hollywood.  Proof that the great stylists can still make films with a lot of heart and appeal.

Note:  Not in preferential order.

Favorites of the Year coming soon.


  1. Great stuff and I appreciate there are several here I haven't seen, so I have some new titles to put on my list of things to watch.

  2. Thanks so much, Jeremy. If any of these end up really working for you, I'd love to hear about it.

    And thanks for all your great work over at mooninthegutter. Your site (and a few of the others) would definitely be on a "10 things that inspired me this year" list if I were to make one.