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Thread: Best Undistributed Films (2005)

  1. #16
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    My DVD player is working again fine. It's a good one and as I've said before I am inclined to keep it as long as I can because it plays my laserdisc collection and makes CD's sound marvellous. The one minus is that it isn't all-region. For that I need another DVD player in the bedroom hooked up to the system. IF the Pioneer Elite DVL-90 gives out, the DVL-919 still exists and I can order a new one for around $700-$800. Considering that it is a top quality player for three formats, that's not a bad deal at all. I was afraid that the DVL-90 was unrepairable after all, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I still like to use my desktop to watch foreign DVD's using the software that allows you to rapidly add or remove or change subtitles, useful for me for language study. And I have made that all-region.

    http://etronics.resultspage.com/disp...dynamic&Store=

  2. #17
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    Film Comment's BEST

    Films in bold were on my list earlier.
    I'm including the name of the distributor (if any).

    1. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan) 227 points
    2. L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France) 185 Sony
    3. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, Romania) 161 Tartan
    4. Regular Lovers (Philippe Garrel, France) 123
    5. The Sun (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/France/Italy/Switzerland) 114
    6. Police Beat (Robinson Devor, U.S.) 95
    7. Tristram Shandy (Michael Winterbottom, U.K.) 76 Picturehouse
    8. Mutual Appreciation (Andrew Bujalski, U.S.) 70
    9. Gabrielle (Patrice Leconte, France) 68 Wellspring
    10. The Wayward Cloud (Tsai Ming-liang, France/Taiwan) 59
    11. Who's Camus Anyway? (Mitsuo Yanagimachi, Japan) 57
    12. Tale of Cinema (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea/France) 51
    13. Princess Raccoon (Seijun Suzuki, Japan) 48
    14. Mary Abel Ferrara, Italy/France/U.S. 46
    15. 4 (Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Russia) 44
    16. 13 Lakes (James Benning, U.S.) 35
    17. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance Park Chan-wook, South Korea 34 Tartan
    18. Le Pont des Arts (Eugene Green, France) 32
    19. Clean (Olivier Assayas, Canada/France/U.K.) 30 Palm Pictures
    20. Avenge But One of My Two Eyes (Avi Mograbi, France/Israel) 29
    21. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (Michel Gondry, U.S.) 27 Rogue
    22. I Am a Sex Addict 26 IFC
    23. This Charming Girl (Lee Yoon-ki, South Korea) 23
    24. South of the Clouds Wen Zhu, China 22
    25. Why We Fight Eugene Jarecki, U.S./France/U.K. 21.5 Sony
    26. Odete (João Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal) 21
    27. Los Muertos 20.5
    28. Route 181 19
    29. Linda Linda Linda 17
    30. The Ister (David Barison & Daniel Ross, Australia) 17 First Run/Icarus
    31. Thank You for Smoking 16 Fox
    32. The Devil and Daniel Johnston 16 Sony
    33. Through the Forest 16
    34. 12 and Holding 15 IFC
    35. Bubble 15 Magnolia

    Participants: Sam Adams, John Anderson, Melissa Anderson, Steve Anker, David Ansen, Tim Appelo, Nicole Armour, Paul Arthur, Michael Atkinson, Marjorie Baumgarten, Michael Chaiken, Chris Chang, Tom Charity, Godfrey Cheshire, Gary Crowdus, Giulia D’Agnollo-Vallan, Mike D’Angelo, David Fear, F.X. Feeney, Scott Foundas, Chris Fujiwara, Graham Fuller, Roger Garcia, Larry Gross, Dennis Harvey, Molly Haskell, Grady Hendrix, Logan Hill, J. Hoberman, Robert Horton, Johnny Ray Huston, Harlan Jacobson, Kent Jones, Kristin M. Jones, Dave Kehr, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Stuart Klawans, Robert Koehler, Michael Koresky, Nathan Lee, Dennis Lim, Phillip Lopate, Alice Lovejoy, Tim Lucas, Cynthia Lucia, Scott Macaulay, Guy Maddin, Greil Marcus, Todd McCarthy, Mark McElhatten, Wesley Morris, Rob Nelson, Chris Norris, Geoffrey O’Brien, Mark Olsen, Mark Peranson, Tony Pipolo, Richard Porton, John Powers, James Quandt, Alissa Quart, Nicolas Rapold, Bérénice Reynaud, Howard A. Rodman, Joshua Rothkopf, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Paul Schrader, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Gavin Smith, Roger Smith, Vivian Sobchack, Bob Strauss, Jim Supanick, Amy Taubin, Desson Thomson, Kenneth Turan, Michael Wilmington, Donald Wilson

  3. #18
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    Thanks for putting that up. It seems to show a considerable influence from the NYFF selections for this year; either that, or the great minds of this group of critics and the NYFF just happen to think very much alike. Besides your choices, more are on my annual 2006 best lists -- 2,3,5, 27 and 35. And other NYFF official selections -- significant overlap since there are only 24 of those -- are 7,9,11,12,17,20, and 33. I also liked some of the brief reviews that came with this Film Comment article, particularly Jason Lee's of Brokeback Mountain.

  4. #19
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    Originally posted by trevor826
    Oscar you have no idea how unique you are having seen "A Way of Life", as you know it's set in Wales but it absolutely bombed here, you are the first person I know who has seen it.
    As for me, I didn't bother despite it being the opening film at the Cardiff Film Festival 2004 simply because from all I'd seen and heard, I'd only have to take a walk down my street and I'd see it for real.
    Well, I understand why you didn't bother, although it's not a documentary. It's a piece of fiction, and a knockout performance like the one given by newcomer Stephanie James should be something any film buff appreciates regardless of milieu.
    The Miami International Film Festival screening was a complete success. A Way of Life won the Fipresci Award and the Critics' Grand Jury Prize at our festival. I'm saddened to learn it bombed there and it won't play in commercial theatres here.
    In fact, I've noticed a disturbing trend in my country: distributors treating films from the UK as exotica, having the type of limited release similar to films in foreign languages. It has a lot to do with distributors choosing not to spend money marketing and promoting good films like Yes, Separate Lies, Breakfast on Pluto, Dear Frankie, Millions, My Summer of Love, Asylum, and others. Ms. Assante's film is condemned to oblivion, and the UK/South Africa co-prod Red Dust is going straight to video. This state of affairs is depressing to me.

  5. #20
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    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    Thanks for putting that up. It seems to show a considerable influence from the NYFF selections for this year; either that, or the great minds of this group of critics and the NYFF just happen to think very much alike. Besides your choices, more are on my annual 2006 best lists -- 2,3,5, 27 and 35. And other NYFF official selections -- significant overlap since there are only 24 of those -- are 7,9,11,12,17,20, and 33. I also liked some of the brief reviews that came with this Film Comment article, particularly Jason Lee's of Brokeback Mountain.
    Only a select few from the group (ex. Kent Jones and Lisa Schwarzbaum) are also part of NYFF selection committee, proving that they obviously selected some great films for the fest last year. If I remember correctly, you didn't exactly love Tristram Shandy, Tale of Cinema, and Through the Forest.

    Anyway, I'm glad that The Death of Mr. Lazarescu has a distributor. The word "masterpiece" has often been utilized in its reviews. However, it's not encouraging to have good indie films like Police Beat and Mutual Appreciation on the list. I hope that in the future these sort of efforts will be distributed ahead of the likes of 5x2, Yes, Dear Frankie, Ma Mère, etc.

  6. #21
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    I certainly thought the NYFF selections were excellent. I understand the Film Comment poll group are not concentrated in New York, so it must just be that. Of course I didn't like them all equally and true, Tristram Shandy, Tale of Cinema, and Through the Forest were not ultimately successful for me. But they're certainly more interesting than most of the fare we get in theaters or even in festivals. I did say Tale of Cinema "lingers pleasantly in the mind" and Shandy is "an enormously clever film." Even Through the Forest, though too slight, is quite beautiful, not to be compared with something like Ma Mère, which is an abomination. As for The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, it is essential viewing.
    .

  7. #22
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    Should we also look at the Village Voice poll, "Take 7," Undistributed list ? Except for the first ones that got a number of votes, it doesn't seem to mean much, compared to the more valid and high quality Film Comment list. But maybe somebody would care to comment. Again, of the top six, five were in the NYFF. I think I'll leave off the ones that just got one vote here on this paste-in.

    Points
    1 Three Times 34
    2 The Sun 26
    3 Regular Lovers 18
    Tale of Cinema 18
    5 The Wayward Cloud 12
    Who's Camus Anyway? 12
    7 Police Beat 10
    8 Homecoming 8
    Mary 8
    Los Muertos 8
    Mutual Appreciation 8
    12 13 Lakes 7
    4 7
    Princess Raccoon 7
    15 Ox Hide 6
    Le Pont des Arts 6
    Through the Forest 6
    18 Bashing 4
    Citizen Dog 4
    Grain in Ear 4
    John & Jane 4
    Odete 4
    Shanghai Dreams 4
    The Sky Turns 4
    Ten Skies 4
    26 10th District Court: Moments of Trial 3
    Czech Dream 3
    Down in the Valley 3
    The Forest for the Trees 3
    Heart, Beating in the Dark 3
    In the Battlefields 3
    Izo 3
    Live-In Maid 3
    My Dad Is 100 Years Old 3
    Something Like Happiness 3
    South of the Clouds 3
    Starlit High Noon 3
    The Taste of Tea 3
    This Charming Girl 3
    40 Bad Spelling 2
    The Big Durian 2
    Black Sun 2
    Delamu 2
    Duelist 2
    Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachtani? 2
    Five 2
    Gilaneh 2
    Holy Lola 2
    Ken Park 2
    La Trahison 2
    Linda Linda Linda 2
    The Living World 2
    No Direction Home: Bob Dylan 2
    October 17, 1961 2
    Omagh 2
    Route 181: Fragments of a Journey to Palestine-Israel 2
    Takeshis' 2
    Throw Down 2
    To Paint or Make Love 2
    The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Parts 1, 2, and 3 2
    Twelve and Holding 2
    A Visit to the Louvre 2
    What Is It? 2
    Workingman's Death 2

  8. #23
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    Has anyone seen Police Beat? I caught it at the Cardiff Film Festival and thought the actual storyline as such was quite unique, the central actor was excellent but the other cast members were amateur in a bad way. It didn't help that it was screened in the wrong aspect ratio which is never a good thing for your eyesight never mind your appreciation of the actual film but there's not much you can do about it when it's a one off screening.

    Good original concept though.

    Cheers Trev.
    The more I learn the less I know.

  9. #24
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    These undistributed lists are most useful as guides to film festival screenings. Especially larger film festivals in which you can only sample a small percentage of films shown. A few of the films on the list actually received home video distribution and are readily available through rental outfits like Netflix.
    *Live-in Maid, which I liked a lot when it screened at the MIFF last Feb., is listed on IMdb as having had a USA release on 12/30/05, so it's going on my regular list.
    *I realized I watched and listed At Five in the Afternoon in my undistributed list for 2004. Thus I removed it from my 2005 list and added Muratova's Chekhovian Motifs, which I had forgotten to list.

  10. #25
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    Originally posted by trevor826
    Has anyone seen Police Beat? I caught it at the Cardiff Film Festival and thought the actual storyline as such was quite unique, the central actor was excellent but the other cast members were amateur in a bad way. It didn't help that it was screened in the wrong aspect ratio which is never a good thing for your eyesight never mind your appreciation of the actual film but there's not much you can do about it when it's a one off screening.

    Good original concept though.

    Cheers Trev.
    Yes, I finally watched it last week. Very impressive. It was shot in 'scope, an important aspect of this film, so it's disappointing to hear about your screening. I'll try to write something about it (I've been saying that about a lot of films, which means that I've now become very lazy).

    Thanks for posting the 'Voice' list, Chris.

    Chinese film Oxhide has been compared to Jia Zhangke's debut feature Xiao Wu in terms of relevance, so that's one we should definitely look for.

    Le Pont des Arts is the latest from NY born Eugene Green who now works in France. His previous feature Le Monde Vivant was on my 2004 list. It was strikingly poetic and theatrical, a very unique experience.

    I think Johann saw and loved Princess Raccoon, the latest from 82-year-old Seijin Suzuki.

    Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachtani? is from Shinji Aoyama (Eureka) featuring Asano Tadanobu.

    Five is the latest DV feature from Kiarostami; Ken Park keeps making the list every year -- btw, his new film Wassup Rockers now has U.S. distribution; Workingman's Death is a highly regarded doc. on labor conditions. There are other important films on the list that we'll get into sooner or later.

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