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Thread: BEST MOVIES OF 2010 -- so far

  1. #46
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    I watched ALTERED STATES by Ken Russell last night (he's coming to Toronto to be at the FanExpo at the end of Aug.- I hope to meet him).

    I absolutely LOVED Altered States. Brilliant concept and great cinematic imagery is in it. I wish my time wasn't so crimped right now or I'd post a review. (tomorrow? hopefully?)
    There were Kubrickian elements in Altered States that should be highlighted. It was made at the same time as Kubrick's The Shining and I think Russell may have been inpsired...maybe not. But it's worth thinking about.
    William Hurt is great in his first ever film role.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #47
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    Triple Oscar-winner Paddy Cheyefsky had his name removed from the credits of ALTERED STATES after he watched the final product. I remember my 19 year-old self loving aspects of it and hating others. My last post got lost at the bottom of last page. It's about AGORA and RAAVAN, two great-looking films lost in the avalanche of Hollywood crap in theaters this summer.

  3. #48
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    Oscar Jubis:
    Two of the most interesting and enjoyable movies I have seen recently are AGORA and RAAVAN. Their combined box office is just over $1 million nationwide.

    AGORA is the new film by Alejandro Amenabar (The Others, The Sea Inside) with Rachel Weisz as a 4th century philosopher and astronomer struggling against the righteous power of the emergent Christians. The recreation of ancient Alexandria and a well-cast Weisz are reason enough to check it out. RAAVAN is an artful, re-imagining of "The Ramayana" by director Mani Ratman (Dil Se, Guru). There are some set pieces in this film that have to be seen to be believed.
    These new Hindi/Bollywood movies have been shown locally (in the East Bay) this year that I have seen:

    3 Idiots (Rajkumar Hirani 2010) R
    Khatta Meetha (Priyadarshan 2010) NR
    Kites (Anurag Basu 2010) NR
    Raavan (Mani Ratnam 2010) NR
    Rajneeti (Prakash Jha 2010) NR

    Of these, and I think this is by general consent among Indians, only 3 IDIOTS is really an unqualified success and seemed worthy of review. Actually some sequences in RAAVAN are extraordinary but they are not to be believed when they are seen. It is a travesty on the Ramayana. Its attempt to update the classic legend isn't successful. KITES is an attempt at crossover with US sequences and dialogue in Spanish and English. It's terrible, and so is KHATTA MEETHA, a remake of the same director's 1988 film, which purports to be a comedy but is not; the reviews in India are generally unfavorable also. RAJNEETI is about political corruption, as KHATTA MEETHA is about corruption in city government and the construction trade. RAJNEETI is a sort of Hidi GODFATHER. It is confoluted and extremely violent. Parts of it are memorable but it is ultimately incomprehensible and a mess. I recommend 3 IDIOTS to any Bollywood fan or person who wants to try its latest manifestations. I saw only a part of AGORA and it seems interesting, good as Oscar says as a role for the rather earnest Weisz, if a bit stilted. Nice to have a film in theaters that is about ideas.

  4. #49
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    Thanks for the reply.
    I think Raavan is superior to 3 Idiots.
    I plan to watch Winter's Bone, Metropolis and Wild Grass this week.
    At home: rewatched Broken Blossoms (1919) and The Embalmer (2002, Fassbinder would have been jealous) today. Jarman's Edward II is next (Jarman's best and one of the great "gay films", I remember thinking after a screening in the 90s).
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 08-08-2010 at 11:46 PM.

  5. #50
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    RAAVAN ought to have been great, but it is not all it should be. The Indians were very disappointed and "skewered" it, according to a Time Magazine article. . 3 IDIOTS has been generally heralded as one of the best Bollywood comedies of all time, and firmly in a fresh youthful up-to-date genre. I don't know that that is Jarman's "best". Again you lay down the law without justification -- or good reason. It's an interesting piece, and usually ranked with Caravaggio as one of his two best, but not quite successful, rather murky. His Caravaggio is more of a triumph in many areas An interesting, multitalented man. Perhaps his life was his greatest work of art. Which is a renaissance thing. Of course he played a big part in the rise to power of Tilda Swinton, who now reigns supreme in the world of androgynous superstars.

  6. #51
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    Raavan is not all it should be but I believe what you say about "the general consent among Indians" but I can only go by what my critical faculties produce and that is a firm opinion that Raavan is a film one must see. Manu Ratman revises Bollywood conventions in a modernist, artful manner that cannot please everyone. I understand why 3 Idiots has a deserved large following. But it's Raavan I want to watch again. Just my opinion. Also, I cannot agree with characterizing Edward II as "not quite successful" or "rather murky". I think it is a remarkable film, even more so then Caravaggio. Good points about Jarman's life and Swinton's career.

  7. #52
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    Thanks. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion on RAAVAN; I am simply giving mine, that of my friend whom I watch Hindi films with, and Indian reviewers. Disappointment is my impression of EDWARD II, but as I said, it is ranked with CARAVAGGIO as one of Jarman's two best. I might be wrong on that one and I might take another look since EDWARD II is available to watch online. I like Jarman's Shakespeare sonnets one, THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION. It certainly pushes the gay thing but I didn't mind and I loved hearing good English actors read from Shakespeare's sonnets. I've seen all that's readily available but I'm far from having seen all his work and I'm not sure one could have without having lived in London from the Seventies onward. Certainly an interesting figure especially from the gay point of view. Part of the general artistic ferment and excitement of the Eighties. As young Caravaggio Dexter Fletcher was a voluptuous boy such as maybe only a gay man could have discovered and showcased in such a memorable way. Funny to see him now grown up in a great many roles including gangsterish, tough-guy parts. Along with seeing CARAVAGGIO when it came out for me was the beginning of the gradual realization that the Italian painter was a much greater artist than I had realized. And his reputation has soared generally, which has not hurt the film.


    Dexter Fletcher
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-10-2010 at 07:00 PM.

  8. #53
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    Interesting. Thanks. Not so long ago, I found a film site belonging to Jim Clark who specializes in "GLBT cinema" and includes quite lengthy and insightful reviews of films by Jarman, Pasolini and Fassbinder. In case you are curious, as I was, here's his "Top 10 GLBT Movies":

    * Brokeback Mountain & The Wedding Banquet (Ang Lee / 2005 & 1993)
    * Edward II (Jarman / 1991)
    * Fellini Satyricon (Fellini / 1969)
    * Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson / 1994)
    * In a Year With 13 Moons (Fassbinder / 1978)
    * Maurice (Merchant/Ivory / 1987)
    * Mikaël (aka Michael) (Dreyer / 1924)
    * My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant / 1991)
    * Paris Was A Woman (Schiller / 1995)
    * Poison (Haynes / 1991)

  9. #54
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    His discussion of EDWARD II the film is quite detailed. I can't comment further now.

  10. #55
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    Oscar nom guesses and some interesting coming releases

    From the website Awards Daily here are some Oscar nomination guesses. This is just junk really, not highly selective, but again a start. This includes films not yet released. Note absence of GREENBERG. What about THE GHOST WRITER? Kosashvili's ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL is foreign, but in English, and definitelly one of the finest of the year so far.

    Best Picture
    Toy Story 3
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right
    Blue Valentine
    Shutter Island
    Fair Game
    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
    Another Year (Mike Leigh)
    Winter's Bone
    Biutiful

    Best Actor
    Robert Duvall,Get Low
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception
    Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
    Michael Douglas, Solitary Man
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island
    Javier Bardem, Biutiful
    Sean Penn, Fair Game

    Best Actress
    Annette Bening,The Kids Are All Right
    Julianne Moore,The Kids Are All Right
    Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
    Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
    Naomi Watts, Fair Game
    Lesley Manville, Another Year

    Best Supporting Actor
    Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
    Jim Broadbent, Another Year

    Best Supporting Actress
    Marion Cotillard, Inception
    Ruth Sheen, Another Year

    Best Director
    Christopher Nolan, Inception
    Doug Liman, Fair Game
    Mike Leigh, Another Year
    Lisa Cholodenko, The Kid Are All Right
    Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island
    Debra Granik, Winter's Bone
    Upcoming films (also from Awards Daily, August 2010).

    Fair Game (Doug Liman, with Naomi Watts, Sean Penn) About the Valerie Plane outing story
    Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance) with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling; about a failed marriage
    The Extra Man (Kevin Kline, Paul Dano), Metacritic 57, but possible nom for Kline?
    Eat Pray Love (Ryan Murphy) "Because you just never know. Oprah power. " -- and Julia Roberts power? Aug. 13 relase.
    The American (Anton Corbijn) Vintage spy thriller. Corbijn (Control) is an interesting director; this actually looks good "Never underestimate the power of George Clooney." Release Sept.
    The Social Network (David Finche). The Facebook story.
    Release Oct. 1, I have high hopes. NYFF opener, Sept;
    Secretariat (Randall Wallace) Diane Lane, John Malkovitch. Unlikely.
    Hereafter (Clint Eastwood; writer Peter Morgan) Matt Damon, Cecile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard. Oct. 22. "A supernatural thriller." Never underestimate Clint.
    (Roger Mitchell) Harrison Ford and Rachel MacAdams with Diane Keaton – the news business. (November 12)
    Love and Other Drugs (Edward Zwick), Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway. About the pharmaceutical business and a girlfriend with Parkinson's.
    Next Three Days (Paul Haggis). Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. Legal procedural.
    The King’s Speech (Tom Hooiper) Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter . About problems of the new king when Edward abdicated to marry Ms. Simpson.
    The Fighter "The eagerly anticipated David O. Russell film starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale." (November 26) Lots of trouble getting this one out. Russell is always one to watch.
    Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) Brad Pitt. November release. Filmed in Smithville, Texas in 2008. Mystery surrounds this. To be unveiled at the Toronto Festival.
    Somewhere (Sofia Coppola) "SC in familiar territory with a young daughter relating to her older father as they try to eke out a normal life at the Chateau Marmont." Dec. 22 release.
    True Grit (Coen brothers) Jeff Bridges. Remake. Dec. 25 release. The Coens have done will with Bridges. before.

    My comments except where they are in quotes, which are from Awards Daily. I have omitted some.

  11. #56
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    Oscar nom guesses and new and coming releases

    From the website Awards Daily here are some Oscar nomination guesses. This is just junk really, not highly selective, but again a start. This includes films not yet released. Note absence of GREENBERG. Mostly just American films.

    Best Picture
    Toy Story 3
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right
    Blue Valentine [see below for details]
    Shutter Island
    Fair Game [see below]
    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
    Another Year (Mike Leigh)
    Winter's Bone
    Biutiful (Alejandro González Iñárritu) with Javier Bardem. Debuted at Cannes, and Bardem got the Best Actor award for it there.

    Best Actor
    Robert Duvall,Get Low
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception
    Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
    Michael Douglas, Solitary Man
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island
    Javier Bardem, Biutiful
    Sean Penn, Fair Game

    Best Actress
    Annette Bening,The Kids Are All Right
    Julianne Moore,The Kids Are All Right
    Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
    Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
    Naomi Watts, Fair Game
    Lesley Manville, Another Year

    Best Supporting Actor
    Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
    Jim Broadbent, Another Year

    Best Supporting Actress
    Marion Cotillard, Inception
    Ruth Sheen, Another Year

    Best Director
    Christopher Nolan, Inception
    Doug Liman, Fair Game
    Mike Leigh, Another Year
    Lisa Cholodenko, The Kid Are All Right
    Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island
    Debra Granik, Winter's Bone
    Upcoming or new films (also from Awards Daily, August 2010).

    Fair Game (Doug Liman, with Naomi Watts, Sean Penn) About the Valerie Plane outing story. Nov 5 limited release.

    Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance) with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling; about a failed marriage. Dec. 31 release.

    The Extra Man (Kevin Kline, Paul Dano), Metacritic 57, but possible nom for Kline? Already released.

    Eat Pray Love (Ryan Murphy) "Because you just never know. Oprah power. " -- and Julia Roberts power? Aug. 13 relase.

    The American (Anton Corbijn) Vintage spy thriller. Corbijn (Control) is an interesting director; this actually looks good "Never underestimate the power of George Clooney." Release Sept. (14?)

    The Social Network (David Finche). The Facebook story. I have high hopes. NYFF opener, Sept. Release Oct. 1,

    Secretariat (Randall Wallace) Diane Lane, John Malkovitch. Unlikely to win anything? Oct. 8 release date.

    Hereafter (Clint Eastwood; writer Peter Morgan) Matt Damon, Cecile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard. Oct. 22. "A supernatural thriller." Never underestimate Clint. Oct. 26 release date.

    Morning Glory (Roger Mitchell) Harrison Ford and Rachel MacAdams with Diane Keaton – the news business. (November 12) Unlikely.

    Love and Other Drugs (Edward Zwick), Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway. About the pharmaceutical business and a girlfriend with Parkinson's. Weeper appeal? Nov. 24 release date.

    Next Three Days (Paul Haggis wrote and directed). Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. Legal procedural. Nov. 19 release date.

    The King’s Speech (Tom Hooiper) Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter . About speech therapy for the new king when Edward abdicated to marry Ms. Simpson. Little, Briish. From a stage play. Nice acting? Weinstein. Release, Nov.?

    The Fighter "The eagerly anticipated David O. Russell film starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale." Lots of trouble getting this one out. Russell is always one to watch. Nov. 26 release.

    Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) Brad Pitt. November release. Filmed in Smithville, Texas in 2008. Mystery surrounds this. To be unveiled at the Toronto Festival. Nov. release?

    Somewhere (Sofia Coppola) "SC in familiar territory with a young daughter relating to her older father as they try to eke out a normal life at the Chateau Marmont." Dec. 22 release.

    True Grit (Coen brothers) Jeff Bridges. Remake. The Coens have done will with Bridges. before. Dec. 25 release. Merry Christmas!

    My comments except where they are in quotes, which are from Awards Daily. I have omitted some.

    Let me add:


    Animal Kingdom (David Michôd). Described as an Australian 'Goodfellas.' Metacritic 82. Aug. 13 limited US release.

    The Town (Ben Affleck) Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall. A thief has second thoughts about a heist plan. Set in Boston. Sep. 10 release dae.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-14-2010 at 12:14 AM.

  12. #57
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    It's gon' be fun, man. Thanks.

    Lodge Kerrigan is one of my favorite American auteurs. I imagine the reason he has only released two movies (Claire Dolan, Keane) since his groundbreaking debut Clean, Shaven (1993) is his interest in fringe characters and his formal experimentation. I always look forward to his movies with excitement. His new film Rebecca H, about an actress shooting a film in which she plays Grace Slick circa 1967, premiered at Cannes '10. Regrettably, it has no distributor. It's possible Kerrigan has released a film too avant garde to play anywhere except museums that foreground moving-image art, like MOMA. There are a number of filmmakers around the country who are just a little too far from the mainstream to have their films shown theatrically. Nina Menkes is my favorite. Kerrigan seems to be edging in that direction if the Variety review of his Rebecca H is to be trusted.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 08-14-2010 at 11:08 AM.

  13. #58
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    Our discussion of KEANE on Filmleaf four years ago can be found here.

    I gather you would not have been able yet to see Lodge Kerrigan's new one REBECCA H, which debuted at Cannes, l (Un Certain Regard), May 20, 2010.
    Kerrigan seems to be edging in that direction if the Variety review of his Rebecca H is to be trusted.
    I assume you mean "that direction" is the direction of being shown only at museums. KEANE was shown theatrically in NYC and I remember reading reviews of it while there but i missed it then and caught it later on a DVD. The Variety review you refer to by Rob Nelson calls REBECCA H. (RETURN TO THE DOGS) "meticulously dizzying," and concludes the lead paragraph "While it reprises vintage documentary scenes of Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick onstage in 1967 and thus could be said to have a commercial hook, the experimental pic sends even game cineastes down the rabbit hole. Go ask Alice." REECCA H. is set mostly in Paris and features the French film veteran Pascal Greggory, who was in a film we once discussed somewhere, Jacques Doillon's RAJA, and many others I've lked, such as GABRIELLE, CONFUSION OF GENDERS. I most recently saw him in Doilon's latest in Paris in April (2010), MARRIAGE À TROIS, the day it opened. Kerrigan's switching to a French setting interests me, despite how off-putting the new film typically sounds.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-14-2010 at 09:46 PM.

  14. #59
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    Thanks for the links, Chris.
    Yes, that is what I meant by "that direction", the specialized circuit of places like the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH and other modern art museums with screening rooms. I am convinced it will eventually made available for easy downloading if it there is no better alternative. I see that we discussed Kerrigan before. We've been at this for quite some time, uh?
    I like Pascal Greggory too.

  15. #60
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    Indeed.

    Until recently I hadn't realized Jacques Doillon is rather prolific and well known in France. Some of his films are about kids, but the new one I saw in April, Marriage à trois, is totally different, a sophisticated, talky film like a stage play. So I don't have much of a grasp of who he is (both French and US Wikipedia have only stubs on him) but Ponette remains his best known.

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