05 February 2009

The 2009 Notebook: Ranked

By popular demand, I'm going to rank the films I've watched in 2009. I'm still not satisfied with how, but I've devised a list of categories. The highest category ("The New Favorites") will include the films that had an extremely profound effect on me (flawed, or otherwise). The next ("The Good") will be for films worthy of praise, even if it isn't the most enthusiastic. That will be followed by "Middle of the Road," which is for films neither amazing nor awful, or perhaps a bit of both. Then, we have the lousy ones ("The Not-So-Good"), followed by the worst of the worst ("Shitfests"), films so terrible they (probably) shouldn't have been made in the first place. And then below that will be the films that I have no idea what to do with ("Les Autres"), films that should probably be rewatched and re-examined as I can't figure out how, or if, I feel about them. For the revisited ones, there'll only be three categories. One for films I'd probably rank as being some of my all-time favorites, one for the shitty ones and one for those that fall in between. Here's the last forty films I've watched in 2009 in said categories, though I may change the titles of each throughout the year.

The New Favorites

La vie nouvelle - dir. Philippe Grandrieux - France - 2002 - N/A - with Zachary Knighton, Anna Mouglalis, Marc Barbé, Zsolt Nagy, Raoul Dantec, Vladimir Zintov

The Good

Doubt - dir. John Patrick Shanley - USA - 2008 - Miramax - with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Joseph Foster II

Dream Boy - dir. James Bolton - USA - 2008 - N/A - with Stephan Bender, Maximillian Roeg, Thomas Jay Ryan, Diana Scarwid, Randy Wayne, Owen Beckman, Tricia Mara, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Gilroy

Import/Export - dir. Ulrich Seidl - Austria - 2007 - N/A - with Ekateryna Rak, Paul Hofmann, Michael Thomas, Maria Hofstätter, Georg Friedrich

A Very Natural Thing - dir. Christopher Larkin - USA - 1974 - Water Bearer Films - with Robert Joel, Curt Gareth, Bo White, Anthony McKay, Marilyn Meyers

Yeti: A Love Story - dir. Adam Deyoe, Eric Gosselin - USA - 2006 - Troma - with David Paige, Brie Bouslaugh, Laura Glascott, Eric Gosselin, Adam Malamut, Joe Mande, Loren Mash

Middle of the Road

17 fois Cécile Cassard [Seventeen Times Cécile Cassard] - dir. Christophe Honoré - France - 2002 - N/A - with Béatrice Dalle, Romain Duris, Jeanne Balibar, Ange Ruzé, Johan Oderio-Robles, Tiago Manaïa, Jérôme Kircher, Julien Collet, Jérémy Sanguinetti

The Dark Hours - dir. Paul Fox - Canada - 2005 - Freestyle Releasing - with Kate Greenhouse, Aidan Devine, Gordon Currie, Iris Graham, Dov Tiefenbach

Disquiet - dir. Matthew Doyle - USA - 2006 - Self-Distributed - with Matthew Doyle, David Tuchman, Brandon Slagle, Niki Notarile

The Mothman Prophecies - dir. Mark Pellington - USA - 2002 - Columbia Pictures - with Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton, Alan Bates, Debra Messing, David Eigenberg

The Bad

Pieces [Mil gritos tiene la noche] - dir. Juan Piquer Simón - Spain/Puerto Rico/USA - 1982 - Grindhouse Releasing - with Linda Day, Christopher George, Edmund Purdom

Passengers - dir. Rodrigo García - USA/Canada - 2008 - with Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Andre Braugher, Dianne Wiest, David Morse, Clea DuVall, William B. Davis, Ryan Robbins

Sex/Life in L.A. - dir. Jochen Hick - Germany/USA - 1998 - Strand Releasing - with Tony Ward, Ron Athey, Rick Castro

Six Days, Six Nights [À la folie] - dir. Diane Kurys - France - 1994 - N/A - with Anne Parillaud, Béatrice Dalle, Patrick Aurignac, Alain Chabat, Bernard Verley

Via Appia - dir. Jochen Hick - Germany - 1990 - Strand Releasing - with Peter Senner, Guilherme de Pádua, Yves Jansen

Shitfests

The Cabin Movie - dir. Dylan Akio Smith - Canada - 2005 - N/A - with Arabella Bushnell, Ben Cotton, Brad Dryborough, Ryan Robbins, Justine Warrington, Erin Wells

Piccadilly Pickups - dir. Amory Peart - UK - 2000 - N/A - with Alexis Arquette, Jake Darby, Shawn Stone, Rod Hunt, Chris Green, B.J. Wallace

Les Autres

The Story of Piera [Storia di Piera] - dir. Marco Ferreri - Italy/France/West Germany - 1983 - N/A - with Hannah Schygulla, Isabelle Huppert, Marcello Mastroianni, Bettina Grühn, Angelo Infanti, Tanya Lopert, Renato Cecchetto, Maurizio Donadoni

Revisited: The Old Favorites

Buffalo '66 - dir. Vincent Gallo - USA - 1998 - Lionsgate - with Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston, Ben Gazzara, Mickey Rourke, Rosanna Arquette, Jan-Michael Vincent, Kevin Corrigan

Exotica - dir. Atom Egoyan - Canada - 1994 - Miramax - with Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Mia Kirshner, Don McKellar, Arsinée Khanjian, Sarah Polley, Victor Garber

Freeway - dir. Matthew Bright - USA - 1996 - Republic - with Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Dan Hedaya, Wolfgang Bodison, Brooke Shields, Amanda Plummer, Michael T. Weiss, Bokeem Woodbine, Alanna Ubach, Brittany Murphy, Guillermo Díaz, Tara Subkoff

Happiness - dir. Todd Solondz - USA - 1998 - Lionsgate - with Jane Adams, Dylan Baker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lara Flynn Boyle, Cynthia Stevenson, Ben Gazzara, Louise Lasser, Rufus Read, Camryn Manheim, Jon Lovitz, Jared Harris, Marla Maples, Evan Silverberg, Dan Moran, Molly Shannon

Hedwig and the Angry Inch - dir. John Cameron Mitchell - USA - 2001 - Fine Line Features - with John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Michael Pitt, Andrea Martin, Stephen Trask, Alberta Watson, Maurice Dean Wint

The Living End - dir. Gregg Araki - USA - 1992 - Strand Releasing - with Craig Gilmore, Mike Dytri, Darcy Marta, Mary Woronov, Johanna Went

Muriel's Wedding - dir. P.J. Hogan - Australia/France - 1994 - Miramax - with Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter, Jeanie Drynan, Gennie Nevinson, Matt Day, Daniel Lapaine, Sophie Lee, Roz Hammond, Belinda Jarrett, Pippa Grandison, Gabby Millgate, Daniel Wyllie

Mysterious Skin - dir. Gregg Araki - USA/Netherlands - 2004 - Tartan Films/TLA Releasing/Strand Releasing - with Joseph Gordon Levitt, Brady Corbet, Michelle Trachtenberg, Bill Sage, Elisabeth Shue, Jeffrey Licon, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Billy Drago

Otto; or Up with Dead People - dir. Bruce LaBruce – Canada/Germany – 2008 - Strand Releasing – with Jey Crisfar, Katharina Klewinghaus, Marcel Schlutt, Susanne Sachße, Guido Sommer, Christophe Chemin, Gio Black Peter

Possession - dir. Andrzej Żuławski - France/West Germany - 1981 - Blue Underground - with Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Heinz Bennett, Margit Carstensen, Michael Hogben, Johanna Hofer

The Raspberry Reich - dir. Bruce LaBruce - Germany/Canada - 2004 - Strand Releasing - with Susanne Sachße, Daniel Bätscher, Andread Rupprecht, Anton Z. Risan, Dean Stathis

Shortbus - dir. John Cameron Mitchell - USA - 2006 - ThinkFilm - with Sook-Yin Lee, Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, PJ DeBoy, Justin Bond, Jay Brannan, Raphael Barker, Peter Stickles, Alan Mandell

Vicky Cristina Barcelona - dir. Woody Allen - Spain/USA - 2008 - MGM/Weinstein Company - with Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Kevin Dunn, Pablo Schreiber

Welcome to the Dollhouse - dir. Todd Solondz - USA - 1995 - Sony Pictures Classics - with Heather Matarazoo, Angela Pietropinto, Brendan Sexton III, Matthew Faber, Eric Mabius, Daria Kalinina, Bill Buell, Dimitri DeFresco

Wild Things - dir. John McNaughton - USA - 1998 - Columbia Pictures - with Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Denise Richards, Neve Campbell, Theresa Russell, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Bill Murray, Robert Wagner

Wild Tigers I Have Known - dir. Cam Archer - USA - 2006 - IFC Films - with Malcolm Stumpf, Patrick White, Fairuza Balk, Max Paradise, Kim Dickens, Tom Gilroy

Revisited: Les Autres

The Dead Girl - dir. Karen Moncrieff - USA - 2006 - First Look - with Brittany Murphy, Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Mary Beth Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Kerry Washington, Nick Searcy, Giovanni Ribisi, Mary Steenburgen, James Franco, Piper Laurie, Josh Brolin, Bruce Davison

In Bruges - dir. Martin McDonagh – UK – 2008 - Focus Features – with Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Jérémie Renier, Thekla Rueten, Zeljko Ivanek

Mother of Tears: The Third Mother [La Terza madre] - dir. Dario Argento - Italy/USA - 2007 - Myriad/Dimension - with Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno, Udo Kier, Moran Atias, Adam James, Daria Nicolodi

Red Road - dir. Andrea Arnold - UK/Denmark - 2006 - Tartan Films (R.I.P.) - with Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Nathalie Press, Paul Higgins

Storytelling - dir. Todd Solondz - USA - 2001 - Fine Line Features (R.I.P.) - with Mark Webber, Selma Blair, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Robert Wisdom, Leo Fitzpatrick, Julie Hagerty, Jonathan Osser, Lupe Ontiveros, Noah Fleiss, Aleksa Palladino, Franka Potente, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Xander Berkeley

Revisited: The Shit

Palindromes - dir. Todd Solondz - USA - 2004 - Wellspring (R.I.P.) - with Emani Sledge, Valerie Shusterov, Hannah Freiman, Rachel Corr, Will Denton, Sharon Wilkins, Shayna Levine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ellen Barkin, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Matthew Faber, Debra Monk, Alexander Brickel, Richard Masur, Robert Agri, Richard Riehle, John Gemberling

4 comments:

Blake Williams said...

Is Palindromes 'The Shit' as in "it's the shit" or as in it's in the shit pile?

Joe said...

Shit as in "pile of..." I guess I should rephrase that, but I've never described anything as "the shit" in a positive tone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

Since it seems we have a very similar taste in movies (i.e., great taste, since we Rivette and Denis people seem few and far between), I'd be interested in your expanded thoughts on two movies that appear in this post: "Disquiet" and "The Dark Hours."

Perhaps just to fill you with envy, I just thought I'd let you know that I've seen all 12.5 hours of Rivette's "Out 1." All I can say is that, in terms of thinking about cinema, I was re-born.

Thanks.

Edward

Joe said...

Oh yeah, I will be sure to write further about those two. Expect an expanded notebook soon!