by Adam Hirsch
Now, on this snowy New Year’s Eve, it’s a better time than ever to reflect back on the year and select our choices for the best cinematic efforts in 2009.
Myself, Peter Warren, Brian Barth, Giampaolo Bianconi, Jake Teresi and Matt Paley all wrote down our Top-10 lists (although Matt, in an uncharacteristically cynical move, declined to offer a full 10). There were ten films overlapping our choices, and, ranked by frequency, comprise the final top-10 list.
Up (Dir. Pete Doctor) — 5 Votes
The Hurt Locker (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow) — 5 Votes
A Serious Man (Dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen) — 4 Votes
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Dir. Wes Anderson) — 3 Votes
Up In The Air (Dir. Jason Reitman) — 3 Votes
Inglorious Basterds (Dir. Quentin Tarantino) — 2 Votes
Lorna’s Silence (Dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne) — 2 Votes
Where The Wild Things Are (Dir. Spike Jonze) — 2 Votes
The Road (Dir. John Hillcoat) — 2 Votes
Sugar (Dir. Anna Boden) — 2 Votes (more…)
by Adam Hirsch
(Notice: Any film that creates a real dialogue about it has really done its job. Matt’s review of Where the Wild Things Are is here. Giampaolo’s review of it is here. Also, I discuss some plot points of the film but try not to spoil anything; however, if you want to see the film fresh, you might want to read this after watching it.)
When Bonnie & Clyde opened in 1967, it was heralded as the quintessential baby-boomer film. Even though the subject matter was over thirty years old, and the script was written by a hollywood outsider, and the direction was old school (almost archaic) formalism, everything about it seemed to bear some reflection on the current social and political atmosphere.
Where the Wild Things Are, forty years later, is the new generation’s Bonnie & Clyde.
(Note: Matt’s previous post on Where the Wild Things Are can be found here. Also, this review contains some spoilers on the film. Just to know.)
Simply put, childhood does not exist. Its existence is contingent on its status as memory, not as experience or reality. Childhood has value only once it has actually disappeared, only has reality in the mind of the adult who conceives of his past, its purity and its frustrations–which are so “moving” because they remain our frustrations as we grow older. This means that childhood–no matter how liberating its primal scream, is really a call for conservatism, for a construction of the past as we imagine it. It has no forward motion and denies memory: it seeks to be without place or time, yet remains only in the place of our mind and the time that has past. Childhood is not real.
by Matt Paley