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My Favorite Films Of 2010: Christopher Bell

by Christopher Bell
January 6, 2011 4:47 AM
20 Comments
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I'm going to put it bluntly: If The Playlist didn't take me on as a contributor I would have never seen as many movies as I had, and nearly half of my list would probably be sitting in my Netflix queue well into 2011. So without being sappy (and yes, in being totally public about it), I appreciate the whole thing more than I could possibly describe. That's the family, the readership, everything -- even "dude" -- thanks for having me.

As far as the list goes, I didn't want to get swayed into picking a majority from the end of the year. It would've been too easy and a bit unfair, but that's the way the system seems to go. Great movies stay with you, that's very evident but it's easy to be taken by ones that are still fresh in your mind. It'd be fake to completely stay away from the fall crop as well, especially considering their high quality, so whittling down a list from thirty proved to be quite a feat (and also why this is as late as it is). Movies that spoke most to me were ones that struck with some sort of complexity by directors that not only strayed from the norm, but did it successfully and with reason. I proceeded to strike from the list accordingly.

And then I was left with about 20 and had to go from there.

Clearly I wasn't feeling the whole "this was a bad/not good/shitty year for movies," though honestly I'm always in the dark when numerous people start dropping those lines in their pieces. To each his own I suppose. After finally narrowing things down (and almost shaking the vague feeling of guilt, as if these were not movies but friends chosen for a team), my list stands at 10, with a few stragglers that are still noteworthy.

Toast to 2010!

10. "No One Knows About Persian Cats" dir. Bahman Ghobadi
Key Iranian new-wave player Bahman Ghobadi was never as experimental as teammate Abbas Kiarostami, seemingly more interested in neo-realism, a style that Italy explored fruitfully in the late '40s. His 2010 picture saw him loosen up a bit, following two band members through the underground music scene of Iran and even appearing in the movie himself, personally vocalizing his distaste with the heavy censorship of art in his country. There's something for everyone here, from indie-pop to rap to heavy metal (in a barn, no less) that the protagonists are introduced to in their search for a backing band. It's quite an ingenious way to bring an unknown collection of bands and singers to the general public, as the plot here isn't as important as the exploration and discovery of these new artists. There's country specific things shown in a new light, the struggles they endure not only to book a show but to even practice, which won't land them a spanking like us but instead land them in prison. Quite possibly the most endearing part is the huge sense of camaraderie among bands, no matter how different the genre or the people, they're in this together. This sentiment is truly affecting, considering we live in a society where musicians either stay in their cliques or opt to shit-talk each other. It's not a plea for "Why don't we all just along," it's more so a call-to-arms to stop acting so juvenile and self-important.

9. "Valhalla Rising" dir. Nicholas Winding Refn
A Tarkovskian Norse movie? Yes please. Who knew that the Danish auteur -- responsible for the brash Tom Hardy vehicle "Bronson" -- could shape a moody art film out of the search for a Crusade, one that leads everyone to brutal death by volatile natives in North America? Maybe not even Refn. Part bad-ass, part abrasive, and wholly unnerving, those unable to deal with its deliberately slow-burn pacing are truly missing out on a worthwhile trip. One of the best scenes, one that's the most indicative of its eerie meditative nature, is the lengthy boat ride to Jerusalem, the same ride that takes them to "Hell" instead. The gradual descent into madness is draped in thick fog and orchestrated carefully, eventually boiling to a near mutiny and paranoia-induced murder of a child. Perturbingly teeth chattering is what it is, and you can't wait for them to get off the goddamn boat, even though it will lead to certifiable doom.

8. "Dogtooth" dir. Giorgos Lanthimos
Greek Haneke/Seidl-inspired Giorgos Lanthimos makes a stomping name for himself in this cold mind-fuck, where parents hide their kids away from the world and design their own reality. While I didn't find it as hilarious as most (including the much too obnoxious people I sat in front of), the silliness of what these "children" (well in their 20s and 30s) believe becomes much more demented and unnerving as it the story professes. What could have easily ended up as a schtick unearths some pretty piercing criticism on modern day over-protective parenting or just parenting/care-taking in general (certain moments, however slightly altered, might remind one of ways they have been raised -- cute nicknames for other things or ways they have raised pets, such as the classic-now-cruel dog nose in house pee). Yes, it's extremism, but it portrays the dangers of lying to children in order to safeguard them. Kudos to the actors playing the arrested development kin, who nail the child-like nature in a brilliant, reserved way.

7. "The Oath" dir. Lauren Poitras
The middle sibling of the filmmaker's documentary series detailing post 9/11 life, Lauren Poitras brilliantly concocts an multifarious look at two former members of Al-Qaeda: Bin-Laden's bodyguard, readily available for interview, and Bin-Laden's driver, who is unable to participate due to his imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay. A chilling, unflinching look at both the American government and terrorist organizations. Sure, the topic doesn't exactly grab people anymore -- unfortunately -- but the things Poitras culls from what is essentially one giant interview is quite remarkable.

6. "The Strange Case of Angelica" dir. Manoel de Oliveira
This one took a while to fully bloom, but it tactily rooted itself tightly to my heart and has grown steadily ever since. A man falling in love with a dead woman, hallucinating her winking in pictures and flying with her ghost should be dippy, but century old director Manoel de Oliveira is so delicate with his touch that it's instead full of longing and charm. It's a kind of film you don't see anymore, one so sincere and magical that it's practically from a different time period.

5. "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" dir. Edgar Wright
Next to "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" and "The Wizard," this is the best video game movie, hands down. It's also a funny, complex tale on love and relationships, one that manages to somehow satirize, critique, and embrace the generation/clique it follows. Detractors were a total bummer on this one, too caught up on why Scott liked Ramona. etc., etc., even unable to look past its so-called faults and enjoy the dazzling fight sequences or bizarre humor. Since there wasn't a scene directly explaining a character's feelings, somehow the inferable was rejected. Yes I am bitter, but I'm still not sure why spineless comic-book movies get a pass time and time again and this didn't. If you're going to misread a movie that's about (but not limited to) personal growth, insecurity, society's inability to converse, and the peril of comfort zones, at least enjoy yourself doing so.

4. "The Temptation of St. Tony" dir. Veiko Õunpuu
It's unbelievable that an Estonian take on Dante's Inferno exists, but even more unfathomable is that it's shot like Bela Tarr and directed like Jacques Tati. But it's here, in all its insane glory, lampooning capitalism, the upper-class, men, women, and religion. It's also a sort of retelling of Job, with all of Tony's attempts at good nature resulting in at least three bad things per deed. When not farcical, the piece is downright frightening, one key scene involves a descent into a seedy night club of cannibals. It shouldn't work -- the mere thought of showing these ideas to investors is nerve wracking -- but it does, and much too well. Scintillating, austere, and surreal to the bone, its haunting final moments are like Godard snorting Bergman during "Week End." Completely unforgettable.

3. "The Milk of Sorrow" dir. Claudia Llosa
Llosa's observant cultural tale is a shrewd gem that has the slightest touch, even if the main character literally has a potato in her vagina. Elements of Reygadas and Costa peak out, but it's her lead, Magaly Solier, that keeps things from feeling too cold. Surrounded by a wealth of non-actors that deal out the kind of performances that realist directors beg for, Solier drifts through the story in a lost haze, being taken advantage by every cruel hoggish lout imaginable yet maintaining a quiet strength through it all. The premise of a woman who can't afford to bury her mother would be melodrama in less assured hands, but Llosa is thankfully smarter than that, instead exposing blind human selfishness. This is also one of the only films I've seen to illuminate the literal cost of death, and to showcase the oddity that is mass weddings -- those alone deserve great credit for their mere inclusion.

2. "Black Swan" dir. Darren Aronofsky
It took me two viewings to really appreciate Darren Aronofsky's ballet-thriller (never thought I'd write that sub-genre). On the surface, it's a successful suspense tale with a special focus on the art, cattiness, and torment of ballet. Underneath that is a myriad of substance, a lot of which is lamentably either being taken for granted or neglected. There's the layered casting, such as fitting Winona Ryder as the has-been, an actress who would be getting Natalie Portman's roles if this were a decade earlier. Its editing is stylistically inconspicuous, employing cross fades during her fragile/innocent moments and cutting hard when not. Yes the tone is big, something should be: you don't detail a person's descent into insanity as a subtle one. Polanski for sure, but don't overlook influences like Cassavetes (backstage/rehearsals remind of "Opening Night," her madness is almost as disturbingly bizarre as "A Woman Under the Influence") and Lynch (the excessively grandiose subway pervert is akin to the bizarre bell hop in "Twin Peaks," that devilish monster like the creature in "Mulholland Drive."). Even the lessons of Brecht crop up, Aronofsky employs the "alienation effect" by using aureate music at improper times or by having the black swan gaze directly into the lens during her performance. These are accomplished, well-thought moves that intensify the already harrowing experience, more importantly (especially to the naysayers) they could've easily been overlooked by someone too intent on a strong genre picture instead of a work of art. To my original dismay, some scare elements seemed silly -- animated paintings come to mind -- but a subsequent viewing showed that it's not a horror movie but a person in a horror movie. There's all of this plus the nature of identity, the toll of art performance, living through and changing for others, the dangers of protective naivety and innocence, etc. Portman is brilliant and wound tighter than her hair bun; if she doesn't win the big award for her turn in this psycho-sexual tale I will be forced to flood the academy.

1."Alamar" dir. Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio
Banco Chinchorro, the largest coral reef in Mexico, is not only the gorgeous setting for the most moving film of 2010, it was also one of the prime characters in Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio's intimate documentary/narrative hybrid. Forgoing traditional plot elements, the director uses a minimalist approach to examine the relationship between father and son as he passes his knowledge down to the next generation. Not to be too plain, also at large is the bond between man and nature, something which seems to be slipping from our grasps (or becoming a chore or dull -- see how the mother/wife becomes disillusioned with the life). No other film this year bled with such genuine love, and the appropriate sinking feeling when the son leaves his father is only heightened when it's discovered that those blue waters populated by varied indigenous wild life are slowly being destroyed. Preachy it isn't: much of the running time does without music or even dialogue, and when it does appear it is succinct. Gonzalez-Rubio would rather frame a tender scene of the family members playing with a bird against the backdrop of a makeshift home, one they constructed in the beginning, to the sounds of the calming water. The visuals and actions do the talking, they speak volumes.

Honorable Mentions: What Almost Made It, In Absolutely No Order
(Except the top two)

"Inception"
"Life During Wartime"
"Greenberg"
"The Good, the Bad, the Weird"
"Animal Kingdom"
"The Illusionist"
"Four Lions"
"White Material"
"Wild Grass" (which certainly begs a rewatch)

Movies That Were On Last Year's List
Even though these movies qualify for this year, I had them on a personal list and as much as I like them, out with the old and in with the new. As good as they are it doesn't seem fair to put them on two lists, now does it?

1. "Secret Sunshine"
2. "Mother"
3. "A Prophet"

In defense of: "Shutter Island"
What many people derided for being simply a b-thriller with an a-list cast and crew, "Shutter Island" has a lot more going for it than most will give credit. Chiding it for its last minute Shyamalan twist is unfounded; we know Daniels is crazy the second the movie opens. Starting in a room with shackles on the ground, Leo speaks frantically to himself before heading up to the deck of the ship, which sails against a very distinct green screen. If that's not enough to know that the masterful filmmaker is up to something, his protagonist has a conversation with his dead wife about 15 minutes into the movie. I'm not sure about you, but talking to your dead wife is pretty fucking loony. In knowing that the story is all set up, its shlockiness works: what kind of a story would a team of doctors make up other than a pulpy airport news-stand thriller? Everyone's acting (role-playing, LARPing, what have you) with Mark Ruffalo channeling Humphrey Bogart and Robin Bartlett sounding like she's rehearsing lines. Its sense of humor ("You blew up my car, I liked that car" and the silly easel display at the end) takes away the dead-seriousness most of its kin fall victim to, and the plot (particularly the end sequences -- from the sit down to the smoke outside) is not only handled with a maturity unseen in this genre, but also seem to hold a sort of acuminous subtext on the art form itself. Is this Scorsese airing his distaste at the stale, cyclical state that the Hollywood thriller/mystery has nestled into, something far and away from the piercing "Laura" et al, with Ben Kingsley and Ruffalo representing the director's ploy and disappointment? It's not brilliant and it probably won't win any awards aside from its NBR and Teen Choice prizes, but it should recognized that "Inception" wasn't the only $300 million grossing tentpole to show some smarts.

Great Documentaries
I've seen more documentaries this year than any other, therefore I wanted to give them special attention rather than lumping them in honorable mentions. All are worth your time and go against the boring conventions or cutesy shlock that the genre tends to fall into. In no order...

"Red Chapel"
"The Tillman Story"
"Winnebago Man"
"Queen Beetle Invades Tokyo"
"Enemies of the People"
"Exit Through the Gift Shop"
"Marwencol"
"And Everything Is Going Fine"

No Distribution!
These films I have seen either by bootleg means or in other countries, and to my knowledge they still have no U.S. distribution. If you can find them, watch them.

1. "The Clone Returns Home" - Japanese thinker a la "Solaris" OR the artsier "Moon," whichever makes you yearn for a stateside release more.
2. "The Banishment" - Russian moody thriller, if thrillers were Andrei Tarkovsky's bag.
3. "Involuntary" - Swedish mishmash of social critiques, third cousin of "Code Unknown."
4. "Windows on Monday" - German minimalism, maybe if "Safe" was less scary and more freeform.
5. "Saviour Square" - Polish social drama, its keen eye for the destructive pettiness that can take hold of families is a bit more conventional Mike Leigh, but affecting none-the-less.
6. "Our Beloved Month of August" - Portuguese fiction/non-fiction about a director's project falling apart AFTER arriving in a mountain village, this is his consequential attempt to make a movie regardless of his misfortune. A little Kiarostami and a little Panahi.

That's all folks…Sorry for saying that.

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20 Comments

  • Jason Cangialosi | January 7, 2011 9:49 AMReply

    Amazing list. Wish I had the chance to see just half of them. Another Iranian film that made my 2010 list was "The White Meadows".

    If you like, check out my own Favorites of 2010 published here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6189444/my_favorite_films_of_2010.html?cat=40

    Given, it doesn't claim to be a best of the year list, just my favorites with US theatrical releases and brief blurbs on why.

  • Stephen | January 7, 2011 7:59 AMReply

    ...and to put that comment below into a bit of perspective for those who don't click on the second link in there, my #1 film of the year grossed over a billion dollars so, no, I don't think I'm just putting "obscure" films in my list for the hell of it.

  • Stephen | January 7, 2011 7:53 AMReply

    I'm sorry if I came off as obnoxious or was not being clear in my prior point. Like I said, I think 2010 was a great year for film, particularly for American film but also for foreign film. It's just been *blowing my mind* lately to see what I consider to be incredibly pedestrian year-end lists that read as if they were written by people who were seeing 80% American suburban multiplex fare, which, in my opinion, is not where most of the worthwhile cinema of the year lives. And yes, I didn't like a lot of the films that made Bell's list, but it's nice to see something that isn't BLACK SWAN 127 HOURS TRUE GRIT SOCIAL NETWORK KINGS SPEECH WINTER'S BONE with a film like DOGTOOTH or EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP thrown in for good measure.

    I read just about everything you guys put up, and I think you have the best movie site on the internet. I would be very surprised if anyone has retweeted more of your posts in the past few months than I have. But the bulk of your year-end lists, in my opinion, really bespeak the cinematic equivalent of a Ptolemaic view of the universe, with the United States at the center, which I, frankly and bluntly, think is *INSANE*. We are only one country in the world. And while I think we have, year-to-year on down through the history of the medium of cinema, created more great works as well as greater works than any other country out there, to act as if we are the only other film-producing country in the world strikes me as ridiculous. The very law of probability must bend to near breaking for someone to posit that nine of the best ten films of the year came from the same place. It's a ludicrous contention and I sincerely think that anyone who makes it just isn't trying hard enough, which is why the language that Reverse Shot (whose writing is typically pretty damn obnoxious - see http://www.reverseshot.com/article/reverse_shots_11_offenses_2010, though i don't disagree with most of their conclusions) led their year-end list with struck me.

    It seems like, with the proliferation of film criticism and other kinds of film coverage on the internet, what should be fostering a diversity of voices and opinions is instead lending itself towards a herd mentality, and more so this year than in previous years. And I find that disappointing. And hence, I find Bell's list refreshing.

    Access is obviously an issue, and lord knows I'm aware that it must be difficult to have a day job and also write for a blog whose quality is as high as yours is (which is why, as a recent law school graduate, I only voraciously read film crit and news on the internet and don't really write much of anything), but if you're taking the time out of your life to write for a blog that purports to really, truly cover cinema, especially with dispatches and news from and about the major international film festivals, I would expect that purported coverage to be more reflected in the year-end lists than it was. I'm willing to concede that, living in New York, I have a slanted view of film screening availability, but even before I moved here, the internet served me incredibly well when it came to polishing off viewings of all the films in a given year.

    And Edward, this: "The notion that one should try and surprise and or impress anyone with a top 10 list is an absurd one, generally made by kids." is a bullshit strawman argument and I don't think it's adding anything to the discussion. I don't think I said that anywhere, or even intimated it. I would think that it is pretty clear that what I meant was that the Ptolemaic "U.S. at the center and nothing else even really matters" view just speaks to lazy film viewing. One shouldn't put "outside the box" movies in their lists just to surprise or impress anyone. One SHOULD, however, see "outside the box" movies over the course of the year, and if one really knows and loves cinema, I'd expect one who does see such films to have them more represented on their year-end list. I frankly think your entire comment, even beyond what I just quoted, is a strawman argument that doesn't address what I'm saying at all.

    Chris, since you asked, my top 30 films of the year are listed here, along with who I think deserves to be nominated and win for Oscars for their work this year (both lists which have been dynamically worked on for a few months now), as well as some scattered thoughts on some movies that did and didn't make my list (which I wrote up last night...hence they are VERY scattered): http://sk2k10.tumblr.com/post/2633556153/the-cinema-of-2010-30-best-films-oscar-worthy-work

    And yeah...I agree with Michael's last paragraph in his comment, too. I think we're on the same page. I apologize if my initial comments were unclear, but I don't think that Edward's response was fair at all.

  • Michael | January 6, 2011 11:50 AMReply

    Now this is the kind of list that keeps me reading The Playlist: one that sheds new light on films I've already seen and exposes me to ones I would otherwise ignore. Excellent work.

    Firstly, Black Swan's inclusion initially disappointed me, but you did manage to soften my negative opinion of it by giving me more than just catchphrases like "Natalie Portman is a revelation" and "Aronofsky crafts a nightmarish psychosexual thriller the likes of which have long since been extinct." I still am lukewarm on it, but you're the first writer here to convince me I actually may need to revise my opinion of it. Which I think is a great thing for a Top Ten list to do.

    The Secret in Their Eyes has been overshadowing many other worthy Latin American movies, including the far superior The Milk of Sorrow. Hopefully this will make some people expand their tastes as far as Latin American cinema goes; one can't simply watch the Academy Award Winner of Best Foreign Film and expect to understand what is really going on in countries outside of the United States.

    The Oath has been hilariously ignored by everyone, audiences and critics alike, despite it being easily better, subtler, and more thought-provoking than any of the documentaries garnering plaudits this year (The Inside Job, Waiting for "Superman", etc.). Good on you for remembering it.

    And I could kiss you for spotlighting Alamar as the best film of the year. I am a big fan of Reverse Shot, who have been lobbying hard to get people to pay attention to this unassuming little gem, and here at last is someone else who has seen it, understood it, and recognized its worth.

    And I guess I'll end by saying that obscure is not necessarily better. I'm fine with Black Swan and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World being here, as they're justified by insight and genuine appreciation and actual variety and wide-ranging tastes outside of those two selection. To again cite Reverse Shot, anyone who praises mostly American films "either wasn’t watching enough movies or watching movies well enough." It's not so much that there were no good American films this year, but more that anyone who has really seen what the (entire) world had to offer in 2010 wouldn't be doing so. Which is where my contention with previous lists lies: most of the previous writers, even ones I respect and usually like, give no evidence of having even seen these worthy contenders, let alone considering them for their predictable and uninteresting lists.

  • Drew | January 6, 2011 11:23 AMReply

    Totally great list, very "Chris Bell"!!!

  • Edward Davis | January 6, 2011 9:56 AMReply

    To regurge:

    The notion that one should try and surprise and or impress anyone with a top 10 list is an absurd one, generally made by kids. Everyone groan’s when top 10 lists look the same and then they covet something different, but contrarianism for the sake of contrarianism is juvenile.

    Look at our underrated lists if it makes you feel better, because that’s prolly what Reverse Shot did in their top 10. It’s silly to just be different because you think you should stand out.

    (not saying that the Bell is doing that at all, but comments thus far about our top 10 lists being "conventional" or "disappointing" or whatever are just silly. We've had obscure stuff in our top 10 lists before -- our at least our EIC's -- but we didn't this year, so what. Those who think obscure = cool or better.... well, just silly).

  • Christopher Bell | January 6, 2011 9:52 AMReply

    1. Ed I love you.

    2. Stephen what would you put up there instead? Not being confrontational just legitimately curious.

  • bonzob | January 6, 2011 9:51 AMReply

    It's an incredibly stupid thing to say. In terms of foreign films that have received decent distribution domestically, it's been a far worse year than last year, meaning that in order to see most of the foreign films listed on Bell's list, you'd have to live in New York or LA and have plenty of festival access, which not all bloggers do.

    There has been plenty of variety across the lists, and there have been plenty of American films worth talking about this year. Playlisters clearly do frequent the arthouse, so it's foolish to say they have some sort of narrow-minded, US-centric view of film.

    According to Stephen, you are adding to the discourse by including more foreign films, even though he didn't like the foreign films that were picked? Ludicrous, and snobby, argument.

    If a french critic included solely European films on his list, would be be going after him for not including a bunch of American indies he had no access to? Unlikely.

  • Gabe Toro | January 6, 2011 9:04 AMReply

    Stephen, to counter that Reverse Shot discussion, I think that's an enormously fucked up thing for them to say. A lot of us have day jobs, and lives that require a lot of attention devoted elsewhere. Some of us really bust our ass to get out to cinemas and screenings, but it really often comes down to seeing Alamar (I didn't) or fulfilling an area of your life that needs the attention. In my case, skirt-chasing.

  • Edward Davis | January 6, 2011 8:53 AMReply

    Chris Bell is different, therefore he is better. ;)

  • ryan | January 6, 2011 8:30 AMReply

    great list, man!

  • Stephen | January 6, 2011 8:28 AMReply

    ...And, let me say that I haven't seen ANY of your no distro films and have only heard of OUR BELOVED MONTH OF AUGUST, so I'll be looking for all of them. Thanks again.

  • Stephen | January 6, 2011 8:25 AMReply

    Really, really refreshing to see some outside the box choices here. I've, overall, been pretty disappointed by the year-end lists on this blog, seeing as though you guys typically have such great taste and cover such a wide range of contemporary cinema. I think Reverse Shot said it better than I can: "Any critic who could, with a straight face, populate a ten-best list either primarily or exclusively with American films released in one of the worst years in recent memory for homegrown filmmaking at all levels either wasn’t watching enough movies or watching movies well enough." I don't think 2010 was as bad as people are saying it is - it might not have had many (any?) masterpieces, but it sure as shit has some really great films, but any list that is all, or even 50% American productions (or English-language productions, for that matter, as fare like THE KING'S SPEECH might as well be an American film with how many theaters its been in here) bespeaks an incredibly short-sighted list-author who is not doing good work. You, on the other hand, have done grand work in this regard. That being said, I didn't really dig the majority of the foreign films you cite (Valhalla, Milk, Angelica, Cats - I didn't see St. Tony, loved Alamar and Pilgrim, didn't love The Oath or Black Swan); nonetheless you're adding to the discourse much, much more than your counterparts are here. Thanks.

  • J | January 6, 2011 8:12 AMReply

    Bravo for bringing some much needed attention to foreign and lesser know films all year 'round! It was also refreshing to hear some new analysis of this year's favorites--because I think we're all a little tired of hearing that Black Swan was "so scary" and Inception was "so trippy." You have a truly open and imaginative mind.

  • Antonio | January 6, 2011 7:28 AMReply

    wow, wow, wow. Thanks for this enlightening list.

    Didn't even know that “The Temptation of St. Tony” existed and it sounds amazing.

    Also, that list with films without distribution will keep me entertained in 2011 trying to catch one of them on the festival circuit. This is catnip for avid movie nerds who are trying to find something that will surprise them.

    Thanks again mr Bell

  • Christopher Bell | January 6, 2011 6:59 AMReply

    It's also near "Inception"-level talky. But I do have a fondness for it! I'm sure Kino could drop that easily, considering their large library of overly niche material..

  • The Playlist | January 6, 2011 6:41 AMReply

    I should have put Alamar on my honorable mention list. It is quite good. The Clone Returns Home is good, but i dunno if it would be much of a contender. Too niche hence the reason no one will properly distribute. But suppose Tarkovsky fans should seek it out.

  • Gabe Toro | January 6, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    Ah, finally, some love for The Clone Returns Home! I should have remembered that one. How in the hell is there no distribution for that movie?

  • Amanda | January 6, 2011 5:48 AMReply

    I like to call myself a movie buff but reading this list, I have have to rethink or watch more movies. I just watched Scott Pilgrim last night. I loved it. It was fun and different and I may have a second helping today.

  • modage | January 6, 2011 5:25 AMReply

    There's the list full of foreign movies most people have never heard of that I've come to expect from The Playlist. Bravo! :)

    As for Scott Pilgrim, (sorry to focus in on the 1 of 2 I've seen), It just fell completely flat for me. I didn't recognize any of the characters as human beings since everyone's behavior and line delivery was SO stylized. I also didn't think it was funny because the rhythm of dialogue is just so forced. And this is coming from someone who LOVES Edgar Wright (and enjoyed the SP books). I wanted to love it, even rewatched it just to be sure, but felt nothing.

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