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Lists: Best of the Decade, Part 2

The Auteurs Daily

Syndromes and a Century

"Syndromes and a Century by Apichatpong Weerasethakul heads the tally of more than 50 films chosen as the best of the 2000s by TIFF Cinematheque, the year-round screening program of the Toronto International Film Festival," reads yesterday's release. "Joe" has another film in the top ten, too, Tropical Malady at #6. Syndromes is followed by not one but two films by Jia Zhang-ke, Platform and Still Life (#s 2 and 3, respectively). Back to the release: "The list has 21 films from France, nine from the US, seven from Germany, six from Taiwan, and four each from Japan, China and Italy. Canada had three, as the Cronenberg film [A History of Violence, sharing slot #17 with Michael Haneke's Caché, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive and Hou Hsiao-hsien's Three Times] was categorized as an American production. The rankings are based on a poll of more than 60 film experts around the world."

And so the listing of lists that more or less formally began here last week ("Let the Wild Listings Start!") picks up again. We can now add to the collection Kirk Honeycutt's (Hollywood Reporter) "Top 10 Movies of the Decade" (he's got two Hanekes in there and puts Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima at #1), "The Popdose 100: The Best Movies of the Decade" (#1: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) and Tony Danyoub's ongoing, year-by-year countdown, "Best Films of the 00s."

Update: Time Out New York introduces its "top 50 movies of the decade": "We asked 14 of our contributors to provide a ranked ballot of their ten favorites. After tabulating the results (and engaging in some decidedly unscientific back-and-forth), Team Film arrived at a vivid picture of a troubled time." Landing in the #1 spot: Mulholland Drive. Those 14 contributors, by the way, are David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf, Keith Uhlich, Stephen Garrett, Andrew Grant, Aaron Hillis, Kevin B Lee, Karina Longworth, Maitland McDonagh, Troy Patterson, Nicolas Rapold, Lisa Rosman, Nick Schager, S James Snyder. And here are their ballots.

Update, 11/25: Glenn Kenny introduces his list, "My Seventy Greatest Films Of The Decade": "I will try to be more aphoristic and less portentous than the TONY crew in my film assessment. I don't mean that as a slam against the TONY crew's summings-up. Believe me, I know what a drag it can be to write those 50-to-120 word capsules, particularly if you're trying to get across why the films 'mattered' or were 'important.' It was, quite frankly, really tiresome to have to strike those poses back in the Premiere days."

Updates, 11/26: "Let's see, there are 874 hours remaining this decade," tweeted Mike D'Angelo yesterday. "So to post my newly-drafted list of my fave 100 films - ranked! - that'd be 1 every 8 hrs." To follow the countdown, follow @gemko (RSS).

Michael J Anderson follows up on his recent survey of the best of the decade with a special Iranian cinema supplement, a post on Abbas Kiarostami's Shirin and Rafi Pitts's It's Winter.

Girish Shambu posts thoughts on the TIFF Cinematheque list and asks for comments - which, of course, are rolling in.

Updates, 11/27: "Two Zero Zero X." Chris Stangl picks up his series, writing up his "Favorite Films of the Decade." This is part 2, covering 2001.

In the Mood for Love finally tops a list. In London. "So here it is... Ten years, thousands of movies and millions of dollars in international box office, and it all boils down to this: Time Out's most sensational, celebrational, inspirational selection of the 101 Greatest Films of the Noughties." And here are the personal top tens.

Update, 11/28: Kevyn Knox launches another year-by-year countdown of the best of the decade, starting, naturally, with 2000. His #1: In the Mood for Love.

Updates, 11/30: Robert Cashill presents his "Top 50 picks for Popdose. Would it be a different list if Cineaste went in for this sort of thing? Is it really a 'best' list, or more of a 'favorites' list?"

Starting best of the decade countdowns: Tom Hall, Brian Orndorf (Hollywood Bitchslap) and the Playlist.

Rex Sorgatz's annual year-end list of lists - all categories - is off and running.



If this is Tuesday, we must mention DVDs. "It's about time that someone came up with a more accurate and evocative term than avant-garde, particularly because it refers to a vast and widely varied tradition of films that fall outside the norms of feature-length narrative filmmaking," writes Dave Kehr in the New York Times this week. "The concept, however vague, is rendered admirably concrete in three recently released DVDs. Kino International's two-disc Avant-Garde 3: Experimental Cinema 1922-1954 is the most recent volume in a series devoted to classics of the genre. Icarus Films has released Martina Kudlacek's 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, a study of Menken (1909-70), the gifted filmmaker (Glimpse of the Garden, 1957) who also functioned as a den mother to an entire generation of avant-garde filmmakers, including Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas. And finally there is Mr Mekas's monumental Walden, a three-hour assembly of his Diaries, Notes and Sketches (as the film's subtitle title puts it) first presented in 1969 and now available as a two-disc set (with a 150-page book) from Microcinema International."

Criterion's got two new releases today, one of them rather atypical: The Golden Age of Television. "And for all its curatorial aspirations, one can't help view the DVD set's contents as a series of funhouse mirrors unintentionally reflecting the paranoid, conservative zeitgeist of their time," writes Joseph Jon Lanthier in Slant. Overall, "The age might have been more gilded and gullible than golden, but as a lesson in media studies this set is indispensible."

"Earlier this year I didn't feel ready to commit to a proper Top 10 list for films released in 2008, but having seen just about everything worthwhile since then, I'd certainly slot in Gomorrah," writes Bob Cashill at Popdose. Both he and Sean Axmaker are impressed by the package that includes, among other extras, an hour-long documentary, Five Voices. More from Chuck Stephens in Criterion's Current.

And finally for now, case you haven't heard, the trailer for Noah Baumbach's Greenberg, with Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans and Jennifer Jason Leigh, is out.

For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @theauteursdaily (RSS).

TIFF Cinematheque’s news release.
>>The list has 21 films from France, The above words from the cbc article (for TIFF’s best of the decade list) are misleading because they clearly refer to co-productions. The French co-production total (which is 23 and not 21) includes the following films that I would never associate as being “from France”: Tropical Malady Silent Light The Wind Will Carry Us The World Platform Ofcourse, the nature of co-productions makes it hard to pin down exactly which country the film is from. Is there a formal rule which states if the majority of the money on a movie is from one country, then that film will be associated with that country? Since it is a Canadian article, it had to make sure it stated why the Cronenberg film was not included in Canada’s total :)
I’ve said this before, but put Syndromes and a Century at the top of any list and I’m fine with that, but to be fair I’d need to see many more films on that list.

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