Sunday, January 24, 2010

2009 in Film

Before we leave the first month of the new year, I thought I'd get my act together and post something on film last year. This is my first formal top-ten list, inspired by the excellence of 2009 with regard to film. You'll have to allow me a bit of artistic license as some of the films were released at the end of 2008 but I didn't see them until their arrival in Spain in the spring or summer. Here they are, in no particular order:

Human Zoo (Rasmussen)
Anti-Christ (von Trier)
Séraphine (Provost)
Moon (Jones)
Hashmatsa/Defamation (Shamir)
Solo Quiero Caminar (Díaz)
Amreeka (Dabis)
The Messenger (Moverman)
Okuribito/Departures (Takita)
District 9 (Blomkamp)
Guest of Cindy Sherman (Donahue/Hasegawa-Overacker)

Finally, he's my friend, it's true (by American if not by German standards), but I just have to slip in The Director's first feature-length film, Übermorgen nirgendwo (Balkan Traffic), which was released at the end of 2008 while I was in Berlin. At that time I couldn't see it in the theater as my German wasn't up to the task. But I watched it twice on DVD, after which I felt competent to brave a theater showing in Brandenburg, the best part of which was The Director's Q and A. Probably the movie poster tells it the best, but I just have to say that this movie has what has to be in my top-five list of most absurdist scenes, depicting two morticians (one Serbian, one Croatian) robbing a grave in the pitch dark somewhere deep in eastern Europe, while arguing in German about the relative merits of nihilism. Ganz toll!

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