Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Flim Bolg Top 100 Films of 2000-2009

098. Goodnight, and Good Luck (Directed by George Clooney, 2005): George Clooney's lovingly crafted take on Edward R. Murrow taking on Senator Joe McCarthy with the express purpose of taking him down. Everything looks fantastic, there's something so timeless about cigarette smoke curling up slowly into the air in black and white, and David Strathairn's performance as Murrow is something that belongs in a time capsule. When Murrow worries that the medium of television has no use above entertaining, amusing, or insulating the public, one can't help but imagine what he would think of the current state of television. And in that wondering, lies exactly what makes this film timeless, rather than a simply a historical piece.

097. Far From Heaven (Directed by Todd Haynes, 2002): I already feel like I slighted this one as I rewatch it this week. It's a sweepingly gorgeous film that takes the conventions of the 50s melodrama, especially of the Douglas Sirk variety, and uses it to explore issues that one couldn't touch in the 50s without heavy, heavy metaphor or just ignoring altogether. Julianne Moore is terrific in the lead, never getting that impassioned speech moment that wins you the heavy hardware, but instead lending the lead role of a wife with a husband who doesn't love her (Dennis Quaid in a spectacular performance), and fighting her feelings for her coloured gardener (Dennis Haysbert, before he started doing insurance commercials). The cinematography is gorgeous, all beautiful autumnal vistas and changing leaves. If I'd rewatched it sooner, it would have gone substantially higher.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Flim Bolg Top 100 Films of 2000-2009

#100. Takeshis' (Directed by Takeshi Kitano): Takeshi Kitano's deconstruction of his film career seeks to alternately understand, mock, and bid adieu to the gangster genre he mined so successfully for so many years. Unlike, say, Synecdoche, New York which, to me, felt just too punshingly sad, Takeshis' looks at the creative process with a smile, a frown, and a little wink at the audience. In it, Kitano plays himself, the Japanese movie star, and, himself, the struggling actor/convenience store clerk, they switch places, or do they? There's a giant ridiculous shoot-out in that oh-so-familiar Kitano location, the beach, and a hilarious music montage that sees a DJ scratching records turn into a man tweaking a woman's nipples. Impossible to explain, but irresistible to behold, it's the not a perfect movie, but it's a perfect movie to sit right at #100.

#99. Samaritan Girl (Directed by Ki-duk Kim): A high-school student acts as her friend's pimp, then when tragedy befalls the teenage prostitute, the pimp goes on a mission of atonement; sleeping with all of her friend's customers, then refunding the money they'd been paid for her, ahem, services. Her father gets wind of her, er, liasions, and begins to investigate. It's a film of exquisite sadness, with a scene of shocking brutality mixed in for good measure. All in all, it's pretty damn stunning.

Flim Bolg

I finished up a (admittedly premature, seeing as my 2009 viewing is limited, thus far) Mock-Up of my Top 100 Films of the Decade list the other night and couldn't think about what else to do with it, besides, you know, publishing it. So, I thought I might as well start the much-threatened film blog once and for all. So, here I'll post reviews, lists, comments, complaints, etc. etc.

Feel free to join in.