Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jeff's 2009 Film Odyssey

Hey Jeff,

I've got time to kill at the moment while sitting at the hospital, so I thought I'd give you some feedback on your 2009 list...

1. A Single Man
I haven't seen this, nor have I had much desire to do so, but whenever another film club member makes a strong stand for a film, I always feel the need to check it out. I'll try to get to it eventually. Did you hear the Fresh Air interview with the director? He talks about that phone scene in the interview.

2. Inglourious Basterds
Absolutely Tarantino's masterpiece. Since I know you love TWBB almost as much as I do, you'll enjoy knowing that Tarantino has stated that it was watching TWBB that made him realize that the moviemaking stakes were higher than ever and that he needed to step up his game.

3. The White Ribbon
I kept falling asleep during this. The best part of the movie is when an old man's cell phone went off in the audience. "HELLO?" "HELLO?" The man then started to have a very loud confused conversation with someone for a couple of minutes while others yelled at him and I gently ushered him out of the theatre. I left about twenty minutes later because I couldn't stay awake. That was my last night ushering at Cornell.

4. Sin Nombre
I missed this, but I sat through the trailer about half a dozen times while working at Cornell Cinema. I'm also really interested in Jane Eyre and will likely go see it soon.

5. Sugar
I liked this.

6. A Serious Man
This was my favorite movie of last year. I only got to see it twice, but I've spent a lot of time thinking about it since. I wrote up a long post about it here if you want to search for it in the archives.

7. Moon
I love print sf (I'm currently reading Subterranean Press' new PKD collected stories volume 1. You vegetarians here should find and read the story Beyond Lies the Wub). It is rare that any sci-fi film pleases me. Film science fiction has always been about 30-40 years behind print science fiction. The emphasis on special effects is usually to the detriment of ideas and character. Moon is an happy exception, easily among the top 5 science fiction films of the last 30 years. Sam Rockwell deserved Best Actor AND Best Supporting Actor wins for his work here.

8. Up
The opening gets so much (rightly deserved) attention for its adult emotions that it is easy to forget that this film is probably the best straight children's action/adventure movie to come along in a long time. Pixar continues its winning streak.

9. Bronson/500 Days of Summer
I missed both of these.

10. Antichrist
I'll probably never watch this one. There's so little film-viewing time. Honestly, I'd rather spend that time watching Westerns.

My 2009 list can be found here:

There are a few things I would change based on other movies that I've seen since and there are a few movies that I'd move around, but it's still a decent representation of what I enjoyed in '09.

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