I should make it perfectly clear that most of these titles won’t be released until 2010, but here’s my 10 best of 2009.
Mind you I’m full of superlatives for these, all cullled from films that I saw for the first time this year on the festival circuit and in cinemas.
1. Our Beloved Month of August With a lack of financing and cast the finest use of a film crew’s time.
2. The Anchorage Easily the most daring use of darkness in recent cinema.
3. Let Each One Go Where He May Ben Russell’s gorgeous mix of Bela Tarr with Jean Rouch.
4. SHU An homage to Disney and James Benning all at once? Twelve of the most truly remarkable moments in cinema this year.
5. Police, Adjective – A dictionary of cinematic language on language itself. A cultural studies student’s wet dream!
6. Sweetgrass – The end of an epoch as documented in the final sheepherder drive into Montana’s Beartooth mountains.
7. Ne change rien – Pedro Costa does for Jeanne Balibar what he did for Vanda.
8. Historias Extraordinarias – Fresh, captivating, telling-while-showing narrative style renders the four-hour running time an attraction rather than deterrent.
9. Beeswax – Bujalski is Rohmer’s natural inheritor.
10. Redland – Hushed hues infusing Drepression era American rural isolation.