Glenn’s Top 10


Northwest Film Forum member and serious cinema buff Glenn F. has graciously agreed to share his top 10 of 2010. Post your picks in the comments!

1. The Social Network (David Fincher) – Fincher directs his second masterpiece (uh, Zodiac) in just four years with two major assists: Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant script and an almost shockingly great young ensemble cast.

2. Carlos (Olivier Assayas) – Carlos the Jackel stars in his own five and a half hour action film with Assayas’ awesome liquid camera recording his every move.  Who knew a sexy terrorist could require liposuction?

3. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance) – A heartbreaking relationship film with two sometimes overwhelmingly moving performances.  I’ll risk gushing and say that Ryan Gosling gives one of the great performances of all time.

4. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard) – Somewhere between the opening string of hushed “no sir” answers to an unforgettable final exit from prison over the thrilling strains of Mack the Knife this brilliant character study becomes that rare thing – a work of art.

5. Greenberg (Noah Baumbach) – With this and his two previous films (The Squid and the Whale and Margot at the Wedding) Baumbach has become the screen’s reigning miserableist.  And I’m okay with the miserable at the movies.

6. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski) – Not a masterpiece like Chinatown, but the direction is so very precise.  This felt like a minor, yet utterly perfect genre work from a director making classicism look easy.

7.  The Portuguese Nun (Eugene Green) – This played at NWFF just last week.  Green is probably the most under-rated director in the world today.  Scarecrow has three of his features on dvd (for international players).  Rent them all, but start with my favorite Monde Vivant (The Living World).

8.  Daddy Longlegs (Josh and Benny Safdie) – Yeah, dad’s a fuck up.  Never was a responsible adult needed more than in this hilarious-crazy-tender-dangerous little indie.

9.  Ne change rien (Pedro Costa) –  Jeanne Balibar, the most fascinating actress of the last 15 years (I love her!), in full-on diva mode singing for Pedro Costas’ oh so mannered camera.  A perfect combo.

10. Spring Fever (Lou Ye) – Made while the director suffers under a five-year ban imposed by the Chinese Film Bureau for his previous Cannes competition film (Summer Palace), this film’s atmospheric, moody, stolen images track the lovers (mostly male) in a constantly shifting and very loose melodrama.  The crux can be found in a prose snippet late in the film: “I’ve missed the love that was my destiny.”

Note on release dates (all 2010 U.S. releases).  Blue Valentine opens in New York on December 31 and in Seattle on January 21, 2011.  Ne change rien is being distributed in the U.S. by NWFF; it was released in New York in November and will play at NWFF sometime in 2011.

And finally, burying the lead, highlight of my year:  The movie that soars above everything else for me this year and I’m calling it my movie of the year is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.  I saw it at the film’s first public screening at noon on day 10 of the Cannes Film Festival at the Theatre Lumiere  (gigantic screen and long red carpet).  It won the Palme d’Or a few days later.  After a lifetime of movie going, I can honestly say it was the greatest movie going experience I can remember. I skipped the film in Toronto, but saw it again at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October.  It will be released in the U.S. this Spring.  Uncle Boonmee and Cannes was the subject of my favorite film essay of the year written by Mark Peranson in his magazine Cinema Scope.

Check it out here

Please NWFF – I’m begging – let’s not waste any time getting Apichatpong to Seattle!



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