Friday, December 04, 2009

Is the decade over already?

The AV Club has been pulling together its "best of decade" lists for (among other things) books, music and movies. (Jackie blogged about the best books list here.)

There are so many sub-genres in music and books and the sheer volume of artistic production making any "best of" list somewhat idiosyncratic and provincial. For example, the AV Club music writers specialize in hipster indie rock, with a smattering of other genres (hip hop, metal, alt-country) dropped into the mix. Which is great, but it makes you wonder what you're missing.

But there are only so many movies made each year, such that a dedicated film critic can actually see a fair fraction of them. That makes the inevitable movie lists somewhat more canonical.

The AVC movie list doesn't disappoint. In particular, I really can't argue with their choice for Best Movie of the Aughts -- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Every time I see the film it looms larger - wholly original and oddly comforting for a movie that deals with the fading of love and memory reprogramming. It dazzles you with its cleverness and intricacy but ultimately wins your heart (or at least mine) by tapping into more primal feelings of rebirth and possibility. It is not often that movies hit both of those notes as clearly as this one.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Spike Lee's 25th Hour clock in at #2. I liked it a lot when I first saw it, but it would be interesting to see if it holds up. Edward Norton rocks. I was also happy to see some love shown for:
  • Spirited Away (#6)
  • Children of Men (#10)
  • Y Tu Mamá También (#15)
  • Mulholland Drive (#18)
  • United 93 (#22)
  • The Incredibles (#26)
  • A.I. (#32) [*]
  • Pan's Labyrinth (#36)
  • The Prestige (#39)
  • City of God (#40)
  • The Dark Knight (#41)
The rest of the list is rounded out by excellent films. Of the films I had seen, the only one I scratched my head at was The Man Who Wasn't There, a lesser Coen Bros. effort that I remember finding fairly dull at the time. Totally on board with No Country For Old Men at #4, however.

[* Laura Jean mocks me for liking this one. She thinks it is pretentious crap.]

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