Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008

Top Ten Films of the Year

By Jonathan Jackson
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The following is my Top Ten List for the year.

1. Zodiac: Sublimely methodical and equally eerie, David Fincher’s meditative thriller about the allure and pratfalls of obsession is itself obsessed, with information, just before our era of information overload.

2. Offside: The pinnacle of Iranian cinema, which was criminally under seen, is Jafar Panahi’s entertaining and warm pseudo-documentary on a group of Iranian girls trying to get into and watch a soccer match in a men-only Tehran stadium.

3. There Will Be Blood: One of the great American horrors, the dark side of capitalism, is explored in this uncommon horror film.No edge of your seat thrills, just a psychological slow burn that builds from frame to frame.

4. Bourne Ultimatum: The Bourne films get my vote for the best action series of all time, and with the Ultimatum probed further than ever before the modern-day reality of government surveillance.

5. No Country for Old Men: Perfectly executed from frame to frame, the Coen brother’s classic thriller is their best film to date and ranks as one of the greatest literary adaptations of all time.

6. Woman on the Beach – MIFF 2007: Korean master Hong Sang Soo channels the spirit of Eric Rohmer in this bleak romantic melodrama about the impulses of an unsettled artist.

7. Superbad: The most I have laughed while watching a movie in a long, long time, Superbad is one of the closest approximations to the spirit of the twilight of male adolescence ever.

8. I’m Not There: Todd Haynes essay on the idea of and ideas of Bob Dylan is an endlessly watch able medley of ideas, performance and interpretation that is as heady as it is fleeting.

9. Taxi to the Dark Side – MIFF 2007: Alex Gibney’s harrowing and epic look at the current US torture policy made me more than ever want to renounce my citizenship.

10. Joshua: Whether taken as satire, thriller, or horror film, this unfortunately little seen American independent film is a chilling look at some of the potential perils of parenting.

Honorable Mentions:

Michael Moore’s screed against the American health care system Sicko, Laura Dunn’s cosmic meditation on the environment and political action The Unforeseen – MIFF 2007, Julian Temple’s ultimate music documentary, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten – MIFF 2007, Chris Smith’s poetic parable of class and poverty The Pool – MIFF 2007, Shane Meadows pitch perfect recreation of 80's England, This is England, and finally, a year late because I saw it late, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s Half Nelson, which would make my top five in any year and is easily one of the best American independent films of the decade.

 

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