Thursday, February 21, 2013

Top ten 21022013

Ghost World: For offering an almost completely different story to the source material that fitted perfectly into the world of the original with the characters achingly well realised. A great adaptation.

Eraserhead: Recently watched the new blu-ray of this. I doesn't matter that I know every industrial thump or nameless screech on the soundtrack, every one of its small basket of dialogue lines, every shot, this is still my favourite film.

Crumb: Documentary that transcends its character study to embrace the dark psychological swell of its subject's family. Seldom has the gap between a perceived artist and the art been so intimidatingly closed.

Tintin and I: Story of Herge whose chief creation grew and learned with him but who left the most troubling real world demons far from the pages of his comics. Central material is an audio interview which founds an archival treasure house. Might but never feels padded.

My Winnipeg: Guy Maddin's personal history of his hometown contains all the now+then look of his best work but adds his own voice to it telling a tale both factual and absurdist in a mesmerising continual montage. At once familiar and alien. He's made more spectacular fare but this is my favourite.


Johnny Guitar: Never quite worked out my lifelong antipathy to westerns but it still takes a lot to drag me in front of one. There's a gothic element to this that leads me to my seat like an old fashioned usher. I'm meant to revel in the hysteria and gender politics of it but that initial note is what I always remember.

Happiness: The apex of Todd Solondz' output, containing everything he was good at in just the right serves. While he hasn't gone all Neil La Bute on us the conceit of all that's come since seems more important than the themes it serves. But this is magnificence.

In the Company of Men: One of the most confronting explorations of the male psyche I've ever seen in fiction. Good thing he didn't go all Todd Solondz on us but his output since has been suprisingly goofy. But this is magnificence.

King of Comedy: When Marty walked the earth he made this extraordinary piece about the culture of fame. Given some thought, De Niro's unselfconscious central character manages to be more terrifying than both Travis and Jake before him. Some of the behaviour in these scenes is so torturously cringing you'd think Dostoyevsky had penned them.

Kairo: An apocalypse of loneliness that haunts me to this day. Still my favourite Kyoshi Kurosawa film even though everyone else who knows about him always loudly prefers the earlier Cure.

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