A year ago I had a lot to say when it came to great films. Not only did I post My Picks For The Best Films of 2009 (a list of 15 films and 5 documentaries), but I also produced the monster of all posts: My Picks For The Top 100 Films of The Decade.
Well, this year things are a little simpler, as all I've got is a list of my favorite 15 films of the past year.
It's been quite an amazing decade for lovers of film. While Hollywood pumped out monstrosities like Transformers and G.I. Joe, real filmmakers continued to make both large and small masterpieces, both inside and, more often, outside the Hollywood system.
So, below are my picks for the best 100 films of the past 10 years. However, instead of one list I've decided to make five: 70 Best Films, 10 Best Comedies, 12 Best Documentaries, 5 Best Animated Films, and 3 Best Musicals.
Is it just me or do you also sometimes ponder the (il)logical implications of that seemingly innocent "Thank God", "Thanks to God", "Thank you God" statement we hear so often?
I mean, there's an earthquake and the survivors speak of how God personally saved them from death, there's an awards show and the winners thank God for their awards, there's a victory at some championship sporting event and it's God who is thanked for the win, as if God is a big football or NASCAR fan or something. Someone survives cancer or a heart attack and it was God who interceded at the last minute to save them from impending death. A politician wins a race and it was God who sided with him or her. Someone wins a beauty pageant and it was God who was not only watching, but intervened to help the winner triumph over all those other losers who God, clearly, found to be inferior.
Last night I went with my friend Dave to see Martin Scorsese's new film "The Departed", which finally opened here on the Sunshine Coast on Friday night after an excruciatingly long 2-week wait. How was it? Well, absolutely brilliant is probably the most simple and direct way to sum it up. Ok, so I know I use that word "brilliant" a little too often and a little too casually, but in this case it's 100% appropriate. I'm truly a HUGE fan of film, but rarely do I leave a movie feeling as totally pumped as I did last night. I mean, I came out of the theater feeling a lot like Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet" - full of insane energy, though mine was the purely positive kind, of course. I was like "Holy shit MAN! Did you see that MAN? $#%& yes man! #$%& yes! Come on MAAAAN!! It just doesn't get much better than that!" I literally drove away shouting "Yeaaaaaah!! Goddamn was that ever amazing!" And I didn't even need to inhale anything to get to that point either. Well, besides an extra large bag of popcorn and a giant iced tea.
Believe it or not, Woody Allen turns 70 today. So Happy Birthday Woody and thanks for all the classics. Whatever you may think of his personal life, we're talkin' about one of the greatest filmmakers of all time here, a living legend, a genius, a master. We're talkin' about the creator of not just the all-time classics "Annie Hall", "Manhattan", "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors", but also the man who wrote "What's New Pussycat?" and "Play It Again Sam" and both wrote and directed all of these fantastic (or at the very least, great) films:
Take the greatest living American director, I'd say the greatest director of all time (Martin Scorsese), and the greatest living musician/songwriter/performer/artist (Bob Dylan) and what do you get? Pure genius is what. Pure unadulterated genius.