Sunday, January 27, 2008

Movie Moment #35, plus Famous Last Words

Also this week:

Oscar nominations!- predictions and response. Also, a reaction to Jonny Greenwood's There Will Be Blood score getting tossed out by the music branch.

The Top 10 Worst Hairdos in Movie History, Part 1 and Part 2- I was lucky enough to draw Woody and Bill in Kingpin and the Leningrad Cowboys in all of their onscreen adventures.

DVD Digest for January 22, 2008- DVD of the Week: Criterion's This Sporting Life. Coming in second: Jessica Simpson in Blonde Ambition.

Trailer Roundup: Defiance. Paranoid Park. Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Finally, Famous Last Words is still alive and kicking over at Screengrab, but all of my buddies from the first round are still invited to play along. To that end, I'm cross-posting the quotes here. The current round is in its third week, but you still have plenty of time to catch up. Especially now that we have three prizes.

Last week's quote was from Ghost Dog, by the way. Not that the Jarmusch piece I posted was meant to serve as a hint or anything. Anyway, here's this week's quote:

"Be sure and tell them it was just a bloody game."

Submit guesses to Remember, all submissions must be in by 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Dinner With Someone Not Named André

As if I didn't have enough to write about already, I discovered today that I've been tagged by my pal Andrew Bemis of Cinevistaramascope for the currently-in-progress My Dinner With ______ meme. Anyway, I suppose we should start with the ground rules:

1. Pick a single person past or present who works in the film industry you would like to have dinner with. And tell us why you chose this person.

2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.

3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.

4. When all is said and done, select six bloggers to pass this Meme along to.

5. Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre, so people know the mastermind behind this Meme.

Moving on. This is actually my kinda meme, since I had a similar idea a few years back. Well, some of the details were different- my idea was for a TV show on IFC or Sundance for a series in which two movie industry professionals have a conversation in city they have in common. It could be where they were born- say, an episode about Scorsese and Spike Lee walking around NYC- but it needn't be. Anyway, one of the episodes I had in mind, back when I was more confident that I had a real future in the movie industry, involved talk between me and a respected filmmaker who came from my hometown. I don't see why that wouldn't also work here. So, I give you...

Coffee, and Perhaps a Few Cigarettes...

...with Jim Jarmusch

Like me, Jarmusch is an Akron boy, although we're separated by about three decades. Still, I think we'd have a lot to talk about, even if it's only about the city we've long since escaped. Because of this, we'd definitely have to have the dinner in Akron. And rather than making reservations at a fancy eatery (he's still an indie filmmaker, after all), we'd probably just find a good take-out joint. If it was my choice, perhaps we'd stop at DiVitis' Italian Market on North Hill- their sausage sandwiches were a staple of my youth- or maybe drive in to Swenson's (home of the Galley Boy™), but since he's the guest of honor I'd naturally let him choose.

And then we'd just walk or drive around, check out the city, see what's changed. Because of this casual format, I don't think I'd have a list of questions for Jim. A lot of it would probably end up being us driving past an old movie theatre and talking about the movies we saw there, or stopping at our old schools, and so forth. You know, just a couple of guys, talking about how it used to be, back in the old days. That the old days would be different for each of us, so that would make things more interesting.

I'm tagging the following suckers friends:

Jason at I Hate Blogs

Donna at Union, Trueheart and Courtesy

Steven at the Ongoing Cinematic Education of Steven Carlson

Dennis at Sergio Leone at the Infield Fly Rule

James at James' Mad Grasp for Relevancy

Adam at Blog Bilong Adam

Bon appetit!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

When Good Directors Go Bad #18 + Famous Last Words Round 2, Week 2

Although strangely enough, I probably feel more affection for this week's selection than any of those I've chosen for the series thusfar. Funny, that.

Also this week:

YouTube Cabinet of Curiosities: Candy From Castro- from the titanically strange If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? The only thing to say is... holy crap.

PTA's Milkshake: Damn Right, It's Better Than Yours- because every article about a big-name auteur can only be improved by a dated reference to an overplayed five-year-old song.

DVD Digest for January 15, 2008- featuring the Postwar Kurosawa box set, Syndromes and a Century, a bunch of classics, and for those of you with a great deal more money than sense, Good Luck Chuck and Mr. Woodcock.

Trailer Roundup Review: Fool's Gold. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Leatherheads.

Finally, I'm going to cross-post Famous Last Words here for those who can't access the Screengrab site for various reasons. The two major difference between the original game and its new Screengrab incarnation are: (a) answers must now be submitted by 11:59 PM on WEDNESDAY instead of Saturday, and (b) the new address for submissions is Otherwise, pretty much the same.

Last week's quote was from GoodFellas, in case you were wondering. Here's this week's quote:

"The end is important in all things."

Good luck!

Face Time #38 (The good German?)

Sebastian Koch

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thoughts on the upcoming Oscar nominations

I didn't bother watching the Golden Globes last night. It wasn't so much that I was protesting the lack of star presence for the ceremony as I didn't want to subject myself to Billy Bush and company for an hour straight. However, I'm a little more conflicted about the possibility of a canceled or abbreviated Oscar ceremony. On the one hand, I could do without another 4 hours of Bruce Vilanch-penned banter and Chuck Workman montages. Yet I still want the Oscars to be given out this year for one simple reason- I'm almost certain to like the movie that wins Best Picture.

Let me lay it down for you. With all of the major critics and guild awards nominations announced, most of the Oscar prognosticators and handicappers have whittled down this year's possible Best Picture nominees to eight films. They are, in alphabetical order: Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Into the Wild, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, and There Will Be Blood. Now, let's look at these films again alongside my ratings for them on 10-point scale:

No Country for Old Men- 10
There Will Be Blood- 9
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- 8
Michael Clayton- 8
Sweeney Todd- 8
Into the Wild- 7
Atonement- 6
Juno- 6

That's right- I enjoyed every single one of the so-called "serious contenders" for Best Picture, with even the least of the bunch being a "pro" for me. Let me tell you something- this almost never happens. Usually, there's at least one bummer in the bunch that sullies the other nominees by association. There's always at least one Crash or Seabiscuit or Finding Neverland or Little Miss Sunshine or The Hours or Babel or (shall I continue? Oh, why not?) A Beautiful Mind or Chocolat or The Green Mile or Elizabeth to piss me off for having possibly nudged a superior film out of the nominations. But not this year, folks. All of the pre-ordained Oscar-grubbing junk like Charlie Wilson's War and The Kite Runner and *snort* Elizabeth: The Golden Age has more or less been dropped from contention.

How rare is this? Consider that the last Best Picture crop that was, if not necessarily all killer, then at least no bullshit filler was a full decade ago, with the 1997 nominees As Good As It Gets, The Full Monty, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential and Titanic. No masterpieces in the lot- though L.A. Confidential has its share of moments- but all solid choices.

But what's even better is that two of the serious players in the Best Picture race are better than anything from 1997's memorable class. Better still is that No Country for Old Men, a bona fide masterpiece, is considered to be the front-runner. If you want to find another honest-to-goodness masterpiece that got nominated for Best Picture, you've got to go back to Pulp Fiction.

Now, I realize that the Oscars are a sketchy barometer of quality at best. But consider that much of our investment in awards of this kind has to do with the idea that they can validate our own tastes. Having our favorite films competing for awards gives us something to root for. In other words, it's nice to be able to really root for a movie I love instead of complaining that none of my favorites made the cut the way I do most other years. Now, if only the Short Films branch would nominate Everything Will Be OK, I'd be all kinds of giddy.

Movie Moment #34

Hey, remember those times when I only had one or two posts to link to from a given week? Those were the days, my friend...

Yesterday's Hits: Love Story- love of cinema means never having to say you're sorry that the hits of your parents' generation kinda suck.

FYC: Supporting Actresses Not Named Blanchett or Ryan- in celebration of StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Blogathon.

DVD Digest for January 8, 2008- because you've got to fill a 10-post-per-week quota somehow.

Trailer Roundup: Hancock. Semi-Pro. Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula.

Anf finally, as previously announced I've moved Famous Last Words over to Screengrab. FOr this round, we're going by the same rules, but with a different deadline and e-mail address. Here's this week's quote, which mostly serves to test the waters:

"I'm an average nobody... get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."

Guesses due in by Wednesday at 11:59 pm. Send guesses to this new address. Good luck!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So it is written, so shall it be done.

Hey folks. Remember this? Of course you do.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about this. Unfortunately, with the increased workload for Screengrab and the requisite cramming for the Muriels I probably won't be able to get to the requested reviews until February at the earliest. Hope that isn't a problem.

Until then, here's the finalized list of requested reviews, in the order the request was received:

Victor Morton: Baxter (1989)
Jason Alley: Les Revenants / They Came Back (2004)
Steve Carlson: Report (1967) or Les Anges du Péché (1943)

And thanks again for the requests, guys.


And speaking of requests, I've thrown my hat into the ring for the Second Annual White Elephant Blogathon, to be held around April Fool's Day. I missed out last year, and it looked like such a blast I wouldn't have dreamed of watching it again from the sidelines. I even came up with a worthy film to submit, though I wouldn't dream of ruining the surprise in case you end up participating and having it drawn for you. It still remains to be seen what I'll end up watching, not to mention if I'll post it here or if I'll decide to get paid for it and post it on Screengrab. Either way, stay tuned!


Finally- attention Muriels voters and enthusiasts! If you geek out about the Muriels as much as I do, why not surf on over to Twitter? Right now, roughly half a dozen Muriel voters (and one ex-voter) have joined up with me in my mission to catch up with as many eligible films as possible between now and the ballot deadline of 31 January. So if you want to play along, or at least to join in the discussion, why not get signed up with Twitter today? (Warning: Highly Addictive.)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Muriel Awards 2007 FYC #6

Note: I've re-posted this for StinkyLulu's Best Supporting Actress Blogathon. If you're new to the blog, welcome! If you've been around a while, you've probably already read this. But I won't stop you if you want to read it again.

Best Supporting Actress: Kelli Garner, Lars and the Real Girl

One of the more satisfying experiences one can have as a moviegoer is to see an actress come into her own before your eyes. Garner has been working in movies since roughly the beginning of the decade, appearing occasionally in good movies (remember her as Faith Domergue in The Aviator?) but mostly taking roles in middling fare. But while her material has sometimes let her down, she's always been interesting onscreen, even distinguishing her role in 2005's Man of the House- not easy when you're surrounded by a dopey cheerleader-themed policier. With Lars and the Real Girl, she finally gets a compelling role and makes it sing. As Margo, a small-town wallflower type who nurses a crush on Ryan Gosling's Lars, she has one of the movie's biggest acting challenges- to convincingly play a character who pines for a man whose current girlfriend is a realistic sex doll. Yet Garner makes the character plausible- and even more miraculously, completely engaging and adorable. Garner usually gets cast as ditzy sexpot types, but there's always been a clumsy, dorky undercurrent to her performances, which complicates the stereotypical characters she's usually called upon to play. But Lars foregrounds this element of Garner's onscreen persona, and in her sweet way, she's just as awkward as- though certainly better-adjusted than- Lars. In particular, she has a little moment when she and Lars go bowling, and she gets a strike and does a funky little dance of celebration. It's sort of magical- she projects the kind of unguarded glee you can only show when completely at ease with those around you, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I fell a little in love with the character right then. Garner has finally found her niche as an actress- let's hope more filmmakers take notice.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The 3 Tomatoes Joke, 10 Dec 07-4 Jan 08

Sorry folks. Busy time, what with work and the holidays and Muriels cramming and Screengrab upping my posts to 10 per week. Here's all the stuff I've written in the last month or so, roughly in reverse chronological order:

My Top 10 of 2007 (as of 1 January)- sure to change over the next month. At least, I hope so.

Markku Peltola (1956-2007)- raising a glass to one of Kaurismäki's finest.

YouTube Cabinet of Curiosities: Night on Bald Mountain- although if you read last week's best-of-rep roundup, you're more or less covered here.

Farewell, J. Ro... But Not Really- Hey Reader, if you're looking for a new critic... aw, who am I kidding? I'm just hoping they don't promote Pat Graham.

Notable Trailers of 2007- The Best. The Worst. The best fake trailer. The best comedy trailer. The coolest.

Anderson, Par Vantage Conspire to Make Smaller Cities Feel Inferior- grumble grumble.

SLIFR University Announces Eminent New Professor- this one's for you, Dennis!

Critics Make Lists, Give Awards, Close Book on 2007- with one big exception, of course... The Muriel Awards!

Holiday Trailer Roundup- Gremlins. Die Hard 12: Die Hungry. Black Christmas '74.

YouTube Cabinet of Curiosities: Sondheim on Film- from the sublime to the ridiculous. I'll leave you to decide which is which.

(The first in a series, I'm hoping.)

YouTube Cabinet of Curiosities: Something Weird Tribute Edition- do YOU know the law in this state?

The Thirteen Greatest Long-Ass Movies of All Time, Part 1 and Part 2- I blurbed War and Peace, Satantango, and of course La Commune and Out 1. I suppose that's the benefit of suggesting the damn thing.

Also, Trailer Roundups out the wazoo!: Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Stop-Loss. The new Andrew Bemis movie. Speed Racer. The Master Great Debaters. In Bruges.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Face Time #36 (Separated at Birth?)

John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox, Walk Hard (thanks, Jason!)

Emir Kusturica

Who's a heist guy NOW?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Favorite Classics Seen for the First Time in 2007, Part 1: Reissues and Retrospectives

Note: Many of the blurbs below are recycled from pre-existing pieces. Because if you can't steal from yourself, who can you steal from?

Night on Bald Mountain (1933, Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker)

I've seen some real corkers this year, but none has stuck with me quite like the 1933 animated short NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN. Directed by husband-and-wife team Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, this short made excellent use of Modeste Mussorgsky's composition, beating Fantasia to the punch by seven years. While Alexeieff and Parker lacked Disney's resources, the film is nonetheless one of the most visually ravishing animated films I've ever seen. But while one can appreciate NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN without knowing anything about it, knowing about Alexeieff and Parker's animation technique makes the film feel like something of a miracle.

Other notable shorts: The Sixth Face of the Pentagon (1968, Chris Marker and François Reichenbach), Serene Velocity (1970, Ernie Gehr), Outer Space (1999, Peter Tscherkassky), Living (1971, Frans Zwartjes)

2. Day of Wrath (1943, Carl Th. Dreyer)

"Probably the least of the Dreyers I've seen," I said to Chris right after it was over. But then it began to really seep into my brain on the drive home- the strange sensuality of the dialogue between Anne and Martin, the elegant spareness of the storytelling, the sheer perfection of the ending- and I changed my tune. As with a Hattori Hanzo sword, you don't compare a Dreyer film to other Dreyer films, but to other films that weren't directed by Dreyer. What makes his work a little hard to parse right away is how stylized the worlds he creates are- while he wants DAY OF WRATH to walk and talk like a naturalistic period piece, in actuality he doesn't aim for realism here anymore than he did with VAMPYR or he later would with ORDET. No less than ORDET, DAY OF WRATH is a parable, albeit a much bleaker one.

3. Privilege (1967, Peter Watkins)

But even more startling than the film’s direct influences is the story’s almost prophetic nature. It’s hard not to see Steven Shorter in the reluctant, self-destructive pop stars of today, Britney Spears being the obvious example. The efforts by Shorter’s handlers to re-fashion their client’s image clearly anticipates shape-shifters like Madonna. But strangely enough, the person I thought of most while watching PRIVILEGE isn’t a musician at all, but Oprah Winfrey — another pop-culture titan whose image is used not only to sell consumer products and spirituality but a whole lifestyle. That Oprah presumably does this of her own free will, rather than being led into it as Shorter is, merely feels like the logical progression of events.

4. Killer of Sheep (1977, Charles Burnett)

KILLER OF SHEEP isn't a plot movie, but that's why it's a masterpiece, I think. It's a portrait of lives from which there is no escape- with a plot there has to be resolution, and resolution would magically clear up the troubles from which Burnett's characters suffer. It's the difference between the games the kids in the film play and the lives of their parents. When something happens to a kid, he'll walk away, cry it out, and then continue like nothing happened- problem resolved. But the problems facing the adults linger. The gangsters who try to bring Stan in on a crime will eventually be replaced by other gangsters, the white woman who runs the liquor store will keep trying to sweet-talk him into working for her (and screwing her on the side)... Anyone who has ever worked paycheck to paycheck, or has despaired that life seems like nothing but a long string of jobs interrupted occasionally by sleep, or has simply gazed at a loved one and wanted to cheer him but had no idea how, will find something in KILLER OF SHEEP that speaks to them, no matter what color he is.

5. L'Amour Fou (1968, Jacques Rivette)
One of the things I love most about Rivette, especially in his early work, is the way he was so willing to let the seams show. Consider how he uses 16mm and 35mm footage in this one- he doesn't try to smooth out the 16mm grain to make it look more like 35, and when he cuts back and forth between the two, the quality of the sound changes as does the aspect ratio. In addition, the soundtrack itself contrasts with more conventional films, full of half-heard dialogue and incidental noises that occasionally overpower the stuff we're "supposed" to hear- think the Coke bottles being set down on the rehearsal table with a bang. All of which I guess is a roundabout way of saying that part of what makes Rivette fascinating is that he keeps the spontaneous on-the-fly stuff in here, rather than smoothing out all the rough edges, which makes his work jarring in the best of ways. L'AMOUR FOU is not a film that one can watch complacently, settling into a comfortable moviegoing experience. The film can't even be boiled down to a synopsis, or even a thematic through-line- for a while it looks like it'll turn into a May '68-era meditation on the limits of freedom and the consequences of trying for it- but the characters and Rivette's style are much too prickly for that.

6. War and Peace (1968, Sergei Bondarchuk)

If nothing else, WAR AND PEACE is the biggest, grandest epic of all, boasting tens of thousands of actual soldiers in the battle scenes, some of the most opulent sets ever committed to film, and an awe-inspiring re-creation of the siege and burning of Moscow by Napoleon's army. But Bondarchuk's epic vision didn't stop with the size of the production. Instead, every frame of WAR AND PEACE represents the director's tribute to the irrepressible spirit of the Russian people, which managed to survive even the threats posed to it by Napoleon. Each of the film's larger-than-life performers reflects this idea, none more so than the incandescent Ludmilla Savelyeva, a ballerina who turned out to be the most perfect choice imaginable for the film's pivotal role of Natasha. WAR AND PEACE is huge but not plodding, a thrilling, emotionally satisfying populist drama that just happens to be seven hours long. It is that rarest of cinematic creatures — a film that actually does credit to the literary masterpiece that inspired it while standing as a masterpiece in its own right.

7. 50 Years of Janus Films retrospective:

The Cranes Are Flying (1957, Mikhail Kalatozov)

Emotionally overwhelming on the big screen, and not just because of Kalatozov and ace cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky's use of closeups. Amid all the bravura direction, the emotional timbre of this feels almost like Jacques Demy, trading in the same kind of sad irony as a film like

Cria Cuervos... (1976, Carlos Saura)

This is one of the most bracingly unsentimental portraits of a young girl dealing with the presence of death in her life I've ever seen. Little Ana has been present for the deaths of her mother and father, but she doesn't know how to process it in a mature way, and as such the concept of death becomes almost trivial to her (for example, how casual she is about trying to poison those she dislikes). I also liked the ambiguousness of the scene with her father's handgun. I doubt she actually intends to use it, and I'm not even sure she knows it's loaded, but what would an 8-year-old want with a gun? To be honest though, I don't think this would have been nearly so effective if not for the perfect pairing of Ana Torrent and Geraldine Chaplin- there's one scene in particular in which Torrent is photographed from below and her facial structure matches Chaplin's so well that it's almost eerie.

Lola (1981, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

Fassbinder's talent as a visual stylist doesn't get nearly enough press- most of the stuff I see about his work tends to focus on his pet themes (sexual power dymanics, recent German history, etc.) and how the film relates to Fassbinder's own life. But any filmmaker who does work that's even remotely "personal"- even visually-impaired dudes like Kevin Smith who might as well be directing for radio- has his own bunch of pet themes and obsessions. But Fassbinder is visually gifted, and versatile to boot, which may have been why his talent as a stylist are overlooked. Of the Fassbinders I've seen, LOLA has to be the most visually ravishing. Fassbinder's use of color and lighting is stunning, especially in scenes where he washes different actors in different hues, even within the same shot. I'm so glad I saw this for the first time on the big screen, since the directorial niceties wouldn't have hit me nearly as hard on DVD.

WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971, Dusan Makavejev)

In many ways, this feels like a "you had to be there" sort of experience- distant as we've grown from the world of the Iron Curtain and Vietnam, there's something vaguely alien about a movie that takes on both of these targets, and more besides, but doesn't so much take them down as tickle them for 80-odd minutes. One gets the impression that Makavejev put just enough controversial stuff in his movies to get the censors steamed, without actually compelling them to cut him down, which is no small feat considering the environment he was working in. Plus it's really goddamn funny, which shouldn't be ignored.

8. The Life of Oharu (1952, Kenji Mizoguchi)

2007 marked the year I caught up with many of Mizoguchi's classics for the first time, and exploration of a number of his greatest films revealed him to be one of the great directors of melodrama. So it is with his classic THE LIFE OF OHARU, which follows a woman in feudal Japan over the course of several decades as she descends from a noble upbringing to a life as a courtesan, then a prostitute. Life is harsh in Mizoguchi's world- to children, to women, to idealists- and especially to those who step outside the path life has chosen for them. But Mizoguchi never condemns those who follow their own heart. Rather, he despairs for them, and for their independent spirits which have no place in a world that exists to grind them down. The marvel is that Mizoguchi's best films are as exhilarating as they are, a tribute to how fresh and exciting his filmmaking is even today.

9. Kiss Me, Stupid (1964, Billy Wilder)

One of Wilder's biggest assets was his understanding that placing characters at cross purposes is positively ripe with comedic potential. And so it is here, as Ray Walston's Orville Spooner is so at war with his impulses- his jealousy over his wife Zelda, his desire to make it as a songwriter, etc.- that he ends up painting himself into the proverbial corner, and half the fun of the film is watching him trying to get out. But if he's the comedic crux of the film, Kim Novak's Polly is its heart. On the surface, the character seems like your garden variety tart-with-a-heart, but Novak gives the character a touching vulnerability, with her head cold and her attempts at domesticity. One of the most magical moments in the film comes when Orville realizes that he genuinely cares about Polly as well- not as a husband or a lover, so much as a protector of the honor she mostly lost years ago. The film isn't so much an flat-out farce a la ONE, TWO, THREE as a classic comedy of remarriage, but what sets it apart is that both husband and wife end up getting their hands dirty before coming back together (more so in the European version than in the American).

10. Muppets™, Music and Magic: Jim Henson's Legacy / Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (1977, Jim Henson)

Another Henson trademark that never went away was his sense of humor. Some of his best gags involved deflating the stuffed shirts of the world, whether it was Kermit interviewing Muppet versions of David Brinkley and Chet Huntley on Henson’s first series, SAM AND FRIENDS (the bit feels like a direct inspiration for Robert Smigel’s “Fun With RealAudio”), or the pompous recurring character Sam the Eagle on THE MUPPET SHOW. But while sometimes the characters ribbed each other to comedic effect, it was never mean-spirited. How else to explain how the comedy-inept Fozzie Bear became one of Henson’s most endearing creations — and a personal favorite of mine?

Paul takes on the Archies- 2007 edition

Inspired by Donna's original post, I decided to make a list of some of the major things- events, discoveries, experiences- from my life in the past year. This being me, if I simply made a list of everything worthwhile from the past year, it would be mostly cinematic in nature, so I'll start off with ten of the best experiences I had in 2007 outside the movie theatre:

The Girls. Like immediate family, only cheaper to feed.
Screengrab- my first paying gig.
"There are these two gangs, and when they dance, they fight. They DANCE!FIGHT!" - My first TIFF experience virtually guaranteed a second one.
"Good grief! The comedian's a bear!" - rediscovering a major piece of my childhood.
Crème de Violet Ice Cream (seasonal) @ Jeni's. - I'd walk there and back in the summer just to justify an extra scoop.
SLIFR University, and their ever-rotating faculty. - the filet of movie memes.
Wisteria 1. - for me, a new side of an old master.
"You think I'm over the hill/you think I'm past my prime..." - forget Cate Blanchett, there's only one Dylan. What a show.
The blogroll. - thanks, everybody! ---------->
The Muriel Awards- Second Annual Awards TBA. Watch this space.

OK, here's some cinematic highlights for you:
"The pipe is leaking..."
Pin screen. Holy hell.
"If you put it in your pocket it would just be another quarter." (Pause) "Which it is."
"When asked why they loved Steven Shorter, 93.5% of those questioned replied, 'because he gives so unselfishly of himself.'"
Broken clocks and card games.
"Is that Mirabelle?"
"Look, Hyun-seo! Aunt brought you a bronze medal!"
"Iran will riddle you with goals!"
And, of course... "Monkey bite!"