Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting My Priorities Straight

As we reach the beginning of October, we’ve got a scant three months left in the year. And with a fall movie season that will no doubt be packed with big honkin’ Muriels contenders- this weekend alone sees the Columbus release of a new David Fincher movie, the Sundance favorite Catfish, and the winner of the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice Film Festival- I can’t help but think of all the interesting movies I’ve already missed from this year. So I took a look at the list of Muriel-eligible movies from the year to date and was sort of dumbfounded by how much I couldn’t squeeze into my schedule over the past nine months.

Not all of these movies have made it to Columbus yet, so I’ve got an excuse for those. Likewise, not all of these movies hold the same level of interest for me, which is good since I don’t have remotely enough time to watch everything here. So I made the following lists to distinguish between the “must-sees” and the rest of the bunch.

Level 1 – Movies I’m set on seeing before the Muriels
Around a Small Mountain (Rivette) [playing 17-18 December at Wexner] – I didn’t fly to NYC to see Out 1 because I’m just a casual Rivette fan, after all
Enter the Void (Noe) [no Columbus release date scheduled] – someone pleasepleaseplease open this and book it on the biggest screen you’ve got
Greenberg (Baumbach) [now on DVD]
Mother (Bong) [now on DVD]
Red Riding Trilogy (Jarrold/Marsh/Tucker) [now on DVD] – these last three came out here during a spring which found me extremely busy
Never Let Me Go (Romanek) [scheduled to open 22 at Drexel] – reviews from TIFF weren’t great, but I dig the book and I’m curious how this will work onscreen
Soul Kitchen (Akin) [no Columbus release date scheduled] – should play OK at home, but I’d be happy to see it in any form
The Tillman Story (Bar-Lev) [no Columbus release date scheduled] – my most anticipated doc of the year, since I’m fascinated by the Tillman saga

Level 2 – Movies I hope to see, most likely for a specific reason
Bluebeard (Breillat) – between this and Sleeping Beauty, this looks like Breillat is in a strange new phase, and I’m eager to see what she’s up to
Chloe (Egoyan) – Egoyan’s sort of lost his way in recent years, but I refuse to give up on the guy, and if all else fails I can always skip ahead to the Moore/Seyfriend sex scene.
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Inferno” (Bromberg/Medrea) – supposedly this is a nothing-special piece of cinema, but seeing Clouzot’s footage is pretty tempting
Hideaway (Ozon) – Ozon hasn’t squandered his 8 Women goodwill yet
I Am Love (Guadagnino) – I actually went to see this once, but the power went out in the theatre, so if nothing else I’d like to finish what I started; also, Tilda
Lourdes (Hausner) – supposedly contains a powerhouse Silvie Testud performance
The Oath (Poitras) – missed this doc a few months back, but I’ve heard lots of good things
The Secret of Kells (Moore) – the kid subjects me to all manner of big-budget ‘toons, so I’m always curious about new animation talent
The Square (Edgerton) – has been compared by many to Blood Simple; does it warrant the comparison?
Valhalla Rising (Refn) – I’m still searching for the proverbial “good Viking movie”, and this one could just fit the bill

Level 3 – Movies I’m curious about, but don’t necessarily need to see
Agora (Amenabar)
Ajami (Copti/Shani)
Animal Kingdom (Michod)
The Art of the Steal (Argott)
The Concert (Mihaileanu)
Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl (de Oliveira)
The Exploding Girl (Gray)
Fish Tank (Arnold)
I’m Still Here (C. Affleck)
The Killer Inside Me (Winterbottom)
Leaves of Grass (Nelson)
Lebanon (Maoz)
Looking for Eric (Loach)
Mesrine: Killer Instinct / Public Enemy No. 1 (Richet)
Micmacs (Jeunet)
Mid-August Lunch (di Gregorio)
The Milk of Sorrow (Llosa)
Neil Young Trunk Show (Demme)
Ondine (Jordan)
The Other Guys (McKay)
Smash His Camera (Gast)
Solitary Man (Koppleman/Levien)
Splice (Natali)
Spring Fever (Lou)
Sweetgrass (Barbash/Castaing-Taylor)
Trash Humpers (Korine)
Women Without Men (Neshat)
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Allen) – this one’s kind of sad, since he only directed one of my all-time favorite movies; however, his last decade of work and the lack of quality control he seems to have any more don’t exactly inspire confidence

Bear in mind that I’m only taking into account movies that have already come out in NYC, which means there should be plenty more movies added to these lists before the end of the year.

Like last year, I plan to contact some of the smaller distributors in an attempt to snag screeners for myself and my fellow Muriels voters. But while I certainly wanted to encourage anyone who wishes to assist me in seeing the movies that interest me, I mostly just wanted to post these lists as a way of getting some feedback from you folks. The Level 1 selections are pretty set in stone at this point, but if you think I’ve underestimated one of your favorites of the year, or if I’ve forgotten something altogether, please let me know. And if I’m interested in something that’s just plain terrible, then by all means let me know that as well.

Finally, if you’re curious, here’s my top 10 of the year to date:
1. Dogtooth (Lanthimos)
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy)
3. Winter’s Bone (Granik)
4. Inception (Nolan)
5. The Ghost Writer (Polanski)
6. Everyone Else (Ade)
7. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Wright)
8. Toy Story 3 (Unkrich)
9. Father of My Children (Hansen-Løve)
10. A Prophet (Audiard)

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