03 December 2009

Awards Season, 2009 Edition.

Leading the pack as usual, today the National Board of Review has unveiled its list of the year's best (American) films. Awards Season is now in full swing — cue up the critics in the gallery.

I have split feelings on this time of year. I tend to view awards cynically but I am an unabashed fan of film lists for a number of reasons, primarily because they're just so much damn fun to make as a critic and very helpful to read as a viewer. You can read my take on film awards and best-of lists from a column of mine on the subject from around this time last year; my opinion hasn't changed much.

So, yes, I'm looking forward to the best-of-the-decade lists as well as the year's best-ofs that will appear in the next few months, and will do my best to link to some of the more intriguing and provoking collections. My own lists, regarding 2009 specifically and the decade at large, will no doubt be delayed. I've been consumed with teaching and my thesis work and haven't had much of a chance to view too films this autumn and winter. My favorites from the year so far would include Goodbye Solo, The Hurt Locker, Public Enemies, Summer Hours, Up, and Where the Wild Things Are, but there are still dozens more films that I have to see and there's no guarantee any of the preceding titles will show up on that final list. There's not even a point in listing everything I haven't seen; it'll be tedious for you and embarrassing for me.

I do hope that this means I'm back to blogging, at least for a few months. It'll still be sporadic, but the hope is there will be a short story collection on the other end that all of you will have the chance to read in print one day.


FilmDr 03 December, 2009  

Hooray! T.S. is back. Good to see that you are posting again.

Tony Dayoub 05 December, 2009  

Yes, welcome back old friend. There was a hole in my blog-reading heart where your posts used to be.

Sam Juliano,  08 December, 2009  

I second what Film Dr. and Tony have said, and have lamented your absence, much as I realize what you are doing is really a thousand times more important than blogging.

The National Board of Review top choice is maddening, as I found UP IN THE AIR a grossly overrated affair. But I'll leave it at that for now. I haven't even begun to assemble my own list, as there are a few films like Audiard's THE PHOPHET, Henecke's THE WHITE RIBBON, Eastwood's INVICTUS and Ford's A SIMPLE MAN which must be seen. But these are my prime chandidates at this point:

Bright Star (Campion)
A Serious Man (Coens)
35 Shots of Rum (Denis)
Antichrist (Von Trier)
Rembrandt's J'Accuse (Greenaway)
Summer Hours (Assaysas)
Up (Docter)
Star Trek (Abrams)
The Hurt Locker (Bigelow)
Somers Town (Meadows)
In the Loop (Iannuci)
Bad Lieutenant: PONO (Herzog)
Tokyo Sonata (Kurosawa)
La Danse (Wiseman)
Flame and Citron (Madsen)
Everlasting Delights (Troell)
Goodbye Solo (Bahrani)
The House of the Devil (West)

and perhaps a few others.

I really would hope that one day we can all read a short story collection for you my friend.

At Wonders, T.S. we will be commencing in about 10 days with our comprehensive Silent Film Poll, where Mr. Fish will be conduction a Top 100 day by day rather than the usual Top 50. I can imagine how many of your beloved Chaplin, Keaton and early German silents will b eon there!

Welcome back.

T.S. 12 December, 2009  

Thanks for the welcome back, everyone!

@Sam: That's a nice list, Sam, and certainly a good platform for myself. I've five of those (and only felt lukewarm to In the Loop). I came up with a to-see list this morning, and it is absolutely daunting. It might be this time next year before I finally published a best-of-09, yet I'm strangely comfortable with that.

I might contribute a list of my own to the silents poll, although my silents knowledge is much more limited than it seems. I'm a silent comedy buff, and still need to educate myself on some of the dramas. Per usual, I'm looking forward to yours and Mr. Fish's lists. I enjoyed the 90s countdown and added multiple unseen films to my master list. You're doing good work over there!

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