Friday, August 03, 2007

greenbelt films of the year seminar

it's that time of year again - just a couple of weeks to go and greenbelt will be upon us. i'll be doing my now-traditional films of the year seminar, and as with last year, i'm providing a sneak preview here of the films i'll be discussing - but this time round, i'd like to hear your views, both of films on this list, and any that are omitted that you think i should be talking about. the only rule is that the film needs to have been released in the UK since the end of August last year - check if you're not sure of release dates. also, it should be noted that not all the films on this list are necessarily 'good' - but they're here because i think they have some cultural significance.

here goes with the list:

Crank – watch a man die as quick as he can

This Film is Not Yet Rated – asks silly questions about sex in the movies; but acknowledges that sex and violence are treated differently by the UK and US authorities

The Wicker Man remake – a ridiculous film about the 'dangers' of women which destroys the religious thoughtfulness of the original

Little Miss Sunshine – let families be real by reducing your expectations

The Black Dahlia – money after old rope

The Queen - fascinating experience of seeing someone we had previously only seen in parody – what does it mean for what Britain is as a nation?

An Inconvenient Truth – truly campaigning film – changed the direction of the wind

Talladega Nights – not as funny as it thinks it is

Children of Men – one of the finest films of the year – a fearful nightmare of what might be happening to us; but the lengths to which people will go to preserve human life out-reach the killing: love is stronger than death

World Trade Center – a film about honouring the courage of those who died – and the horror of what happened in there – people of the left need to face this; we need to express at least as much anger about what happened on 9/11 as we do toward George W Bush's response

The Departed – violence as a way of life; what should policing be about?

Slavoj Zizek's Pervert’s Guide to Cinema – movies as the projection of our own desires

Last king of Scotland – great central performance, but I wish it had done more to explore where Amin's motivation came from

Marie Antoinette – same with her as with Amin

Little Children – when will we all grow up?

Bobby – not a great film, but inspirational message; the non-violence speech at the end is great

The Prestige – the power of ambition

Ten Canoes – storytelling and how we muddy the waters

Tell No One - great barnstorming thriller with the power of love at its centre

Babel – life is a coincidence – four short films, the Japanese one has the most empathy; I could have done without the others

Borat - not quite sure what to make of it yet

Into Great Silence

Casino Royale

Pan’s Labyrinth


Stranger than Fiction


Flags of our Fathers

Letters from Iwo Jima

Night at the Museum



A Prairie Home Companion

Rocky Balboa

The Fountain

Old Joy


Notes on a Scandal

Lives of Others

Half Nelson

Good Shepherd

Good German

Inland Empire


Beyond Hatred


Amazing Grace

Catch a Fire

Why we Fight



Alpha Dog

Spiderman 3

Night of the Sunflowers



Black Gold

Die Hard 4.0

Simpsons Movie


Nomadak TX


Matt Page said...

Well if quality's not a factor then there's also The Nativity Story, Evan Almighty, and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Lesser known films which I've also enjoyed in cinemas in the last year are Tell No-one, Sixty Six, and Starter for Ten although none were particularly outstanding.

See you there (hopefully)!

Matt Page

Tim Heaney said...

My own favourite films of this period would include several on your list plus three you have omitted – ‘Hot Fuzz’ (well made and simply hilarious), ‘Venus’ (a superb character study which says interesting things about growing old) and ‘This is England’ (a wonderful evocation of the period and a powerful study of racism). All three happen to be British - which is probably a coincidence but made me realise that my other top films are mainly European (e.g. Lives of Others’ & ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’) and that I would struggle to come up with as many American films of equal quality (though I think ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is great and I haven’t seen ‘Zodiac’ yet). Looking forward to all of Greenbelt – which day are you on?

Matt Page said...

Tim, I can't believe I overlooked This is England (or Hot Fuzz for that matter). It was incredible Stephen Graham's acting was out of this world.


Suzanna said...

I saw many of these films with my 19 year old daughter. The one stand out to me was Half-Nelson. Reminded me of Lost in Translation. The similarity being the cross over generationally and gender-wise to help heal the other. I am a middle aged Mom, still a work in progress. The question for me that these films show: how it is possible for me to be taught by someone who is compleletly outside my peer group. How many of us allow that to happen?

see you Friday!

Feminine Feminist said...

Oh my gosh. Dreamgirls. C'est magnifique. And when juxtaposed with Hairspray there are themes worthy of a segment of your Greenbelt talk. Let's "collaborate" :-) And send me the flippin MP3 of that song you're needing to send me....

Joel B. said...

Crank made me feel dirty after watching it. And I love Tarantino films, so that's saying something.