Ten Reasons To Thank Recent Movies

The Arts


1. Pixar put a 76 year-old widower in the lead of Up (okay, so he was animated), and defied a number of their licensees, who pulled out because they were fearful of losing youth sales.

2. SF came back! Moon, Triangle, District 9, District 13: Ultimatum and Avatar made it a bumper year. Shame about Terminator 4, though.

3. George Clooney delivered a career-high performance in Up In The Air, and you can already see the lessons learned from it as you pass through airport baggage checks.

4. The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus. The world’s unluckiest director, Terry Gilliam, survived yet another catastrophe when Heath Ledger died (His producer also died after the shoot) to produce the only film I’ve ever seen that’s like the beloved old paperback with a few pages missing you’ll cherish forever.

5. British films kept getting worse; Shane meadows will probably turn out a few more butt-ugly films on his way to directing The Bill, Richard Curtis committed career suicide with the misogynistic The Boat That Rocked, Fish Tank was a film clearly made for festival-goers to thank God they didn’t live in England, but An Education came along to prove that class and neo-realist grimness doesn’t have to feature in every British movie.

6. Filmstar magazine (terrible name) showed you could find a popular middle ground between Sight & Sound and Empire with a series of intelligent, beautifully written articles.

7. Coco Avant Chanel, Un Prophete, Let The Right One In, Loft, The White Ribbon, Just Another Love Story, Bienvenue a Cadavre-Les-Bains, OSS 117; Rio Ne Repond Pas – another terrific year for European films.

8. 3D – fad, passing craze, lotta fun. Why has no-one complained that all current 3D DVDs are fakes, using the old red-and-blue glasses that cinemas have consigned to the dustbin?

9. Synedoche, New York. Suddenly it’s 1968 again – how on earth could this have been financed? Love or hate it – and I think the way you have to approach the film is by thinking of it as a dream in the dying seconds of your life – I’m so glad it exists.

10. Nine. For keeping the musical alive, even though it under-performed at the box office. For showing that a difficult subject (midlife artistic crisis) can be brought into the mainstream – and for putting all those amazing women together in one movie.

Now let me think – were the last year’s books that good as well?

3 comments on “Ten Reasons To Thank Recent Movies”

  1. martin says:

    As for books: Every man dies alone by Hans Fallada was finally translated into english and released last year. It is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese was also a great book. And in non fiction A Literary History of America is a great collection of essays. And Red Star over Russia is the most thorough collection of Soviet art and images from the revolution through to Stalins death.

  2. Surely Filmstar proved precisely that you cannot find that middle ground, unfortunately. Not commercially, anyway.

    I thought Filmstar was excellent, and with Neon and Hot Dog (although that went downhill pretty quickly) also having headed the same way, I’m beginning to feel like the Jonah of film magazines…

  3. Jon says:

    “6. Filmstar magazine (terrible name) showed you could find a popular middle ground between Sight & Sound and Empire with a series of intelligent, beautifully written articles.”

    Empire used to be that middle-ground magazine. I know cos I grew up with it when it was. Now it’s … it’s like how the Simpsons is now compared to how it was then.

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