Thursday, November 12, 2009

A personal top 100 of the decade


Having confessed myself a little taken aback this week by the venom that greeted the Telegraph's defined-the-decade list I helped compile -- some people take these things much too seriously -- I thought I'd ride the controversy a little further and clarify a few things with my own list. So we're on the same page: the below is a "favourites" list, for fun, not a "defined" list or even a "best" list groping after some vague universal criteria. Expecting only a 10-15 film overlap with the Telegraph choices, I've surprised myself with (I think) 29 duplicated titles, which goes to show that I actually think there's a lot of very good stuff on that list, as well as obviously weaker films that nonetheless made a significant drop in the ocean, in whatever way.

It's not set in stone yet, and I'll probably keep tinkering with the order, but it's something like my favourite 100 films of the decade as of right this second. Tomorrow, who knows? Doubtless I've left things off which will occur to me later -- I'm fairly scatter-brained about keeping records -- and there's a small chance that something I see in the next six weeks will need inserting, but I consider it a pretty small one by this point. (Only four 2009 films have made it on so far, with a couple of others just on the cusp: I'll admit, I think I got a bit carried away with Antichrist.) I've gone by the IMDb year listings (not US or UK release dates) for all films, which means that, say, Beau Travail is ineligible (despite being released in most countries in the year 2000), whereas White Material and A Prophet, which premiered at festivals this year, make it in. If you spot any glaring errors, let me know!

Without further ado...

100. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
99. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
98. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
97. Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003)
96. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones, 2005)
95. Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, 2001)
94. Last Resort (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2000)
93. Sugar (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, 2008)
92. In this World (Michael Winterbottom, 2002)
91. The Last Victory (John Appel, 2004)
90. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet, 2007)
89. Sideways (Alexander Payne, 2004)
88. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar Wai, 2000)
87. A Time for Drunken Horses (Bahman Ghobadi, 2000)
86. Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (Park Chan-wook, 2002)
85. The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky, 2006)
84. Gerry (Gus Van Sant, 2002)
83. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
82. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, 2002)
81. Frozen Land (Aku Louhimies, 2005)
80. The King of Kong (Seth Gordon, 2007)
79. Johnny Mad Dog (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, 2008)
78. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)
77. Les petites vacances (Olivier Peyon, 2006)
76. Abouna (Mahamat Saleh-Haroun, 2002)
75. We Own the Night (James Gray, 2007)
74. School of Rock (Richard Linklater, 2003)
73. The Night of the Sunflowers (Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, 2006)
72. Yella (Christian Petzold, 2007)
71. Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006)
70. Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)
69. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas, 2008)
68. Deep Water (Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, 2006)
67. Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, 2007)
66. 13 Lakes (James Benning, 2004)
65. Requiem (Hans-Christian Schmid, 2006)
64. Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)
63. Uzak (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002)
62. Capote (Bennett Miller, 2005)
61. Julia (Erick Zonca, 2008)
60. Modern Life (Raymond Depardon, 2008)
59. Nationale 7 (Jean-Pierre Sinapi, 2000)
58. The Corporation (Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, 2003)
57. King Kong (Peter Jackson, 2005)
56. When the Levees Broke (Spike Lee, 2006)
55. I ♥ Huckabees (David O Russell, 2004)
54. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009)
53. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, 2008)
52. Lady Chatterley (Pascale Ferran, 2006)
51. The Fall (Tarsem, 2006)
50. Bus 174 (José Padilha, 2004)
49. The Circle (Jafar Panahi, 2000)
48. Adam & Paul (Lenny Abrahamson, 2004)
47. Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)
46. Kings and Queen (Arnaud Desplechin, 2004)
45. Couscous (Abdel Kechiche, 2007)
44. The Company (Robert Altman, 2003)
43. Punch-Drunk Love (PT Anderson, 2002)
42. Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh, 2000)
41. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001)
40. The Son (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2002)
39. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
38. The Holy Girl (Lucrecia Martel, 2004)
37. Solaris (Steven Soderbergh, 2002)
36. The Bourne Supremacy (Paul Greengrass, 2004)
35. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
34. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003)
33. The Sun (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2005)
32. Birth (Jonathan Glazer, 2004)
31. Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson, 2000)
30. Amores perros (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2000)
29. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
28. Code Unknown (Michael Haneke, 2000)
27. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)
26. The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)
25. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002)
24. What Time is it There? (Tsai Ming-liang, 2001)
23.
Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
22. The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, 2000)
21. Eureka (Shinji Aoyama, 2000)
20. I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)
19. Our Daily Bread (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2005)
18. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
17. Spider (David Cronenberg, 2002)
16. Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
15. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
14. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
13.
L’emploi du temps (Laurent Cantet, 2001)
12. Black Sun (Gary Tarn, 2005)
11.
The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke, 2001)

10.
Synecdoche, NY (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
9. Junebug (Phil Morrison, 2005)
8.
INLAND EMPIRE (David Lynch, 2006)
7. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
6. demonlover (Olivier Assayas, 2002)
5. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
4. There Will Be Blood (PT Anderson, 2007)
3. The Death of Mr Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005)
2.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, 2003)
1.
Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)

15 comments:

Cal said...

Great, great list. It's particularly lovely to see Junebug in the top ten, which is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourites. Sad to see my favourite two films of the decade (probably, haven't made the list yet), Lost in Translation and Dancer in the Dark, aren't there.

Only films I'm actively disliking the inclusion of are Birth, Hunger, and Monster.

tim r said...

Thanks Cal! Nice to hear from you. Junebug has crept firmly up in my estimation, year on year: it's absolutely gorgeous. Dancer in the Dark isn't far off this list, but it's Breaking the Waves that really does it for me, von Trier-wise. I'm not quite there with the Coppola.

Was expecting Monster to come under fire a bit, but I seem to find it a lot less contrived/cosmetic than a lot of people -- the psychology hugely impresses and upsets me every time, even if I always wish Ricci was up to her co-star. Birth has been another firm grower all decade, and Hunger... well, I was just instantly floored by how bold and abstract McQueen went with such a politically charged story.

Guy Lodge said...

What a treat! Thought I'd check in with the blog this morning, hoping for a nice tidbit or grade or somesuch, but I hardly expected THIS.

There are so many individual choices here that delight me -- Sugar, Birth, Morvern, Spider, Junebug, White Material (of course), to name but a random few -- but the thing I love most about the whole is the strong scent of personality that it carries. Just reading these 100 titles, I already feel I know you a bit better.

And I'm so pleased we discovered your #15 (!) together.

Best of all, there is even a film or two here that I haven't yet seen. Much to look forward to, not least compiling my own list. (I'll say right now that my #1 isn't on yours.)

NicksFlickPicks said...

It is killing me not to read this list, but I want to make up my own before I check this out. I am almost certain to buckle, but I'm at least giving it a try. Still: very, very exciting to know this is here, for my imminent perusing pleasure! (And loved the 2012 review on the Telegraph site.)

Brook Brooks said...

I am loving the inclusions of Birth and Monster actually!

And I am so pleasantly surprised at how high demonlover.

My favourite pick HAS to be Secret Sunshine. I was sure that NOBODY else had seen this movie, so I'm pleased to know that you have. And that it ranks so highly.

Nasim said...

What a great job you done! Simply awesome in a word. This is the list of my favorite movie too. I have enjoyed most of them., Very few left
Most probably I will enjoy them ASAP.
Thanks for your nice blog job.
have a nice time
bye
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Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the list. I just Miss "city of God", one of the best movies of the last 10 years.

Glenn said...

That's a really lovely list. It seems so... normal.

I especially love the inclusion of "Monster", a movie I thought only I would be including in my decade-end list.

Colin Low said...

I love your list, even if I've only seen sixteen movies out of it, and unabashedly love just about half of them. Nonetheless it's full of idiosyncratic picks that I keep telling myself I should have watched by now, and you've given me extra impetus to catch up on them. Thanks!

fleepish said...

Oh, what a lovely list! And I thought I'd seem them all - most encouraging that I now have another dozen to dig out. So I guess the thing to do is angrily list the omissions; well, can't do anger, but:

Kings & Queen, but no Beat That My Heart Skipped?

And no room for The Consequences of Love, if not The Family Friend?

Think I would also have included Together/Tilsammans and Zatoichi/The Blind Swordsman, but concede they're sentimental choices. I think I'm with you on Talk to Her being Almodovar's best of the decade, though I'd like to see Volver again first.

Couscous, not so much. Likewise, A Time for Drunken Horses. But splendid to see Uzak and Songs from the Second Floor in the mix.

Gator said...

Brilliant list, and a great aide memoire - thanks for nudging me about L'emploi du temps, an amazing film, a real two-hour heartache.

Juliette said...

Amazing list, reminds me of some favs there I haven't seen recently, I love to rewatch. Thanks for sharing.

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Sara said...

Surprised 'Hunger' was so low down, it's one of my all time films. Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda said...

Glad to see 'Talk To Her' there at 23 - Pedro movies are fantastic and so unique. Good list, thanks.

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