2010s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#26 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:27 pm

knives wrote:Also jeez, just finished my prelim list and I really hope that I don't see any more as it was basically impossible to take off that 26th film. As for spotlights I figure I'll stick to Solondz's Dark Horse and Pain and Gain. I probably don't need much to do to defend a Solondz film critically at least, but it's such a shockingly underseen gem that manages to take his ability to turn anything into disquiet horror you can only laugh at up to its greatest level. Most shocking though is that he does this in what is probably his most audience friendly story. There's no rape of any sort if you can believe that. In that way it is a bit the opposite of Life During Wartime which had all of the story telling ticks, but in a more family friendly delivery.

I probably do need to get out stronger defense guns out for Bay's film, which I've talked about a little before, since even I'm still a bit embarrassed for recommending it considering Bay being Bay. In short this is Bay doing a critical critical appraisal of his beloved America and conservatism which is a breath of fresh air just for being a conservative approach on that which hasn't really happened in film since Paul Morrissey who the film shares a lot with (Milius is another surprising if probably more intentional influence on the film).
Oh holy hell, I didn't even realize this was limited to 25 films. Jeez. Isn't it normally 50? Is this because the time period is halved? Ha, one of my spotlights isn't even making my list now. Ah, well.

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#27 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:38 pm

Yes, that's an average of five films per year, as in all the decades projects.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#28 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:40 pm

Gotcha. Yeah, my list got much less saccharine all of a sudden! Some tough cuts getting it from 30 to 25. Just an addendum to my spotlight of Michael - just because it's maybe my 28th top film of 2010-2014 doesn't mean it isn't worth watching for this project! #-o

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#29 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:44 pm

Just wait til ya see another 3-4 new films that you absolutely have to include.

User avatar
gorgeousnothings
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:29 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#30 Post by gorgeousnothings » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:03 pm

Here's some I haven't seen mentioned yet:

Martha Marcy May Marlene--I still think about this movie, and the last shot of the movie is something that has been frozen in my mind, even though I haven't seen it since it came out. It's got a great cast, too. Highly recommend.

Obvious Child--Honestly, I find Jenny Slate and her crew so charming. Maybe that's affecting my judgement here, but let's pretend it's not.

Also throwing support behind You're Next and Young Adult.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#31 Post by zedz » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:18 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:29 films on my need-to-see/spotlight list and counting - you've created a monster. Let's hope my schedule allows me to follow through with this, but I'll definitely be submitting a list regardless of how many of these I can see in the interim.

And Spring Breakers will probably be making my list too, knives. Regardless, I'm relieved I didn't need to satisfy my morbid curiosity and see Trash Humpers for this.
Trash Humpers is exactly how you'd imagine it to be from a description. Except much, much longer.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#32 Post by zedz » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:51 pm

My spotlight title has been forced blinking and confused into that spotlight by swo, who no doubt wants to upstage my announcement by spotlighting a much better film or something. I hastily compiled a list of must-includes and got effortlessly to 24 films without even deciding on a Hong Sang-Soo, and this is the film that stood out as the lostest cause among them all:

First Cousin, Once Removed (Alan Berliner) - A devastating documentary in which Berliner records his encounters with his mother's cousin, the poet Edwin Honig, as he inexorably loses his faculties to Alzheimer's (a process of documentation authorised by Honig, it should be noted). The smart and punishing twist is that the film is not chronological, so there's no grim downhill trajectory, but instead a vicious whiplash between Honig at the different stages of his impairment. So we see rapid montages of Honig responding to the same enquiry at various stages, for instance. At times, the shocking thing isn't so much what is lost as what remains: Honig's poetry doesn't so much vanish as refine itself into rhyming doggerel, nonsense syllables and, ultimately, plaintive birdsong. A tough watch, to be sure, but a remarkable film, easily Berliner's best to date.

EDIT: Well, what do you know? It's available on DVD.

Other absolutely fantastic films you could easily overlook: Sergey Loznitsa's My Joy (which I think has its own thread somewhere), Shahram Mokri's one-take wonder Fish and Cat (which definitely does), and Ramon Zurcher's The Strange Little Cat (which should).

User avatar
mizo
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:22 pm
Location: Heard about Pittsburgh PA?

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#33 Post by mizo » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:06 pm

Looks like I saw The Strange Little Cat around the same time I saw the Akerman, and I wrote about it too. (Turns out there were actually a grand total of four movies I liked from that dark time, but I don't think the last, La Sapienza, is in much need of boosting.) I've copied my thoughts down below, although it might be better to see the film first without reading them. My original conclusion was "This is a surprisingly complex film for its short runtime, and an easy recommendation if you have just over an hour to spare." So take that! (And I must've really had Akerman's death on my mind or something, cause I keep bringing her up.)
SpoilerShow
The lessons of late Ozu and early Akerman are applied to a portrait of the intricate machinations of an extended family preparing a meal and, in particular, four generations of the women of the family. From oldest to youngest, we have the grandmother, who spends almost all her screentime asleep; then her daughter, effectively the matriarch, a largely passive figure who, in her proclivity to stare in fascination at relatively innocuous objects for extended periods and in the slightly jarring vacillations of her mood, brings to mind Jeanne Dielmann; then her daughter, who, though a mother herself, retains a streak of mischief, while balancing it with more benign playfulness; then finally her daughter, the youngest, a ball of curiosity and youthful irreverence. We can easily read a narrative of the blossoming of female empowerment (although that strikes me as too strong a term for what this film portrays in a pretty whimsical light) into this map of generational differences, the older ones being more passive (in fact, the only instance of the matriarch becoming really angry is when the youngest tears a button off her male cousin’s shirt) and the younger more active and strong-willed, although this line is blurred to some extent, with the two middle generations sharing quite a few characteristics and attitudes. Simultaneously, if we map the men of the family in a similar plot, the adults’ tendency to veil their emotions (as when the father shrugs off injury and being sprayed with grease) leads to the child’s tendency to remain cold and distant (when, after a surprisingly suspenseful sequence in which I was genuinely pulling hard for the little girl to win, he won Connect Four and then didn’t even celebrate - the little bastard).
Last edited by mizo on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#34 Post by zedz » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:12 pm

mizoguchi5354 wrote:Looks like I saw The Strange Little Cat around the same time I saw the Akerman, and I wrote about it too. (Turns out there were actually a grand total of four movies I liked from that dark time, but I don't think the last, La Sapienza, is in much need of boosting.) I've copied my thoughts down below, although it might be better to see the film first without reading them. My original conclusion was "This is a surprisingly complex film for its short runtime, and an easy recommendation if you have just over an hour to spare." So take that! (And I must've really had Akerman's death on my mind or something, cause I keep bringing her up.)
SpoilerShow
The lessons of late Ozu and early Akerman are applied to a portrait of the intricate machinations of an extended family preparing a meal and, in particular, four generations of the women of the family. From oldest to youngest, we have the grandmother, who spends almost all her screentime asleep; then her daughter, effectively the matriarch, a largely passive figure who, in her proclivity to stare in fascination at relatively innocuous objects for extended periods and in the slightly jarring vacillations of her mood, brings to mind Jeanne Dielmann; then her daughter, who, though a mother herself, retains a streak of mischief, while balancing it with more benign playfulness; then finally her daughter, the youngest, a ball of curiosity and youthful irreverence. We can easily read a narrative of the blossoming of female empowerment (although that strikes me as too strong a term for what this film portrays in a pretty whimsical light) into this map of generational differences, the older ones being more passive (in fact, the only instance of the matriarch becoming really angry is when the youngest tears a button off her male cousin’s shirt) and the younger more active and strong-willed, although this line is blurred to some extent, with the two middle generations sharing quite a few characteristics and attitudes. Simultaneously, if we map the men of the family in a similar plot, the adults’ tendency to veil their emotions (as when the father shrugs off injury and being sprayed with grease) leads to the child’s tendency to remain cold and distant (when, after a surprisingly suspenseful sequence in which I was genuinely pulling hard for the little girl to win, he won Connect Four and then didn’t even celebrate - the little bastard).
What I loved about the film is that it's a masterclass in the use of off-screen sound. Just about every significant action in the film happens off screen but within hearing, while we watch the reactions / non-reactions of the characters. It's extremely formally sophisticated and playful for a first film.

(The German DVD has English subs.)

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#35 Post by knives » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:40 pm

It was released on DVD in America as well I believe (it at least had a theatrical run).

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

links links links

#36 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:21 am

Spotlight: Coming Attractions (Peter Tscherkassky)
A series of homages to the cinema's formative years. You can read the director's notes on his intentions in each of the various segments here, which are interesting enough, though the real appeal of the film is mostly sensory. Aside from the invigorating manipulations of found footage, which are par for the course for Tscherkassky, there are several wonderful hypnotic moments that approach some level of bliss through protracted repetition--a woman continually smiling and gesturing to her side, a man removing and replacing his hat, and most magically (in the "La Femme orchestrei" segment), a woman methodically moving a saxophone around while defiantly staring into the very depths of your soul (a scene that's just begging to be made into a domino or mfunk avatar). This 25-minute short is available on the second Index DVD devoted to Tscherkassky, entitled Attractions, Instructions and Other Romances.

Spotlight: ¡Vivan las Antípodas! (Victor Kossakovsky)
A documentary exploring how life compares in various pairs of cities that are on exact opposite ends of the globe from each other. Breathtaking and refreshingly innovative camerawork--it will help you appreciate the curvature of the earth like never before. Available on R1 DVD from Docurama Films, or on an unsubbed French Blu-ray.

Also, there's been some good discussion on the forum already for many films on my shortlist: Aita / Damsels in Distress / Fish & Cat / Force Majeure / Goodbye to Language / Jauja / The Kid with a Bike / Leviathan / Michael / My Joy / Only Lovers Left Alive / Post Tenebras Lux / P'tit Quinquin / Le quattro volte / A Touch of Sin / Tu dors Nicole / We Are the Best!

And finally, some other films not to be missed (besides the ones that need no cheerleading from me): Four Lions, The Strange Case of Angelica, Tabu, Berberian Sound Studio, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Only Dream Things

User avatar
copen
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:43 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#37 Post by copen » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:56 am

Was recently looking for watchable films with Jenna Fischer (besides the sometimes tolerable Hall Pass). Found one: The Giant Mechanical Man (2012 Lee Kirk.) A quiet indy romcom that's better than most. And is funny.

Also, after seeing Joel Edgerton's The Gift this year, I checked out couple of others that he wrote. I was already familiar with the impressive The Rover (2014 David Michôd), but had not previously seen Felony (2013 Joel Edgerton).

User avatar
dustybooks
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:52 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#38 Post by dustybooks » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:03 am

I second knives' recommendation of Dark Horse; I'm the weirdo who voted for all three eligible Solondz films in the 2000s poll, but despite the paucity of attention the film received it's more accessible than anything he's done since Dollhouse, while retaining the same crushing fatalism as ever. The movie takes some odd, fantastic turns I found hard to swallow on first pass, but when I revisited shortly thereafter it seemed possibly his most smartly constructed work. The PR line that it was a response to Apatow's bro loser-comedies and such isn't totally untrue, but it doesn't hint at how much empathy Solondz finds for a basically very unpleasant character. It's really quite nice to see Mia Farrow in a good role again, too. Of course some will undoubtedly think that Solondz is just mocking his lead character by dwelling on his hobbies and habits and problems relating to women; as usual with Solondz, it's not going to resonate with everybody, but I do think it's a treasure.

I've been slowly working through the dynamic consensus lists over the last few years and I've caught a number of films that might not have been on my radar otherwise, at least not for a while. Domino brought up Another Earth, one of the most emotionally affecting sci-fi films I've ever seen; the sheer impossibility of the central relationship is genuinely heartbreaking, especially since the lying-by-omission on which everything hinges is so easy to find sympathetic. And the movie's had enough of an impact on my brain that
SpoilerShow
I can't see a dry-erase board without wanting to write "SPACE STRAWBERRIES" on it.
Swo mentioned another one I found really delightful, Berberian Sound Studio -- devilish and macabre but also extremely funny, thanks partially to what a great face Toby Jones has. It feels so bare and minimal in the best way, like a film by a particularly inventive person just discovering how many things they can do with a camera, though it's probably one of the best examples of sound playing the dominant role in a narrative movie.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#39 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:15 am

All things considered, Another Earth has my favorite final scene in any film. It's so rare, even in the best of films, to see a finishing touch that is literally perfect. Devastating and thought-provoking in equal measure. The film will be finishing near the top for me, and yes, if you somehow haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Teddy Bear

#40 Post by Lemmy Caution » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:24 am

Spotlight: Teddy Bear (2012)

Teddy Bear is a very effective Danish small-budget film. About a shy, awkward 38 year old bodybuilder who still lives with his controlling mother. Out of desperation, he ends up looking for love in Thailand. I'm kind of a sucker for films about ethnic cultural mismatches, and cold reserved Denmark and hot lively Thailand make for a curious pairing. Though that's just one aspect of the film, which is really a pretty unique character study. The Thai-Dane mismatch just reinforces the odd pairing of mother and son. While there's also Dennis' extroverted physique replete with zany tattoos contrasting with his introverted personality.

The observational style made it feel like a documentary and deepened the focus on the characters. A lot gets said without words in this film, while it's also a film that allows for some ambiguities and lets the viewer figure things out. The camerawork was simple but effective, with a fair amount of tight framings which emphasized both the bulk and awkwardness of 6'5" 300 pound Dennis. Very effective performances by mostly non-actors, especially super-heavyweight bodybuilder Kris Kold in the lead. Quite a pairing with his frail birdlike mother, who has him totally cowed. Deftly handled. A real nice surprise.

This was released by Film Movement on Dvd, paired with the 18 minute short Dennis which was the precursor to Teddy Bear. The short is up on the youtubiverse. The feature film doesn't make a wrong move and the director even knew just when to end it. Highly recommended.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#41 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:32 am

domino harvey wrote:All things considered, Another Earth has my favorite final scene in any film. It's so rare, even in the best of films, to see a finishing touch that is literally perfect. Devastating and thought-provoking in equal measure. The film will be finishing near the top for me, and yes, if you somehow haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?
Much of Another Earth didn't really work for me, but the ending is absolutely killer. Seconded.

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#42 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:47 am

Where were you Solondz fans when I had Happiness as an orphan during the '90s project?

And could someone please remind me how Another Earth ends in spoiler tags?

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#43 Post by knives » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:04 pm

Another Earth endingShow
She sees herself from the other planet suggesting that her guilt is a permanent trait of her history.
It just barely won't be making my list. William Mapother is a really underrated element of the film too.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#44 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:42 pm

For me the most spectacular shot in Another Earth is perhaps the most low key one - that moment when Rhoda is folding clothes and all of the dust motes are floating in the air and catching the sunlight coming in from the window, like minature stars!

And the premise of the film kept reminding me of the Three Colours trilogy.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: links links links

#45 Post by zedz » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:26 pm

swo17 wrote:Spotlight: ¡Vivan las Antipodas! (Victor Kossakovsky)
A documentary exploring how life compares in various pairs of cities that are on exact opposite ends of the globe from each other. Breathtaking and refreshingly innovative camerawork--it will help you appreciate the curvature of the earth like never before. Available on R1 DVD from Docurama Films.
Teeny weeny caveat: most of the locations aren't cities. It's still a wonderful film!

User avatar
DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#46 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:53 pm

For my own uses, having put together a preliminary list of 25 films and prior to plowing into my viewing pile (up to the low 70s from the low 60s just from films noted in the thread so far), I wanted to note where I stood now on country and year distribution:

Country: Clearly I need to work on expanding beyond the English-speaking world; I've already got a solid 10 each from Asia and continental Europe on my watchlist, but if anyone has any South American or African favorites, please throw them out!

CAN: 1
IRE: 1
RUS: 1
UK: 4
DEN: 1
US: 16

Year: This is kind of bizarre; I don't think I'm falling prey to recency bias since a) I saw more films per year in the earlier years of this decade and b) I've been tracking scores for every film I see on a spreadsheet since 2008, and I think if anything I've become a harder scorer recently. I did think of 2014 as a very strong year, but I'm curious if anyone else who already has a preliminary list notices a strong trend toward that year or any other.

2010: 2
2011: 4
2012: 5
2013: 3
2014:11

Really excited to see how this initial list changes over the course of the next few months, especially since so many otherwise smaller and more obscure foreign and independent films are more readily available than their cousins from earlier decades...

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#47 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:13 pm

My prelim list is mostly 2011 and 2012

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#48 Post by knives » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:19 pm

'12 and especially '13 seem to be the top of my list though given how I watch that might also be a bias.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#49 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:20 pm

Due to a combination of being a very weak year for movies and two of my top 3 films of that year not qualifying for this project, 2010 has a paltry showing on my preliminary list. Likewise, there are three excellent films from 2015 that surprisingly qualify for this project as 2014, plus five of my top 10 overall were released in 2014 - so it's the year that's bursting at the seams at the moment:

2010: 1
2011: 8
2012: 4
2013: 3
2014: 10
Last edited by mfunk9786 on Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#50 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:01 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:there are three excellent films from 2015 that surprisingly qualify for this project as 2014
Yes, there are quite a few such films (usually 2015 U.S. releases that came out earlier in other countries). Everyone is advised to check the eligibility list in the first post, where I've listed all the prominent examples that I'm aware of. (If I've missed any, let me know.)

Post Reply