A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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swo17
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A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:05 am

ROUND 1 ENDS APRIL 25, 2021

ROUND 2 (THE OPTIONAL "ORPHAN RESCUE" ROUND) ENDS MAY 23, 2021

If you are reading this sentence, you are eligible to participate in our forum's latest decades list project exploring the films of the 2010s. If you know anyone adventurous enough--on or off the forum--that you think would also enjoy participating, feel free to invite them as well.

Please PM me your list of what you believe are the top 50 films from this decade toward the end of the project. I will send confirmation that I have received your list after I have tabulated it. If you haven't heard from me within a day, you should follow up with me to make sure that I received your list. You may feel that you could compile a list of 50 favorite films from this decade much earlier than the deadline, but it's still highly recommended that you engage in the discussions here. Don't keep your favorites a secret, and always be open to suggestions from others!


THE RULES

1) Each individual list is to comprise no more or less than 50 films, ranked in your order of preference (with no ties). If you haven't yet seen 50 films from this decade that you think are genuinely great (or even if you have), please take advantage of the resources listed below and participate in the ongoing discussions to find films that you can be proud to put on your list.

2) Anyone participating in this project should plan to submit a list by the Round 1 deadline. After this point, I will publish some preliminary results that will not reveal how each film has performed, but will at least make it apparent which films are orphans (i.e. those that have received only one vote, and so receive no points in the tabulation process). During the two weeks that follow (Round 2) all those who are interested in participating further may seek out the orphaned films (or anything else they didn't fit in before the Round 1 deadline) and make revisions to their lists as they see fit, up until the Round 2 deadline. After this point, I will publish the results.

3) Any feature film, documentary, experimental film, short film, music video, TV miniseries, TV movie, TV special, or isolated episode from an anthology TV series released in the 2010s (2010-2019) is eligible. Any whole season of a TV series where all episodes share a common director is also eligible. Please bear in mind the spirit of this new rule, which is to reflect how feature directors have recently turned to longform TV series for a creative outlet.

4) The date given on IMDb is the relevant date for determining a film's year of release, even when it's clearly wrong (unless a special case is made below). If the film is not on IMDb and you say it was released during the 2010s, I'll take your word for it.

5) In certain cases, it may be appropriate for films that are technically separate to be combined, or for films that are technically combined to be separated. In such cases, you may vote for either a part or the whole, but bear in mind that all votes will be competing against each other (e.g. a vote for only Avengers: Infinity War will not count toward the vote for Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame). Generally, if multiple films are allowed to be combined for voting purposes, you should probably vote for them that way unless you are strongly opposed to doing so. The most common cases:

• Single-director multi-part films for which each segment was released separately (e.g. Feuillade's serials, Lang's two-part epics) may be considered as a single film. Films included in trilogies may not be combined.

• Variant edits: For films that exist in multiple versions (e.g. Welles' Mr. Arkadin, Rivette's Out 1), all votes that don't specify a "secondary" version will be counted toward the "primary" version.

• Portmanteau films: Each of the individual segments and the film as a whole are all separately eligible.

We may occasionally need to make a special case related to rule 4 or 5. If you are seriously considering including a film on your list that you have a question about in this regard, bring it up in this thread and we'll iron it out. However, I will not make any further exceptions during the last week of the project.

For more details about rules and procedures, please refer here.

Finally, though it is not strictly required, it is recommended that you include titles for films that you discuss in this thread in bold, as it will help the film titles stick out amidst all of the other information that will inevitably pile up in this thread. Or do something else flashy, like featuring a still from the film. If you particularly like something, you might even highlight the title in a shiny color. See how much that caught the eye? You're going to be thinking about that for days now.


ELIGIBILITY – REMINDERS / SPECIAL CASES

The Other Side of the Wind will be eligible for our next 1970s list, and so is not eligible for this decade.

The following TV series are examples of ones that are eligible for this decade: Twin Peaks: The Return, Cary Fukunaga's season of True Detective, Maniac, The Knick, The Young Pope, Family Tree

The following are examples of multi-part films/miniseries that are eligible to be voted for as a single film (this is just a reminder, not an exhaustive list): Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame, Soderbergh's entire 2-season run of The Knick, P'tit Quinquin, Coincoin and the Extra-Humans, It's Such a Beautiful Day, Nymph()maniac, The Trip, Carlos, Mysteries of Lisbon, Mildred Pierce, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc

In some of these cases, you may feel strongly that you only want to vote for one part of the whole. You can do this, but again, just remember that all votes will be competing against each other (e.g. for all intents and purposes, Infinity War, Endgame, and both parts combined are three completely separate films).

The following films may be cited as 2010s releases in some places, but not on IMDb, and so are not eligible for this list: Enter the Void, Extraordinary Stories, Un prophète, Dogtooth, White Material, Wild Grass, Fish Tank, I Am Love, Katalin Varga, Life During Wartime, Melody for a Street Organ, Our Beloved Month of August, Valhalla Rising, The Time That Remains, The White Meadows, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno, Incident by a Bank, At Sea, Alamar, Amer, About Elly, Cántico das criaturas, Love Exposure, Double Tide, Bluebeard, Trash Humpers

The following films are cited as 2010s films on IMDb, and so are eligible for this list, regardless of what anyone else might say: Shutter Island, Biutiful, In Camera (Palit), Margaret, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, Beanpole, Deerskin, The Lodge, Vitalina Varela, Perdrix, First Cow, Bacurau, Tout le monde a raison, The Gentlemen, The Vast of Night, The Whistlers, On a Magical Night, What Did Jack Do?, The Assistant, Le Discours d'acceptation glorieux de Nicolas Chauvin, En liberté!, It Must Be Heaven, Ema


RESOURCES

A list of 2010s films receiving at least 3 votes in our Dynamic Top 10 threads (compiled by Shrew)

Past Forum Discussions
Discussion from the Forum's 2010-2014 Project
Discussion from the Forum's Genre List Projects
Discussion from the Forum's Shorts List Project
The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture 1969-Present
Dynamic Top Tens of 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019
Dynamic Consensus Lists (Note that many films being classified here as 2020 films are 2019 films per IMDb, and so are eligible for this project. Conversely, some films classified as 2010 films here are 2009 films per IMDb, and so are not eligible.)

Guides Within This Thread
Do you feel you have an especially informed opinion about the work during this decade from a particular director, country, genre, etc.? Many people here would greatly appreciate your taking the time to prepare a guide for navigating through all that's available. (Though they do not necessarily need to be comprehensive.) Guides are especially welcome for extremely prolific directors/movements, or to summarize availability for films (such as shorts) that are often hidden away on releases for other films or only available on the web. Past examples: Director Guide, Country Guide, Genre Guide, DVD Availability Guide

therewillbeblus on Mike Mills, Hong Sang-soo, Kenneth Lonergan, Woody Allen

External Resources

National lists
Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 lists for 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019 / 2010s

Recommended Reading

AWAITING SUGGESTIONS


THE MATRIX R. SCHMATRIX HONORARY SPOTLIGHT SECTION

Remember that part in the movie Spotlight where all the reporters sat around and said "Hey, you hold your nose and watch this movie that you wouldn't otherwise want to watch and I guess I'll do the same for you"? Oh wait, that's not how it happened at all. No, those reporters went out and put all their heart into their work and gave long important speeches about it. In honor of their garrulousness, this section is now reserved for links to any and all posts on a particular film that are 500 words or longer. Why 500 words? Because when I used to be in the biz, I remember my editor throwing that number around a lot. Sorry folks, but we're living in a post-Spotlight world now, and the old ways just aren't going to cut it anymore.

Ema (Pablo Larraín, 2019) (therewillbeblus)
Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014) (therewillbeblus)
Men, Women & Children (Jason Reitman, 2014) (knives)
Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, 2015) (senseabove)
The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Andersen, 2015) (Satori)

***Please PM me if you have any suggestions for additions to/deletions from this first post.***

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therewillbeblus
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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#2 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:39 pm

Hopefully more folks take this as an opportunity to sit down and give the two best films of the decade, La flor and The Young Pope, a watch. They’re both long, but the rewards are worth the investment. I've written enough on them, as I have for Vox Lux (which apparently a lot of sleeper members love too but hasn't had too many voices out there). However, if I had to pick a ‘spotlight’ title that hasn’t accrued worthy momentum on this forum as of yet (that IMDb lists as 2019, and thus is eligible) it would be..

Image

Ema

Larrain’s latest is essentially a musical in theme (in addition to some numbers, which are spliced in there to accentuate its ideas-presented-as-vibe virtue) bleeding out uninhibited spirit into all facets of being. The film takes a seemingly old-tuned cookie-cutter plot description (that isn’t worth spoiling because it’s so far removed from the purpose it’ll only give a negative impression) and converts it into a wholly original work that dares to humanize all action unconditionally. This is a film where manipulation doesn’t need to be mean-spirited, and selfishness and intimate reciprocal connections can be authentic without existing on a fixed plane of ‘either/or’ logic. Larrain presents concepts of fluidity in sexuality and gender, which are exhibited gracefully here, and recontextualizes them into a fluidity of motivation and effect of uncompromised agency.

Outside of the neon-infused vibrant visuals (that grabbed my undivided attention from the very first inspired shot) and pounding rhythmic score from Nicolas Jaar, Mariana Di Girolamo’s performance as the titular Ema is revolutionary. She is a chameleon who tricks us through a trance of attraction toward the enigmatic, pitting us against our own preconceived notions of what to expect from- and how to assign dignity to- her specific behavior, and uses her transformative skills to influence our own perspectives away from defaultive pathology. She becomes a complicated figure that allows for all of her qualities to be true and respected, a walking amalgamation of choices and intentions that are only paradoxical to those who can’t awaken to a third-option reality that destroys such rigid outlooks.

The film isn’t a purely positive exposition on existence, and much of the time we are introduced to deep resentment and pain, bursting aggressively as personal history is exposed, characters are humiliated, neglected, protected, and surrendered. There is no discrimination amongst emotions, all are welcome to the table - a therapeutic phrase that is indicative of the validating process weaving its way through the fabric here. Like Jackie, meditations on uncontrollable loss and the permanence of one’s history are there, and the ungraspable casualties of time's finality poisons hindsight as this couple traumatically recalls the consequences of their imperfections. This film’s optimism comes in the ‘what now’ stage, posed as a passionate answer rather than a question, and operates under the strengths-based belief that people are doing the best they can in any given moment, and can look forward to wield their agency as a tool to ‘right' some wrongs to the best of their abilities, gravitating to what can change rather than what is lost.

The optimism is portrayed in its all-encompassing ode to ‘expression,’ and the beyond-desire need to profess our souls by every method we can conceive of, and -as I stated in my initial writeup- Ema’s character is a piece of anthropological art. I fully expect some viewers to be repulsed by her, but hopefully more can overcome personal hurdles of biases to emerge from the problem-focused lens straining our society and get on this film’s wavelength. This is a film for everyone who has wanted to light the world on fire, to create and destroy, to manipulate the muscle of the will, which is often all we really can control, and realize that we can actualize our drives more than we are taught to believe. There is plenty of talk in this film that skews toward these polar ends- about freedom as an illusion, musing about good v. evil, etc. - but Larraín channels a nonbinary exhibition of emotion through Ema’s energy, shattering any philosophy that tries to restrict or tame it.

On a self-reflexive level, Larrain uses all of the medium’s possibilities to get on her wavelength himself, firing simultaneous canons of music, style, costumes, hair and makeup, photography, and raw intimacy of physicality as loud as he can. The atmosphere created of pure unfiltered spirit is gradually understood to be the only space that is honest. Ema finds ways to make this abstact concept tangible through Larrain’s focus on palpable action in all kinds of movement, from dance or sex, physical touch, personal style, creation and destruction. The real question is whether one can see the act of ‘burning’ as creation by way of destruction, or operating on an neutral plane occupying a different space all together- that of expression as a necessary, affirmed action devoid of moral strings or judgment. I have very personal feelings about the reveal of seemingly incongruent values and intentions that comes in the last act, but I’ve already mentioned them in spoilers in the film’s dedicated thread, and the manner in which these realizations are presented sets forth the thesis of this film as Ema and Larrain’s harmonious worldview.

This film reminds me that we don’t need to compartmentalize the complex into black and white boxes, and that so much living is possible if we can expand our peripheries to discover the actual spectrum in a fourth dimension of social sobriety, a space that is all-inclusive and beyond our safe categorizations. Above all else though, this film is emotion. I can’t remember the last time I felt so alive from watching a movie, thinking about it after, or personally motivated to change my life for the better.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#3 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:03 pm

How does one see Ema?

bamwc2
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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#4 Post by bamwc2 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:11 pm

I couldn't wait to get started on the project, and watched a few of the blu-rays I had laying around in my kevyip:

Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012): Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are a pair of octogenarian retired piano teachers who spend their days cultivating the arts and enjoying life. When Anne suffers a stroke that cripples her, Georges becomes her primary caregiver as she convalesces. He still loves her after she undergoes a mental and physical decline that leaves her a shadow of her former self. Their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) attempts to help, but finds her interventions futile as the couple fall into a downward spiral. The film is heartbreaking, but ultimately suffers from an ableist narrative of disability. I may not agree with the choice the Georges ultimately makes, but I can understand why he chose it. It’s not a bad film, but I strongly disagree with the path that the characters take.

Bait (Mark Jenkin, 2019): Edward Rowe stars as Martin, an English fisherman whose brother Steven (Giles King) sold the family boat. The brothers don’t get along after the sale, and Martin is forced to rent out their house as a getaway spot for richer Brits as he lives in a shabby locale. While he’s supposed to be saving his money to buy a new boat, he ends up spending most of it at the local pub (sooooo much of the movie is set there). Shot in black and white with intentional damage to the film and stilted acting, it reminded me of the Peter Watkins pseudo-documentaries from the 60s. I can’t say that I enjoyed this as much as I did them. There’s not much of a plot, and what little there is wasn’t very interesting.

Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014): International movie star Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) travels to the villa of director Klaus Diesterweg (Lars Eidinger) along with her personal assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart). Maria is set to co-star in the remake of the film that made her famous twenty-years earlier. This time, however, she will play the role of the older woman in a lesbian relationship, with Jo-Anne Ellis (Chloë Grace Moretz) playing the younger of the pair. Maria oscillates on her decision to play the role, but those around her pressure her into doing it. The film manages to be both straightforward and mysterious at the same time. It’s a fascinating portrait of a woman under mounting stress, with great jobs by Binoche and Stewart.

Creepy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2016): Takakuro (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a former police detective who quit the force after suffering a stab wound from a suspect. He, along with his Yasuko (Yûko Takeuchi), settle into a new life, a new house, and a new job teaching criminology at a local university. Soon Takakuro finds out that he lives a couple of doors down from a house where a family of four went missing, leaving behind only their daughter who gave conflicting stories to the police. At the same time, they have bizarre neighbor named Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa) with a sick wife and a teenage daughter. Could the creepy Nishino have something to do with the mysterious disappearances six years earlier? Kurosawa does a magnificent job building up the tension here when early on we’re never quite sure whether Takakuro is on the verge of cracking a cold case or if he’s in the grip of paranoia. Kagawa does an excellent job as the titular creep, bringing a comic aspect to his role in a movie that’s otherwise dead serious. It’s one of the best thrillers of the decade. I really recommend checking it out.

David Lynch: The Art of Life (Jon Nguyen, et al., 2016): Unofficial Lynch video biographer, Jon Nguyen gives the maestro of the Pacific Northwest the opportunity to expound on his life and philosophy. Going into this, I had seen all of Lynch’s feature films, but was generally unfamiliar with his life story. Unsurprisingly, it turns out to be a fascinating examination of the confluence of events that molded him into the surrealist master he is today. Instead of going with the talking head format, we see Lynch at work in his art studio as his narration plays on the soundtrack. Baby pictures and early home videos also provide cute interludes. I learned a lot from this documentary, and am glad to have finally caught up with it.

Dheepan (Jacques Audiard, 2015): Dheepan (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) is a former Tamil fighter in the Sri Lankan civil war. He flees to France along with Yalini (Kalieaswari Srinivasan) and the young Illayaal (Claudine Vinasithamby), who pretend to be his family in order to gain residency. Dheepan becomes a menial laborer in a decrepit apartment complex, while Yalini takes up work as a cleaning lady. Unfortunately, the violence that the three of them tried to escape find them again in the form of gang warfare that threatens to suck them all in. Made at a time when nationalist xenophobia swept throughout Europe, it’s an invaluable portrait of the immigrant experience in France. Antonythasan is a non-professional actor, but you would never know it from his performance. Srinivasan is quite good in her role as well.

I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni, 2017): The young orphaned Shula (Maggie Mulubwa) is accused of being a witch by her neighbors because they see her as weird and had bad dreams about her. After a brief trial with a shaman, she ushered off to a government run camp for witches that are populated by women many decades older than her. There she’s fitted with a ribbon affixed to a poll to curtail her movement, but is happy for the first time in her life. She labors with the rest of the older women during the day, except when she’s used to adjudicate guilt at criminal trials. It was a fascinating portrait of Zambian culture, something that I know very little about. Nyoni makes her feature debut here and immediately emerges as one of the most essential voices of African cinema. By the time I post this, it’ll have disappeared from The Criterion Channel. I hope that you caught it in time.

Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013): Folk singer and frequent jerk Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) struggles to make a living after becoming a solo act. Starting off with a set in Greenwich Village, he plays to clubs full of patrons uninterested in his music. Unable to collect royalties, Llewyn drifts from couch to couch every night before heading off to Chicago in search of a breakthrough. He doesn’t find it there, and considers giving up his dream for a job as a longshore. As a fan of mid-century folk music, I was the natural audience for this movie. It is a brutal viewing though. There’s no silver lining for Llewyn, and we’re left to assume that he never succeeds. I enjoyed it, if that’s the right word for it. Llewyn isn’t an easy character to empathize with, but I don’t suppose that’s what the Coens wanted us to do.

Journey to the Shore (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2015): Another film from Kurosawa, but completely tonally different from Creepy. Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu) is a lonely widow whose husband, Yûsuke (Tadanobu Asano), committed suicide by throwing himself in the ocean three years earlier. One day Yûsuke shows up at their house. Instead of being surprised, Mizuki accepts his presence as normal. As he explains it, he’s dead but hasn’t moved on yet. Not a ghost since he has a physical form, Yûsuke exists somewhere between life and death. Unlike both the living and most of the other dead, he’s able to recognize other dead people who haven’t moved on yet. Gifted with a second chance with her husband, Mizuki embarks on a journey with her husband to help those that don’t realize that they’re dead yet. The film is a mysterious meditation on life and the alleged journey that occurs after death. This might be my favorite discovery of the project so far. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Karski Report (Claude Lanzmann, 2010): A member of both the underground Polish resistance and the Polish exile government in London, Jan Karski was tasked with bearing witness of Nazi atrocities in Poland to the highest echelons of US government. Here he recounts his story in footage that was shot in the late 1970s, but unused in the final edit of Shoah. As Karski tells it, he met with President Roosevelt for half an hour at which time FDR saw his story as part of a wider need to liberate Poland, but not anything the required the immediate attention of the US. The next day he spoke to Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter, who said that he could not believe the events that Karski recounted. In the end nothing came of the visit, and Poland’s Jews were no closer to being saved. It’s a depressing, account of history, but an important one that we need to bear witness to. We as a nation could have done much more to stop the Holocaust, but chose to turn a blind eye toward it.

The Last of the Unjust (Claude Lanzmann, 2013): Once again composed of an interview conducted in the late 1970s, but excised from Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust focusses on Rabbi Banjamin Murmelstein’s experiences as head of the Theresienstadt in Adolf Eichmann’s “model ghetto”. Murmelstein had to keep the ghetto “productive” lest all of its citizens be sent off to camps. To this end he ran those living there ragged with work and starving with severe food rationing. His encounters with Eichmann sent chills done my spine. Far from the “banal” paper pusher that Hanna Arendt described, Murmelstein’s Eichmann was a sadist who relished inflicting suffering on Jews, and made Murmelstein battle with him on a daily basis. The film goes a long way from Shoah’s stationary talking head format. This time Lanzmann includes long shots of the former Ghetto and associated synagogue.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson, 2014): More a series of vignettes than a linear plot, Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is my biggest disappointment of the project so far. If there’s any narrative to be found, it’s in Sam (Nils Westblom) and Jonathan’s (Holger Andersson) multiple unsuccessful attempts to sell novelty items out of their briefcases that they carry around from store to store. Most of the film’s scenes, however, have nothing to do with this, or one another for that matter. If there is any connective tissue in this film at all, it lies in the flat, affectless humor that pervades every scene. Unfortunately, I found none of it funny and nearly all of it repetitive. How many times do we need to hear about extra long vampire teeth and see the mask of Uncle One-Tooth? It wasn’t funny the first time, and it sure as hell didn’t get better as the runtime elapsed. It’s so disappointing to me since Andersson made one of my favorite films of all time, A Swedish Love Story. That film was a far more conventional movie, but I haven’t seen any of his other 21st century work. If this is indicative of what he’s doing now, then I might as well skip it.

Shoah: Four Sisters (Claude Lanzmann, 2018): In his final film, Claude Lanzmann once again presents us with unused footage from his masterpiece, Shoah. This time we get four lengthy interviews with women, now relocated to Israel, who survived the Holocaust. The stories are all heart wrenching, but I will never forget the first interview with Ruth Elias, who details her experiences as the mother of an infant in a concentration camp. Josef Mengele took a special interest in her and eventually marked the two for extermination after experimentation. The night before it was supposed to take place, a young doctor took pity on her, and gave her a needle full of morphine. Ruth was left with the unbearable choice of letting her baby die a horrific death at the hands of the Nazis or taking his life on her own. She chose the latter, and was haunted by it for the rest of her life. The film, like the other Lanzmann pieces on the list, are all brilliant companion pieces to Shoah. Everyone should watch these films so the memory of the Nazi atrocities will never be forgotten.

The Square (Ruben Östlund, 2017): Christian (Claes Bang) is a divorced father with two daughters, and tries to live an ethical life. As the curator of a Stockholm art gallery, he lives a cushy life and gives a sizable amount of his paycheck to charity. His new exhibition, “The Square”, focusses on the attitudes that we have toward the rest of humanity. While Christian preaches altruism, he fails to live up to it after his phone and wallet are stolen. What’s more, a one-night-stand with American reporter Anne (Elisabeth Moss) leads to her accusing him of being a womanizer. Soon enough his world implodes and he is left to decide what kind of person he wants to be. The film has some pacing issues that have caused others to reject it. While I agree that it could have used more edits, it was an interesting examination of contemporary altruism and morality.

Sweet Bean (Naomi Kawase, 2015): The film begins with Sentarô (Masatoshi Nagase), a dorayaki baker, who’s struggling to make a living. He needs help, and one day the 76-year-old Tokue (Kirin Kiki) comes to his restaurant and says that she’s always wanted to wanted to work as a cook. Initially skeptical of her ability to handle the job, Sentarô sends her away with a free sample. Tokue comes back the next day and Sentarô reluctantly gives her the job. To his surprise, she proves to be remarkably adept at dorayaki baking, and soon opens up the secret inner life of Tokue that he had kept hidden from others. It’s a sweet movie about the friendship between a struggling man and a good-natured elderly woman, but it never really moves beyond that. It’s fertile ground for a movie, so it’s not clear that it has to feature anything else. In a decade that was defined by brash super-hero movies, it was quite the relief to find a quiet, meditative, character focused film like this.

Tale of Tales (Matteo Garrone, 2015): Writer director Matteo Garrone adapted three stories from 16th century Neapolitan fairy tale writer Giambattista Basile. Interweaving between three stories we get Queen of Longtrellis (Salma Hayek) who goes to extraordinary lengths to have a child, the lustful King of Strongcliff (Vincent Cassel) who has fallen for an old hag sight unseen, and the King of Highhills (Toby Jones) who’s attention is divided between a daughter he wants to marry off and an enormous flea. There was an enormous amount of work put into these segments and it shows in some of the most lush and gorgeous images captured on film in this decade. However, two of the three segments end abruptly without a satisfying resolution, which left me scratching my head when the end credits began to roll. It really is quite the sight to behold though.

Two Days, One Night (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2014): Sandra (Marion Cotillard), a Belgian factory worker finds out that her position is being eliminated in so that her sixteen coworkers can each get a 1,000€ bonus. There was a vote among the workers, with only two of them voting in favor of their coworker. Desperate to keep her job, Sandra convinces her boss to hold a second vote while she has 48 hours to convince enough of her coworkers to vote in favor of keeping her. She finds that most of them are on hard times, and desperately need their bonuses, while others empathize with her and agree to change their votes. This was one of the tensest films I’ve seen outside of the thriller genre, with Sandra fighting against time to try and avoid calamity. It’s also an interesting moral dilemma pitting altruism against self-interest. When I finally get a teaching job again (thanks, pandemic/depression), I might show this in an ethics course.

Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonello, 2019): The film begins in 1962’s Haiti as Clairvius Narcisse (Mackenson Bijou) becomes the victim of a voodoo priest that seemingly murders him with poison. After his funeral, Clairvius reawakens as a zombie forced to toil in a sugar plantation. The film then cuts to nearly sixty years later when recent teenage émigré from Haiti, Mélissa (Wislanda Louimat) begins studying at an all-girls academy in France. Though the other girls are slow to accept her, Fanny (Louise Labeque) becomes fascinated with her connection to the occult. Wanting to conduct a ritual to make a boy fall in love with her, Fanny convinces Mélissa’s guardian, a voodoo priestess, to help her out. It took a while before the two stories synch up, but they eventually do. Until then, however, the film felt a bit all over the place. I wasn’t expecting the ending where Baron Samedi shows up and all of it is shown to be real. It worked well for what it is, but I doubt it’ll make my list.

I'm not sure exactly how much more viewing I'll do this project. I've currently writing a monograph and am in a pretty good writing groove that I don't want to disrupt.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#5 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:17 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:03 pm
How does one see Ema?
You can pay to see it here through Oct. 7, or purchase the U.K. blu ray which is region free

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senseabove
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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#6 Post by senseabove » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:39 pm

And I'll co-sign that recommendation for Ema, just to emphasize that folks (in the US, at least) should check it out before the 7th, since who knows how or when it'll be available after that short of importing the UK BD. My thoughts are already in the dedicated thread.
bamwc2 wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:11 pm
I couldn't wait to get started on the project, and watched a few of the blu-rays I had laying around in my kevyip:...
I hope you've at least already seen or can make time for Bonello's other films of the decade. I think Zombi's the weakest of them, but it's very likely that Nocturama, L'Apollonide, and Saint Laurent will all three make my list.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#7 Post by domino harvey » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:42 pm

I would love to read a defense for Saint Laurent, which made me want to never see another movie by the director

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#8 Post by swo17 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:50 pm

I haven't seen that one. L'Apollonide was too much for me, but I remember when Ignatiy V. had the guts to name it the best film of the year on that short-lived iteration of At the Movies. Also, it's got Adèle Haenel. Nocturama was more my speed. I...don't see domino liking these films though

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#9 Post by senseabove » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:16 am

And I won't pretend I can't see why anyone would feel that way—it's as flighty and self-obsessed as fashion is, but that's an element of why I like it. I've already got a few paragraphs down elsewhere, but I want to rewatch it and hopefully expand a bit...

I will admit it's the most likely of the three to fall off the list, but I love it enough that it has a fighting chance in those final "oh hell why not" spots. I'd say the other two, especially L'Apollonide, are worth checking out even if you hated SL, as they're quite different from it, though from my vague impression of your taste in modern fare, I also, like swo, would not exactly be shocked if neither is to your taste.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#10 Post by domino harvey » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:20 am

I love fashion, though. I don't agree that the film reflects anything about what makes fashion interesting, or shares that interest. This is what I wrote in the Cesars thread about it
domino harvey wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:19 pm

Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello)

Not to be confused with the movie Yves Saint Laurent, also released this year in France and also nominated for a ton of Cesars (indeed, that one won Best Actor), this unfortunately is the film you have to sit through if you, like me, get the strange compulsion to complete this project. Coming in at an inhuman 150 minutes, this “biopic” of the influential French fashion designer is astonishing: never have I sat through a biopic less interested in its subject than this movie. Scene after scene comes and goes without any attempt at characterization or insight, with everything presented in a flat glossiness that becomes trite and tired almost immediately. Bonello’s film has a fatal misconception with regards to fashion. Fashion is like any aesthetic-driven art form: it relies on audience connection. Good aesthetics generate a response, which is why we notice and are drawn to them. Fashion is only empty and meaningless to those who cannot examine their own immediate responses to it. This film, though, is a void. Apart from the odd moment in which Helmut Berger as YSL watches himself in the Damned on TV, there is not a single thought or idea present in this movie. You may think I’m exaggerating. Fine, go spend two and a half hours with this movie to prove me wrong.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#11 Post by senseabove » Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:34 am

Well, it's not the first movie for which we have polar opposite interpretations. Like I said, I want to revisit before I get into the weeds defending it, but I will go ahead and say that I agree it's not good as a biopic—it doesn't really care to lay out the facts of a life, but I thought it was doing something much more interesting.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#12 Post by Satori » Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:34 am

I have been terrible at participating in the last couple of list projects, although I always enjoy reading the threads. I'm going to try and participate in this one, especially because of how little I've seen of recent cinema. I want to start by recommending a film from my favorite critic/film essayist, Thom Andersen:

The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015)

Thom Andersen’s great skill as a film essayist is his recontextualization of the image. For example, Red Hollywood allows us to see the work of blacklisted writers anew through his focus on the period in between the first HUAC meetings and when the hammer came down in the early 1950s. In the epic Los Angeles Plays Itself, he reverses the dialectic between background and foreground in order to study how the cinema can both lie and tell the truth about the urban spaces of Los Angeles. Andersen has also always had a wide-ranging taste, mixing the high and low brow together without hierarchy: the low-budget sci-fi films and the titular porn film from Plays Itself, and here the cinematic archive ranges from Dziga Vertov and Sternberg to Cult of the Cobra.

Andersen bills the film as a “personal history” of cinema, which immediately sets it apart from things like the Mark Cousins doc or the Godard, which have larger ambitions (the story of film itself or a history of the 20th century through film). This personal history is unlocked through his engagement with Gilles Delueze’s cinema books, particularly the first one, The Movement Image. What is interesting to me is that, in its own way, Delueze’s book was also a personal history of cinema in the sense that he could only use the films that he had seen to build his philosophical concepts. While he had access to what was probably the greatest repertory theater and film culture of the 20th century, the archive is still a limited one, as any of our personal cinematic histories must inevitably be, even in the age of the internet.

Indeed, the Deleuze books don't purport to be a history or even a theory of cinema. They are more about philosophical concepts that are unlocked through an engagement with the cinematic image. By thinking the cinema, Deleuze suggests we can better think through concepts of space and time. The reason the Deleuze books are so interesting (and frustrating) is that Deleuze essentially jettisons most of the frameworks we use to talk about cinema by inventing and cataloging a set of images: the perception image, the affection image, the action image, the indirect and direct time images, etc. They offer an estrangement of the way we typically view films by directing our attention to different things, much as Andersen has always done in his films. It thus makes perfect sense that he is the filmmaker to take on Deleuze.

As always with Andersen, this is a deeply political film, which allows an expansion of the “personal history” into an engagement with politics. For example, there is a powerful early passage that juxtaposes film footage from the Siege of Leningrad, the bombing of North Korea during the Korean war, Hiroshima, and Vietnam. In this segment, Andersen uses the Deleuzian “perception image” to ask questions about perspective, or from whose eyes we are seeing these atrocities. While some of the films are newsreel-style from documentaries, the Hiroshima segment is from Hiroshima Mon Amour. So Andersen not only uses the way the films themselves imagine perception (which, in a sense, is what I take to be the point of the Duras/Resnais film), but produces an assemblage of different film forms in order to interrogate this idea at a larger level.

While Andersen used some intertitles in previous films, his commentary was mostly delivered through voice-over. This film uses only intertitles to comment on the film clips, letting the montage between film clips and sound bridges from one clip to the next assist in the production of meaning and associations. While many of the intertitles are quotes from Deleuze, he also quotes Walter Benjamin (in a tour-de-force segment on fascist cinema), Jack Smith on Maria Montez, and his own thoughts. The relationship between Andersen and the image is thus different: while Los Angeles Plays Itself is a lecture illustrated by film clips, this film is built more from the ground up; the individual segments and the way they connect produces the commentary. If you want to think about it philosophically, Los Angeles Plays Itself is Hegalian (which Mike Davis discusses in the booklet essay) while this film is purposefully more Deleuzian, focusing on the individual concept rather than a larger dialectical structure.

Lest all this sound dry and stuffy, though, it is worth noting that the other influence Andersen cites besides Deleuze is the classic Hollywood musical, particularly, as he notes in a short essay on the film, a TCM New Year’s marathon of That’s Entertainment. This makes sense, as those films are themselves a kind of history of cinema, albeit a particular kind of cinema. But their point as a kind of “greatest hits” is to remove the plots in order to just get to the extravagant musical numbers. They still have a structure, of course, but it is a new one produced by the assemblage of numbers.

This film offers musical number-like moments of heightened intensity: clips from Ron Mann’s excellent documentary on the Twist, the “pretty baby (boom)” scene in Ruggles (surely one of the funniest moments in all of cinema) are excellently deployed. There is also a remarkable segment in which Jack Smith’s Maria Montez, Andersen’s own reading of Debra Pagent, and footage from an Andrew Blake porn film set in a Los Angeles modernist mansion form a microhistory of desire in the cinema and the ways in which the female body is simultaneously fetishized and given agency in the cinema. This seems to reach back to an earlier Sternberg/Dietrich segment, which was itself in conversation with proletarian agency in, alternatively, Griffith and Vertov.

In short, I found the film wonderfully productive to think with, which is for me the great pleasure of all Andersen’s work. The tragedy is that I don't think it is easily available, but a good copy circulates on the backchannels.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#13 Post by domino harvey » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:45 pm

The only thing I know about my list is that the incredible cat city (Victoria Vincent 2017), the best thing YouTube’s algorithm has ever suggested to me, will be my No. 50. It’s exactly three minutes long, go watch it. If you’ve already seen it, go watch it again.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#14 Post by Ghersh » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:01 am

Is this where I can post recommendations?

I see some of the Avengers stuff mentioned in the opening post as examples of two-parters, but if you're considering big budget Marvel comics films for this decade I highly suggest you have a look at X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn) instead.

Costructed as a loose prequel to the X-Men film series of the 2000s it takes place in 1962 with the cuban missile crisis as a backdrop and contemporary cold war thrillers and eurospy adventures as obvious inspirations. The blend of your typical superhero fantasy elements and what's basically a period piece is interesting enough (and the whole X-Men idea funnily enough comes full circle on a meta level by taking place during the times of Malcolm X and MLK jr. who as ideological adversaries for the same case were the main inspiration for the two protagonists in the first place). But Vaughn, who in 2004 already made a highly rewatchable, carefully crafted and fascinatingly 'layered' smaller gangster film in Layer Cake, really makes this one special through means of Mise-en-scène and cinematic storytelling, interlooping split screen, match cuts, composition, framing and editing on a high level. Imagine a playful and colourful re-imagination of the Sean Connery/Lewis Gilbert/Ken Adam James Bond era (with another huge nod to Adam and his war room set from Dr. Strangelove), serving as a superhero origin story in a historical context and directed by someone who has a great cinematic eye.

It really blew me away when I first saw it as part of the X-Men series and still does as a singular film. To me this one is a perfect example for that the source material - in scope, scale, themes, nature and whatever - doesn't really matter to me as long as the director makes a great experience out of it. Thus it will certainly be on my list, probably next to some obscure film whose original title you can't pronounce without hurting your tongue.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#15 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:09 am

Is The Other Side of the Wind eligible for this list, or will it be for the 70s? I realize IMDb says 2018 but I know we discussed this for A Day in the Country in the 40s thread, and the majority decided to consider it a 30s film as an exception to the IMDb year rule. Either is fine with me, but a fixed call clearly stated may be helpful in not repeating such a convo in a few years.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#16 Post by swo17 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:20 pm

Ghersh wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:01 am
Is this where I can post recommendations?
Yes. Welcome to the thread!
therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:09 am
Is The Other Side of the Wind eligible for this list, or will it be for the 70s? I realize IMDb says 2018 but I know we discussed this for A Day in the Country in the 40s thread, and the majority decided to consider it a 30s film as an exception to the IMDb year rule. Either is fine with me, but a fixed call clearly stated may be helpful in not repeating such a convo in a few years.
Yes, this is an important question which I hadn't thought to consider yet. It would be consistent with how we treat the Renoir or ¡Que viva Mexico! to call it a '70s film. So I guess this would be my inclination, but I will also hear counterarguments

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#17 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:50 pm

I guess the major differences for me are that, at least for A Day in the Country, there was a specific year attached (and listed as 1936 on the Criterion disc) as well as released before most, if not all, of our lifetimes, so not as glaringly difficult to differentiate 'eras.' The Other Side of the Wind, as far as I know, doesn't have a clearcut date it was 'finalized' back then (and I suppose wasn't even constructed/finished during the 70s to begin with), so I think more members may have a difficult time thinking of it as "a 70s film," especially since it did come out recently during most participating folks' memberships here. It would be consistent with that rule to count it as a 2018 film, but while the 30s/40s argument for the Renoir feels like a simple delay, four decades and debates about what was actually completed and constructed back then vs. after the Netflix editing, makes it a bit more challenging. It might be 'easier' to call it a 2010s film, even though that feels kinda weird, but as long as during the 70s project there is a clearly outlined mention of it as a 70s film in the spaces you always provide examples of what does/doesn't count, which you would do regardless, I don't think it really matters.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#18 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:29 am

Aside from the conceptual shift regarding Welles's legacy, his artistic style, etc. that shaped implicitly the work, or the reality that the film very likely could not have been literally made without the technical advances that allowed for combing through all the footage and audio––the fact is the film begins with a narration by Bogdonavich's character that is almost explicitly from 2018, as he mentions "cell phone cameras and digitalized images". It's a 2018 "found footage" film. This is, in its own way, a meta-engagement of the film that this is not Orson Welles's film, but a recovering of Welles's film. Its existence is shaped by the narrative we know of the shift from the golden age to New Hollywood, of Welles's place in both (and neither).

In my own opinion, I think had the film been completed, miraculously, during the 70s, before the collapse of New Hollywood, it would have been ignored as all of Welles's projects were. Given the historical distance, its pastiche of American and European tendencies is more pronouncedly satiric and audacious, since they stand out so much from other 2010s films. But this is my own opinion and my own read of its reception history.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#19 Post by swo17 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:11 am

HinkyDinkyTruesmith wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:29 am
the film begins with a narration by Bogdonavich's character that is almost explicitly from 2018
therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:50 pm
I guess the major differences for me are that, at least for A Day in the Country
¡Que viva Mexico! is the better example. The only form we know it in is as a 1970s documentary presenting the 1930s footage. But it was all shot in the 1930s and Eisenstein obviously was not active in the 1970s, so we put it back when he would have finished it if he'd been able to. I'd rather reclassify decades based on very mechanical, simplistic grounds like that, because that's how rules work best and I don't want to have to overthink this or any other exception when they come up. But that being said, my own flowery thought about it is that putting it back in the '70s when Welles was actively working on it makes its completion more about righting a wrong and keeps it more as Welles's film, whereas leaving it in the 2010s puts more emphasis on what the completion team did.

To prevent needless back and forth about this, I'm going to make an official call that it's a '70s film for purposes of our list project (as now reflected in the first post). However, if at least 10 people post in this thread that they disagree and feel it should be considered a 2010s film, I will overturn this ruling. (HDTS and TWBB already count as two opposing votes.) No need to back up your position, just write about any other 2010s film you've seen and then end your post with the hashtag #keepitonthissideofthewind

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#20 Post by Tommaso » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:32 am

As I agree completely with swo, may we also end our post with a supportive hashtag like #keepitonthatsideofthewind" ? ;)

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#21 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:34 am

I think there are compelling arguments for either decade, so I cast my vote for it not being eligible for any list #windbreaker

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#22 Post by knives » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:59 pm

A few viewings.

Fighting with My Family (dir. Merchant)
This is so bizarre on so many levels that it manages to run right back around to being an alright piece of ordinary underdog biography. The oddest element, Stephen Merchant directing a feature length WWE ad, is actually the is also the most emblematic as his light humor and wry conception of sincerity fills the frame until you just have to accept the sweetness as overcoming the film’s originating goal.

That sincerity is present everywhere. Even when a component is underutilized such as Lena Headey׳s Keira Knightly as a punk rocker cosplayer it is sold so well And performed so completely I’m just sold.

This isn’t to say the film will blow anyone away as there’s no spice here, but well done sweetness can go a long way for me.

A Simple Favor (dir. Feig)
Anna Kendrick flavored noir sounds like a wonderful idea and this film occasionally hits those heights particularly in the acid cherry relationship she builds with Lively and Golding which succeeds so well running on that clash of tones.

The film does kind of one note run on that as so much of the film is Anna Kendrick stuck in a Pakula film. At its best though it’s Kenneth Fearing using our love of optimism against us complete with cutesy Greek chorus.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#23 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:19 pm

bamwc2 -- Glad you loved Journey to the Shore and liked Sweet Bean. Journey was an unexpected pleasure. Although I have liked/loved many of Kurosawa's films, this one struck me as being on a whole other level -- and almost as good as my favorite ghost romance, Story of Marie and Julien (which is also one of my favorite Rivette films). After a string of disappointing to decent-enough Kawase films, Sweet Bean seemed like a return to peak form.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#24 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:33 pm

It's unfortunate that two of the films in my Top 10, Amanda and Caprice, remain without any English friendly retail release in any country (though you can rent Amanda digitally with subs in the UK). Perhaps one day I will be able to change that, but it's a bummer for this iteration of the list. They deserve to be seen.

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Re: A 2010s List for Those That Can't Wait

#25 Post by swo17 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:41 pm

Seconded. I need to rewatch both to see if they'll place but they're definitely contenders

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