2010: A Good Year

So this is goodbye to 2010. It’s been a very good year for me, certainly compared with how lame 2009 was, even if the country has gone down the toilet this year. I had a good time and that’s all that matters. So here is my year in review.
On the work front I was lucky to have been working on a number of exciting projects, from my first drama feature Rewind, the wholly enjoyable experience of cutting On The Fly for Loosehorse and to what I am currently doing the rather excellent series Mobs Canada with my friends Dathai and Eileen. So a good year and in between that I also got to watch a lot of films as always and have great criac with my friends at home and abroad.

So without further ado here are my best bits of 2010:

Best film I saw in the Cinema – White Ribbon
Seriously Mikael Haneke can do no wrong. In his previous film, Hidden, he explored the lack of responsability the French people have for what was done in their name in Algeria. In this film he explores the roots of Nazi Germany. A series of seemingly unconnected events in a German village in pre World War 1 go unexplained, but the film leaves you in no doubt that the events around the village are connected to the children of the town. These are the children who will grow up to be Nazis and it’s scary stuff. There is no one better in modern cinema in terms of how he moves the camera: long slow takes are full of menace and the man has incredible confidence in his own abilities. Rightly so. This is a masterpiece from the greatest living director on the planet.

I don’t go to the cinema very often so in terms of honourable mentions, I’m limited to what else I saw, so with that in mind I’ll mention To Have and Have Not, Howl, Rebecca and Inception. The worst film I saw in the cinema was definitely Wild Target, which was a wonderful example of how not to remake a classic film.

Best film I saw this year –
Battle of Algiers

I think it’s safe to say that almost every good film you’ve seen this year owes something to this seminal piece of filmmaking from Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo. This is another film which deals with the Algerian War of Independence and it is remarkably fresh despite being over 40 years old.
Mesrine parts 1 +2
I could watch Vincent Cassell in anything. He is deadly and this is one of his greatest roles. It’s great fun and these kind of films are very easy to watch.
“City Lights”
In his book Making Movies, Sidney Lumet says there are five different types of films and quotes this as the only one which manages to glide between all five types. It is simply joyous to watch. It is brilliant and the ultimate conformation of Chaplin’s genius.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I watched this only a few days ago, but my god is it fantastic. On a technical level it is an astounding achievement and all done by a part-time film maker to boot. It would be very easy to make this movie and make it about the technical skill and craft of a a filmmaker overcoming problems, but Schnabel instead makes you forget his brilliance and focus on an incredible story of the power of the human spirit
Le Samourai
Jean Pierre Melville is God.
Code 46
Michael Winterbottom is one of those directors who just seems incapable of making a bad movie. He can turn his hand to anything. This is a sci-fi set in the not-so-distant future and it’s an incredible story of love and regret. Seek it out.

Given that my stated aim for 2010 was to watch more classic movies, there are countless other films during the year which were fantastic, but the ones above are the ones that stayed with me. It would be remiss of me not to mention some of the other films I saw throughout the year which I liked:
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Charley Varrick
All About Eve
The Bad and The Beautiful
Ace In The Hole
The Last Seduction
Les Apprentis
and countless others

So here are the list of my other favourite things from the year:

TV Show of the Year – 1916: Seachtar na Caisce I did work on it but even still. Its great. Runners up Spiral, series 2 and Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire
Gig of the Year – Arcade Fire in The Greek Auditorium in Berkley on my girlfriend’s 30th birthday. Savage. I also got to see Roxy Music this year, not the near religious experience I was hoping for but still deadly
Album of the Year – Beach House – ‘Teen Dream’ & Arcade Fire – ‘Suburbs’
Didn’t listen to a lot of new music this year but really enjoyed these two albums. Honourable mentions to Caribou – ‘Swim’ and Telefon Tel Aviv – ‘Immolate Yourself’.

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