Tuesday, January 22, 2008

HEATH LEDGER (1979-2008)

I am shocked, angry, and upset at this terrible terrible news... One of the great actors of his generation in the prime of his career... so sad.

When watching his performances, I always truly thought Heath Ledger was the James Dean of our generation and it is truly sad that his life also ends tragically. Watching Brokeback Mountain already brings me to tears and now it will be even more heartbreaking...

I plan to do a tribute article on Ennis Del Mar in honor of Heath, but it will have to wait as at the moment I'm too shocked and confused to think... Prayers go out to his family and his daughter.

Monday, January 7, 2008



2007 marked another great year in film, especially for American films, as many of the generations leading auteurs released new films (most notably being Paul Thomas Anderson and Todd Haynes, both who previously released films came in 2002).

Looking back on the year I think there are two trends that stand out from all the films released in 2007. The first is the way violence is perceived or detailed on film and by the viewer. Really this is a trend that has loomed heavily since David Cronenberg’s masterful 2005 film A History of Violence, and in some form or another it is further examined through a variety of films this year.

The other trend seems to be a re-imagining of old-fashioned filmmaking. Throughout the year we have seen a wide range of films take on influences or conventions from old-style Hollywood filmmaking, and then invent them into something modern and unconventional.

Perhaps one other pattern I personally experienced with the films I am placing in the Top 10, is how challenging they each are. These are films that I really needed to see more then once (and fortunately did with the exception of I’m Not There). It is amazing how each one is challenging in a different way:

Poetically (Away From Her)
Aesthetically (There Will Be Blood)
Spiritually (Into Great Silence)
Ambiguously (Atonement)
Morally (Ratatouille)
Experimentally (Syndromes and a Century)
Mysteriously (No Country For Old Men)
Refreshingly (The Darjeeling Limited)
Intellectually (I’m Not There)
Emotionally (Secret Sunshine)

These ten films further proved the importance of repeat viewings as well as the incredible depth of their art.

Of course, these are just ten of what I believe to be the very best of year. There are many more great films of 2007 and others I still have yet to see. Here is a brief summary of the films I did see ranked from most to least favorite: GO HERE TO VIEW THE COMPLETE LIST