Preliminary Don't Even Describe It
Just to get in on the action*: were I to erect my year's end Top Ten List, it might look like this:
(in faux-suspenseful reverse order, as is plainly shown)
10. SPARTAN (David Mamet, USA)
09. SPIDER-MAN 2 (Sam Raimi, USA)
08. HERO (Zhang Yimou, China)
07. BEFORE SUNSET (Richard Linklater, USA)
06. DISTANT (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
05. KILL BILL, VOL. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, USA)
04. COWARDS BEND THE KNEE (Guy Maddin, Canada)
03. I ♥ HUCKABEES (David O. Russell, USA)
02. PRIMER (Shane Carruth, USA)
01. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Michel Gondry, USA)
And yet, I'm still tinkering. Spots #9-10 are iffy, while Hero might go up a peg or two should I bestow upon it another gander. And then there's the nuisance of not having seen some of the potential entries: I already mentioned a handful, but I neglected to include Tropical Malady, Notre Musique, Goodbye Dragon Inn, Springtime in a Small Town, Oasis, Blissfully Yours, Son Frére, DIG!, and (ulp!) A Very Long Engagement. Again, to those privvy to more info than I: when, if ever, is Bad Education hitting Philly? This is a fucking travesty.
Besides, I can't help wondering if this list is just so goddam boring. I always wonder that, every goddam year.
Grant me a couple weeks and I'll get that offical end-of-the-year deluge underway.
*"That's on my Top Ten of the Year!," I've been hearing from this one fellow critic whenever I casually mention some asinine-sounding film I'm stridently avoiding. Example:
ME: Er...I'm kinda dreading Million Dollar Baby...Are critics in other cities this self-serving and weird? Are we supposed to be walking list-machines, rabidly exchanging info from December until the Oscars?
HIM: That's on my Top Ten of the Year!