Feb 23, 2007

The Ends Justify the Memes

I was tagged by Logan to list my 'Top 10 Films.' So as not to redundantly repeat redundantly the film list in my Facebook account, which you probably all have seen anyway, I will reinterperet this as "Top 10 Films I Saw Last Year in No Particular Order." And to quote Francois Luong, "I will list foreign films because I am foreign." Ich bin ein auslander, dig?

1. This Film is not Yet Rated. A fascinating glimpse into the MPAA and its crypto-fascist program for censoring the film industry. Worth it for the endearing and hilarious exploits of Kirby Dick's hired "Private Eye" alone.

2. Ballets Russes. Yeah, yeah, say whatever you want about me. This was a great documentary--I found the ballerinas to be perhaps the closest analogs to poets that I've enountered thusfar, the same devotion to an art that is considered elitist and outmoded, and the same (perhaps consequent) megalomanaical pettiness. The film is very sad because most of them die before the film is released.

3. Better Living Through Circuitry. There seems to be a documentary theme going here. Having missed out on the rave scene of the mid-90's but being spiritually sympathetic to its motivating principles, this was a great glimpse into the culture that spawned much of the music that I listen to now as a creepy nearly-middled-aged guy who listens to electronic music... Genesis P. Orridge's bits are the best.

4. Au Hasard Balthasar. Fanny Howe said of this film, "A luminous pallor surges out of the screen, spreads over every face and form in the picture; it is the colour of consciousness. The subtitles are ghostly and easily submerged in the background light.
Squalor bleeds into this whiteness. Blends.
The plot follows an erratic line until it is swallowed in bells and sheep."

5. Grizzly Man. I am a fan of messianic nutjobs because I am one.

6. Transformers: The Movie. Robots got me through my miserable childhood, so shut up. Killing Optimus Prime was definitely a big leap and a decent bit of "realistic perspective on death," in a kids' movie. Never mind that he is a robot and not actually alive, but anyway. Featuring a dessicated Orson Welles in one of his last performances as the voice of...a planet... Nice period-piece Hair Metal also. I await eagerly the live-action one this summer (& the "second coming" of OP.)

7. Slither. 2006 was a bad year for horror films (my favorite genre, more or less) and this was about as good as it got (screw "The Descent," it was lousy; "An American Haunting" and "The Grudge 2" were crappy as well). The best thing about "Slither" was that it was pretty much OK with the fact that it was a silly horror film: which is kind of the cornerstone of the form.

8. Meredith Monk's Ellis Island. This is one of the Film Poems films. I showed this to my first semester Freshman composition class and one kid said, "So, like, was that supposed to be good or something?"

9. I am running out of films, time to switch to only 4-star rated films from my Netflix... Good Night & Good Luck. Anything that bashes McCarthy is Ok by me.

10. Time Regained. Only fun if you are a Proust geek; pretty much a manifestation of the "which-of-my-friends-would-I-get-to-play-Mme. Swann" game.

I usually refrain from tagging people in these things, but having felt very jilted at not having been tagged by anyone for anything in the past 9 months or so, I will go ahead and tag people in case they happen to be feeling the same way: Tom, Aaron, Matina and Joel.


DUSIE said...

Aber, bist du Deutsch?

Mark said...

No, I just used to listen to Pop Will Eat Itself...

Matina L. Stamatakis said...

PWEI (haven't heard that name in ages!). Interesting list of movies. I haven't seen any of them! They must be [semi]new releases...must check out Transformers--if only for a bit of nostalgia.

ps--thanks for the tag. ;-)

Logan Ryan Smith said...

i also got the PWEI reference, mark.

i used to be totally geeky, too.

Logan Ryan Smith said...

oh, hey, remember how in Boogie Nights, mark wahlberg sang a song from the Transformers movie score? i forget how it goes at the moment, but remember it ending with an exuberant wailing of "YOU'VE GOT THE POWER!"

yes, that was quite a score.