Film Essent Archive for December, 2009

Kim Voynar's Top Ten Films of 2009

Here’s my Top Ten List for 2009. A brief disclaimer: I’ve been sick for several months and missed all but the first day of the Toronto International Film Festival this year; illness, medical appointments and surgery also made it very difficult for me to get to a lot of screenings. I did watch as many of the screeners I was sent as possible. I didn’t, unfortunately, get screeners for a number of films I’d hoped to see, so there are numerous films that may very well have been contenders for the top spots that I was unable to consider at all.
That said, here’s my 2009 Top Ten Films list …
1. Up in the Air
2. The Hurt Locker
3. An Education
4. Goodbye Solo
5. In the Loop
6. A Serious Man
7. Where the Wild Things Are
8. Precious
9. Beaches of Agnes
10. District 9

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima