2010 in Review

Five Best Films I saw in December

Alphabetical order and First Time Viewings Only

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)

Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)

Code Unknown (Michael Haneke)

Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos)

The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah)


10 Filmmakers to Explore and Discover in 2010 – Results

Every year I set out to see new and exciting films, I set out a precise plan that I hope to follow… but as you can see, things don’t always work out quite as I’d hope. That being said, I made some definite progress on Resnais, though the majority of those watches were of his shorts. It’s also amazing considering how many hundreds of films I watch, I can’t even put aside the time to watch a single Ruiz, Despleschin, Robbe-Grillet or Hellman. My own fault.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

December 31st 2009: 1 seen

December 31st 2010: 4 seen

Gilles Carle

December 31st 2009: 1 seen

December 31st 2010: 2 seen

Arnaud Despleschin

December 31st 2009: 1 seen

December 31st 2010: 1 seen

Alain Resnais

December 31st 2009: 1 seen

December 31st 2010: 8 seen

Alain Robbe-Grillet

December 31st 2009: 0 seen

December 31st 2010: 0 seen

Raoul Ruiz

December 31st 2009: 0 seen

December 31st 2010: 0 seen

Carl Theodor Dreyer

December 31st 2009: 2 seen

December 31st 2010: 3 seen

Jerry Lewis

December 31st 2009: 0 seen

December 31st 2010: 1 seen

Monte Hellman

December 31st 2009: 1 seen

December 31st 2010: 1 seen

Robert Bresson

December 31st 2009: 0 seen

December 31st 2010: 2 seen


These lists are not necessarily made up from ALL the films I’ve seen this year, for a variety of reasons, I am just using films that have been included in my monthly “5 or 10 best films”. So, I might be missing out in terms of certain performances in particular that were spectacular but were featured in sub-par films.

10 Favourite Female Performances

Barbara Sukowa in The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

Faye Wong in 2046 (Wong-Kar Wai)

Harriet Andersson in Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)

Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman)

Isabelle Huppert in Violette Noziere (Claude Chabrol)

Juliette Binoche in Cache (Michael Haneke)

Lillian Gish in Way Down East (D.W. Griffith)

Marie-Josee Croze in Maelstrom (Denis Villeneuve)

Nadine Nortier in Mouchette (Robert Bresson)

Vanessa Howards in Girly (Freddie Francis)

10 Favourite Male Performances

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis)

Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi)

Elias Koteas in The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan)

Gunnar Bjornstrand in Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)

Harvey Keitel in Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese)

Jack Lemmon in Missing (Costa-Gavras)

Jean-Nicolas Verrault in Maelstrom (Denis Villeneuve)

John Gilbert in The Big Parade (King Vidor)

Robert Carlyle in Ravenous (Antonia Bird)

Tony Leung in 2046 (Wong-Kar Wai)


Filmmaker of the Year

Michael Haneke


Top 20 Films Seen in 2010

20. Sombre (Phillipe Grandrieux)

19. High School (Frederick Wiseman)

18. Code Unknown (Michael Haneke)

17. Beau Travail (Claire Denis)

16. Opera (Dario Argento)

15. Ravenous (Antonia Bird)

14. The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan)

13. Kiss me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)

12. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)

11. Lazybones (Frank Borzage)

10. Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles & David Maysles)

9.  Cache (Michael Haneke)

8. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese)

7. The Civil War Trilogy (Robert Enrico)

6. What Have they done to Solange? (Massimo Dallamano)

5. 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai)

4. The Big Parade (King Vidor)

3. Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)

2. Maelstrom (Denis Villeneuve)

1. The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

As you may have guessed, I purposefully omitted 2010 releases. My definite list of favourite films and performances for 2010 releases should be on its way by mid February, when I’ve managed to catch up on foreign flicks and movies I have missed for one reason or another. As well as giving me ample time to write little blurbs.


Staying with tradition though, here are the filmmakers I hope to be more familiar with by the time 2011 is finished. I am completely unfamiliar with all of these, with exception of Etaix, who I’ve seen a single short from his filmography and Jerzy Kawalerowicz, who directed one of my favourites, Mother Joan of the Angels. If you have any recommendations for starting points, don’t hesitate!

Alezandr Sokurov

Carlos Saura

Jacques Rivette

Jean Epstein

Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Peter Greenaway

Philippe Garrel

Pierre Etaix

Raoul Ruiz

Satyajit Ray


Five Best Films I saw in November

Great month, it was difficult to narrow it down to just five, but it had to be done. I will be catching up on a lot of 2010 films next month, hopefully there is something good. If you have a darkhorse to recommend, this is the time!

Beau Travail (Claire Denis)

High School (Frederick Wiseman)


Incendies (Denis Villeneuve)

Lazybones (Frank Borzage)

Somewhere (Sofia Coppola)

Ten Best Films I saw in October

I usually do just five, but I saw 55 films this month, so just five favourites doesn’t seem quite right. I know some people manage this regularly, but I usually average a little under 30. Most of these viewings were horror, but a good number were also new releases and festival viewings. As always, only first time viewings and alphabetical.

Another Year (Mike Leigh)

L’Enfer (Claude Chabrol)

Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse)

Mouchette  (Robert Bresson)

Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon)

Phenomena (Dario Argento)

The Social Network (David Fincher)

Tournee (Mathieu Amalric)

Uncle Boonmee (Joe)

Violette (Claude Chabrol)

Fifty Favourite Horror Films

I more or less do this every year. Not too many new additions, but I love every one of these, so that’s something. Suggestions for future Octobers are always welcome!

1. Suspiria
2. The Birds
3. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with me
4. Possession
5. Black Christmas
6. The Exorcist
7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
8. The Shining

9. Ginger Snaps

10. Don’t Look Now
11. What Have they Done to Solange?
12. The Legend of Hell House
13. The Curse of the Cat People
14. Nosferatu (1979)
15. Trouble Every Day
16. Rosemary’s Baby
17. Sombre
18. Frailty
19. The Bride of Frankenstein
20. The Silence of the Lambs
21. Psycho
22. Evil Dead II
23. Eyes without a Face
24. Let the Right One In
25. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
26. Dead Ringers
27. Dawn of the Dead
28. Carrie
29. The Devils
30. American Psycho
31. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
32. Phenomena
33. House of Usher
34. Ravenous
35. Perfect Blue
36. Kill, Baby, Kill
37. The Loved Ones
38. The Innocents
39. Les Diaboliques
40. Cat People
41. The Vanishing
42. Opera
43. The Masque of the Red Death
44. Let Me In
45. The Devil
46. Isle of the Dead
47. Alien
48. The Seventh Victim
49. The Body Snatcher
50. Audition

Director’s Chair: Women on Board

I was tagged by the Dancing Image to make a director’s list, but not just any kind, one centered on females working in the industry. I feel absolutely inadequate in terms of listing my favourite female directors but I am more honoured to be tagged, so I will give it a go. I am limiting it to just five filmmakers, if only because I have no idea what I’m doing. This is not a revolutionary list, but hopefully you can still find some value in it! I also wish I had something to say about these filmmakers but I am short on time and even if I wasn’t, though I’m listing some of these wonderfully talented women, I STILL am not too familiar with their overall work. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Honourable mentions to Holland, May, Wertmuller and Cavani


Catherine Breillat

Essential Film: Anatomy of Hell


Claire Denis

Essential Film: Trouble Every Day


Sofia Coppola

Essential Film: Marie Antoinette


Jane Campion

Essential Film: Bright Star


Ida Lupino

Essential film: Outrage

Five Best Films I saw in September

Near impossible to narrow it down this month. So difficult in fact, that I will name some honourable mentions; True Heart Susie, Let Me In, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Marwencol. As always, first time viewings only are included.

The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan)

Girly (Freddie Francis)

The Man with the Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov)

Opera (Dario Argento)

Ravenous (Antonia Bird)

Viewing List for October

Dario Argento's Opera

As some of you already know, October is my favourite time of year. Not only do I get to wear chic sweaters, but the weather and atmosphere is ripe for horror. It is  not a matter of of just being the month that “hosts” Halloween, but those cool nights that smell like dead leaves… there is nothing more pleasurable than curling up with a good movie, a warm blanket and possibly a significant other and getting the pants scared right off ya. I realize this is premature, but I figured i’d start planning now so I could have something to look forward to in the next few weeks. This is a list of films I haven’t seen, and obviously, I won’t see all of them… but these are my cinematic goals for the upcoming Halloween season. Let me know which I should prioritize and which I’d better skip!

A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Lucio Fulci)

Alice, Sweet, Alice (Alfred Sole)

All the Colors of the Dark (Sergio Martino)

Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava)

Case of the Bloody Iris (Giuliano Carnimeo)

City of the Living Dead (Lucio Fulci)

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold)

Death Laid an Egg (Giulio Questi)

Dolls (Stuart Gordon)

Don’t Torture the Duckling (Lucio Fulci)

Flesh for Frankenstein (Paul Morrissey)

House (Nobuhiko Obayashi)

House on Haunted Hill (William Castle)

Inferno (Dario Argento)

Jigoku (Nobuo Nakagawa)

Kairo (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

Murders in Rue Morgue (Robert Florey)

My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka)

Night of the Creeps (Fred Dekker)

Opera (Dario Argento)

Phantasm (Don Coscarelli)

Ravenous (Antonia Bird)

Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon)

Return to Horror High (Bill Froelich)

Session 9 (Brad Anderson)

Seven Dead in the Cat’s Eye  (Antonio Margheriti)

Singapore Sling (Nikos Nikolaidis)

Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik)

Spider Baby (Jack Hill)

Strait-Jacket (William Castle)

Tenebre (Dario Argento)

The Blob (Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.)

The Changeling  (Peter Medak)

The Killer Must Kill Again (Luigi Cozzi)

The Last House on the Left (Wes Craven)

The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur)

The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (Jorge Grau)

The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman)

The Omen (Richard Donner)

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Emilio Miraglia)

The Schoolgirl killer (Antonio Margheriti)

The Sentinel (Michael Winner)

The Silent Scream (Denny Harris)

The Slumber Party massacre (Amy Holden Jones)

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (Sergio Martino)

Village of the Damned (Wolf Rilla)

Viy (Georgi Kropachyov &

What have they done to your Daughters? (Massimo Dallamano)

Who can Kill a Child? (Narciso Ibanez Serrador)

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (Curtis Harrington)