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Out of Nowhere (and very late) Michael's Top 10 of 2009 has arrived!

So I think I'm finally wrapping up the members' Top 10s for 2009 with my own (although if you have one and you haven't seen it here yet, please send it to me and I will post it!) My movie-going was less than stellar last year, and I feel there are some holes that still need to filled. As is often the case, I was rather surprised when the #1 film of 2009 emerged for me. This was one I don't think I would have predicted. I saw it again on DVD not too long ago, and it really held up well. COLD SOULS was a terrific viewing experience because knew very little about it and went in fairly cold. Wish that happened more often! And so, without further ado, my Top 10 films of 2009: | Read more »

Catching Up on Member's Top Tens of 2009!

Our 16th Annual Chlotrudis Awards ceremony occupied some of our time in the past couple of months, so we got off track in posting member's Top 10s of 2009. We'll try to get back on track so you will be seeing a few more Top 10s from members who sent in their Top 10s weeks and months ago!

Today you get two top 10s, from the husband and wife podcasting team of Popcorn 'n Rosies, otherwise known as TC and Kim! Their podcast is called Subject:Cinema and as you might imagine, they talk about movies! Subject:CINEMA is a weekly podcast devoted to movies and films, along with other entertainment-oriented features, and is currently in it's fourth year of production, with an average of 20,000 listeners per week. The Popcorn N Roses website recently celebrated it's fourth birthday, and has expanded over the past several years to encompass over 10 sites and 15 blogs for its loyal readership to view. | Read more »

Scot's Top 10 for 2009

  1. Just Another Love Story - I'm surprised as you are to see this at the top of my list. But the Vertigo-esque, two-films-in-one premise really worked for me. As did the brilliant performances by all three leads.
  2. Sauna - Shocking and haunting. I never thought I'd be so spellbound watching a horror flick about drawing the Finnish/Russian border in -- 16?? AD? -- as I was with this film. It's an incredibly artful and haunting exploration of human psychology and guilt, long before our current clinical analyses could peg those sickos.
  3. Cold Souls - Adorable, and not in a cute way. Paul Giamatti suffering through Uncle Vanya is low-key-hilarious enough, but throw in Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, and a chickpea, and you have a salad of existential humor fit for a king.
  4. Theater of War - Jeez. Meryl Streep rehearsing Mother Courage? Come on, people. Put your hands together.
  5. Drag Me To Hell - Disgustingly funny. But what really made this film for me was Alison Lohman's performance. I'd only seen her in Where the Truth Lies before, but in this, she runs the gamut from Mary Tyler Moore (please like me!) to Laura Croft ("Eat it, bitch!") with grace and aplomb. Plus, the kitty sub-plot is one of the funniest horror gags I've ever seen.
  6. The Maid - A remarkable thriller/drama. Okay, the thriller is mostly in my head, but I can't help comparing it to the fabulous mistake of a film The Housekeeper starring Rita Tushingham. Maybe I just love stories about "the help" who act out. I know *I* would act out.
  7. Humpday - I happen to like most "mumblecore" films I see. And this is one of those gems that explores relationships in a seemingly realistic way. Worth watching for Alycia Delmore alone, though I'm happy to see Josh Leonard in a fascinating new light.
  8. A Single Man - Based on my (probably) favorite novel, I was kind of pissed at first that they ditched the narrative structure of the book. But on the second viewing, I could see why they did so. It's an incredible effort and a beautiful result.
  9. Paranormal Activity - I do love a good low-budget film if it's effective, and this one certainly is that. It builds an intense creepiness based mainly on the expert performances of the two leads. Sure, it's not original in the least, but it is so well crafted that it seems to leave any prior horror fake-umentaries (not naming titles, Josh Leonard) in the dust.
  10. Precious - I had my mind set to *hate* this film but Gabby Sidebe, Mo'Nique, and Mariah Carey (!?) shook that hate right out of me. I have issues with Daniels' direction, but the performances are top notch.

Diane's Top 10 Has Arrived!

The Top 10's keep rolling in; and I expect more to arrive as members catch up on the nominees for this year's 16th Annual Awards Ceremony (the full awards page will be up in early March.) In the meanwhile, here's a look at Diane's Top 10!

First, the three films I gave 5 cats to:

  1. THE HURT LOCKER. Alongside Bravo Company, we get worn down by repetition, fear, failure, and moral questions.
  2. REVANCHE. Complex, creative, suspenseful, pitch perfect
  3. THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL -- NEW ORLEANS. Take the consummate film-making of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, add a dash of the craziness of ZATOICHI.
  4. And some of my 4-catters:

  5. THE MAID. Part horror film, part psychological study, part critique of the bourgeoisie.
  6. PAPER HEART. Completely enjoyable faux-doc about the search for real love.
  7. THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE. And I thought Anna Wintour just edited a magazine.
  8. SITA SINGS THE BLUES. Three layers of storytelling enrich this animated film.
  9. SOMERS TOWN. Thomas Turgoose returns, just like the Cat in the Hat.
  10. SUGAR. Every shot has an emotion underlying it.
  11. TREELESS MOUNTAIN. The slow destruction of a girl's spirit.

Bruce's Top 10 of 2009!

Bruce is a Chlotrudis Board member living in Manhattan. He sees lots of movies and lots of theater, and here he offers his Top 10 films of 2009!

  1. Hunger
  2. The Hurt Locker
  3. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  4. California Dreamin'
  5. A Single Man
  6. Séraphine
  7. The Beaches of Agnès
  8. O'Horten
  9. Still Walking
  10. Of Time and the City

New Member Reports a Top 10 of 2009!

Here's a Top 10 List from one of our newer members, Dave Valdes Greenwood.

The films that resonated with me this year are not all perfect, but all have an ability to express a particular vision well, whether as hyped as WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE or as under-the-radar as MOON was comparatively.

  1. A SERIOUS MAN. This is the movie I thought most about after seeing it. A puzzle, a cosmic joke, a provocation, and a pitiless humanist assault on the comfort of faith, it takes the darkness of No Country for Old Men and cloaks it in Leave it to Beaver trappings, which makes the universe’s harsh judgments all the more unfathomable.
  2. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. An incredibly realized vision of childhood emotions.
  3. THE HURT LOCKER. Tension of the best kind: character-based.
  4. AN EDUCATION. Who knew an old school three-act drama could still be potent?
  5. PRECIOUS. Stunning performances in an unsparing world.
  6. A SINGLE MAN. Gorgeously composed and haunting.
  7. IN THE LOOP. Maybe the most laughs of any film in years.
  8. WHITE RIBBON. Eerie and impeccably controlled.
  9. MOON. A minimAlist triumph.
  10. THE MESSENGER. Character studies matched to killer performances.

If I was voting for the Oscars (in addition to the Chlotrudis awards), The Coen Brothers, Sam Rockwell, Carey Mulligan, Peter Capaldi, Monique, the screenwriters for IN THE LOOP, and the cinematographer for WHITE RIBBON would all go home happy.


Nominations for the 16th annual Chlotrudis Awards were finalized by the film group’s nominating committee on January 30. The strength and breadth of this year’s best eligible films is evident in the extraordinarily even and consistent spread of nominations across the top categories. All five films nominated for Best Picture received 4 nominations, which was the highest number of nominations given any film. In addition, all received at least one lead acting or ensemble nomination, and all but one were nominated for Best Director.

The five films nominated for Best Picture and sharing top billing in most nominations received are: Claire Denis’ 35 SHOTS OF RUM, BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL – NEW ORLEANS the latest from Werner Herzog, recent DGA recipient Kathryn Bigelow’s THE HURT LOCKER, STILL WALKING from Japan’s Hirokazu Koreeda and Michael Haneke’s THE WHITE RIBBON. Also joining them as top nomination getter is A SINGLE MAN, Tom Ford’s directorial debut.

In all, 39 films received nominations; 19 countries were represented, with US films making up barely 40%. There were other multiple nominees, among them three-timers AN EDUCATION, IN THE LOOP and PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE; however this year’s nominations were sprinkled far and wide – almost three-quarters of the nominated films received only one nomination. Female directors had a fairly strong showing this year, with 10 films helmed by women among the nominees.

In the Society’s most competitive and prestigious category, the Buried Treasure, the final nominees were CHERRY BLOSSOMS from Germany’s Dorit Dorrie, about a widower honoring his late wife’s lifelong wish to visit Japan; THE NEW YEAR PARADE, set in Philadelphia amid Mummers; and three UK films: BRONSON, with Tom Hardy’s tour de force portrayal of England’s most notorious prisoner; OF TIME AND THE CITY, Terence Davies’ love/hate ode to the Liverpool of his boyhood; and the gritty SOMERS TOWN about the friendship between two rootless boys in London.

The Buried Treasure is the only category with eligibility requirements: nominated films must have earned less than $250,000 in its U.S. theatrical run, and members can submit no more than 3 entries for films they feel strongly were given distributional short shrift and deserve a wider audience. A shortlist is then compiled before the final vote, and those selections are published on the group’s website and in a separate press release. Once the final ballot is set, all members voting in the category must verify that they have watched in full all of the nominated films.

For over a decade, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film has highlighted its commitment to independent and foreign film in style by holding its own black-tie CHLOTRUDIS AWARDS ceremony in early spring. The 2010 edition will be held Sunday March 21st at the historic Brattle Theatre, and the public is invited to join Chlotrudis members, nominees and special guests in the celebration.

In addition to the competitive categories, Chlotrudis also presents special awards that honor individuals or films for particular distinction. Past recipients Ellen Page (Breakthrough Award ‘05), Kerry Washington (Breakthrough Award ‘04), Don McKellar (Body of Work Award ‘07) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (first Hall of Fame inductee) are among those who have made the trek to Boston to be honored for their contributions toindependent film. This year’s recipients are still being finalized at press time.

A complete list of the nominations for the 16th Annual Chlotrudis Awards

35 Shots of Rum
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans
The Hurt Locker
Still Walking
The White Ribbon

Claire Denis– 35 Shots of Rum
Werner Herzog – The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans
Gotz Spielmann – Revanche
Hirokazu Koreeda – Still Walking
Michael Haneke – The White Ribbon

Nicolas Cage – The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Sam Rockwell - Moon
Baard Owe – O’Horten
Colin Firth – A Single Man

Nisreen Faour – Amreeka
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Antichrist
Abbie Cornish – Bright Star
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Catalina Saavedra – The Maid
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Yolande Moreau – Seraphine

Alfred Molina – An Education
Mads Mikkelsen – Flame and Citron
Anthony Mackie – The Hurt Locker
Peter Capaldi – In the Loop
Christian McKay – Me and Orson Welles

Rinko Kikuchi - The Brothers Bloom
Alycia Delmore – Humpday
Mo’Nique – Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Ursula Strauss – Revanche Julianne Moore – A Single Man

35 Shots of Rum
In the Loop
Still Walking
Summer Hours
The White Ribbon

The Beaches of Agnes
Me and Orson Welles
A Single Man
Sita Sings the Blues

Agnes Godard - 35 Shots of Rum
Anthony Dod Mantle - Antichrist
John Christian Rosenlund – O’Horten
Alexis Zabe – Silent Light
Christian Berger – The White Ribbon

The Class
An Education
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire A Single Man

(500) Days of Summer
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans
The Hurt Locker
In the Loop
Still Walking

The Beaches of Agnes
La Danse
Good Hair
Herb and Dorothy
Theatre of War
Unmistaken Child

Cherry Blossoms
The New Year Parade
Of Time and the City
Somers Town

Nominations Announced for the 16th Annual Chlotrudis Awards

Yesterday Chlotrudis members got together to set the ballot for the 16th Annual Chlotrudis Awards. The Buried Treasure is still being discussed, but here is the list of the rest of this year's nomiantions.

Ensemble Cast
35 Shots of Rum
In the Loop
Still Walking
Summer Hours
The White Ribbon

Production Design
The Beaches of Agnès
Me and Orson Welles
A Single Man
Sita Sings the Blues

Agnès Godard for 35 Shots of Rum
Anthony Dod Mantle for Antichrist
John Christian Rosenlund for O'Horten
Alexis Zabe for Silent Light
Christian Berger for White Ribbon, The

Adapted Screenplay
Laurent Cantet; Robin Campillo; François Bégaudeau for The Class
Nick Hornby for An Education
Maurizio Braucci; Ugo Chiti; Gianni Di Gregorio; Matteo Garrone; Massimo Gaudioso; Roberto Saviano for Gomorrah
Tony Burgess for Pontypool
Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
David Scearce; Tom Ford for A Single Man

Original Screenplay
Scott Neustadter; Michael H. Weber for (500) Days of Summer
William M. Finkelstein for Bad Lieutenant, The: Port of Call -- New Orleans
Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker
Armando Iannucci; Harold P. Manning; Ian Martin; Jesse Armstrong; Simon Blackwell; Tony Roche for In the Loop
Hirokazu Koreeda for Still Walking

Supporting Actor
Alfred Molina for An Education
Mads Mikkelsen for Flame and Citron
Anthony Mackie for The Hurt Locker
Peter Capaldi for In the Loop
Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles

Supporting Actress
Rinko Kikuchi for The Brothers Bloom
Alycia Delmore for Humpday
Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Ursula Strauss for Revanche
Julianne Moore for A Single Man

Nicolas Cage for The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call -- New Orleans
Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker
Sam Rockwell for Moon
Baard Owe for O'Horten
Colin Firth for A Single Man

Nisreen Faour for Amreeka
Charlotte Gainsbourg for Antichrist
Abbie Cornish for Bright Star
Carey Mulligan for An Education
Catalina Saavedra for The Maid
Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Yolande Moreau for Séraphine

Claire Denis for 35 Shots of Rum
Werner Herzog for The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call -- New Orleans
Götz Spielmann for Revanche
Hirokazu Koreeda for Still Walking
Michael Haneke for The White Ribbon

The Beaches of Agnès
La Danse
Good Hair
Herb and Dorothy
Theater of War
Unmistaken Child

35 Shots of Rum
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call -- New Orleans
The Hurt Locker
Still Walking
The White Ribbon

The Kriofske Top 10 for '09

I make complaints about a subpar year for film on an annual basis. Then, I look at my top ten list and wonder what the heck I was thinking. My blog has more detailed commentary on the following.

Top 10 Films:
1. Still Walking
2. 35 Shots of Rum
3. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
4. The Hurt Locker
5. Revanche
6. Fantastic Mr. Fox
7. A Serious Man
8. The Beaches of Agnes
9. In the Loop
10. Lake Tahoe

Honorable Mentions:
Anvil! The Story of Anvil, The Class, Coraline, Herb and Dorothy, Julia, The Messenger, Of Time and The City, O'Horten, The Pleasure of Being Robbed, Somers Town, Sugar, The White Ribbon

A Returning Member Offers His Top Films of 2009

Nathaniel T. was a member years ago when he was in High School. Now he's in college and he's returned to the fold...welcome Nathaniel! He has something to say about his Top Films of 2009 before we present his list.

keep in mind that I have been severely limited in my theater selection this year, and there aren't a lot of indies on my list...good year for 'mainstream'
Hollywood though.

  1. Coraline
  2. Inglourious Basterds
  3. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
  4. The Hurt Locker
  5. Where the Wild Things Are
  6. The Class
  7. Up
  8. Drag Me to Hell
  9. A Single Man
  10. Funny People
  11. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  12. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" By Sapphire
  13. The Road
  14. (500) Days of Summer
  15. Paranormal Activty