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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 »

Chlotrudis Monday Night at the Movies + Indie Film Round-Up April 2 - 8

Hello Chlotrudis Members!

Gil and Amanda are up as hosts for the Chlotrudis Monday Night at the Movies this week. Please join them at the Kendall Square Cinema for the 7:05 screening of GREENBERG. Ben Stiller stars in the latest film by THE SQUID AND THE WHALE's Noah Baumbach. They'll also be hosting this week's pre-movie dinner at The Friendly Toast at 5:30pm. | 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.

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

Top 10 All the Way from Japan!

Did you know we have a member living in Japan? Tom has sent his Top 10 of 2009 in but he does state, "Remember that the release schedule is different here than in the states. Quite a few movies take a year or two to get here."

The Best 13 hour or so movie

Mad Men Season 3

But seriously, the Best Film of 2009


The Best of the Rest

Summer Wars
Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
Synecdoche, New York
One Piece: Strong World
Kuki Ningyo
Inglorious Basterds
Waltz with Bashir

The Rest of the Best

Uchuu Senkan Yamato: Fukkatsu hen
Sita Sings the Blues
Higashi no Eden: The King of Eden
The Wrestler
Red Cliff pt. 2 (in hindsight, Red Cliff pt. 1 was the best of 2008, but I had forgotten about it)

The "It's every American's solemn duty to punch Peter Jackson in the back of the neck" Award

The Watchmen

The Biggest Disappointment

Chou Gekijou-ban Keroro Gunsou: Gekishin Doragon Woria-zu de arimasu!

The Best Review Ever

Honorable Mention for Kicking Ass

The Yes Men kicking the US Chamber of Commerce to the curb

Japan Needs Brevity

Up!'s Japanese title was Carl-jisan no Sora Tobu Ie, or Old Man Carl's Sky Flying House...