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SKY’S THE LIMIT AS ‘SUNSET’ AND ‘HEAVEN’ WIN PLACE OF HONOR IN CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY’S TOP 50 SEQUELS, TOP 50 REMAKES LISTS

While everyone else looked back to sum up the decade’s trends and fads, the CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT FILM (CSIF) came up with its own twist on ‘everything old is new again’, compiling for its annual year-end Top Film List, the top 50 film remakes AND the top 50 film sequels. Its 100+ membership put at the head of the Top Sequels Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNSET, while Todd Hanynes’ FAR FROM HEAVEN topped the Remakes list. This year’s selection brought out the most spirited and contentious discussions ever, as members compiled their top faves. At times the conversation waxed philosophical as people struggled with the age-old questions ‘when is a remake a reboot, not a remake’, ‘is a prequel a sequel’, and ‘is a third installment a sequel to the original or a sequel to the sequel?’. In the end, CSIF resisted codifying guidelines, and hope the lists spur on your own impassioned debates.

Check out or Top 50 Sequels and Top 50 Remakes of all time!

Amanda's Top 10

Chlotrudis member Amanda Doran isn't one to waste any time! She sent her Top 10 films of 2009 in right away! Here's what she had to say, "There are still a few 2009 films I want to see but here's my Top 10 as of January 1!" Amanda originally hails from Connecticut, but has sought out independent theatres and films in all of the cities she has lived in, including Philadelphia, Austin and now Boston. Here are her top 10 films of 2009!

  1. 35 Shots of Rum
  2. The Hurt Locker
  3. Still Walking
  4. Sugar
  5. Medicine for Melancholy
  6. Cold Souls
  7. Up in the Air
  8. The Class
  9. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
  10. The Maid

The Top 10s Begin

Now that 2009 has come to a close, Chlotrudis members will start to weigh in with their top films of the year. As the Top 10s come in, they will be posted here on the Mewsings blog, and ultimately, all of the Top 10s will appear on Our Favorite Films page.

To kick us off, please enjoy Peg Aloi's lovely, annotated Top 10 of 2009, with a few extras to follow.

  1. AN EDUCATION Intelligent if occasionally dreamy memoir-based coming of age story, perfectly directed by Lone Scherfig and with a breakout performance by Carey Mulligan.
  2. FANTASTIC MR. FOX Wes Anderson's cool, clever, delightful puppet animation with a creative soundtrack and a lovable assortment of woodland creatures that dance, meditate, steal, lie, argue, zone out, and glow.
  3. MOON Stunning debut by Duncan Jones who directs Sam Rockwell as a lonely and increasingly-desperate astronaut stuck in a dead-end gig mining moon fuel.
  4. O'HORTEN Charming but never cute, Bent Hamer's story of a Norwegian train conductor's retirement chugs along with unexpected twists and turns.
  5. BRIGHT STAR Jane Campion paints the love life and demise of John Keats, played with subtle intensity by Ben Whishaw, paired with an impressive Abbie Cornish as his lover Fanny.
  6. L'HEURE D'ETE (SUMMER HOURS) Olivier Assayas helms this story of three siblings who decide to sell the family's country estate after the death of their mother, and revisits the tone and themes of his earlier masterpiece L'eau Froid.
  7. IN THE LOOP Sure-handed feature debut by Armando Iannucci: hilarious, sharp and vicious parody in the style of The Office, set in London and Washington, DC, with a uniformly wonderful cast including Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander and Gina McKee.
  8. STAR TREK From the slutty green-skinned girl to the doomed red-shirted officer, J. J. Abrams' prequel abounds with delicious references to the original TV series, and the casting is truly inspired.
  9. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Who knew our little Quentin had an epic in him? It's not perfect, but it's damned fine, with some truly inspired visual and aural moments.
  10. SIN NOMBRE Cary Fukunaga's story of several Mexican families affected by the pervasive control of the drug cartels: brutal, shocking, and hard to shake off.

Best performances of 2009: Carey Mulligan (AN EDUCATION); Tom Hardy (BRONSON); Christoph Waltz (INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS); Meryl Streep (JULIE & JULIA); Sam Rockwell (MOON); Michael Sheen (THE DAMNED UNITED)

Best Ensemble Cast: IN THE LOOP

Highest Hopes, Biggest Disappointments: ZOMBIELAND; MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS; PONYO.

Honorable Mentions: A SERIOUS MAN; ADVENTURELAND; THE DAMNED UNITED; BRONSON; (500) DAYS OF SUMMER; THE ROAD; TWO LOVERS

Best Documentaries: FOOD, INC.; CRUDE; CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

Best Directorial Debut: Duncan Jones (MOON)

Best Score: THE ROAD (Nick Cave)

Best Costumes: BRIGHT STAR, THE YOUNG VICTORIA, NINE

The (Apparently) Best Movie I Haven’t Seen Yet: THE HURT LOCKER

Hilary Weighs In With Her Top 10!

(in alphabetical order)

4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS
CHRIS AND DON: A LOVE STORY
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN
I´VE LOVED YOU SO LONG
IN BRUGES
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
MAN ON WIRE
MILK
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
YOUNG@HEART

Best Performance By Something Other Than A Person: The cats from LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

A Top 10 List in Progress

From Philip in CT, "I still have 17 films from 2008 I'd like to see. I saw 22 of the eligible films so far this year, which is a huge leap for me from last year. Hopefully 2009 will be even better.

Thanks,
Philip

Meanwhile, here's my Top 10 List for 2008 (so far...)"

  1. HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
  2. MILK
  3. FROZEN RIVER
  4. THE COUNTERFEITERS
  5. ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE
  6. BEFORE I FORGET
  7. THE VISITOR
  8. BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER*
  9. WILD COMBINATION: A PORTRAIT OF ARTHUR RUSSELL
  10. MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY

Top 10 from Manhattan!

Bruce is our New York City Board member, and he's sent his Top 10 along for your perusal...

  1. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS
  2. ALEXANDRA
  3. LOVE SONGS
  4. XXY
  5. THE ORDER OF MYTHS
  6. CHRIS AND DON: A LOVE STORY
  7. I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG
  8. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
  9. MY WINNIPEG
  10. REPRISE

The Sixteen in the Top 10!

For my year-end list, I always have a somewhat arbitrary cut-off point numerically for my Top 10, but it's actually not all that arbitrary. These 16 films are the best of the year's films for me... the ones that made the most impact and from there there is a definitive drop-off. So without further ado...

  1. Jellyfish
  2. Let the Right One In
  3. My Winnipeg
  4. Synecdoche, New York
  5. The Tracey Fragments
  6. Monkey Warfare
  7. Happy-Go-Lucky
  8. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
  9. The Visitor
  10. I've Loved You So Long
  11. Chris & Don: A Love Story
  12. Blindness
  13. The Axe in the Attic
  14. XXY
  15. Billy the Kid
  16. The Band's Visit

Peg Offers Up 8 Films to Remember from 2008

There are a lot of "big" films I haven't seen yet and some that have been getting way too much attention, so I will focus simply on what I liked best so far.

In no particular order:

  1. Synechdoche, New York (Heartbreaking, provocative, sad, funny, horrific, inscrutable, distressingly strange and achingly authentic--if this film does not cement Charlie Kaufman's reputation as a true cinema auteur, nothing will.)
  2. Iron Man (Not an action film or comics buff by nature, I loved this, its hammy performances and stunning special effects, and it was great to see Robert Downey, Jr. in such fine form.)
  3. Doubt (John Patrick Shanley brings a theatre director's intensity and subtlety to this intense chamber piece, full of dreariness and misplaced passion; it often feels like it's not a film at all, but some sort of diorama, that makes us tilt our heads and draw up our collars and cluck our tongues in sympathy.)
  4. Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (I have been bothered by critics who have dismissed this out of hand for its admittedly heavy-handed conceit; but the film itself is beautifully-balanced and the acting is very strong, particularly David Thewlis as a reasonable man asked to do insane things, who ought to be conflicted but isn't. This film is suspenseful and unforgettable.)
  5. Happy-go-lucky (I have been a fan of "newcomer" Sally Hawkins for years now and she's a wonder in this role where a lesser actress might have seemed shallow. Mike Leigh continues to improve with age, refining his mise-en-scene and adding unexpected touches this time around: a colorful palette, conversational Altmanesque dialogue, moments of gentle inconsequentiality punctuated with sputtering rage. Eddie Marsdan has the face of a troglodyte and the soul of a poet and is easily one of the finest English actors working now.)
  6. Under the Same Moon (Charming, contagious, white-knuckle storytelling full of sentimental silliness. A boy travels from Mexico to Los Angeles to find his mother meeting every possible misfortune along the way with humor and aplomb; simply delightful.)
  7. Khadak (Minimal, mythic, desolate and depressing. The story of a young shaman forced to leave his pastoral village for a bleak urban existence, and the young rebels he encounters there. Brutal yet uplifting.)
  8. 8. Milk (Just awesome.)

That's all I got for now. Maybe more when I get caught up on some viewing.

One from Japan...

Tom sends his Top 10 in from Japan... and as one might suspect, the films he gets to see are a little different that ours. Here's what he has to say.

I know that Lars and Blood came out in 2007 in the States, but we were busy in the last months of 2007 and they opened in Tokyo in 2008. My fave movie of 2006 is opening next week here.


The Best

20th Century Boys

The Best of the Rest

Gaku no Ue no Ponyo
Wall-E
Aruitemo Aruitemo
Lars and the Real Girl
The Sky Crawlers
Genius Party/Genius Party Beyond

The Rest of the Best

The Magic Hour
K-20: Kaijin 20-menso
Chou Gekijoban Keroro Gunso 3: Keroro vs. Keroro Tenku Dai Kessen de arimasu!
Major: Yujo no Winning Shot
There Will Be Blood
Recount

Biggest Disappointment

GS Wonderland

The "Please go away, Natalie Portman" Award

Natalie Portman

You think US move ticket prices are insane?

1800yen (US$18) to see a movie anywhere in Tokyo

Honorable Mention for Kicking Ass

Gene Simmons in Detroit Metal City

The greatest moment of my life

Meeting the director of Godzilla vs The Smog Monster

Sig of the Year

"Go! Metal Buffalo!"

And so it begins.. Chlotrudis Members Pick Their Top Movies of 2008!

As the calendar page turns we look back at the previous year's films to pick our favorites. Now unlike the critics, Chlotrudis members usually report on their Top films of the previous year several weeks into the new year in order to see as many eligible films as possible. However the first entries of the year come from TC Kirckham and Kim Brown aka Popcorn 'n Roses have their own podcast called Subject:Cinema, and they're sent in their Top lists for 2008 already! They were the first Chlotrudis members to do so!

TC Kirkham, Co-Host
Subject:CINEMA
Baker's Dozen of 2008 (in alphabetical order):

Charlie Bartlett
Cloverfield
Crawford
The Dark Knight
The Forbidden Kingdom
Frost/Nixon
Iron Man
Milk
My Winnipeg
Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist
Paranoid Park (pictured right)
Speed Racer
WALL-E

Kim Brown, Co-host
Subject:CINEMA
Top 10 of 2008 (in alphabetical order):

Charlie Bartlett
The Dark Knight
In Bruges
Iron Man
Mamma Mia
My Winnipeg (pictured right)
Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist
Paranoid Park
Speed Racer
Tropic Thunder