Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Best of the Year 2010 (Sight & Sound)

Sight & Sound (January 2011), based on a poll of 85 international critics.

1. The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, TH/GB/FR/DE/ES/NL)
3. Another Year (Mike Leigh, GB)
4. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, FR/DE/BG)
5. The Arbor (Clio Barnard, GB)
=6. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, US)
=6. I Am Love / Io sono l'amore (Luca Guadagnino, IT)
=8. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu / Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu (Andrei Ujica, RO)
=8. Film socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, CH/FR)
=8. Nostalgia for the Light / Nostalgia de la luz (Patricio Guzmán, FR/DE/CL)
=8. Poetry / Si (Lee Changdong, KR)
=8. A Prophet / Un prophète (Jacques Audiard, FR/IT)

The most fascinating result of the poll is the extensive compilation of experts' comments in the magazine and, best of all, the complete and unabridged remarks on the Sight & Sound homepage.

In Finland we used to see a good cross-section of the best international films in regular cinema distribution until the 1980s. The last decade was the turning point: most of the films generally voted to be the best of the decade were never released in cinemas, several of them not even on dvd with Finnish subtitles.

In our land festivals such as Midnight Sun Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, and Espoo Ciné have become more and more important venues for the best contemporary cinema. This year, our "best of the decade" cycle in Cinema Orion is different from previous "decade's best" retrospectives because most of the prints had to be imported.

So far only three of the Sight & Sound top ten films of 2010 have been released in Finland (The Social Network, Io sono l'amore, Un prophète). Certainly others have already been and the rest will be screened in Finnish festivals, but festival screenings are not enough. In the festival atmosphere a suitably strange film can flourish. But as a part of a viewing marathon other films may suffer, and there is no chance to select the proper mood for the proper film.

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