Archive for January 7th, 2010

      #1    Far From Heaven (Haynes) USA

far from heaven 2
Julianne Moore and Dennis Haysbert in Todd Haynes’s ‘Far From Heaven’, the new millenium’s best film

by Sam Juliano

          The Wonders in the Dark 2000 to 2009 decade film poll will commence in early April at the conclusion of the marathon silent film poll now underway, and readers will be asked to forward their own Top 25.  Still, with many blogsites posting their ‘best of the decade’ lists this week, I wanted to make sure that this site published such a presentation, even if it’s my own list, and not Allan’s.  (Allan of course will hav ehis capsule reviews up for his Top 100, when the 2000 poll officially commences.  Until then, here is the presently official Top 50 films of the 2000s.  I have also decided to omit commentary, as we’ll have quite a bit of that in April.  Basically I have provided screen grabs and titles.  The numerical listing is solely for drama, as there is only miniscule difference from number to number, if any.  Hence my “Number 50” is nearly as ‘good’ as my “Number 1.”  In fact I am really unconcerned about numerical placement at all, as several films here are actually too “low” and I realized it as I listed, even after deliberation (Eternal Sunshine, Werckmeister Harmonies, Jesse James all too low)  But the point is that I will revise for the April polling.  At this point this is a close enough approximation of my Big 50 of the 2000s.  These are the 50 films that for me, have really raised the bar.

            #2   Son Frere (Chereau) France


             #3   The Fountain (Aronofsky) USA 


             #4  WALL-E   (Stanton)  USA


  #5  The Return of the King (Jackson) NZ.


 #6  Kings and Queen (Despletchin) France

roisetreine.jpg image by franzpatrick

#7  The New World (Malick) USA

#8  Dogville (Von Trier) Denmark

      #9  Bright Star (Campion) Australia


 #10 Tropical Malady (Weerasethakul) Taiwan



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by Allan Fish

(USA 1927 84m) not on DVD

The City is Yours

p  Hector Turnbull  d  Josef Von Sternberg  w  Ben Hecht, George Marion Jnr, Charles Furthman, Robert N.Lee  ph  Bert Glennon  ed  E.Lloyd Sheldon  art  Hans Dreier

George Bancroft (‘Bull’ Weed), Evelyn Brent (‘Feathers’ McCoy), Clive Brook (‘Rolls Royce’ Wensel), Larry Semon (‘Slippy’ Lewis, Fred Kohler (‘Buck’ Mulligan), Helen Lynch (Meg), Jerry Mandy (Paloma), Alfred Allen (judge),

It wasn’t his first Hollywood film – The Salvation Hunters preceded it, along with uncredited work on It and the legendary destroyed Chaplin collaboration A Woman of the Sea – but it was the first true Von Sternberg film.  It’s sometimes seen as the first true gangster film, and though Griffith and Walsh predated it by over a decade, you can see where that opinion came from, for here is the prototype for the pattern that served the genre so well when it awoke from its slumber after the Crash in the early 1930s.  It also was the film after which, as David Thomson observed, Von Sternberg settled for “a private world of light and shade, romance and violence, strong men and mysterious women.” (more…)

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