Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 10 of 2008

1. Happy-Go-Lucky
2. In Bruges

3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

4. The Class
5. Man on Wire

6. Snow Angels

7. The Dark Knight

8. Redbelt

9. Paranoid Park

10. The Wrestler

Honorable Mentions: Beauty in Trouble, Burn After Reading, Revolutionary Road, Shotgun Stories, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Far and Away: A Review of Male and Female

"While Swanson has secured her legacy in cinema thanks to Sunset Boulevard, it’s a great shame that that particular film so often overshadows the rest of her career. In Male and Female, her enunciation appears so perfect that for once in a silent film I could read the performer’s lips routinely and consistently; there was none of the marble-mouthed miming or fast-talking gibberish that so often befuddles viewers. At the same time, her elocution never borders on histrionics. The effect made me feel like I could hear her speaking the lines of dialogue, which makes it all the more tragically ironic that it was the transition to sound cinema that signaled her departure from silver screen popularity."

Click here to read my review at Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Monday, January 05, 2009

'08: The Year in Laughter

"Whenever presented with an open-ended prompt about film, I invariably take the opportunity to preach about the trials and tribulations faced for a comedy. It is my firm belief that comedy is the most undervalued and underappreciated genre in all of film. While other low genres like horror and science fiction are similarly neglected from critic’s best lists and awards show glory, they at least have their cult appreciation and are bestowed with annals upon annals of film theory texts devoted to their deconstruction and analysis. Meanwhile, comedy goes largely unremarked upon in all discourses except box office (even pornography receives more academic scholarship)."

Click here to read my essay surveying notable comedies released in 2008 as part of the year-in-review feature posted at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.