Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Padraic's List of the Best Films of each year that he has been alive

Notes: I'm the part of the younger generation at RFC, so no 1976 for me. I pretty much adopted the 'favorite' designation, so it was fun to see how the movie tastes developed from Action/Comedies when I was a kid, to movies based on inner-city black culture around the early 90s, to the more artisitc and less narrative stuff of the twenty-first century. A quick note on the multiple directors: Spike Lee (3), Bela Tarr (2), Wes Anderson (2), Jim Jarmusch (2), and David Lynch (2). Most shockingly, not a single Scorcese movie on either list despite him generally being recognized as the best director of the era.

Edit - I've also placed in bold the movies that overlap with Sean's list.

1977 – Annie Hall (Maybe with multiple viewings, Stroszeck)

1978 – Deer Hunter (Best Leonard Maltin 2 1/2 star rating - Laserblast)

1979 – Apocalypse Now

1980 - Caddyshack

1981 – Road Warrior

1982 – Burden of Dreams/Fitzcaraldo (I don't care, this counts)

1983 – The Right Stuff (worst year so far: Trading Places and the Chuck Norris vehicle Lonewolf McQuade were both in the running)

1984 – Stranger than Paradise (Hardest Year so far)

1985 – The Breakfast Club (The best of a great year for comedies)

1986 – Blue Velvet (Sad that about five years ago this would have been a contest between Rad and Wildcats)

1987 – Full Metal Jacket (Maybe, maybe The Untouchables)

1988 – Damnation (Just 15 months ago would have been I'm Gonna Git You Sucka)

1989 – Do The Right Thing

1990 – Quick Change

1991 – Boyz n the Hood

1992 – Malcolm X

1993 – Dazed and Confused (Tombstone would have won if I hadn’t seen it again last year, but D&C could also fall of the list if I ever saw it again)

1994 – Quiz Show

1995 – Smoke

1996 – Bottle Rocket

1997 – Contact

1998 – The Thin Red Line

1999 – Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai

2000 – Werkmeister Harmonies

2001 – The Royal Tannenbaums

2002 – 25th Hour

2003 – The Station Agent

2004 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005 – The Squid and the Whale

2006 – Inland Empire

2007 – No Country for Old Men (This could easily go to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in a few years)

2008 – Nicolas Provost Short Film Screening (So far, but I can't see this being topped)


Sean said...

Nice list. Untouchables and Jesse James made my shortlist as well. I might scan and post my shortlist actually...

My only question: Contact?
The only reason I ask is because of our conversation on The Fountain (a movie that very nearly got on my list).

I like the comedy appreciation on the list. Quick Change especially. Murray needs to co-direct a movie again.

Padraic said...

Contact is a fairly straightforward story about the relationship between science and religion, and I think gets right exactly what the response would be to alien invasion. I have no belief in such things - or at least in 'contact' - but the idea served as a useful way to talk about religion, science, and politics. And I love Jodie Foster.

I won't repeat my problems with The Fountain, but it had none of this.

Sean said...

If you mean straightforward as in deathly boring, I agree. And if you're looking for a "what if" movie it doesn't, and likely will never, get any better than Close Encounters. A guy and a tree floating in a space bubble is a much better conversation starter for me than Jodi Foster spending 2 and half plodding hours to talk to an alien posing as her dead dad while strolling down a beach. Talk about mumbo jumbo...

Padraic said...

Well, as directors, Aronovsky > Zemeckis for sure, but as writers, Sagan > Aronovsky.

If you want to argue pacing, etc., that's fine, but there are some real ideas in Contact, not just a mash-up of a dozen pop theories of science and spirituality. (And in case you didn't get it, it wasn't really her dad.)

Padraic said...

blergh, alright, you said "alien posing"...which I missed. I probably have the tools to go in and change that but I'll let the mistake stand.

1997 was a bad year. I think Titanic had me avoiding the theaters that year. And my second choice would be Chasing Amy, and I didn't want to provoke another Kevin Smith rant.

Sean said...

I think I've gone on record for my Chasing Amy appreciation; it's easily his best movie. And I always have hopes that the guy will hit that mark again. His new one Kack and Miri sounds good on paper -- but this is the thing with Smith: all his movies sound good on paper -- it's not until you see the thuddingly blunt translation to screen that you get frustrated with him being so anti-cinematic. If he were a playwright he'd probably be hearalded and esteemed in lofty circles and his name would be bandied about alongside Mamet, and those plays would go on to make brilliant movies directed by people who could make his words sing. For someone so into comic books as Smith is, it's amazing how little sense of shot composition the guy has. I doubt Mamet went to film school either but he knows you need to do more than point the camera at the guy who's talking.

Sorry, did you say something about not wanting a rant?