Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Almost There...

So, I set a goal of watching at least 100 films from 2007, and right now I'm at 91, so I think between now and the 31st I can manage to squeeze in 9 more (including the one I have from Netflix right now.)

Around New Year's, I will hope to do a top 100 based on what I could see. October was crowded with releases that I missed due to piling on too many movies at one time and a busy social calendar, and most of those films are not coming out on DVD until February. On top of that, thanks to the platform release schedule so many films opt for, a lot of films like Atonement and There Will be Blood won't be opening here until early '08. But I feel fairly confident that I'll have seen everything I intend to see by early March.

Until then, I will say that thia fall has really redeemed the year in film, unexpectly so. Of the top 10 I originally posted, only one remains, and a lot of my rankings have changed based upon subsequent viewings and more time to think about them.

But, if nothing else, I just wanted to post something to keep both of my readers satisfied.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm Not There (2007)


So, I caught this one last night, and it was really an odd experience. I still haven't quite solidified all of my thoughts on this one, but in part, that's a big reason why I like it. It's because I'm still thinking of it today. While there are so many films that come out and are just.... fucking worthless, for a lack of a more tasteful way of stating it, there are far more that are fine, but just roll off my back. I feel like I can mark it off the list of films I've seen and then I forget about it.

And for better or for worse, this isn't one of those films. This is a film that you either dig or you don't. And I definitely dug it. Now, this isn't to say that it's the best film I've ever seen or that it'll make my year-end top 10. Hell, it wasn't even the best film I saw this week (No Country For Old Men takes that honor), but it's just a rare film that really challenged me, and I appreciate that.

When going into movies, I try not to read on too much plotwise on a film. I'd rather be surprised, even with the most basic of plot developments. So, in approaching this movie, I anticipated a Palindromes-like take on a Bob Dylan biopic, which isn't what I got. Even though they are billing it as such, the six principal actors aren't representing Bob Dylan at all, but rather six fictionalized characters that are sort of "inspired by" Bob Dylan. And their stories are interspersed to form a very non-linear film that is alternately fascinating and frustrating.

My best advice is to sit back, take it as it comes, and not analyze or try to construct something out of it. For me, it just seems futile to even try. It's too all over the place, and there's very little through which to link these stories. Yet somehow, despite liking some segments more than others, I found it to be a pretty interesting film as a whole, even though impatience set in at times.

While this film is probably most notable in the pop culture right now for the gimmick of having Cate Blanchett play "Bob Dylan," I was more impressed with others. In particular, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Julianne Moore in a brief, but memorable, featured turn during the Christian Bale segment.

It's actually a pretty beautifully filmed piece as well, especially during Franklin's segment and Richard Gere's segment (although his is the most "WTF?" of them all). The film falters a little bit by overstaying its welcome by a good half hour and occasionally going off on to limbs that can't support it at times, but even in its failures, it's spectacularly interesting. So, it's flawed as hell, but quite fascinating too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cineworld: The Good, The Bad, and The In-Between

I finally wrapped up the Cineworld Film Festival, so here are some advanced thoughts on some of the films that may or may not be coming to a theater near you. I'll turn the titles of each of the films into links for the trailers (where available) for handy reference.

The first film was called Chronicle of an Escape. It's a solid little film, but nothing I would encourage you to go out of your way for. It's about a group of political prisoners in Argentina during the late 70s, and stars Rodrigo de la Serna, who you may remember from The Motorcycle Diaries. I liked it just fine, and I wasn't bored while watching it, but nothing terribly earthshattering going on here, so I'd probably Netflix it. (All I can find is a French trailer at the moment).

The following film, The Betrayal, was quite good, though it's been languishing for years without distribution. It's about the Franco-Algerian conflict, and specifically about the conflicts at play within a military regiment with several Algerian soliders. It was one of those films that left you with a lot to chew on afterward. (No trailer available)

The first day concluded with Persepolis, which at this stage in the game, is my favorite film of 2007 so far. I just absolutely loved this film. It's animated, but it's most definitely an adult film about a young girl growing up in Iran amid the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Despite so many heavy things going on, it's imbued with a healthy sense of humor, and I really enjoyed this film like nothing else I've seen this year. And France has submitted this one for the foreign language Oscar, and I hope this one wins.

The following day, I saw what is being billed as this year's "little indie that could" a la Little Miss Sunshine. And I'm pleased to say that with Juno... believe the hype. It's great. I haven't laughed this hard in a film in quite some time. The writing is sharp, it's quick witted, but also very sweet at times too. One of my favorite comedies in a long time. I've read that this will be opening locally in Tampa on Christmas Day.

That film was followed by Son of Rambow, which will be opening next summer. It's a cute film, but a little too geared toward kids than I care for. So, there's some requisite silliness and corniness to it, so while I might not recommend it, if you have kids, they might appreciate it.

Finally, Day 2 closed with The Band's Visit (click on "Media" for the trailer). The trailer for the film isn't that great, but it's a charming film that I really enjoyed a lot. And I appreciated that for a film with Israeli and Arab characters, there was no politicizing their various issues in the film. Just a very sweet natured film that I'd recommend.

The third day started out with yet another high note with The Savages. It stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as a pair of siblings who are forced to deal with their estranged father after his girlfriend dies, and the writing is on the wall that he's gotten to a place where he can no longer take care of himself and that he's slipping into dementia, and with it, a lot of sibling rivalries and uncomfortable topics from their past comes bubbling back to the surface. Exceptionally well acted and written.

After that, I saw The Counterfeiters, which on the surface may seem like "just another Holocaust movie," but it's so much more. A very different story with a lot of unique moral dilemmas. Austria submitted this for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, and I think it would be a very deserving nominee. So, I was glad to begin end the first weekend on a high note.

And while the first weekend ended with a bang, the second weekend opened with a thud. Barbet Schroeder's documentary, Terror's Advocate, was an absolute disaster. And it's a shame, because the material he had to work with was there. It's a documentary about a criminal attorney named Jacques Verges, who has represented some of the most vile, reprehensible characters in modern history. But you'd never know that these stories were of any interest based on the film. It's tedious, convoluted, and pretty uninteresting film, and Verges is such a smug, arrogant ass that I really lost interest in hearing him speak. And while I might chalk this up to a personal issue with the film, I have never seen more people get up and leave a film in my life.

Fortunately, I followed this film with The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, which was far better. Pretentious title aside, this was a remarkable true story that, like director Julian Schnabel's previous films Basquiat and Before Night Falls, sidesteps the Hollywood biopic template that is often seen in films like Ray and Walk The Line, and highlights a life of which I knew nothing about. In this case, it is the life of Jean-Dominique Bauby, an editor for Elle magazine in France, who suffers a stroke, damaging his brain stem so that all he can move is his left eyelid. And by reciting the alphabet using a chart that orgainzes the letters in terms of frequency of usage, he is able to blink out his entire memoirs by having someone recite the letters and blinking on the correct letter.

The film largely takes place in Bauby's mind through memory and imagination since those are the only things he has left. It's visually stunning and well done. Very well worth your time.

On the final day, I started with They Turned Our Desert Into Fire, which will not be hitting a theater near you. The director, Mark Brecke, is traveling around with it at film festivals and college lectures, and it appears to be PBS-bound. But it was a well told film about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. What is happeninig now, what led to it, and the political entanglements that are preventing much of anything from happening. Brecke is a photographer more than he is a filmmaker, but he has been covering Darfur and using his photos to do almost a grassroots version of An Inconvenient Truth by showing these photos and telling the stories to passengers on an Amtrack train and recording their reactions to it all. There are also some activists and politicos who weigh in with tremendous insight as well.

While I had a passing understanding of what was happening in Darfur and with the Sudanese refugees, I think I have a better understanding of the whole picture now, and if you can catch it, I recommend checking it out.

The festival concluded, for me at least, with Sidney Lumet's Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, which didn't work as well as I'd hoped. The acting is all fine and the story is there, but some of the directorial choices sort of sank it for me. Lumet employed some irritating tactics to make it needlessly repetitive and it's just a film where Lumet doesn't give the audience enough credit for being able to read between the lines and figure things out on their own. Instead, he has to go back and spell things out for you, and it's usually done to make sure you got it and remove any possible ambiguity, where I don't feel it existed in the first place. It's not horrible, but I think it could have been a far better movie than what I saw on screen.

I love going down for the festival, and would encourage you to go, if even for an afternoon if you can make it. And I'm glad I went this year since it was mostly a strong line up. But right now, in the comforts of home, I'm also kind of glad that it's all over for this year.

Monday, November 5, 2007

60 Films in 6 Months

No matter how big of a cinephile one might consider themselves, we all have some big, gaping, black holes of films we "should have" seen, but for whatever reason never did. And I'm no different. While I think I'm more well versed in cinema than the average moviegoer, and I certainly have no qualms about tackling different kinds of film, there are some major films I've just never seen.

Over the past few years, I've created lists of films that I promise myself that I'm going to see, generally taking the approach that if I catch one per week, I could feasibly tackle 52 films. And while that doesn't seem that daunting, I never quite got the motivation to do finish the task in years gone by.

So, this year, what I decided to do is to make a list of directors that interested me and take that approach, and it clicked. I started on the list I set out for myself in May, and actually expanded upon it to come up with 60. Each of the directors were chosen for a reason: Some were directors I knew I needed to see at least something from. Others were directors from whom I'd only seen a couple and wanted a firmer grasp on their work. And others still were ones that I'd seen the bulk of their work, but I wanted to fill in the big blanks. And I finished last night. So, here are the ones I caught, first listing the director, and then the particular films I watched, and the grades I assigned them.

Prior to expanding upon his fiomography, I saw one incredible film (Time To Leave), and two interesting films where one ultimately worked (Under The Sand) and one ultimately didn't (Swimming Pool).
I watched:
5x2: B
Water Drops on Burning Rocks: C-
8 Women: B+

I'd only seen Le Cercle Rouge, and found it to be a movie that just oozed this cool as hell vibe. And with Army of Shadows finally getting released in America, the time was right.
I watched:
Le Samourai: B+
Army of Shadows: A-
Bob le Flambeur: B-

He was an interesting case becuase I'd seen two of his films: Cache, which is one of the best films this decade has had to offer, and The Piano Teacher, which, despite an amazing performance by Isabelle Huppert, is one of my most despised films of the decade. So I needed to see more, and I'm so happy I did.
I watched:
Funny Games: A-
Code Unknown: C+
Time of the Wolf: A-

I'd seen only two of his films as well before coming into this. Damage, which I loved when I saw it, but it has admittedly been awhile, and Vanya on 42nd Street, which is also good, but I can't say I love it.
I watched:
Elevator to the Gallows: A-
Au Revoir Les Enfants: B
Atlantic City: C+

Now, it's worth mentioning that when I was hitting my cinematic awakenings as a teen, Allen was in a creative lowpoint. So I just never bothered to go back and check out his earlier works. Now, I did love Bullets Over Broadway, but those was surrounded by years and years of garbage. But after falling in love (well, maybe just a crush) with Match Point, I figured it was time:
I watched:
Crimes & Misdemeanors: A-
The Purple Rose of Cairo: A
Hannah and Her Sisters: B-
Annie Hall: A
Interiors: B+
Manhattan: C
Husbands & Wives: A-

I'd never really seen Fassbinder before. I tried to catch The Marriage of Maria Braun before, but it was a disastrous experience, and I'll just refrain from elaborating further. So, I caught only a part of that film. But his films were among the ones I really wanted to catch up on.
I watched:
The Marriage of Maria Braun: B+
Veronika Voss: A-
Lola: C
Ali: Fear Eats The Soul: A
Chinese Roulette: C-
In A Year With 13 Moons: B-
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant: C

I'd seen most of the "big dogs" from his filmography, and even most of the minor ones. But there were a handful of earlier films I never caught, so I basically saw everything I need to now:
I watched:
The King of Comedy: B+
After Hours: A-
The Last Temptation of Christ: B
Mean Streets: B-
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore: B

I've really loved some of his films, and I can't think of any I flat out hated. But there were some big gaps in what I missed, so I added him mostly out of having caught a lot of his 70s, 90s, and 00s, films, but not the 80s.
I watched:
Gallipoli: B+
The Year of Living Dangerously: A-
The Mosquito Coast: B+

I wanted to see more, becuase, I think he is a fucking amazing director for the most part. And sorry if I jump on a soapbox here, but I think he is so unfairly maligned because of the statutory rape issue. Was it wrong? Sure, of course it was. But I also bear in mind the fact that, say had my pregnant wife been butchered by the Manson Family, I might lapse into a period of self-destruction and I might make the wrong decisions as well. The girl doesn't hold a grudge, and even publicly stated so. Why do people have such a hard time letting go of this shit? Anyway... the man has directed some of the classics of the past 50 years, from Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown all the way up to The Pianist. But there were a few I wanted to catch:
I watched:
Repulsion: A-
Bitter Moon: B+
The Tenant: D

I've never been overly impressed with his work, but I had to watch The Up Series. It consists of 7 films, and I've elaborated on it previously. But for this, I won't elaborate on a specific segment, but I give the series an A+

Ok... so here comes the most embarrassing admission. I never saw The Godfather movies until now. I'm not a huge mafia film kind of guy, and they weren't available on DVD for so long. I'd seen some later shit, but shit was basically the operative word there. And, rather than waste anytime on the third installment, which seemed to me to be a desperate attempt to reclaim his glory days, I watched a replacement that I saw when I was way too young, and it was time to revisit.
I watched:
The Godfather: A-
The Godfather Part II: B
Apocalypse Now: A

I managed to see most of the films from the later years, but the earlier films never quite happened until now. So...

I watched:
M*A*S*H: B+
Nashville: B+
Three Women: B

I'd never seen anything, and though I picked him prior to his passing this year, his death made it seem more urgent that I see his films.
I watched:
L'Avventura: A-
L'Eclisse: C+
L'Notte: B+
Blow Up: B

Again, another I never saw anything from. But I love Spanish cinema, and his relationship with Salvador Dali further intrigued me.
I watched:
Un Chien Andelou: B
L'Age D'Or: B-
Diary of a Chambermaid: B+
Belle De Jour: A-
The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie: C+
That Obscure Object of Desire: B+

I was originally thinking I'd elaborate further on the films, but there are just too many. So, the letter grades can suffice for now.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cineworld Time!!!

One of my favorite things about the fall is going to the Cineworld Film Festival down in Sarasota. This will be my fourth year attending, and I've managed to catch some amazing films there over the years.

Generally, it is a mix of anticipated fall films that I get to see early on so hype doesn't spoil them for me and films that I selected knowing nothing more than that they happened to play at a convenient time based on the films that drew me there that day in the first place. And they usually do a retrospective or two, though I've seen almost every film they're doing retrospective-wise this year.

So, I purchased my 12-ticket pass, and here are the films I selected, in the order I'll be viewing them. For better or for worse, the synopsis of each film provided below is not my own writing, I just copied and pasted their descriptions. Since these films are all pretty much future releases, trailers are not always available, but I linked to them where I could find them, so if you see a title highlighted in green, you can link to the trailer from there.

DAY 1 - November 9

Chronicle of an Escape (French Trailer)
Directed by Adrian Caetano

The goalkeeper of a little-known soccer team is kidnapped by a Argentinean government squad and sent to a detention center. After months of torture, he plots his escape with three other young men.

The Betrayal
Directed by Philippe Faucon

An understated, tautly constructed war story The Betrayal takes a timely look back to the 1960 Algerian war of independence. The title refers to divided loyaltiesthat threaten to tear apart a French army unit made up of mutually suspicious European colonizers and Algerian Arabs.

The Betrayal pulls off the difficult task of doing justice to opposing positions while withholding enough information to maintain suspense.

Persepolis (click on "Video" for the trailer)
Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Persepolis is the poignant coming-of-age tale of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl whose story begins during the Islamic revolution. We meet nine-year-old Marjane when the fundamentalists first take power -- forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands; follow her as she cleverly outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden, while living with the terror of government persecution and the Iran/Iraq war. She moves to Austria as a teenager, where her parents send her to school in fear for her safety and, she has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape.

Day 2 - November 10

Directed by Jason Reitman

Juno stars Ellen Page as the title character, a whip-smart teen confronting an unplanned pregnancy by her classmate Bleeker (Cera). With the help of her hot best friend Leah (Thirlby), Juno finds her unborn child a "perfect" set of parents: an affluent suburban couple, Mark and Vanessa (Bateman and Garner), longing to adopt. Luckily, Juno has the total support of her parents (Simmons and Janney) as she faces some tough decisions, flirts with adulthood and ultimately figures out where she belongs.

Son of Rambow
Directed by Garth Jennings

A nostalgic trip back to the 1980s, Son of Rambow is an inventive valentine to an era where young minds had access to technology that allowed them to create their own stories while paying homage to their heroes from the movies that inspired them. Will, who isn't allowed to watch TV or go to the movies, expresses himself through his drawings and illustrations until he finds himself caught up in the extraordinary world of Lee Carter, the school terror and crafter of bizarre home movies. Carter exposes Will to a pirated copy of the first Rambo film, First Blood, which blows his mind wide open. Against his family's orders, his imaginative little brain begins to flower in the world of filmmaking. Will and Lee become popular at school through their films, but when a French exchange student, Didier Revol, arrives on the scene, their unique friendship and precious film are pushed to the breaking point.

The Band's Visit (click on "Media)
Directed by Eran Kolirin

Once, not long ago, a small Egyptian Police band arrived in Israel. They came to play at an initiation ceremony but, due to bureaucracy, bad luck, or for whatever reason, they were left stranded at the airport. They tried to manage on their own, only to find themselves in a desolate, almost forgotten, small Israeli town, somewhere in the heart of the desert. A lost band in a lost town. Not many people remember this. It wasn't that important.

Day 3 - November 11

The Savages
Directed by Tamara Jenkins

The last thing the two Savage siblings ever wanted to do was look back on their undeniably dysfunctional family legacy. Wendy (Academy Award® nominee Laura Linney) is a self medicating struggling East Village playwright, AKA a temp who spends her days applying for grants and stealing office supplies, dating her very married neighbor. Jon (Academy Award® winner Philip Seymour Hoffman) is an obsessive compulsive college professor writing obscure books on even more obscure subjects in Buffalo who still can’t commit to his girlfriend after four years even though her cooking brings him tears of joy. Then, out of the blue, comes the call that changes everything – the call that informs them that the father they have long feared and avoided, Lenny Savage (Tony Award® winner Philip Bosco), has lost his marbles. And there is no one to help him but his kids. Now, as they put the middle of their already arrested lives on hold, Wendy and Jon are forced to live together under one roof for the first time since childhood, soon rediscovering the eccentricities that drove each other crazy. Faced with complete upheaval and the ultimate sibling rivalry battle over how to handle their father’s final days, they are forced to face the past and finally start to realize what adulthood, family and, most surprisingly, each other are really about.

The Counterfeiters
Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky

The true story of Salomon Sorowitsch, counterfeiter extraordinaire and bohemian. After getting arrested in a German concentration camp in 1944, he agrees to help the Nazis in an organized counterfeit operation set up to help finance the war effort. It was the biggest counterfeit money scam of all times. Over 130 million pound sterling were printed, under conditions that couldn’t have been more tragic or spectacular. During the last years of the war, as the German Reich saw that the end was near, the authorities decided to produce their own banknotes in the currencies of their major war enemies. They hoped to use the duds to flood the enemy economy and fill the empty war coffers. At the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, two barracks were separated from the rest of the camp and the outside world, and transformed into a fully equipped counterfeiters workshop. “Operation Bernhard” was born. Prisoners were brought to Sachsenhausen from other camps to implement the plan: professional printers, fastidious bank officials and simple craftsmen all became members of the top-secret counterfeiter commando. They had the choice: if they cooperated with the enemy, they had a chance to survive, as first-class prisoners in a “golden cage” with enough to eat and a bed to sleep in. If they sabotaged the operation, a sure death awaited them. For the counterfeiters, it was not only a question of saving their own lives, but also about saving their conscience as well.

Day 4 - November 16

Terror's Advocate
Directed by Barbet Schroeder

Barbet Schroeder (Murder by Numbers) helms this harrowing documentary about Jacques Vergès, one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. After an unexplained absence of nearly a decade, Vergès returned to defend such notorious characters as Carlos the Jackal and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie. Schroeder gained access to several former clients of Vergès, who have never before given such candid interviews on camera. He take us into their shadow world where one country's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Vergès first came to prominence during Algeria's struggle for independence in the fifties. Schroeder frames Vergès's subsequent career as a continual attempt to recapture this heroic era of romance and anti-colonial struggle, whatever the price. Schroeder has said he approaches his fiction films like documentaries and his documentaries like fiction. Terror's Advocate, plays out like a gripping detective story where the mysteries are manifold and the characters larger than life. But the stakes feel even more dramatic for being real.

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Directed by Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls) won the Best Director prize at Cannes for this biopic about French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby. After a stroke and coma leave him completely paralyzed, Bauby communicates both conversation and an entire memoir by using only his left eye.

Day 5 - November 17

They Turned Our Desert Into Fire
Directed by Mark Brecke

Mark Brecke's They Turned Our Desert Into Fire tells the story of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan through the perspectives of Amtrak passengers during a three-day, cross-country train trip. In dramatic contrast to the benign American landscape outside the train, Mark's photographic images of desolation, death, and human suffering in the burned out villages of Darfur and refugee camps of Chad confront one after another of twelve train passengers. Complementing the photographs are moving accounts of Mark's experiences and a comprehensive expert analysis, which illuminates the full dimensions of the crisis and raises serious questions about the world's apparently willful indifference to it. For the twelve passengers, and thus the film's audience, a cross-country train trip becomes an enlightening and emotional journey through an indifferent American media landscape into the heart of the Darfur tragedy.

Before The Davil Knows You're Dead
Directed by Sidney Lumet

Master filmmaker Sidney Lumet directs this absorbing suspense thriller about a family facing the worst enemy of all – itself. Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Andy, an overextended broker who lures his younger brother, Hank (Ethan Hawke) into a larcenous scheme: the pair will rob a suburban mom-and-pop jewelry store that appears to be the quintessential easy target. The problem is, the store owners are Andy and Hank’s actual mom and pop and, when the seemingly perfect crime goes awry, the damage lands right at their doorstep. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei plays Hoffman’s trophy wife, who is having a clandestine affair with Hawke, and the stellar cast also includes Albert Finney as the family patriarch who pursues justice at all costs, completely unaware that the culprits he is hunting are his own sons. A classy, classic heist-gone-wrong drama in the tradition of “The Killing” and Lumet’s own “The Anderson Tapes,” Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is smart enough to know that we often have the most to fear from those who are near and dear.

And just for shits and giggles, here are the films I've caught in previous years...

Summer Palace
Beauty In Trouble
Days of Glory
Ten Canoes
Avenue Montaigne
12:08 East of Bucharest
The Lives of Others
Family Law
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing
Rescue Dawn

El Crimen Perfecto
The Squid And The Whale
Unknown White Male
Why We Fight
Breakfast on Pluto
Darwin's Nightmare
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Take My Eyes
Lonesome Jim

A Talking Picture
A Very Long Engagement
Bad Education
Imaginary Heroes
Les Choiristes
Purple Butterfly
The Assassination of Richard Nixon
The Machinist
The Woodsman

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Year In Film So Far...

So, now that we are entering the homestretch of the movie year, when conventional wisdom has it that the best films of the year will finally open, I figure I would go through and rank everything I've seen at this point.

I have to say that I've been a little underwhelmed by this year's offerings so far, but there are a few on their way that I'm hoping will redeem the year in film. But as of today, here are the 52 films I've seen so far and where they fall (click on the title for the trailer):

01. Ten Canoes (dir. Rolf de Heer)

02. Sicko (dir. Michael Moore)

03. Once (dir. John Carney)

04. The Bourne Ultimatum (dir. Paul Greengrass)

05. The Lookout (dir. Scott Frank)

06. Offside (dir. Jafar Panahi)

07. Eastern Promises (dir. David Cronenberg)

08. A Mighty Heart (dir. Michael Winterbottom)

09. My Best Friend (dir. Patrice Leconte)

10. No End In Sight (dir. Charles Ferguson)

11. Away From Her (dir. Sarah Polley)

12. The Wind That Shakes The Barley (dir. Ken Loach)

13. Talk To Me (dir. Kasi Lemmons)

14. Paris Je T'Aime (dir. Various)

15. Knocked Up (dir. Judd Apatow)

16. The Valet (dir. Francis Veber)

17. You Kill Me (dir. John Dahl)

18. Waitress (dir. Adrienne Shelley)

19. Hot Fuzz (dir. Edgar Wright)

20. 28 Weeks Later (dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)

21. Jindabyne (dir. Ray Lawrence)

22. Severance (dir. Christopher Smith)

23. Black Snake Moan (dir. Craig Brewer)

24. Private Fears In Public Places (dir. Alain Resnais)

25. The Boss Of It All (dir. Lars Von Trier)

26. The Simpsons Movie (dir. David Silverman)

27. Avenue Montaigne (dir. Danièle Thompson)

28. Superbad (dir. Greg Mottola)

29. After The Wedding (dir. Susanne Bier)

30. Bug (dir. William Friedkin)

31. Breach (dir. Billy Ray)

32. Zodiac (dir. David Fincher)

33. Black Book (dir. Paul Verhoeven)

34. 2 Days In Paris (dir. Julie Delpy)

35. 12:08 East of Bucharest (dir. Corneliu Porumboiu)

36. Reno 911: Miami (dir. Ben Garant)

37. Day Night Day Night (dir. Julia Lektov)

38. 300 (dir. Zach Snyder)

39. Stephanie Daley (dir. Hilary Brougher)

40. The Host (dir. Joon-ho Bong)

41. Crazy Love (dir. Dan Klores/Fisher Stevens)

42. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (dir. Dennis Dugan)

43. The Invasion (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel)

44. Sunshine (dir. Danny Boyle)

45. Zoo (dir. Robinson Devor)

46. Golden Door (dir. Emanuele Crialese)

47. Broken English (dir. Zoe Cassavettes)

48. Boy Culture (dir. Q. Allan Brocka)

49. Year of the Dog (dir. Mike White)

50. La Vie En Rose (dir. Oliver Dahan)

51. Fracture (dir. Gregory Hoblit)

52. Rescue Dawn (dir. Werner Herzog)