Nick Hornby had it right when he gave us High Fidelity. Life is all about making little lists: Top Ten Films of the Aughts. Top Ten Directors of Importance from 1962. Top Five Most Rockin' Organ Solos of All Time. Top Three Things I Need to Do Today.
Life gives us little lists, and little lists give a sense of purpose -- a sort of identity, a sense of belonging, and a self-aware need for closure and disclosure. I've marveled at the aughts in trying to pick my favorite directors and films. It's a great, grand trip down memory lane. There were truly inspiring film moments, times when ideas lept in splendor from the screen.
There were also moments when the screen reared its ugly teeth and took a gut-wrenching bite at our sides.
Here are two more 00-09 lists, before I settle into my Best Films Groove. As has been mentioned previously in my choice of favorite directors, these memories and decisions are not easy to make. But, wow -- what a great load of fun. To be clear, these are my faves. Not necessarily the most important or the absolute best. And I've taken liberty at some of the categorical definitions in the lists (especially "horror".) But here at Filmsweep I'm aiming for my reaction in and of itself. The following films brought an outright visceral reaction to me over the past ten years, a decade I'd not trade for anything else:
Top 10 Horror Films From the Aughts
1. Audition (Takashi Miike, US release date 2000)
2. Inside (Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, 2007)
3. [REC] (Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, 2007)
4. Irréversible (Gaspar Noé, 2002)
5. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)
6. Haute tension (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
7. Ils (David Moreau and Xavier Palud, 2006)
8. Vacancy (Nimród Antal, 2007)
9. Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)
10. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
With apologies to Turistas, The Strangers, Mum & Dad, P2, The Mist, Eden Lake, Martyrs, Sheitan, Calvaire, Frontière(s), Turistas, 28 Days Later, Wolf Creek and both The Ring and The Grudge, of which the originals are much better.
Ooh, and a special shout out to Jeepers Creepers, which, bad as it is, will always have a fond place in my heart... and A Tale of Two Sisters, which may be the best in the lot, but I have a hard time defining it as horror.
and -- well, not quite as much fun, but still a list --
Top 10 Docs of the Aughts
1. What Would Jesus Buy? (Rob VanAlkemade, 2007)
2. Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher (David Di Sabatino, 2005)
3. Bus 174 (José Padilha, 2002)
4. Stevie (steve James, 2002)
5. Sicko (Michael Moore, 2007)
6. 9/11 (James Hanlon and Rob Klug, 2002)
7. No end in Sight (Charles Ferguson, 2007)
8. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (Stanley Nelson, 2006)
9. Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008)
10. The Bridge (Eric Steel, 2006)
Forgive me Hell House. You are a true love, and you're my # 11.
Forgive me The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Forgive me Lake of Fire. Forgive me 911 Mysteries Part 1: Demolitions.
Forgive me Flow: For Love of Water, Walmart: The High Cost of a Low Price, The Fog of War, When The Levees Broke, Trouble the Water, Spellbound, The Class, The Road to Guantanamo, Wisconsin Death Trip, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, My Flesh and Blood, For The Bible Tells Me So, Why We Fight, The Busniess of Being Born, Born Into Brothels..... and Forgive me, Jesus Camp - much as I hate you.
I have yet to see Collapse, which I think I would enjoy, and 45365, which as an ex-resident I have a vested interest in.
The Top Ten Films of the Aughts will be posted here January 17.