Each summer, legendary film critic and Film Quarterly Writer-at-Large James Naremore provides his retrospective of the best films released in the U.S. during the previous year. Here are excerpts of his top ten Films of the Year, 2010.
Lee Chang-dong’s glorious new film is a major step forward for an already accomplished Korean director. Whereas his previous films are dominated by harrowing psychic and linguistic breakdowns, Poetry involves emotional restraint and a profoundly moving emphasis on eloquence.
The head of a snorting horse juts into view and is abruptly jerked upwards by its as-yet-unseen rider. The camera, traveling at a galloping pace that matches the animal’s, pulls back to reveal the cart the horse is pulling while its owner (János Derzsi), an elderly man, unforgivingly wields his whip.
FEATURES: Films of the Year, 2010; An Interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul; and a survey of contemporary German director Fatih Akin.
READ: Into the Past, Egyptian Stories, Dovzhenko: Folk Tale and Revolution, and Edge of Darkness.
“Come back and we’ll be young men together again,” says Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) to old Saito (Ken Watanabe), who has been trapped in a godforsaken fantasy underworld, at the end of Inception
FEATURES: The traveling films of Hiroshi Shimizu, Rosellini’s Pictorial Histories, an exploration of Inception, and a review of The Social Network.
READ: Homesickness, The Looking Class, Park City Remix, and an interview with Andrei Ujică
FEATURES: A survey of Kathryn Bigelow’s cinema; an interview with Patrick Keiller; a reflection on the links between documentary and avant-garde; and the visionary television shows World on a Wire and Artemis 81
READ: Cristi Puiu Discusses Aurora, At the Edge of History, London Notebook, and Interview with Olivier Assayas
By the end of the Inside Job Q&A with director Charles Ferguson and producer Audrey Marrs at the London Film Festival, October 27, it was clear that this documentary’s account of the colossal and coordinated act of financial malfeasance that led to the present economic crisis had elicited angry responses.
FEATURES: Interviews with Atom Egoyan and Elia Suleiman, and Straub–Huillet’s Radical Cinema
READ: The Kraken Wakes, Empire of the Father, Tears in the Neighborhood, and Jobs Well Done
The uncomfortable thing about the Tribeca Film Festival (April 21-May 2, 2010) is that nobody knows exactly what it is for. This may be a problem that it will never solve. It is not prestigious enough to woo any really good stuff away from Cannes, and in any case Venice and Berlin are always vigilant about picking up that festival’s scraps.