greenbelt: films of the year


a heads up for anyone heading to greenbelt this weekend – i’m doing a film review of the year seminar. here’s my brief thoughts on the themes that have surfaced in the films of past year, along with a draft list of the films that i’ve appreciated the most since last august bank holiday. love to hear your thoughts.

THEMES
angst-ridden artists as the keynote of our time
commitment in relationship matters
post-9/11 cinema
the rudest film ever made
god works for disney
peter jackson has too much power
50 cent’s movies are worth the price of his name
make peace with your own death
the usual waste of time popcorn
smart popcorn
god is at the edges

FILMS
grizzly man
brokeback mountain
junebug
40 year old virgin
an inconvenient truth
the constant gardener
the three burials of melquiades estrada
a history of violence
good night, and good luck
syriana
munich
cache
the new world
paradise now
crash
superman returns
little miss sunshine
thumbsucker
walk the line
the beat that my heart skipped
pavee lackeen the traveller girl

for what it’s worth, my three favourite films of the past year are
junebug
little miss sunshine
the new world

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17 responses to “greenbelt: films of the year

  1. I don’t think I’ve seen three films released in the last 12 months, but I’ll try and make it to your seminar so I can find out about them a year late! :o)

  2. Hi Gareth. Your Greenbelt seminar in 2003 was a big “light-bulb moment” for me! This year I’m looking forward to hearing what you might have to say about Walk the Line, A Cock and Bull Story, Crash, and the Narnia film…..

  3. look at you, you webmaster pro! love the re-design…it looks great.
    hope youre having a great day–give rusty simon & kester my love.

  4. The Harbour of Ourselves

    papa, what did you think of timothy treadwell?

    I know many thought he was some kind of mediator between our kindgdom’s yet Native Indians though thought otherwise, that ultimately he crossed an unspoken boundary that has existed for 7000 years…and maybe because of that, he paid the price. The argument goes on; did he really protect the bears or did he humanize them to the point of disrespecting them, and so doing more damage – that we shouldn’t be habituated to the animal kingdom…my take? I think with the best of intentions this genuine and caring man entered a spiral of destruction, and because of that he lost his life.

    open to offers though…

  5. The Harbour of Ourselves

    ps, might need to crash in your tent again! Oh, sweet joy and rapture…

  6. trevor and i saw little miss sunshine again two nights ago and thought fondly of you.

    hope you’re doing well! we can’t wait to join you at greenbelt next year…

  7. Harbour of Ourselves:
    You beat me to the punch.I was happily surprised to see Grizzly Man on the list and eager to hear others’ thoughts. I think you summed up the Treadwell story pretty well. What a fascinating character, so primal in every way. I don’t think any harm was done by him. Even the girlfriend was old enough to know better. People like this deserve recognition for their contribution to popular culture and I’d much rather celebrate them than say, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It’s always the crazy ones who steer culture in new directions, unfortunately it’s often posthumously so.

  8. I meant to ask you about Kieslowski’s Decalogue when I saw you. Not new, but I thought just recently released onto DVD… seen it? (them?) I am only on film 5.

  9. gareth higgins

    thanks folks – hope those of you who can make it on saturday afternoon will feel free to chip in your thoughts from the floor.

    as for kieslowski…well, not sure i can add anything to what’s already been said. one of the finest; and the decalogue is remarkable.

    and timothy treadwell…i think he was what might best be summed up as ‘different’. he was clearly not mentally stable, if the film is anything to go by; but his passion for nature inspired me to breathe more deeply.

  10. junebug was an outstanding film!

  11. oh, though my body is stuck in a completely uninteresting retreat this whole weekend, I am with you in spirit. maybe next year, I can finally come to Greenbelt.. I’m slightly green with envy in general, but especially when missing what promises to be a grand talk about delicious films. cheers!

  12. Thank You for Smoking is one of my favorite films released this year. I’ve not seen about half of the films in your list, but I will be sure to add them to mine. I especailly want to see Little Miss Sunshine.

  13. for some reason i really did enjoy walk the line….not sure why….i was prepared to fall asleep during it…

  14. David Williamson

    The Beat That My Heart Skipped is one of the most thrilling films I’ve ever seen. It simply does with cinema what could not be achieved in print or as stage – and how many films can we say that about?

    The “deleted scenes” on the DVD are a revelation. Instead of consisting of footage that was quite clearly cut for a very good reason, this consists of miles of footage detailing the narratives of minor characters.

    But in choosing not to make the give the viewer an omniscient view of the film’s universe, we are given a far more eliptical experience – and one far more suited to the title of this film.

  15. David Williamson

    PS Great to see you have a blog – I’ve enjoyed your Third Way writings and heard great reports about New Horizon.

  16. gareth higgins

    if you love the beat that my heart skipped you must see ‘fingers’ – the u.s. film it’s based on from the late seventies – one of the few cases where a remake actually complements the original

  17. Nice, I have seen most of those.