15 February 2010

50 Great Films Seen in 2009

Jane Greer in Jacques Tourneur's excellent Out of the Past (1947).
The most recent film noir to go into my all-time favourites list

I wanted to chalk up a list of films, both feature length and short, out of the 322 that I saw for the first time in 2009 (and that weren't new releases during the year), which I considered to be my favourites of the bunch - or simply great examples of surprising, bold, enjoyable, moving or just exemplary filmmaking. There are 50 films in total, listed alphabetically - all of them worth every minute of my, or indeed anybody's, time.

English language, or most frequently used titles, are in bold; country of origin or significant alternative titles are in italics, followed by directors names and year in parenthesis.

All the World's Memory Toute la mémoire du monde (Alain Resnais/1956) * (s)

Axe Lisa, Lisa (Frederick R. Friedel/1977)
Beyond the Door 2 Shock/Schock (Mario Bava/1979)
The Big Heat (Fritz Lang/1953) *
Bread and Roses (Ken Loach/2000)
Calais: The Last Border (Marc Isaacs/2003) (s)
The Cameraman's Revenge Mest kinematograficheskogo operatora (Wladyslaw Starewicz/1912) (s)
Celine and Julie Go Boating Céline et Julie vont en bateau - Phantom Ladies Over Paris (Jacques Rivette/1974)
Chocolat (Claire Denis/1987)
Deep Red Profondo rosso (Dario Argento/1975) *
Doll Clothes (Cindy Sherman/1975) (s)
Elephant (Alan Clarke/1989) * (s)

Eyes of Laura Mars (Irvin Kershner/1978)
Farewell My Lovely Murder, My Sweet (Edward Dmytryk/1944)
Felicia's Journey (Atom Egoyan/1999)
The Firm (Alan Clarke/1988)
Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock/1972)
Friday Night Vendredi soir (Claire Denis/2002) *
Go West (Edward Buzzell/1940)
Harlan County U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple/1976)
The House by the Cemetery Quella villa accanto al cimitero (Lucio Fulci/1981) *
House of Bamboo (Sam Fuller/1955)
The House of Clocks La casa nel tempo (Lucio Fulci/1989)
Interiors (Woody Allen/1978)
Julia (Erick Zonca/2008)
Late Spring Banshun (Yasujiro Ozu/1949) *
Lift (Marc Isaacs/2001) * (s)

Love and Death (Woody Allen/1975) *
Maniac (William Lustig/1980)
The Naked City (Jules Dassin/1948)
Nothing But a Man (Michael Roemer/1964) *
On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray/1952) *
Out of the Past Build My Gallows High (Jacques Tourneur/1947) *
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick/1957)
Patrick (Richard Franklin/1978) *
Presto (Doug Sweetland/2008) (s)
The Rain People (Francis Ford Coppola/1969) *

Sleepless Non ho sonno (Dario Argento/2001)
The Son Le fils (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne/2002) *
Squirm (Jeff Lieberman/1976)
The Stendhal Syndrome La sindrome di Stendhal (Dario Argento/1996)
Stereo (David Cronenberg/1969) (s)
Stranger on the Third Floor (Boris Ingster/1940)
The Swimmer (Frank Perry/1968) *
Torso I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale (Sergio Martino/1973)
12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet/1957)
Unrelated (Joanna Hogg/2008)
The Vault of Horror (Roy Ward Baker/1973) *
The Virgin Spring Jungfrukällan (Ingmar Bergman/1960) *
The Young Girls of Rochefort Les demoiselles de Rochefort (Jacques Demy, Agnès Varda/1967)

* denotes potential titles for my personal all-time best/favourite films list.
(s) denotes a short film

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