7.22.2010

BENNETT INVENTORY : Jess's Top 10 Films of the 2000s

   When I was six, I told my teacher that I wanted to be just like Tim Burton when I grew up. This was around the time that I was unabashedly obsessed with Beetlejuice. I would watch as much of it before school as possible and cap the day with as many viewings as I could stay awake for. Come to think of it, I have probably seen this film a thousand times or more. I genuinely miss the that feelings of absorbing a film so deeply into yourself that it eventually embodies a fraction of your soul.

   Film just doesn't have that same effect on me anymore. It's a fucking chore to force myself to go and see anything new. Almost every new film is released in 3D, which means I have to wear glasses over my glasses and try to ignore how fucking stupid everything looks. The ending experience is is usually a combination of depression and a migraine so bad that I contemplate suicide. Film is no longer an art form, it's entertainment in the form of a static unbroken shot of a farting ass. Just replace smell-o-vision with 3D and there's your fucking gold mine.

   Godard once said that film is dead and this was long before the oughts. I used to think that this was a cynical and dangerous over-simplification. Now, having forced myself to review the decade as a whole, I think he was right. People are getting dumber and the dumbest people out there have creative control. I mean, I could go on and on about the politics of the decline of cinema, but what's the point? All of us geeks out there are sorely aware of the substantial dollar value attached to our respective destinies and all that it entails. Money, money, money.

   The best I can hope for is to be marginally entertained for the duration of the feature. Most of the time the film leaves me before I reach the exit. Occasionally I'm surprised. I've always graded movies and I'm delighted when I can give something an A+. Out of a hundred movies I have ten or fifteen standouts from the last decade. All of these films were either obsessive repeats viewings or films that I'm desperately trying to keep fresh. I am smarter after having seen them. I just wish it was more frequent. It's only going to get worse. 

   I'm at a point in my life where I have my creative partner and I feel more alone than ever as an artist. No one is going to give a shit about the stories that we want to tell simply because they are original ideas. Why is it enough for the average intelligent audience member to be presented with an original idea? Nearly all films used to be original. Now you can't sell a damn thing unless it's based upon, adapted from, or a remake of. I'm not a fucking sell out. I want to go out on a limb and say that we're going to take cinema back, but I say this with as much skepticism as I feel when I sit through the garish trailers I'm blasted with leading up to the truck of hot garbage juice I paid hard earned money to digest. Frankly I'm steamed.

   This angry tirade was just a prelude to a written list of my top ten films of the 2000s. Almost as much as I hate sitting through movies, I hate skimming pseudo complex wordy diatribes about them. It would be hypocritical of me to do the same to my own audience. Instead I will leave you with my initial impression of them.


1. Synecdoche, NY
This film taught me that there may be grave losses on our respective paths, but all the more profound and rich will be the achievements. 

2. Adaptation
Excuse me, but I think this is nonsense. 

3. Inland Empire
This film frightens me with its ability to show how dreams nestle alongside nightmares.

4. No Country For Old Men
It's frustrating for me that characters never learn that if in the end it wasn't for something meaningful, then it wasn't worth the risk. 

5. Dogville 
I couldn't believe that such an enormous quantity of film had been spent on the extended observation of a single location. 

6. Death Proof
In the recent barrage of half-hearted attempts at recreating an exploitation movie, this was the only one that simply was one.

7. Zodiac
Serial killers are better when they get away with it. 

8. Punch-Drunk Love
In Barry's world, words and actions are immediately judged, which sounds like a nightmare if not conveyed along a poetic path. 

9. Birth
One of the few films that felt like a religious experience while viewing it.

10. Little Children
The characters are not so much created as destroyed.





4 comments:

Sean said...

What I must say I do like about your reasoning is that you just say "I don't care what other people feel". My list would be a little different than yours, but I do believe that that is the point you were trying to make.

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

well said.

Joey said...

I've said 3D is gimmicky. My friends agree, but Hollywood and America don't. Which means, I guess, we're going to lose out in the long run.

Well said, and good list. I've seen 8 of your 10, agreed with 'em all. Dogville is in my top 10 on my Netflix queue, but I'll be adding Birth, there, too.

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