Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday, December 9, and the day was very trying, because Time Warner Cable went out. Cable television reception was spotty all afternoon, but the digital phone and the internet service was simply out for most of the day, not getting back in service until about 5 o'clock. When something like this happens, it makes you realize how much you've become dependent on the internet and cable TV for basic communication. It's like the weather: it's just so easy to turn to NY1 and get the weather report every ten minutes. But when you can't do that, you miss it.

Friday night, went to a screening of "The Orphanage" with Christine. With that, three of the six movies i missed at the NY Film Festival have now been accounted for. Have to say that this was a very well-done genre film. Very enjoyable. "The Violin" and "The Orphanage" are examples of the current vitality of the Mexican film industry.

Yesterday, spent the day trying to fill out my ballots for the IndieWire and the LA Weekly/Village Voice critics polls. I suppose there are always a few movies that one doesn't see before the year's end, but i figured for what i'm supposed to, i don't really need to see the "big" movies ("Atonement", "There Will be Blood"); actually, i'm interested in both those movies, but it doesn't really matter for me, because i'm asked to these polls so that i'll represent the "fringe". My top five movies are: 1) "Killer of Sheep"; 2) "Into Great Silence"; 3) "13 Lakes"; 4) "Syndromes and a Century"; 5) "Colossal Youth". The polls are different in that the IndieWire poll is one which asks for director, screenplay, cinematography, though both ask for documentary and first feature. In the IndieWire poll, my choices for director: Lisandro Alonso for "Los Muertos"; screenplay: Corneliu Porumboiu for "12:08 East of Bucharest"; cinematography: Abraham Haile Biru for "Daratt". However, for the IndieWire poll, i chose "Billy the Kid" as documentary, but in the LA Weekly/Village Voice poll, i put "No End in Sight". (For first feature, my choice was "In Between Days".)

This year, i was really able to do what i always want: i hate it when these awards have a sweep (it's especially egregious with the Independent Spirit Awards; last year, i was blindsided, i didn't think that there'd be a sweep for "Little Miss Sunshine" but there was), so i try to make sure my ballots are filled with films from all over.

But it was such an extraordinary year for movies... just not for Hollywood movies. And so what?


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