The List

Written by  //  January 9, 2008  //  Cinematical  //  8 Comments

If I had the ability to make the title in bold face, add a quarter dozen underlines and size 40 font, it would still not live up to the importance of this list. I have waited until all minor (and by minor I mean everyone not associated with Donnybrook Writing Academy) to prance out their best-of-list around the public’s circle of consciousness, before I unleashed the final word on the finest works of the year. Enjoy.
Best of

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10. The TenDavid Wain – This movie has been the least talked about comedy of the year, yet it could also be the funniest. It appears that David Wain and the rest of the Stella cast will be forever bound to the cult following status. While other The State alums get their movie released on 2,500 + screens.
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9. 3:10 to YumaJames Mangold – When studios consider remaking a film, both 3:10 to Yuma’s should be required viewing. The original is an under appreciated western and the Crowe/Bale vehicle was the under appreciated end to the summer movie season.

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8. GrindhouseTarantino and RodriguezTarantino made an exploitation film that blatantly dares feminists to put girls in short shorts and tight tops on their list of acceptable role models. Rodriguez showed anti-role model Fergie getting eaten by zombies. Was the mistake not marketing this movie to third wave members of women’s lib?

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7. Paris, je t’aime – too many to list – The appearance of this collection of short films and Grindhouse should make this list my top twenty-eight list (and that is not even counting the ten semi-shorts in The Ten). This film whetted my Coen Brothers appetite from a two-year absence. Had a touch of Alexander Payne’s bourgeoi-core to tide the public over until he adapts another unpublished novel about the minor tragedies of normal people. Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuarón, live action Sylvain Chomet. There is so much quality in this film I don’t think this blog could handle it, if I continued.

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6. Rescue DawnWerner Herzog –This is how filmmaking looks when you’re passionate and gifted. Xian Bale is the king of picking roles. This pairing was a match for the ages. If more people wore their artistic integrity like Batman and Herzog maybe the world would be a better place.

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5. I’m Not ThereTodd Haynes – The best bio-pic in the history of bio-pics. The genre is the least efficient, but unfortunately, most profitable way to look at someone’s life. I can’t even remember a single day that followed a three act structure much less my entire life. When I choose to sell the Fritz Godard life-rights to Hollywood, the only director I’m speaking with is Todd Haynes.

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4. No Country for Old MenThe Coen Brothers – This movie is a western-monster film that follow nearly zero conventions for a Hollywood film, but is still praised as a quality adaptation. This might be the proof the world needs to; Christ has returned to earth in the form of two Jewish Filmmaking brothers.

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3. There Will Be BloodPTA – I felt I was breaking the cinema criticism code by putting a yet released film this high on the list, thus why this list is appearing in mid-January 008 instead of late December 007. However, the movie lived up to every ounce of hype written about it. There were no cheap gimmicks, simply two and a half hours of visual poetry committed to celluloid. With this film, PTA proved to every person in the film industry he is the best auteur alive.

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2. JunoJason Rietman – The backlash is strong with this one. Hated because it was written by a stripper, or had a semi-pretentious soundtrack, or because it’s marketed like a major studio release while calling itself an independent film. Well, I’m starting the backlash against the backlash, strippers gotta eat too, Moldy Peaches sing about cartoons and bike riding, and isn’t it better to make money off a good movie instead of forcing 80’s camp down the publics throat. Plus, Diablo Cody is lucky There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men are both adaptations, so she’ll be able to rake in loot with the ultimate gold phallic award if she ever returns to employment at Sex World.

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1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert FordAndrew Dominik – The subtly of this film makes it the best directed, best shot, best acted film of the year. It will be studied a hundred years from now. This is the year of the western, and it isn’t a surprise that savvy creative minds realized the strict black and white morality which the genre is built on is the ideal way to show the public the world isn’t that way.If you haven’t seen these movies, nor have any desire to heed the definitive Top Ten list may the Coen Brothers have mercy on your soul.

About the Author

Fritz Godard

Fritz Godard is Donnybrook's film columnist, world-renowned filmmaker, and reason behind Marilyn Monroe's demise.

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8 Comments on "The List"

  1. Col. Hector Bravado January 9, 2008 at 9:02 am · Reply

    Thanks for doing this, Fritzy. Everybody from every corner is recommending Juno for every reason. All sorts of fans. All sorts of critics. Everybody sees something they like. Will catch this one, and look up a few other of your recommendations as well.
    With the sheer amount of media to gorge on, it’s nice when somebody helps your mind curate things; things worth grabbing from the torrents and giving a careful second look.
    And for what it’s worth, I’m tacking #11 onto your list: Michael Clayton.

  2. Ivyy January 9, 2008 at 9:57 am · Reply

    I absolutely averagely liked Michael Clayton. I thought it was one of the most forgettable movies of the year. George Clooney must be the most liked man in Hollywood, every project he does gets raves, even when it’s not all that rave-worthy.
    Fritz- the list rocks… thanks for justifying my “Saved” section of my netflix queue!

  3. Team Donnybrook
    godonnybrook January 9, 2008 at 10:27 am · Reply

    Wow! Great list. I can’t really think of anything to add except maybe American Gangster.

  4. klaus runternorton January 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm · Reply

    william butler yeats, sailing to byzantium

    THAT is no country for old men. The young
    In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
    - Those dying generations – at their song,
    The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
    Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
    Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
    Caught in that sensual music all neglect
    Monuments of unageing intellect.

    An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
    For every tatter in its mortal dress,
    Nor is there singing school but studying
    Monuments of its own magnificence;
    And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
    To the holy city of Byzantium.

    O sages standing in God’s holy fire
    As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
    Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
    And be the singing-masters of my soul.
    Consume my heart away; sick with desire
    And fastened to a dying animal
    It knows not what it is; and gather me
    Into the artifice of eternity.

    Once out of nature I shall never take
    My bodily form from any natural thing,
    But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
    Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
    To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
    Or set upon a golden bough to sing
    To lords and ladies of Byzantium
    Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

  5. Col. Hector Bravado January 9, 2008 at 3:17 pm · Reply

    Holy shit, is that lovely.

  6. Toastface Killa January 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm · Reply

    A truly wonderful list.

    My gripe has to do with Juno, which was a thoroughly average movie–unless you happen to be Kimya Dawson, in which case it’s probably your favorite movie ever. I’d even prefer The Darjeeling Unlimited in the hipster-film-that-thinks-it’s-a-whole-lot-better-than-it-really-is role.

    Your review makes me excited to see the new PTA film; his palette looks so different in this one. No Country was absolute genius.

  7. Fritz Godard
    Fritz Godard January 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm · Reply

    Although getting a William Butler Yeats poem as a comment qualifies as a career highlight, there will be More. In the very near future I will be providing Donny Brook with two more movie lists; 007 most over looked films and 007 listless list.

  8. robbiebowman January 25, 2008 at 8:26 am · Reply

    I am the biggest Stella fan I know but was really disappointed in The Ten. The entire conceit is weak and the movie feels more like a collection of bits than a movie. It is similar to why Life of Brian is great and Meaning of Life is kinda shitty. What’s more, there may be more laughs in the first movie with this idea The Decalogue. I still love you, though. It is just that this raises my hackles.

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