Connect with us


2011 Midway Point: Jordan’s Top 10

#10. I Saw The Devil – Kim Jee-woon (March 4th)
Byung-hun Lee and Min-sik Choi going head to head in a revenge drunk, ultra violent game of cat and mouse, crafted by the headstrong stylings of Kim Jee-woon? Sign me up.

#10. I Saw The Devil – Kim Jee-woon (March 4th)
Byung-hun Lee and Min-sik Choi going head to head in a revenge drunk, ultra violent game of cat and mouse, crafted by the headstrong stylings of Kim Jee-woon? Sign me up.

#9. Bobby Fischer Against the World – Liz Garbus (HBO Premiere)
An interest in chess helped peak my interest, but Liz Garbus’s doc about the insanity that was chess master Bobby Fischer’s life is an absorbing bit of film making. With an excellent sense of pace, and a cast of interviewees that not only were probably the only people that could tell Fischer’s story, but told it with ardent detail whether they loved him, or thought he was a complete nut job, the HBO doc is sure to spread the good word of chess to the masses while simultaneously entertaining.

#8. Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles – Jon Foy (2011 Sheffield Doc/Fest)
Though it has some structural issues, there weren’t many other films this year I was so pulled into. It’s bizarre mystery, and extremely enthused bush-league detectives had me unable turn away. If you aren’t curious to know what randomly placed tiles around the US that read, “Toynbee Idea In Kubrick’s 2001 Resurrect Dead On Planet Jupiter”, are all about, your sense of curiosity may be broken.

#7. The Beaver – Jodie Foster (May 6th)
Mel Gibson trying desperately to redeem his fractured self with the help of a trash rescued beaver puppet. It sounds exactly like what it is; sad, funny, ridiculous and great. Plus, the film’s chocked full acting chops.

#6. How To Die In Oregon – Peter Richardson (2011 Hot Docs)
Never before seeing this had I been in a theater packed to the brim with an audience either all out crying, or at the very least nice and weepy; including me. Peter Richardson’s doc about physician-assisted suicide examines Oregon’s law with an unmatched intimacy that is sure to have you wondering about your own mortality.

#5. Win Win – Tom McCarthy (March 18th)
It’s probably due to his non-flattering looks, but I feel like Paul Giamatti doesn’t get the respect he very much deserves. That said, it’s nice to see him in a lead role again, and in a film with honest heart, and a new young actor hopeful in Alex Shaffer.

#4. Project Nim – James Marsh (2011 Hot Docs)
The life of Nim, a famous chimpanzee test subject, is chronicled through a variety of interviewees that worked on the experiment to see if he would be able to achieve the ability to fully communicate with sign language. With such limited archival video footage to work with, it’s quite amazing how enthralling a doc James Marsh was able to piece together using mostly still photos and interviews. The resulting film is both incredibly entertaining, and depressingly moving.

#3. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams (June 10th)
A sci-fi themed, child ensemble adventure in the style of the classic Spielberg of old. Not to mention it’s written and directed by the guy behind Lost and the Star Trek reboot. What is not to love about this?

#2. Dragonslayer – Tristen Patterson (2011 Hot Docs)
This film was a major surprise at Hot Docs that had me hooked at the first ear pummelling hum of the title card. Skater punk Skreech’s alcohol fueled, meandering journey from skating abandoned pools to becoming a functioning adult and responsible father is absolutely beautiful, and I mean that both visually and emotionally speaking. Docs don’t normally look or feel anything like a fictional narrative, but Patterson’s debut does both with extreme authenticity.

#1. The Tree Of Life – Terrence Malick (June 27th)
No other film released this year that I’ve seen is as deeply moving and utterly gorgeous as Malick’s semi-autobiographic, philosophy laced epic. For me, the film hit quite close to home, leaving me with the feeling I had witnessed some of my own memories recreated on screen with incredible intimacy. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Jordan is a Buffalo based film journalist and critic.

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

More in Retro

To Top