Top Ten Preparation–Part I

It’s December, when movie critics’ minds turn to their annual Top Ten lists. We don’t actually publish the list until January, but we think about it now.

At least I do. and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject with you
. So let’s get started with the rules.

To qualify for my Top Ten Films of 2007, a picture must meet these criteria:

  • It’s initial Bay Area theatrical run must have started in 2007. I’m defining a “theatrical run” as playing every day for at least two weeks in one theater or one week in two theaters. If it just played a festival, or played for a week somewhere, it doesn’t qualify.
  • I had to have seen it. Unfortunately, this disqualifies a lot of movies. For instance, neither Children of Men nor Letters from Iwo Jima qualified for 2006 because I didn’t see them until 2007. But they don’t qualify for 2007 because they were in Bay Area theaters in 2006.
  • I gave it an .

So how many films qualify? Here’s the list, in more or less chronological order by my reviews.

  1. Venus
  2. Golden Door
  3. La Vie En Rose
  4. Adam’s Apples
  5. Hot Fuzz
  6. The Lives of Others
  7. Once
  8. Knocked Up
  9. Ratatouille
  10. Ten Canoes
  11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  12. Stardust
  13. No End in Sight
  14. The Savages
  15. Lust, Caution
  16. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  17. No Country for Old Men

That’s quite a list. And it may grow as I see more 2007 films in the coming weeks.

More on how I’ll winnow this down later.

Part II

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Preparation–Part I

  1. this definition of “theatrical run” serves two purposes: in a competition, it (somewhat arbitrarily) narrows the field and increases the likelihood that voters will have seen a good number of the eligible films, and it focusses attention on those mainstream, industry-sanctioned films that are most likely to have had such a run.

    since your list is presumably not part of any larger competition, the first purpose has no relevance. and the second purpose seems opposed to the indie slant of bayflicks.

    why not make a more inclusive list, particularly as, per the following blog entry, you aren’t making a festival-only list to complement this one?

  2. Focusing on the “theatrical run” serves another purpose: It makes it more likely that you will get to see the movie. Many of these films are still in theaters, and the others are either available on DVD or will be soon.

    And don’t underestimate the importance of narrowing the field. When you’re trying to get the list of best films down to ten, anything that narrows the field is good.


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