Top Ten Preparation–Part II

Click here for Part I.

Last year around this time, I wrote a post about the best festival-only films I’d seen that year. Not a very practical list, as none of these films were readily available to American audiences, but I thought an interesting one. And perhaps, I told myself, my praise might get some of these film’s more visibility. Anyway, since that time, Adam’s Apples (my Number 1) got a brief theatrical run and Beethoven’s Hair (number 7) appeared on Voom Network’s Film Fest channel.

I’m not writing a similar column this year because far fewer festival films overwhelmed me–at least festival films that didn’t get a post-festival theatrical release. Only The 12 Labors from the San Francisco International Film Festival, and My Mexican Shivah and 9 Star Hotel from the Jewish Film Festival earned A’s. I’m not sure if it was a bad year for festivals, a bad year for me going to festivals, or just that the best films are getting a real release.

That last possibility seems too good to be true.

Festivals bring up another Top Ten problem: They increase the possible time between when I see a movie and when I have to consider it for the Top Ten. Two of the 17 films I’m considering for the Top Ten I haven’t seen since 2006: The aforementioned Adam’s Apples and Venus. Indeed, it’s hard to think of Venus and another one on the list, The Lives of Others, as 2007 films, since they were major players for the 2006 Oscars. But they didn’t open here until 2007, so they qualify.

Should I disqualify films I haven’t seen in the past 12 months? Or films that we think of as 2006 films? Worth considering.

Part III