Tuesday, December 07, 2010

VW's Favorite DVDs of 2010: Michael Barrett

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe, not keeping an eye on their little boy, in Lars von Trier's ANTICHRIST.

Next up with his list of favorite discs from this past year is Michael Barrett. Mike is a fairly new contributor to VIDEO WATCHDOG but has already distinguished himself with numerous reviews and, particularly, his well-received and widely-cited article "While We Were Dreaming: Millennial Unreality at the Movies," which appeared in VW 152. He also reviews for PopMatters.
By Michael Barrett

ANTICHRIST (Criterion)
Advice on grief therapy: don't go in the woods. Controversial among art-house types unfamiliar with the last 10 years of torture porn. I haven't seen those either (including PASSION OF THE CHRIST), but assume this fits in. Astoundingly stylish and mesmerizing, like a music video or commercial (that's a compliment).

THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX (MPI)
Like AVATAR and FANTASTIC MR. FOX, another course in modern terrorism. A giddy, riveting whirl dissecting public and private, state and individual violence.

DOLLHOUSE (20th Century Fox)
When your amnesiac heroine can become anyone, your show can do anything. With the second and final season now on DVD, Joss Whedon's head-spinning marvel is the acme of Millennial Unreality TV.

FANTASTIC MR. FOX (20th Century Fox)
Slightly preferred to PONYO or TOY STORY 3.
FANTOMAS (Kino on Video)
Louis Feuillade's series, with excellent commentary by David Kalat, is my favorite silent release in a year that includes Flicker Alley's similarly wonderful releases of MISS MEND, the original CHICAGO and CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE.

ICONS OF SUSPENSE: HAMMER FILMS (Sony)
Most overall satisfying box of the year compared with 3 SILENT CLASSICS BY JOSEF VON STERNBERG, COLUMBIA PICTURES FILM NOIR CLASSICS II, OSHIMA'S OUTLAW SIXTIES, AMERICA LOST AND FOUND: THE BBS STORY, and ROBERTO ROSSELLINI'S WAR TRILOGY. Find out if I'm wrong.

MOTHER (Magnolia)
Korean Miss Marple gone very dark. Confident, stylish, disorienting, gripping, laced with deadpan humor, and of course about amnesia.

THRILLER: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Image)
My favorite classic TV box of the year, closely beating out SGT. BILKO, THE GOLDBERGS and ELLERY QUEEN.

THE WHITE RIBBON (Sony)
Black-and-white, literary, totally absorbing mystery of life in a pre-war village where sinister goings-on are going on. A strange what's-happening movie that may be compared with DILLINGER IS DEAD or SALTO, so please do.

YOU THE LIVING (Palisades Tartan)
Bleak skits, with jolly music and moments of wonder, about how we make ourselves miserable. Funny, sinister, surreal, compassionate follow-up to SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR.

A note on the rules: This alphabetical list is confined to things I saw for the first time in any form in 2010, or else it would look very different in a year of Kino's THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS and PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, Criterion's THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, RED DESERT, BIGGER THAN LIFE, MODERN TIMES and BLACK NARCISSUS, or Disney's DVD/Blu-Ray combos of FANTASIA and FANTASIA 2000. Along similar lines, I excluded any films about Leonardo Di Caprio dreaming of another Oz remake, although I liked 'em all. There was no way to shoehorn in MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW or Ozu's THE ONLY SON/THERE WAS A FATHER, so their incandescence goes unmentioned. And there you have it--only ten titles!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.