This Week in Rankings

Over the past couple of weeks, leading up to that annual celebration of movies and movie culture that is Oscar night, I handed out a bunch of Endy Awards for the years 1934 and 2007-2013. I enjoy putting those things together, probably too much. I also wrote long reviews of a number of films: 2013’s Cannes sensation Blue is the Warmest Color, Tsui Hark’s Young Detective Dee and the Rise of the Sea Dragon and Shanghai Blues (part of my on-going Running Out of Karma series), Hayao Miyazaki’s The Castle of Cagliostro (a warm-up to our epic They Shot Pictures episode on Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli) and my favorite movie of 2013, Raya Martin and Mark Peranson’s La última película (part of my on-going I swear coverage of the 2013 Vancouver Film Festival). On The George Sanders Show, we talked Oscars with Best Picture winners The Great Ziegfeld and Chicago.

Over at Letterboxd I have a few lists, new and updated: Running Out of Karma Movies, Tsui Hark Movies, Best Picture Oscar Winners, Alain Resnais Movies, Studio Ghibli MoviesMovies Discussed on The George Sanders Show, Movies Where People Fall Asleep On Screen and The Best Movies of Every Year.

These are the movies I’ve watched and rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings. Links are to my comments at letterboxd.

The Great Ziegfeld (Robert Z. Leonard) – 16, 1936
The Life of Emile Zola (William Dieterle) – 30, 1937
Mrs. Miniver (William Wyler) – 17, 1942
Kiss of Death (Henry Hathaway) – 12, 1947
The Greatest Show on Earth (Cecil B. DeMille) – 30, 1952

Tom Jones (Tony Richardson) – 11, 1963
The Castle of Cagliostro (Hayao Miyazaki) – 17, 1979
Shanghai Blues (Tsui Hark) – 8, 1984
Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata) – 11, 1988
Mystic Pizza (Donald Petrie) – 48, 1988

Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki) – 6, 1989
Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata) – 4, 1991
My Neighbors the Yamadas (Isao Takahata) – 3, 1999
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki) – 6, 2001
Chicago (Rob Marshall) – 44, 2002

Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki) – 23, 2004
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (Hayao Miyazaki) – 15, 2008
The Secret World of Arrietty (Hiromasa Yonebayashi) – 36, 2010
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 4, 2012
Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosada) – 7, 2012

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer) – 30, 2012
Museum Hours (Jem Cohen) – 34, 2012
La última película (Raya Martin & Mark Peranson) – 1, 2013
The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki) – 10, 2013
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen) – 20, 2013
Young Detective Dee and the Rise of the Sea Dragon (Tsui Hark) – 21, 2013

All is Lost (JC Chandor) – 23, 2013
Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche) – 27, 2013
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen) – 30, 2013
The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino) – 37, 2013
Pompeii (Paul WS Anderson) – 1, 2014
And the Oscar Goes To… (Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman) – 2, 2014

Running Out of Karma: Tsui Hark’s Shanghai Blues

Running Out of Karma is my on-going series on Johnnie To and Hong Kong cinema. Here is an index.

In his essential book Planet Hong Kong, David Bordwell examines a sequence in Peking Opera Blues where Tsui Hark deftly coordinates the movements of his actors as they try to remain hidden from an inquisitive father (three of them are in his daughter’s bed and two of them shouldn’t be, if I remember correctly). It’s a short little scene, and Bordwell uses it as an example of the creativity of Hong Kong artists, how they’re able to make an exciting and fun sequence out of almost nothing, budget-wise, and how Tsui’s mastery of cutting and framing keeps the whole sequence light and airy. Shanghai Blues is essentially a feature length version of that scene.

Set in the chaotic interregnum between the end of World War II and the end of the Civil War that would bring the Communists to power, Kenny Bee plays a veteran trying to make a living as a songwriter while searching for a girl he met only briefly, in the dark and under a bridge, ten years earlier during an air raid. He becomes entangled with his downstairs neighbors, Sally Yeh, a recent arrival who promptly has her pocket picked, and Sylvia Chang, a showgirl (who we know is the girl from the bridge). An early scene of Yeh and Bee just missing seeing each other as they do their roof-top laundry is compounded in the film’s central, and most extraordinary segment, when Chang, to get out of the rain, goes into Bee’s apartment to change clothes, but mid-change, Yeh arrives (she now has a crush on Bee) and so Chang hides in a closet. At the same time, the same pickpocket from early in the film is trying to rob the apartment and hiding from everyone else. Finally, one of Bee’s pals shows up, so Yeh goes into hiding as well. Bee attempting to hide the two girls from the friend and from each other while the thief tries to hide from everyone. All in the confines of a tiny, cunningly laid out apartment to which Tsui has spent the first half of the film slyly orienting us. It’s as remarkable a tour de force of choreography as you’ll find in any kung fu film.

This kind of romance, where the two heroes can’t see each other, though they occupy the same space (same frame) dates back at least as far as Paul Fejos’s 1928 Lonesome, and Tsui appears to be specifically riffing on it. The early shot of Bee and Chang’s separation in the crowd in particular recalls that film. Johnnie To’s Turn Left, Turn Right, what I’d consider one of his most underrated films (even among his romantic comedies: I think it has a lower profile because it lacks any of his signature stars, with Takeshi Kaneshiro and Gigi Leung instead of Sammi Cheng or Andy Lau or Louis Koo), follows that tradition as well, even adopting Lonesome‘s conceit that the two destined lovers are unwitting neighbors. But I wonder if Shanghai Blues isn’t the more proximate influence. In Lonesome, the heroes just miss each other through their parallel stories, but they rarely share the same filmic space. In Shanghai Blues, they’re often in the same space, looking right at and not recognizing each other, while everyone else in the film seems to be actively attempting to avoid being seen by someone (a girl at the nightclub hides from a lecherous gangster, Yeh mistakenly joins a modeling audition and is appalled by people looking at her (when she later gets the job, she’s mobbed by men everywhere she goes)). In the To film, no one is hiding, it is instead apparently chance and fate that prevents them from meeting, though through much of the film we see them together in the same frame. Tsui sets his avoidance dances in confined spaces (tiny apartments, dressing rooms), but To’s is set out in the open: a fountain in a public park, a street corner, a sidewalk (a similar scene plays out early in Romancing in Thin Air, itself a kind of compendium of all of To’s romantic comedies, where Sammi Cheng and Louis Koo wander outside the grounds of the hotel, oblivious to each others’ presence).

The three films are somewhat different in their thematic ends as well. Lonesome as all about the city, growing out of the city symphony subgenre of films in the late 20s, a time of rapid urbanization throughout the Western world, as people flocked from the farms and the countryside to new, anonymous urban centers, cut off from the family and communal structures that had supported their lives for generations. Turn Left, Turn Right is about chance and fate, the interplay of which forms one of the thematic cores of To’s work, expressed across genres in romantic comedies and gangster epics alike (exploring the development of this theme is one of the ultimate goals of Running Out of Karma). Shanghai Blues seems to me to be about in-betweenness, about a world that’s lost all its moorings, and the fear that what’s to come may be even worse. It’s about trying to keep your head down and get by, while dreaming of being a star. There doesn’t seem to be any metaphysical element to Tsui’s work; To and Wai Ka-fai have a spiritual preoccupation I’ve yet to identify in any of Tsui’s films. Peking Opera Blues ends with its heroes, having saved the day, riding off saying they’ll meet again soon, though we know the contingencies of the wars make that extremely unlikely. Similarly, as two of the heroes here leave Shanghai for Hong Kong, while the others stay behind, we know they too will never meet again. Just another pair of couples lost in the churn of history.

2007 Endy Awards

These are the 2007 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .


Best Picture:

1. 5 Centimeters per Second
2. Flight of the Red Balloon
3. I’m Not There
4. My Winnipeg
5. No Country for Old Men
6. Ratatouille
7. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
8. The Sun Also Rises
9. There Will Be Blood
10. The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom

Best Director:

1. Makoto Shinkai, 5 Centimeters per Second
2. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Flight of the Red Balloon
3. Todd Haynes, I’m Not There
4. Guy Maddin, My Winnipeg
5. Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor:

1. Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
2. Alejandro Polanco, Chop Shop
3. Lau Ching-wan, Mad Detective
4. Josh Brolin, No Country for Old Men
5. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress:

1. Anamaria Marinca, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
2. Asia Argento, Boarding Gate
3. Juliette Binoche, Flight of the Red Balloon
4. Tang Wei, Lust, Caution
5. Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding

Supporting Actor:

1. Kurt Russell, Grindhouse
2. Ben Whishaw, I’m Not There
3. Marcus Carl Franklin, I’m Not There
4. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
5. Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men

Supporting Actress:

1. Marie-Josée Croze, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
2. Song Fang, Flight of the Red Balloon
3. Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
4. Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
5. Rachel Weisz, My Blueberry Nights

Original Screenplay:

1. Makoto Shinkai, 5 Centimeters per Second
2. Hou Hsiao-hsien & François Margolin, Flight of the Red Balloon
3. Todd Haynes & Oren Moverman, I’m Not There
4. Wai Ka-fai & Au Kin-yee, Mad Detective
5. Guy Maddin & George Toles, My Winnipeg

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
2. Gus van Sant, Paranoid Park
3. Eric Rohmer, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
4. Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
5. James Vanderbilt, Zodiac

Non-English Language Film:

1. 5 Centimeters per Second (Makoto Shinkai)
2. Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
3. Mad Detective (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
4. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Eric Rohmer)
5. The Sun Also Rises (Jiang Wen)

Documentary Film:

1. Encounters at the End of the World (Werner Herzog)
2. Helvetica (Gary Hustwit)
3. The King of Kong (Seth Gordon)
4. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin)
5. The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom (Adam Curtis)

Animated Film:

1. 5 Centimeters per Second (Makoto Shinkai)
2. Beowulf (Robert Zemeckis)
3. Ratatouille (Brad Bird)
4. The Simpsons Movie (David Silverman)

Unseen Film:

1. The Duchess of Langeais (Jacques Rivette)
2. The Man from London (Bela Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzky)
3. Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi)
4. Secret Sunshine (Lee Changdong)
5. We Own the Night (James Gray)

Film Editing:

1. I’m Not There
2. My Winnipeg
3. No Country for Old Men
4. There Will Be Blood
5. You, the Living

Cinematography:

1. Flight of the Red Balloon
2. My Blueberry Nights
3. The Sun Also Rises
4. There Will Be Blood
5. Zodiac

Art Direction:

1. The Darjeeling Limited
2. I’m Not There
3. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
4. You, the Living
5. Zodiac

Costume Design:

1. I’m Not There
2. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
3. There Will Be Blood
4. You, the Living
5. Zodiac

Make-up:

1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
2. Grindhouse
3. Mad Detective
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
5. Sukiyaki Western Django

Original Score:

1. Atonement
2. 5 Centimeters per Second
3. No Country for Old Men
4. Ratatouille
5. There Will Be Blood

Adapted Score:

1. The Darjeeling Limited
2. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
3. I’m Not There
4. Paranoid Park
5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sound:

1. Grindhouse
2. I’m Not There
3. No Country for Old Men
4. Ratatouille
5. There Will Be Blood

Sound Editing:

1. The Bourne Ultimatum
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
4. Ratatouille
5. There Will Be Blood

Visual Effects:

1. Grindhouse
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
3. Resident Evil: Extinction
4. Transformers
5. Zodiac

b5-celadon

2008 Endy Awards

These are the 2008 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. I did one of these five years ago, but things have changed so this is the revision. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .

Best Picture:

1. 24 City
2. 35 Shots of Rum
3. Love Exposure
4. Red Cliff
5. Sita Sings the Blues
6. Sparrow
7. Speed Racer
8. Tokyo Sonata
9. Two Lovers
10. WALL-E

Best Director:

1. Claire Denis, 35 Shots of Rum
2. Sion Sono, Love Exposure
3. John Woo, Red Cliff
4. Johnnie To, Sparrow
5. Lana and Lilly Wachowski, Speed Racer

Best Actor:

1. Alex Descas, 35 Shots of Rum
2. Benicio Del Toro, Che
3. Ge You, If You Are the One
4. Takahiro Nishijima, Love Exposure
5. Joaquin Phoenix, Two Lovers

Best Actress:

1. Zhou Xun, All About Women
2. Sally Hawkins, Happy Go Lucky
3. Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
4. Mati Diop, 35 Shots of Rum
5. Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy

Supporting Actor:

1. Mathieu Amalric, A Christmas Tale
2. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
3. Eddie Marsan, Happy Go Lucky
4. Bill Irwin, Rachel Getting Married
5. Robert Downey Jr, Tropic Thunder

Supporting Actress:

1. Anne Consigny, A Christmas Tale
2. Chiara Mastrioanni, A Christmas Tale
3. Sakura Ando, Love Exposure
4. Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
5. Kirin Kiki, Still Walking


Original Screenplay:

1. Claire Denis & Jean-Pol Fargeau, 35 Shots of Rum
2. Sion Sono, Love Exposure
3. Hong Sangsoo, Night and Day
4. Chan Kin-chung, Fung Chih-chiang & the Milkyway Creative Team, Sparrow
5. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Max Mannix & Sachiko Tanaka, Tokyo Sonata

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Peter Buchman and Benjamen van der Veen, Che
2. Arnaud Desplechin & Emmanuel Bourdieu, A Christmas Tale
3. Holly Gent Palmo & Vincent Palmo Jr., Me and Orson Welles
4. Nina Paley, Sita Sings the Blues
5. James Gray & Ric Menello, Two Lovers

Non-English Language Film:

1. 24 City (Jia Zhangke)
2. 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis)
3. Love Exposure (Sion Sono)
4. Red Cliff (John Woo)
5. Sparrow (Johnnie To)

Short Film:

1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Joss Whedon)

Documentary Film:

1. 24 City (Jia Zhangke)
2. The Beaches of Agnes (Agnes Varda)
3. Of Time and the City (Terence Davies)
4. Rembrandt’s J’accuse (Peter Greenaway)
5. Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman)

Animated Film:

1. Ponyo on the Cliff By the Sea (Hayao Miyazaki)
2. Sita Sings the Blues (Nina Paley)
3. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)
4. Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman)

Unseen Film:

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher)
2. JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri)
3. Shirin (Abbas Kiarostami)


Film Editing:

1. A Christmas Tale
2. The Hurt Locker
3. Love Exposure
4. Sparrow
5. Speed Racer

Cinematography:

1. 35 Shots of Rum
2. A Christmas Tale
3. Love Exposure
4. Speed Racer
5. Summer Hours

Art Direction:

1. A Christmas Tale
2. Red Cliff
3. Speed Racer
4. Summer Hours
5. WALL-E

Costume Design:

1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog
2. Love Exposure
3. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
4. Red Cliff
5. Speed Racer

Make-up:

1. Cloverfield
2. The Dark Knight
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
4. Red Cliff
5. Speed Racer

b5-loveexposure-b

Original Score:

1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. Sparrow
4. 35 Shots of Rum
5. WALL-E

Adapted Score:

1. Love Exposure
2. Pineapple Express
3. Rachel Getting Married
4. Sita Sings The Blues
5. Slumdog Millionaire

Sound:

1. Cloverfield
2. The Hurt Locker
3. Love Exposure
4. Speed Racer
5. WALL-E

Sound Editing:

1. Cloverfield
2. Hellboy II
3. The Hurt Locker
4. Speed Racer
5. WALL-E

Visual Effects:

1. Cloverfield
2. Red Cliff
3. Hellboy II
4. Speed Racer
5. Synecdoche, New York

red-cliff-2009-1

 

Predictions for the 86th Academy Awards

These are my predictions for the winners of this year’s Academy Awards. Alongside the winner, I’m including the winner of the 2013 Endy Award in that category.

Best Picture:
Endy: La última película
Oscar: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director:
Endy: Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin
Oscar: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Actor:
Endy: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby & The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Actress:
Endy: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
Oscar: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Supporting Actor:
Endy: Nick Frost, The World’s End
Oscar: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Supporting Actress:
Endy: Léa Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color
Oscar: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Original Screenplay:
Endy: Computer Chess
Oscar: American Hustle
Adapted Screenplay:
Endy: The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar: 12 Years a Slave
Foreign Language Film:
Endy: The Missing Picture
Oscar: The Great Beauty
Documentary Feature:
Endy: The Missing Picture
Oscar: 20 Feet from Stardom
Animated Feature:
Endy: The Wind Rises
Oscar: Frozen
Film Editing:
Endy: La última película
Oscar: Gravity
Cinematography:
Endy: La última película
Oscar: Gravity
Art Direction:
Endy: The Missing Picture
Oscar: The Great Gatsby
Costume Design:
Endy: Her
Oscar: The Great Gatsby
Make-Up:
Endy: Blind Detective
Oscar: Dallas Buyers Club
Sound Mixing:
Endy: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Oscar: Gravity
Sound Editing:
Endy: Gravity
Oscar: Gravity
Visual Effects:
Endy: Gravity
Oscar: Gravity
Original Score:
Endy: A Touch of Sin
Oscar: Gravity
Original Song:
Oscar: “Let It Go”, Frozen
Documentary Short:
Endy: The Three Disasters
Oscar: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Animated Short:
Oscar: Get a Horse!
Live Action Short:
Endy: Hard to Say
Oscar: The Voorman Problem

2013 Endy Awards

These are the 2013 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in the past year in film. You can also check out the special Oscar episode of The George Sanders Show, discussing a couple of former Best Picture winners in addition to award-giving and predicting, as well as the big end of the year double episode of They Shot Pictures. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .
Best Picture:

1. Blind Detective
2. Computer Chess
3. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
4. The Missing Picture
5. Only Lovers Left Alive
6. Stray Dogs
7. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
8. A Touch of Sin
9. La última película
10. The Wind Rises

Best Director:

1. Johnnie To, Blind Detective
2. Rithy Panh, The Missing Picture
3. Isao Takahata, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
4. Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin
5. Raya Martin & Mark Peranson, La última película
I’m going with Jia Zhangke, who seamlessly blended his long-take, not quite realist visual style into wuxia genre traditions while retaining, amplifying even, the sense of social and political outrage.

Best Actor:

1. Robert Redford, All is Lost
2. Andy Lau, Blind Detective
3. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Lee Kang-sheng, Stray Dogs
5. Simon Pegg, The World’s End

Leo’s performance in Wolf is the best work he’s ever done. I’d say the same for Lee Kang-sheng and Simon Pegg as well. Tough to leave out James Gandolfini in Enough Said, but this is a strong category this year.

Best Actress:

1. Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
2. Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster
3. Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant
4. Tilda Swinton, Only Lovers Left Alive
5. Jung Yoo-mi, Our Sunhi

A really tough category this year, but I’m going with the newcomer from the movie with “Blue” in the title while the veteran and former Endy winner from the movie with “Blue” in the title just misses the cut for a nomination, edged out by a perennial Endy favorite, whose voice once starred in a movie called Blue. Meanwhile, Jung Yoo-mi in Our Sunhi might be the most interesting performance in any Hong Sangsoo movie, ever.

Supporting Actor:

1. Jung Jae-young, Our Sunhi
2. Dwayne Johnson, Pain & Gain
3. Gabino Rodríguez, La última película
4. Mathew McConaughey, The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Nick Frost, The World’s End

Supporting Actress:

1. Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
2. Léa Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color
3. Aoi Miyazaki, The Great Passage
4. Shu Qi, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
5. Zhao Tao, A Touch of Sin

Original Screenplay:

1. Wai Ka-fai, Blind Detective
2. Andrew Bujalski, Computer Chess
3. Rithy Panh, The Missing Picture
4. Hong Sangsoo, Our Sunhi
5. Raya Martin & Mark Peranson (et al), La última película

The sheer unexpected weirdness of Bujalski’s Computer Chess wins the Endy over perennial favorite Hong, Rithy Panh’s wrenching reminiscence and La última película‘s swirling and hilarious ode to film. A truly great year for original screenplays.

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Kensaku Watanabe, The Great Passage
2. Stephen Chow & Derek Kwok, et al, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
3. Isao Takahata & Riko Sakaguchi, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
4. Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises
5. Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Non-English Language Film:

1. Blind Detective (Johnnie To)
2. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Stephen Chow & Derek Kwok)
3. The Missing Picture (Rithy Panh)
4. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata)
5. A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke)

Short Film:

1. Hard to Say (Lee Kwangkuk)
2. Just in Time (Peter Greenaway)
3. Mahjong (João Rui Guerra da Mata & João Pedro Rodrigues)
4. Redemption (Miguel Gomes)
5. The Three Disasters (Jean-Luc Godard)

Lee is a former assistant director for Hong Sangsoo (Hard to Say ran before Our Sunhi in Vancouver) who made a feature a couple years ago that I really liked but have never heard anything else about called Romance Joe.

Documentary Film:

1. At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman)
2. A Fuller Life (Samantha Fuller)
3. The Missing Picture (Rithy Panh)
4. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (Ben Rivers & Ben Russell)
5. Yumen (JP Sniadecki, et al)

Animated Film:

1. Frozen (Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck)
2. The Garden of Words (Makoto Shinkai)
3. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata)
4. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)

Unseen Film:

1. Hard to Be a God (Aleksey German)
2. Like Father, Like Son (Koreeda Hirokazu)
3. Norte, the End of History (Lav Diaz)
4. The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
5. The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher)

Film Editing:

1. Blind Detective
2. The Grandmaster
3. La última película
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Yumen

Cinematography:

1. Computer Chess
2. The Grandmaster
3. Gravity
4. A Touch of Sin
5. La última película

Art Direction:

1. The Grandmaster
2. Gravity
3. Her
4. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
5. The Missing Picture

Going with Rithy Panh’s heartbreaking dioramas over Spike Jonze’s Apple Store dystopia.

Costume Design:

1. Computer Chess
2. The Grandmaster
3. The Great Gatsby
4. Her
5. Only Lovers Left Alive

Her‘s high-waisted pants over Computer Chess‘s high-waisted pants.

Make-up:

1. Blind Detective
2. Blue Jasmine
3. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
4. A Touch of Sin
5. The World’s End

Original Score:

1. 12 Years a Slave
2. The Grandmaster
3. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
4. A Touch of Sin
5. The Wind Rises

Soundtrack:

1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Only Lovers Left Alive
3. La última película
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. The World’s End

I’m still annoyed that the Coens’ renamed “Dink’s Song” for the movie, but whatever. As usual their (and T Bone Burnett’s) song choices are impeccable.

Sound:

1. Distant
2. Gravity
3. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
4. La última película
5. Yumen

Sound Editing:

1. Blind Detective
2. The Grandmaster
3. Gravity
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
5. The World’s End

Visual Effects:

1. Gravity
2. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
3. La última película
4. The World’s End
5. Young Detective Dee and the Rise of the Sea Dragon

 
The_Tale_of_the_Princess_Kaguya_(poster)

2009 Endy Awards, Revised

Four years ago, I gave out a bunch of awards for the best films of 2009. Of course, due to the vagaries of film distribution, many great films from that year were only released (or became available to me) long after I handed them out. So here is an up-to-date accounting of the 2009 Endy Awards.
>Other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are presented in alphabetical order, the winner is bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .

Best Picture:

1. Bright Star
2. Bluebeard
3. La danse
4. Fantastic Mr. Fox
5. Inglourious Basterds
6. It Felt Like a Kiss
7. The Limits of Control
8. Oxhide II
9. Phantoms of Nabua
10. Wild Grass

Best Director:

1. Frederick Wiseman, La danse
2. Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox
3. Adam Curtis, It Felt Like a Kiss
4. Liu Jiayin, Oxhide II
5. Alain Resnais, Wild Grass

Best Actor:

1. Nicholas Cage, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
2. Ben Whishaw, Bright Star
3. Isaach De Bankolé, The Limits of Control
4. Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man
5. André Dussollier, Wild Grass

Best Actress:

1. Bae Doona, Air Doll
2. Lola Créton, Bluebeard
3. Abbie Cornish, Bright Star
4. Tilda Swinton, I Am Love
5. Sabine Azéma, Wild Grass

Supporting Actor:

1. Mathieu Amalric, Wild Grass
2. Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
3. Peter Capaldi, In the Loop
4. Dolph Lundgren, Universal Soldier: Regeneration
5. Simon Yam, Vengeance

Supporting Actress:

1. Marilou Lopes-Benites, Bluebeard
2. Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds
3. Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
4. Anne Consigny, Wild Grass
5. Kelly Lin, Written By

Original Screenplay:

1. Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
2. Hong Sang-soo, Like You Know It All
3. Liu Jiayin, Oxhide II
4. Corneliu Porumboiu, Police Adjective
5. Wai Ka-fai & Au Kin-yee, Written By

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Catherine Breillat, Bluebeard
2. Manoel de Oliveira, Eccentricities of a Blond-Haired Girl
3. Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach, Fantastic Mr. Fox
4. Armando Iannucci et al, In the Loop
5. Alain Resnais & Laurent Herbiet, Wild Grass

Foreign Language Film:

1. Bluebeard (Catherine Breillat)
2. La danse (Frederick Wiseman)
3. Oxhide II (Liu Jiayin)
4. Phantoms of Nabua (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
5. Wild Grass (Alain Resnais)

Documentary Feature:

1. The Art of the Steal (Don Argott)
2. It Felt Like a Kiss (Adam Curtis)
3. La danse (Frederick Wiseman)
4. In Search of Beethoven (Phil Grabsky)
5. The September Issue (RJ Cutler)

Unseen Film:

1. About Elly (Asghar Farhadi)
2. The Box (Richard Kelly)
3. Magadheera (SS Rajamouli)
4. A Single Man (Tom Ford)
5. White Material (Claire Denis)

Animated Feature:

1. Coraline (Henry Selick)
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)
3. The Secret of Kells (Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey)
4. Summer Wars (Mamoru Hosada)
5. Up (Pete Docter & Bob Peterson)

Film Editing:

1. Accident
2. La danse
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. It Felt Like a Kiss
5. Public Enemies

Cinematography:

1. Greig Fraser, Bright Star
2. Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds
3. Christopher Doyle, The Limits of Control
4. Dante Spinotti, Public Enemies
5. Eric Gautier, Wild Grass

Art Direction:

1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. Gamer
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. The Limits of Control
5. Written By

Costume Design:

1. Bright Star
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
3. I Am Love
4. The Limits of Control
5. Where the Wild Things Are

Make-up:

1. Crank: High Voltage
2. District 9
3. Drag Me to Hell
4. Star Trek
5. Watchmen

Sound:

1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. Inglourious Basterds
3. Phantoms of Nabua
4. Public Enemies
5. Universal Soldier: Regeneration

Sound Editing:

1. Avatar
2. Drag Me to Hell
3. Fantastic Mr. Fox
4. Public Enemies
5. Star Trek

Visual Effects:

1. Avatar
2. Sophie’s Revenge
3. Star Trek
4. Watchmen
5. Written By

Original Score:

1. Alexandre Desplat, Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. Justin Hurwitz, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench
3. John Adams, I Am Love
4. Boris, The Limits of Control
5. Carter Burwell, A Serious Man

Adapted Score:

1. Adventureland
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. In Search of Beethoven
5. The Limits of Control