2008 in Review

It’s been said before by many others that 2007 is the better year for film, and I would agree. But the films of 2008 have amazed me. I saw beauty from different angles and understanding. I saw a man walk on air, the passion behind professional wrestling, and the simple joy of working a crane. I had tears of laughter ripped from my soul.

I would also like to note what appears to be a verite(style) renaissance of sorts last year. Some films blended documentary footage and photographs with the film, while others attempted to capture that realistic feel. Milk, Frost/Nixon, and The Wrestler come to mind.

And along those same notes, there was a good crop of documentary films as well, some of which feature prominately on the following list.

With that said, these are my top 11 films of 2008 in alphabetical order:

Favorite short film: City of Cranes


10 Responses

  1. Glad to see Encounters on someone elses list but mine. I was blown away by the beauty of some of the underwater ice self videos. Plus Herzog talking over the rambling excentrics with sarcasm was funny.

  2. Blending documentary footage and photographs with the film (Good Night and Good Luck) and attempting to capture the realist feel (too many examples to list) are not, I’m afraid, original or new enough to be called a renaissance.

    To me, 2008 was one of the worst years I have witnessed in my lifetime, but you are right about one thing: It was a year of good and interesting documentaries. Even the ones that aren’t (due to their simple and entertainment-driven nature (Milk, Frost/Nixon)) tried desperately to have a documentary feel, which was honestly ridiculous.

    Have you seen The Fall? I haven’t seen it on your list and it made me curious…

  3. I haven’t seen The Fall yet, but I’ve been wanting to. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. i was pleasantly surprised to find out that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the short story upon which Benjamin Button (the movie) was based, then mention this in the opening credits

  5. I’ve been watching Dear Zachary a lot lately – great film, admire its editing. Great list!!!

  6. Wonderful list indeed Joseph! Your inclusion of DEAR ZACHARY is classy, and with deserving choices like MAN ON WIRE, SLUMDOG, WRESTLER, BENJAMIN BUTTON and ENCOUNTERS, you really have a top-rank listing here, that I am thrilled to lay my eyes on. I look forward to an eventual elaboration on a few of these. Great work!

  7. I completely forgot about THE VISITOR and MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. (The former would have probably inched American Teen off the list)

  8. Joseph: THE VISITOR was my #2, and MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS #7, so you knowI’m completely with you there on both!

  9. One post in a more than a month, and but three since October? Has life taken priority (damn that life thing…) or did the Horror Fest just kick your ass?

    Of the ones on your list that I’ve seen, I greatly enjoyed them all. Which means I need to see the rest…

  10. It’s a mixture of real life, a sabbatical of sorts (or laziness…can’t decide), and a rethinking of what I’m doing.

    I’m considering doing away with rating the films that I review (or at least not putting much stock in them). Especially around this time of year it’s evident that some of my favorite films have lower ratings than other films.

    Hmm…that sounds like a future post…

    But rest assured, I will be writing more after the Oscar buzz dies down, and especially more in the Summer.

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