Fifteen in Fifteen

In honor of its 15th anniversary, IMDB has asked its editors to list their top fifteen movies over the last 15 years. Darren and Girish compiled their lists the other day, and as promised, here’s my Top 15 list. Like Darren and Girish, I’m breaking the rules a bit in naming more than 15 films. I did try to list a few films that other folks didn’t mention. So here’s my list, in no particular order (unlike Darren and Girish, I’m too lazy to alphebetize by director or film title).

I also considered a few others: Dark City, Primer (I need to see it again first), Boogie Nights and Magnolia, Bottle Rocket, Short Cuts, Wonder Boys (a potential guilty pleasure film), Lovely & Amazing, Safe and Far From Heaven, Code 46 (which I also need to see again), Three Kings, and Until the End of the World. Comments? Observations?

14 Comments »

  1. infobong.com Said,

    October 31, 2005 @ 9:34 pm

    extremely varied lists

    It seems like everybody and their dog is blogging about the Internet Movie Database’s top 15 movies of the past 15 years. I turned 30 this month, so the past 15 years represent half of my life and nearly all…

  2. Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 1:10 am

    Top Fifteen of the Last Fifteen

    Taking my pass, in honor of the greatest website in the history of the internet’s 15th anniversary, at my top fifteen films of the past fifteen years. My first pass through netted me thirty films, so I had to pare

  3. Dylan Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 1:12 am

    I just trackbacked mine. When I saw this over here, I ignored it so that I wouldn’t influence my list at all.

    I like your list a lot, and there were some films that I hadn’t even thought about (Red, Blue and White come to mind). I was surprised to see that Hoop Dreams wasn’t on yours.

  4. me, my life infrastructure Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 1:48 am

    favorite flicks (if not fifteen)

    Chuck changed the rules for IMDB’s staff lists of the top fifteen movies from the last fifteen years and listed more than fifteen of his favorite movies. Reading his list made me think about mine. I haven’t come up with

  5. girish Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 7:24 am

    Great call on the Varda, Chuck. I forgot all about it, but it’s surely one of the best documentaries of recent times. When she presented it in Toronto, the Q&A was so rapt that we stayed for over an hour afterwards. She’s so charismatic in person. And I’d love to be able to see Chain.

  6. girish Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 7:31 am

    And there’s a wonderful little book on Dead Man by Jonathan Rosenbaum (in the BFI series) that I really enjoyed (and found profitable).

  7. Chuck Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 8:30 am

    Dylan, I forgot about Hoop Dreams. Not sure it would have made my Top 15, but it should have been among the finalists. Watching that film in the theater (at least twice) was actually a fairly important moment for me.

    Girish, I like that BFI series–I’d love to write a book for it–and, of course, Rosenbaum. I’ll certainly check out the film again and perhaps put Rosenbaum on my reading list.

    I probably shoul have mentioned Waking Life, too, but by the time I reached Linklater’s name on my list, I was getting tired of creating links. Heidi mentioned Double Life of Veronique on her list, which is also a good call.

  8. Darren Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 10:34 am

    Wow, a top 15 with two films — Daughters of the Dust and Chain — I’ve never even heard of. Chuck, at some point I’d love to hear your defense of Ararat.

  9. Chuck Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 11:13 am

    We routinely taught Daughters of the Dust at the University of Illinois, and it works well for independent cinema (it was co-produced by American Playhouse) and for non-traditional narratives. It focuses on the African-American Gullah culture and is set at the turn of the 20th century.

    Chain is by Jem Cohen, who has directed some Fugazi documentaries among other things. In some sense, it’s an “intellectual sequel” to Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil, with its focus on the commodification of public space (in fact, Cohen dedicates the fim to Marker). As you’ll see from my review, the film looks at public space through the eyes of two characters, a Japanese businesswoman and a teenage runaway (and their sense of exile or displacement helps to defamiliarize public spaces such as malls & hotel lobbies). Cohen also namedrops Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in the credits, so that gives you some idea of where his work is coming from.

  10. Lance Mannion Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 10:51 pm

    Fascinating list, although seemingly designed to remind me I need to get out more.

    Or at least update my Netflix queue.

    I’m glad to see John Sayles on your list. What did you think of Sunshine State and Men With Guns?

  11. Chuck Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 11:04 pm

    I like Sayles quite a bit. I considered adding Sunshine State and Limbo, especially teh latter for its amazing final scene. For some reason, Men With Guns disappointed me. I think it was overhyped, and when I finaly saw it (several months late bceause I was living in the midwest at the time), it didn’t live up to the critical acclaim I’d heard.

    To some extent, my list was reacting against the relatively standard choices I saw on the IMDB lists. Some of these choices are also fairly personal in that the experience of watching the film probably contributed to my appreciation of it (driving 3 hours to Chicago to see Ghost Dog on opening night, for example).

  12. Cinemonster Said,

    November 3, 2005 @ 3:51 pm

    Top 15 Most Neglected and/or Disputed Films of the Last 15 Years

    I started this list earlier this week, but I’ve been busy, so only just finished it. It’s inspired by the “Top 15 of the last 15 years” movie lists I found through Chuck’s great entry. I usually don’t make Top-#…

  13. Scrivener Said,

    November 7, 2005 @ 5:04 pm

    This is a great list. I’ve seen the lists going around and have been meaning to make one, but trying to think back over 15 years, this is not so easy. When I was thinking about it, I forget the three Colors movies, which makes me want to watch them again. I put them in the same order you do, too. Seeing Red in a small theater in NY was an important moment for me. I didn’t want to leave the theater, just to sit there and think about how beautiful it had been.

  14. Chuck Said,

    November 8, 2005 @ 3:20 pm

    Scrivener left this comment earlier, but it got caught in the limbo between Typekey and my MT blacklist. Just wanted to make sure it was added to the mix:

    This is a great list. I’ve seen the lists going around and have been meaning to make one, but trying to think back over 15 years, this is not so easy. When I was thinking about it, I forget the three Colors movies, which makes me want to watch them again. I put them in the same order you do, too. Seeing Red in a small theater in NY was an important moment for me. I didn’t want to leave the theater, just to sit there and think about how beautiful it had been.

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