Favorites: 2006

The year’s officially over, so I thought I would share my “Top Tens” and “Best Of” lists. Of course, since I live outside of New York and L.A., I’ve not had a chance to see several movies that were on so many critics’ year-end lists. Instead, I’ve made mulitple lists — some short, some long — of my favorites from 2006. After all, how can we call something “Best Of” when we haven’t surveyed all there is out there?

Ten Favorite Independent Films – Features and Shorts
Contest – Sunrise Tippeconnie
Dance Party USA – Aaron Katz
Five More Minutes – Dena DeCola and Karin E. Wandner
I Am A Sex Addict – Caveh Zahedi
Iraq in Fragments – James Longley
LOL – Joe Swanberg
Mutual Appreciation – Andrew Bujalski
The Puffy Chair – The Duplass Brothers
Some Analog Lines – David Lowery
War – Jake Mahaffy

Favorite Studio Film: A Scanner Darkly – Richard Linklater

Favorite Foreign Film: L’Enfant – The Dardenne Brothers
Pan’s Labrinth – Guillermo Del Toro

Other Honorable Mentions: An Inconvenient Truth, Half Nelson, Brothers of the Head, A Family Finds Entertainment, Head Trauma

Three Noteworthy Disappointments
The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
A Prairie Home Companion

An Incomplete List of 2006 Films I’m Eager To See
Borat
Children of Men
Inland Empire
Kurt Cobain: About a Son
Letters from Iwo Jima
Old Joy
Pan’s Labyrinthseen 2.3.07
Three Times

Favorite Non-Contemporary DVD Releases:
Jackal of Nahueltoro – Miguel Littin – Terra Entertainment
Punishment Park – Peter Watkins – New Yorker
Seven Samurai (remaster) – Akira Kurasawa – Criterion
Six Moral Tales Box Set – Eric Rohmer – Criterion
Star Spangled to Death – Ken Jacobs
Wanda – Barbara Loden – Parlour Pictures
Yi Yi – Edward Yang – Criterion

Most exciting development in DVD for 2007: Criterion’s Eclipse label

Best Moviegoing Experience I Had in 2006: Seeing Yi Yi for the first time.

4 Responses to “Favorites: 2006”

  1. Darren Says:

    Paul, you really need to join us in Toronto next year. I know the second week of September is a bad time for academics, but you could probably do five or six days of the fest by only canceling one or two classes. Come up Thursday night and stay until Wednesday, or come up Tuesday night and stay until Sunday. Something like that.

    Three Times is already out on R1 DVD, by the way.

  2. Ed Domanskis Says:

    You probably will never hear of Arunas Matelis or his film, Before Flying Back to Earth, but they are in the Oscar race for Best Foreign Film of the year! Unfortunately, the chances are slim that it will win, or even get one of the final nominations, for this film has no resources to promote it. I am writing you personally to urge you to give it any support that you can for it is a worthy film deserving of your attention.

    Before Flying Back to Earth chronicles the hopes and resilience of children with leukemia in Lithuania. It is based on the observations of its Director, Arunas Matelis’ five year-old daughter who has leukemia. Her struggles with leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood, and afflicts thousands of children per year, in fact, parallels his to gain recognition for this film, and win an Oscar against undeniably improbable odds!

    I provide charity services in the same children’s hospital in Lithuania where it was filmed. This film’s nomination would do much to spotlight cancer, which is the 2nd most common cause of death in young children.

    Arunas Matelis, the director, is just happy that his film is even being considered for such an honor as an Academy Award. To win a nomination for for him would be a miracle, but for Arunas much less important than having his young actors recover from their illnesses!

    I thank you for your consideration for this film! Dr. Ed Domanskis

    Arunas Matelis is a Lithuanian Director who has won numerous awards for his Film, Before Flying Back to Earth, and can be contacted through the film’s website, BeforeFlyingBacktoEarth.com or directly at forest@nominum.lt. He is available for interviews and will be presenting his film at the upcoming Palm Springs Film Festival January 6th and 8th and in Los Angeles January 14. He will be at the Marquis Suites from January 4 until the 9th.

  3. jmj Says:

    I had the honor of working with Sunrise recently on independent film called Ciao. He was the gaffer. Conicedentally David Lowery is the editor. I’m glad to see “Contest” and “Some Analog Lines” on your list. Both really great shorts!

  4. Daniel Kremer Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I saw THE JACKAL OF NAHUELTORO for the first time just recently. I remember speaking to you about ALSINO AND THE CONDOR awhile back and you telling me about JACKAL. In all my ranting and raving about cinema poetry, I found it with that movie. Spoke with Sunrise Tippeconnie not too long ago and he was telling me about CONTEST’s journey through the festival circuit. Incidentally, I have a film off to two midwestern film fests in April, so I am getting pretty excited. Thanks.