The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Saturday, December 22, 2018
THE YEAR EIGHT: I have no idea what the top 10 movies of 2018 were, because that would entail going to the cineplex far more often than I can manage these days. Fortunately, here at The Perpetual Three-Dot Column we take a longer view: We end each year by listing the best movies of 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, and so on.

When the Motion Picture Academy looked back at 2008, it gave its Best Picture award to the faux-gritty fantasy Slumdog Millionaire. Here are some better films:

1. I Am So Proud of You
Written and directed by Don Hertzfeldt

Hertzfeldt's strange, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking animations always have an internal logic to them, no matter how bizarre they get. But no one else could come up with the internal logics that he invents.

2. The Dark Knight
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer

Nearly every decision in this spandex-noir story is a tragic choice, with unfortunate effects either way. That gives it a weightiness that several superhero flicks have aspired to but few have attained.

Directed by Andrew Stanton
Written by Stanton and Jim Reardon, from a story by Stanton and Peter Docter

"I see the ship's log is showing that today is the 700th anniversary of our five-year cruise. Well, I'm sure our forefathers would be proud to know that 700 years later we'd be doing the exact same thing they were doing."

4. Burn After Reading
Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

A screwball spy flick.

5. The Wrestler
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Written by Robert Siegel

Mickey Rourke's best performance.

6. Wendy and Lucy
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Written by Reichardt and Jon Raymond, from a novel by Raymond

"You can't get an address without an address. You can't get a job without a job. It's all fixed."

7. Man on Wire
Directed by James Marsh

Nick Gillespie
says this is the 9/11 movie, and he may be right. Though I should note that this was also the year of Cloverfield.

8. The Class
Directed by Laurent Cantet
Written by Cantet, François Bégaudeau, and Robin Campillo, from a novel by Bégaudeau

It's a movie about a young teacher in the inner city, and yes I know that those are usually dumb savior fantasies, but this one avoids the clichés of the genre.

9. The Order of Myths
Directed by Margaret Brown

The mystic societies of Mobile, Alabama.

10. The Headless Woman
Written and directed by Lucrecia Martel

A haunting.

Honorable mentions:

11. The Baader Meinhof Complex (Uli Edel)
12. Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn)
13. The Wire 5 (David Simon)
14. Mock Up On Mu (Craig Baldwin)
15. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
16. Lies (Jonas Odell)
17. Civilization (Marco Brambilla)
18. A Matter of Loaf and Death (Nick Park)
19. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (Joss Whedon)
20. The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow (Rodrigo Gudiño, Vincent Marcone)

As you probably know, The Wire is a TV series, not a traditional feature film. So the fella in parentheses on that line is the showrunner, not the director.

Of the films of 2008 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in Let the Right One In and Helsinki, Forever.

posted by Jesse 3:52 PM
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