PRINT December 2010

Film: Best of 2010

Marie Losier

1 Trypps #7 (Badlands) (Ben Russell) A gorgeous woman tripping on acid, experiencing myriad emotions. There’s a mirror, a loud gong, wind for sound—and the Badlands. A real trip!

2 Le amiche (Michelangelo Antonioni) Antonioni’s graceful camera had an eye for detail—architecture, interior design, fashion, cocktail parties—and, of course, sexy women. Sad, enveloping, and tremendously moving, the late maestro’s 1955 film reappeared this year in a gloriously restored black-and-white print.

3 Daddy Longlegs (Joshua and Ben Safdie) A love letter to New York, brimming with loony characters and dialogue, nervous energy, laughs, and nostalgia, with a wonderful performance by Ronald Bronstein as an overcaffeinated father.

4 Le quattro volte (Four Times) (Michelangelo Frammartino) The highlight of Frammartino’s poetic, meditative evocation of the circle of life is a laconic, almost Tati-like sequence culminating in a slow-motion car crash and a dog barking at passing villagers, some dressed as Roman legionnaires.

5 The Little White Cloud That Cried (Guy Maddin) A hilarious, campy porn film from dear Guy Maddin, replete with transvestites, big breasts, and a dance of penises and skulls. One can feel Guy’s exhilaration in undressing his camera.

6 To Die Like a Man (João Pedro Rodrigues) A mad mixture of genres, colors, and styles, breaking all expectations, leaving us transformed and sad with a smile.

7 Alamar (Pedro González-Rubio) A deceptively simple fairy tale from the sea, posing as a documentary about a father and son’s journey both literal and metaphoric.

8 Three restored films by Tony Conrad with live performance (Millennium Film Workshop, New York, March 27, 2010) With a strip of celluloid attached to head and foot, Tony Conrad performed with a bow, using the filmstrip as the “string”; he then screened three hilarious and surprising shorts from the 1970s and ’80s. In one the artist’s eight-year-old son questions the idea of power.

9 A Married Couple (Allan King) This intimate 1969 portrait of a marriage is both devastating and uplifting, as King makes us silent observers inside the couple’s house. (The newly restored print also appeared this year in Criterion’s DVD box set of the incomparable documentarian’s work.)

10 Land of Milk and Honey (Pierre Étaix) Yet another triumphant restoration and revival! Étaix’s hilarious collage portrait of seaside campers on vacation conjures a deliciously ironic image of France.

Marie Losier, the film curator at the French Institute Alliance Française in New York, formerly programmed experimental film at Manhattan’s Robert Beck Memorial Cinema and at Ocularis, in Brooklyn. A filmmaker in her own right, Losier is currently working on her first feature film, a portrait of the pioneering musician-artist Genesis P-Orridge.