My Top 10 List of Brilliant Films I Can Never Watch Again

I have compiled a list of brilliant films, exquisite works of art, that I feel everyone must watch. The thing is, these movies are so emotionally drenching, gut wrenching and hazardous to a delicate heart, I can never bring myself to watching them a second time as now I know what’s ahead of me and cannot go through such turmoil again.

Compliance (2012) – Director: Craig Zobel



 
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) – Director: Lynne Ramsay


 
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008) – Director: Kurt Kuenne


 
Dancer in the Dark (2000) – Director: Lars von Trier


 
Requiem for a Dream (2000) – Director: Darren Aronofsky


 
Boys Don’t Cry (1999) – Director: Kimberly Peirce


 
 
* As with any of my ‘Top 10′ lists, upon publishing they usually don’t have 10 items in them as I like to leave room for future additions.

‘V for Vendetta’ Film Quote About Humanity

I hope that, whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and things get better. But I hope most of all that you understand that even though I will never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you.
 
    Valerie (Natasha Wightman) — V for Vendetta (2006)

My Top 10 List of Films About Food*

No Impact Man (USA, 2009) – Directors: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein – documentary
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Ctt7FGFBo

Food, Inc. (USA, 2008) – Director: Robert Kenner – documentary
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4jQq2rGV8k

Fast Food Nation (USA, 2006) – Director: Richard Linklater
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc_z623Wsro

Our Daily Bread (Germany, 2005) – Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter – documentary
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHVGYnryYtw

Super Size Me (USA, 2004) – Director: Morgan Spurlock – documentary
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Lkyb6SU5U

* Well, not really about food in general, but about the global and local impact of corporate production of our food.
** As with any of my ‘Top 10′ lists, upon publishing they usually don’t have 10 items in them as I like to leave room for future additions.

Home – A Short Film by Matt Faust

Thanks to Rachel Maddow tweeting about it, I was fortunate enough to watch last year the film “Home” by Matt Faust. It is a touching portrayal of the essence of home as conveyed through bittersweet, evocative archive photos of a house in Chalmette, Louisiana that was flooded by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The film distills the essence of home and the feeling of loss that occurs when home becomes a memory. It does so in a way that everyone can relate to so that observers of Katrina may see beyond the forensic analysis of Katrina’s aftermath and gain a deeper understanding of what has been lost.

During the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival the film was available for viewing online, but unfortunately now it is not. When I asked its creator as to why not make it freely available on YouTube, he replied:

Hey Shahar,
 
In a perfect world, I would put it anywhere I wanted and let everyone see it. But unfortunately, doing that would jeopardize many opportunities for it. Things like film fests, distributors, and the academy awards are very peculiar about how and when they want their films to be shown.
 
I realize that this makes it much harder for people like you to write interesting stories about it, but that’s just the way it has to be for now. Hopefully, a distribution deal will be worked out soon that will at least let you point people to the film on iTunes and other outlets.
 
Thanks and sorry,
Matt

So all I have for you today is the following trailer, which is technically a teaser – but since it is 28% as long as the entire 6 minutes film, it may qualify as Cliff’s Notes:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2mXlFwkP_c

My Top 10 List of Brilliant Films Where Nothing Happens

Can I be alone in my longing for inarticulacy, for a cinema that refuses to join all the dots? For an arrhythmia in gesture, for a dissonance in shape? For the context of cinematic frame, a frame that in the end only cinema can provide, for the full view, the long shot, the space between, the gaps, the pause, the lull, the grace of living.
  
  – – Tilda Swinton‘s State of Cinema address, San Francisco Film Festival

I have compiled a list of movies I really like where pretty much nothing happens. In this age of nonstop-action films, these films dare to show the pause, the lull, the in-between, that which we call life. To say that nothing happens in these films is, of course, an oversimplification, and while these films are not boring, not by any stretch, they are the furthest thing from the climatic feeling you get in other films where a mystery gets solved, or when the two main characters finally fall into each others’ arms.

These films are certainly not for anyone, but those willing to risk losing ninety minutes off their lives, might gain so much more.

 
Lost in Translation (Japan, 2003) – Director: Sofia Coppola

 
Himalaya (Nepal, 1999) – Director: Eric Valli

 
The Band’s Visit (Israel, 2007) – Director: Eran Kolirin

 
The Way Home (South Korea, 2002) – Director: Jeong-hyang Lee

 
Elephant (USA, 2003) – Director: Gus Van Sant

 
The Mailman of China’s Mountains (China, 2003) – documentary

 
Our Daily Bread (Germany, 2005) – Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter – documentary

Waltz With Bashir Does Not Win Oscar

A few minutes ago, Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman lost his bid for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Hebrew speaking Waltz With Bashir, an animated documentary film, or documation, was Israel’s eighth nomination in this category and while everybody here hoped it would be Israel’s first win – unfortunately that was not in the cards tonight. Previous Israeli nominees include:

Foreign Language Film Nominations:
Sallah (Sallah Shabati, 1964)
The Policeman (HaShoter Azoulay, 1971)
I Love You Rosa (Ani Ohev Otach Rosa, 1972)
The House on Chelouche Street (HaBayit Berechov Chelouche, 1973)
Operation Thunderbolt (Mivtsa Yonatan, 1977)
Beyond the Walls (MeAhorei HaSoragim, 1984)
Beaufort (2007)
Documentary Feature Nomination:
The 81st Blow (HaMakah Hashmonim V’Echad‎, 1974)
Best Actor Nomination:
Chaim Topol (as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof‎, 1971)

Here is Ari Folman sitting at a bar, drowning his sorrows, apparently holding someone else’s Oscar statuette (…yes, I manipulated the photo in advance):
Ari Folman Accepting Israel's First Academy Award For Waltz With Bashir

More on this on your mainstream media.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AiPs8NjTpU

Israeli Film ‘Waltz with Bashir’ Nominated For An Academy Award

After winning numerous awards including a Golden Globe, Ari Folman’s documation ‘Waltz with Bashir’ has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Minutes ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has made its announcement for the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, that will be held exactly one month from today, on February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Waltz with Bashir Nominated For An Oscar

Entertainment Weekly Deems Israeli Film One of 50 Sexiest Movies Ever

If you haven’t had the chance to see the Israeli feature film Yossi & Jagger, here’s another reason why you should: Entertainment Weekly just released a list of the 50 Sexiest Movies Ever, and at 49th place the 2002 movie just made the cut. Here’s what EW had to say:

Yossi & Jagger DVD | Amazon.comThe titular men (Ohad Knoller and Yehuda Levi) are sturdy Israeli soldiers stationed at an icy outpost on the Lebanese border. Like a less tormented version of Brokeback Mountain’s Jack and Ennis, they keep their coupling a secret.
Sexiest Moment: The guys go at it, fully clothed, on a snowy hillside. Because we see mostly close-ups of their faces as they make out, joke, and laugh, what’s sexy is their sweet delight in one another.

You can buy the movie here, and download or rent it here. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Sexiest Movies Ever, and their 25 Least Sexy Movies Ever.

The Lion, the Witch and the Jewish Russian American in the Wardrobe

[singlepic id=72 w=240 h=320 float=right]Every Jewish person that becomes successful abroad is treated here as an Honorary Israeli: Natalie (Hershlag) Portman, Gene (Chaim Witz) Simmons, the girl in the Yes We Can video – basically if you have experienced worldwide success, no matter how vague your connection to the Holy Land, or how long it has been since you last visited – Israelis will find a way to not only prove you were always one of us, but that your success is directly linked to your being one of us.

I tell you… those Israelis will grasp at anything…

Singer-songwriter and Honorary Israeli Regina Spektor      was one of the artists chosen to sing for the new Narnia film released last week. Have a listen and see if you like the song as much as I and Perez did:

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Buy the entire album in MP3 format or in CD format.

Regina Spektor – The Call – Lyrics

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
’till it was a battle cry

I’ll come back..
When you call me
No need to say good bye

Just because everything’s changing
Doesn’t mean it’s never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war

Pick a star on the dark horizon
And follow the light
You’ll come back when its over
No need to say good bye
You’ll come back when it’s over
No need to say good bye.

Now we’re back to the beginning
It’s just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can’t feel it too
Doesn’t mean that you have to forget

Let your memories grow stonger and stonger
’til they’re before your eyes

You’ll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye
You’ll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye