FILMMAKER YEAR IN REVIEW: JAMES PONSOLDT
Here’s the next in our Filmmaker contributor ’08 wrap-ups, from James Ponsoldt.
So…I don’t like “Best of” lists, or even the idea of “best” being used in regards to films (or any art). I mean, let’s be honest–there’s one reason why we have “Best of” lists: we like to argue.
And that’s cool. Arguing is great. But isn’t “favorite” more appropriate than “best”?
I think so. Does that sound precious?
Eh, I don’t care.
These are some of my favorite films, performances, and film moments of 2008.
Favorite Film: Milk
Favorite Documentary Film (Tie): South Main, Encounters at the End of the World
Favorite Male Performance (Tie): Michael J. Smith, Jr. (Ballast), Souleymane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo)
Favorite Female Performance (Tie): Mary Bronstein (Yeast), Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky)
Favorite Male Supporting Performance: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Favorite Female Supporting Performance: Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married)
Favorite Ensemble Performance: The Class
Favorite Cinematography (Tie): James Laxton (Medicine for Melancholy), Sam Levy (Wendy and Lucy)
Favorite Screenplay (Tie): Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York), Tom McCarthy (The Visitor)
Favorite Direction (Tie): Roy Andersson (You, the Living), Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy)
Formal Innovation: Waltz with Bashir
Favorite Old Score for a New Film: Nino Rota (Paranoid Park)
Favorite Diegetic Score: Zafer Tawil/Donald Harrison, Jr. (Rachel Getting Married)
Best Discovery/Re-Release: The Exiles
1) Eleanore Hendricks playing with the polar bear in The Pleasure of Being Robbed.
2) The opening and closing shots of Silent Light are breathtaking and made me awestruck like a child.
3) Tropic Thunder is pretty hilarious, but the mock-trailer for Satan’s Alley (AKA The Gay Monk Film) at the beginning of the film makes me think that a proper spin-off is in order.
4. The opening shot of Ballast is perfect. This is why I go to the movies. How long did they have to wait for that moment…? – James Ponsoldt