The Best Movies of 2010

Communication and identity were big themes in 2010 (and every other year), right alongside isolationism on top and kids (and their toys) growing up to mounting uncertainty.  The films, as they always do, reflect that.  The best ones had none of the problems that their characters often face, and though there are thousands of tireless idiosyncrasies among this year’s releases, it’s the bigger connections that are important, and we’ve left one out.  All of the films on this list are wonderful, if each in their own way.  So here’s a toast to the great, the weird, the insightful, the funny, and the heartbreaking, and here’s hoping Transformers 3 doesn’t prevent 2011 from being just as good if not better.

1. Black Swan- Taking lessons from classics like The Red Shoes and Repulsion and then adding in more frantic body horror, Darren Aronofsky has us follow Nina the ballerina on her nightmarish journey toward perfection in her preparation for the leads in Swan Lake. In this unlikely companion piece to 2008’s The Wrestler, we dive deeper into the depths of an athlete’s mind and body at war with itself while Nina tries to find her inner dark side to play the Black Swan.  The battle is projected onto the environment with hallucinations and onto Nina’s weary body in the form of scratches, bruises, and emerging feathers.  Aronofsky himself wages a successful battle between perfect technique and dark, brooding instinct.  He, along with a never-better Natalie Portman, creates a new masterpiece full of feverish dance sequences, controlling mothers, and fierce competition for his catalog.  Like his protagonist, he flies past the competition and lands atop the pile of 2010’s best films.  Read Full Review Continue reading

REVIEW: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Directed by: Banksy
Written by: N/A
Starring: Banksy, Thierry Guetta, Shepard Fairey, and Rhys Ifans

The battle between art and commerce is as old as art and commerce.  Can you truly put a price on something that you create?  Is it possible to attach concrete meaning to something that appears so illusive and immune to analysis?  These are big questions, ones that Exit Through the Gift Shop tackles almost effortlessly and on accident.

Initially, this is a film about the evolution of the underground street art movement and its many players.  Thierry Guetta is an amateur videographer whose interest is peaked by the illegal art that these renegades create after the sun sets.  He follows them around, collecting thousands of hours of footage without any real purpose behind his concept other than it interests and inspires him.  In a way he becomes a public relations rep and assistant to these artists’ visions, that is until he meets Banksy.

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