Top 30...Er 54...films from TIFF

Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)
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Top 30...Er 54...films from TIFF
It seems Canada's national paper, The Globe and Mail, has been busy talking to film programmers, historians and archivists lately.  They have put together a list of films that have played at the Toronto International Film Festivals in the past 10 years that garnered 7 or more votes from their 60 voters to declare "The Top Films of the Decade" from a artier perspective than say, the typical AFI. 

What struck me initially upon reading this list is that Asia really dominates it.  There are two Jia Zhang-ke films in the top 3, and three in total in the 54 item list.  There are also 3 Apichatpong Weerasethakul films, 3 Hou Hsiao-hsien films, 2 Tsai Ming-liang, and others from Wong Kar Wai, Lee Chang-Dong, Edward Yang and Hiyao Miyazaki.  That is a lot of love, considering Asia if often underrepresented at TIFF compared to the USA or Europe (or even Australia). 

Not that these films were necessarily chosen by the enthusiasm of the respective screenings at the festival, by that token, Ichi The Killer and Ong Bak would also be on that list.  Either way, there is a interesting and diverse collection of world cinema below, that indeed, as the article states, "covers off aching love, brutal violence, bizarre comedy and every conceivable taboo."

The complete list is below, with ties numbered consecutively.  The more lumped together list is in the original article at the Globe and Mail.

1. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) - 53 votes

2. Platform (Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong, China/China/Japan/France) - 49 votes

3. Still Life (Jia Zhang-ke, China) - 48 votes

4. Beau travail (Claire Denis, France) - 46 votes

5. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, China) - 43 votes

6. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand/Germany/Italy) - 38 votes

7. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, Romania) - 35 votes

8. Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr, Hungary) - 35 votes

9. Éloge de l'amour ( In Praise of Love ) (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/ France) - 34 votes

10. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania) - 33 votes

11. Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands) - 32 votes

12. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/Germany) - 31 votes

13. The New World (Terrence Malick, USA) - 30 votes

14. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand) - 29 votes

15. Le Fils ( The Son ) (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France) - 27 votes

16. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Switzerland) - 25 votes

17. Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse ( The Cleaners and I ) (Agnès Varda, France) - 24 votes

18. In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, Portugal/Germany/Italy/Switzerland) - 24 votes

19. Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson, Sweden/Denmark/Norway) - 24 votes

20 . Caché ( Hidden ) (Michael Haneke, France/Austria/Germany/Italy) - 23 votes

21. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, USA) - 23 votes

22. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, France/USA) - 23 votes

23. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan) - 23 votes

24. Rois et reine ( Kings & Queen ) (Arnaud Desplechin, France) - 21 votes

25. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, USA) - 20 votes

26. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar, Spain) - 19 votes

27. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran/France) 18 votes

28. YI YI (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang, Taiwan/Japan) - 18 votes

29. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, Spain) - 17 votes

30. L'Enfant ( The Child ) (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France) - 16 votes

31. The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin, Canada) - 16 votes

32. I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France/Austria) - 16 votes

33. Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, USA) - 16 votes

34. The World (Jia Zhang-ke, China/Japan/France) - 14 votes

35. Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Japan) - 13 votes

36. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy) - 13 votes

37. L'Intrus ( The Intruder ) (Claire Denis, France) - 13 votes

38. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France) - 13 votes

39. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, Canada) - 13 votes

40. Saraband (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden) - 13 votes

41. Spirited Away (Hiyao Miyazaki, Japan) - 13 votes

42. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes, USA) - 13 votes

43. Gerry (Gus Van Sant, USA) - 12 votes

44. Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) - 11 votes

45. Dogville (Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/UK/France/Germany) - 11 votes

46. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, USA) - 11 votes

47. Alexandra (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/France) - 9 votes

48. demonlover (Olivier Assayas, France) - 9 votes

49. Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, Canada) - 8 votes

50. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan) - 8 votes

51. Longing (Valeska Grisebach, Germany) - 7 votes

52. Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea) - 7 votes

53. Vai e Vem ( Come and Go ) Joao Cesar Monteiro, Portugal) - 7 votes

54. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, USA/France) - 7 votes

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Peter K.November 24, 2009 9:49 PM

I'm pretty excited to see as much as I can of this Top 30 when they start playing at the Cinematheque.

Ard VijnNovember 25, 2009 6:09 AM

I'm dismayed about how many of these I haven't seen yet.

And I'm ashamed about the ones I don't even know about. Like the number 2 in the list...
:-(