2018 marked my fifth year writing for Screen Anarchy and I can’t tell you what an honour and treat it has been sharing my impassioned, oft-fevered cinematic opinions alongside a community of like-driven souls whom I’m proud to call colleagues.
Beginning my Anarchistic adventure in Austin, TX back in 2014, I’ve since covered five consecutive SXSWs, NYFFs, TIFFs (though since TIFF is my hometown fest, I’ve been unofficially covering it for my personal records since 1998), and in a few weeks I’ll embark on my fifth Sundance.
While ScreenAnarchy has blessed me with a public platform, I still consider my work here to be an extension of my personal records. As far as lists are concerned, I believe I made my first Top 10 in the miraculously good cinematic year of 1999. I vividly remember being reprimanded later in high school for passing notes in class and having said note confiscated. What Mrs. Minor discovered was my Top 10 Films of 2001 and after class, rather than being reprimanded, the conversation turned to the year’s quality output... which I’m getting to, I swear.
It is now exactly twenty years since my first list and I’m not remotely shocked to find myself continuing the beloved pastime with striking continuity. All of my favourite films from 1999 are still my favourite films, perhaps more so, and I’m quite confident that all of my favourite films from 2018 would also be my favourites had I encountered them at 15 years old. In the words of one of my all time favourite song-writers, Doug Martsch, “Hard to believe / That after all this time / That after all this I’m / Still me”
Forgive the gravity of it all, but in the spirit of my five year anniversary writing for this fine outlet, if my tone smacks of wistful retrospect, it is because I will no longer be doing these year-end debrief articles. By no means will I stop making lists - hah! - however, I will be taking the proverbial chill pill in terms of my penchant for hooplah.
I’m flattered and humbled by anyone who gets something out of these year-end articles - or any of my articles for that matter - so to you, dear reader, I say, thank you, my friend. Above all, on this happy new year, I bid a loving thank you to all the auteurs, the music-makers, and the dreamers who dream. To those who dare to express at all costs. May 2019 bring works of innovative storytelling that scintillate, entertain and positively stain our brains for years to come. In the words of Takeshi Kitano, Glory to the Filmmaker! Thank you for continuing to make life interesting when oftentimes it is so very boring. Thank you, Mrs. Minor.
Twenty Years Ago Today
I’m really not looking to get too bogged down in the past here, but I thought in light of the anniversary of it all, another pastime in which I greatly enjoy indulging, I’d like to quickly catch you up as best I can on the last twenty years. Should you only be interested in 2018 works, I implore you to skip this section and forge on ahead with the matter at hand.
BUT if you’re a fellow Rob Gordonite who really gets into lists, please have a gander at my best attempt to relay my favourite films since I began listing, from the perspective of the person I was at the time, not that he’s changed much taste-wise. I did my best to limit myself to one film per year, but often there’s two, and sometimes I couldn’t not three. Since 1999 was so damn strong there’s an entire podcast dedicated to it, I’m just gonna slip in a little Top 5 for that gatecrasher.
As for my “official” personal records, my first SA Top 10 went down in 2014 and while I’d love to rewrite a lot of that stuff having accumulated five years of practice, what can you do? All in all, I’m glad they exist. Should you feel so compelled, please do throw your own twenty year retrospect into the comment section. I’d love to cross examine!
1999 - Election / Magnolia / Eyes Wide Shut / The Virgin Suicides / Fight Club
2000 - Requiem For A Dream / O Brother, Where Art Thou
2001 - Mulholland Drive / Waking Life / Ghost World
2002 - Adaptation
2003 - Lost In Translation / House of 1000 Corpses
2004 - Kill Bill / Dig! / Before Sunset
2005 - No Direction Home / Broken Flowers
2006 - Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious... / Children of Men
2007 - I’m Not There / Red Road
2008 - Synecdoche, New York
2009 - A Serious Man
2010 - Best Worst Movie / Cooper’s Camera
2011 - Another Earth / Killer Joe
2012 - The Master / Moonrise Kingdom
2013 - Inside Llewyn Davis