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Movies to Remember 2008 By

Posted in movies,YTAH by YTAH on December 23, 2008
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I’ve written a lot about movies this year, both for Africans and for other sites. I’ve attended film festival after interminable film festival, attended preview upon preview, and that’s apart from renting movies, watching TV series on DVD, and paying to see films on the big screen.

So you’d think I’d have an easy time deciding which films to recommend and which to deride, but the honest truth is that I can’t even remember most of them. Sure, there were some great films on circuit this year (or were there?), but frankly, who gives a shit? When Hollywood churns out innumerable multi-million dollar movies every month, with nary a break or a modicum of sense between them, it devalues the whole enterprise. Only more so if so much of the output is total dreck, like Love Guru or Meet Dave or The Mummy 3.

Instead, each new product begins to flow into itself and into the others, like the colours in a children’s water painting, and soon it all turns to muck. Which, frankly, is the point at which a soulless husk of stupidity like Beverly Hills Chihuahua can make it to the number one spot on the box office – not only Stateside, but also on our shores. My fellow Africans, I ask you: what the fucking fuck?

So rather than combing through the year’s release schedules, trying to find one worthwhile movie, I’ve simply thought long and hard (okay, 15 minutes) about the movie experiences that stick out in my memory. And now, without any further ado, here is…

YTAH Presents: 2008 in Movies

1343_wall-e11. Planet Terror [2007] – Dir. Robert Rodriquez. One word: Machete! Also stars the guy who played the uber-talented mortician in Six Feet Under (Freddie Rodriguez).

10. Death Proof [2007] – Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Again, it may be that I saw this at the right time, with the right crowd, but this was an amazingly enjoyable film. Perhaps this makes me as much of a fanboy as Tarantino himself, but I preferred it to Rodriguez’s zombie jaunt.

9. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die [1962] – Dir. Joseph Green. This Z-grade 60s “horror” film has it all: a recycled plot siphoned from better films, plot holes the size of the Titanic, and an exuberance of moral outrage. Classic!

8. Wall-E [2008] – Dir. Andrew Stanton. Read my review to see why this isn’t higher in the list.

7. Tropic Thunder [2008] – Dir. Ben Stiller. Any film that gives the shaft to Forrest Gump is alright in my book. Everything about this film is simply fantastic. Also, two words: “eye rain”. Welcome back, Mr Stiller.

6. The Dark Knight [2008] – Dir. Chris Nolan. I think Pinvictor’s said enough, don’t you?

5. L’Avventura [1960] – Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, who also brought us Blow-Up. This would be higher up in the list if the picture didn’t keep pixilating. Boo! Hiss! Classic film though. The section in the ghost town stands out in memory.

4. ¡Maldito Bastardo! [2008] – Dir. Javi Camino. Hints of incest, bestiality, and ridiculously over-the-top performances … what more could a discerning filmgoer ask for? The undisputed comic highlight of the HorrorFest.

3. Pervert! [2005]– A Russ Meyer love-fest, in honour of the director who brought us Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and other films involving scantily-clad women and threadbare plots. Directed by no-one you’ve ever heard of (Jonathan Yudis).

2. Häxan: Witchcraft through the Ages [1922] – Dir. Benjamin Christensen. Memorable not only for the live soundtrack performance, but also the imaginative visual storytelling.

1. Persona [1966] – Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Bona fide genius. Seeing this film on the big screen – and on a film print, at that – was worth braving the worst rainstorm I’ve ever tried to drive in. It’s quite a shock to realize where so many people (David Lynch particularly) got their inspiration.

Granted, only one of these films was released this year. And to add insult to injury, none of the movies I watched for free managed to crack the Top 5. (Thanks Pinvictor! At least I didn’t have to pay for the dreck that was The Incredible Hulk… Of Shit.) Also, it’s a rather odd number for a best of list. But those were seriously the films that stand out.

Hopefully, these are the films I’ll remember when I think back about 2008. More likely, though, these fond memories will be soured by the recollection of getting suckered into watching Eagle Eye, or seeing Edward Norton go from class act to class “A” asshole. Way to go, 2008; now go fuck yourself.

Meantime, my fellow Africans, I can only exhort you once more to enjoy your crispy-fried carollers safely this festive season, and remember: when you’re out doing last-second Christmas shopping, or driving on SA’s beautiful roads, do the world a favour – indulge in some active aggression. It’s so much more constructive.

[Originally published on on Tuesday, December 23, 2008.]


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