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Dec 31, 2009

The Really Drawn-out Blog Cabins Decennial Spectacular: #1

Decennial, in case you're not hip to the term, means: 1. relating to or lasting for ten years, or 2. occurring every ten years. It's really a word that we should hear more often. Anyway, this will be my series where I count down my favorites from the last decade, and since I don't plan on it taking 10 years to finish, we're going to go with the second definition.

Previous day's posts:
12/21: Intro/#10: Idiocracy
12/22: #9: Children of Men
12/23: #8: Pan's Labyrinth
12/24: #7: Wall*E
12/26: #6: Memento
12/27: #5: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
12/28: #4: The Royal Tenenbaums
12/29: #3: Amelie
12/30: #2: There Will Be Blood

Number 1 on the RD-oBCDS is...

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
With a bullet. I mean, not even close. Astute readers might recall that in my Top 50 films that I posted a little over a year ago, there were only two from this decade in the first chunk of ten, and this was the higher of the two (I didn't assign numbers, and interestingly enough, my Decennial #2 is nowhere to be found on the entire list; either I was still digesting it or made an oversight). Additionally, Eternal Sunshine was one of the movies I listed as one of my favorites in the LAMB's first-ever post. You read and perfectly retained the info given in both those posts, right?

Almost since the day I saw it, Michel Gondry's near-perfect film vaulted itself into my vaunted Top 3 (an impossible to separate trio that includes Pulp Fiction and Fight Club, with Fletch coming in a sentimental fourth). Inventive, funny, heartbreaking, creepy, sexy - pick an adjective, they all apply in spades.

Take a look at the complete Decennial Top 10 I've posted and you'll notice a very similar theme that runs through many of them: they are the works of tireless creatives that weren't satisfied with merely telling a story that existed in the reality we inhabit. Rather, they constructed whole new worlds in their films and filled them with intricate, intimate details that left the viewer's eyes (or at least this viewer) wide-eyed and struggling to catch up to all that had been laid out in front of them. A depressing America some 500 years into the future filled with morons (at best). An equally depressing (for altogether different reasons) planet just 20 years from now that needs but a single tweak (infertility) to wreak havoc on a global scale. The imagination of a pre-teen girl inhabited by monsters and fairies. A depressing America some 500 years into the future filled with morons (at best)...and robots. The blackboard of a mind of Leonard Shelby. Middle Earth! The Salinger-esque universe that occupies the head of Wes Anderson, complete with jumpsuit-attired millionaires and the fathers that abandoned them. A Paris so clean and picturesque it left real Parisians livid with Jean-Pierre Jeunet. And perhaps the lone exception, an all-too real version of the world of the early 1900s dominated by tycoons and baptist preachers.

Finally, there is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a movie that takes its audience and characters so far into the rabbit hole that we all forget that there was even a hole there to begin with. Faceless characters, worlds disappearing before our eyes - it's as if screenwriter Charlie Kauffman and Gondry dropped us into a human-sized ant farm and then shook it up until all the tunnels and patterns became jumbled and unrecognizable. So we waded through it all, and what did we find? That the world they had made was perhaps better than the one we were in to begin with.

What's your Top 10 for the decade? Finally, the Blog Cabins End of Year Spectacular for the best and worst of 2009 should hit the streets towards the end of January.

4 people have chosen wisely: on "The Really Drawn-out Blog Cabins Decennial Spectacular: #1"

Fitz said...

Excellent pick for #1, Fletch. Winslet miraculously brings back all the pain and warmth of past loves.

I have The Fountain as 1 on my list.


filmgeek said...

It's my number one too :)


Castor said...

Excellent pick for #1

My top 10:
1. Mulholland Dr.
2. City of God
3. Memento
4. Spirited Away
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
7. Letters from Iwo Jima
8. Pan's Labyrinth
9. Gladiator
10. Adaptation

You can find the entire top 100 back on my blog

Fletch said...

filmgeek - Yes, I would hope so with that Avatar. :D

Castor - I had no idea until I saw all these lists just how loved Mulholland Dr. was. I figured it was like most Lynch affairs - loved by few, misunderstood and/or hated by most of the rest. I'm ashamed to say that I've not seen your numbers 1, 2, or 4, though I've only (up to this point) been interested in seeing #2.