The Executioner: By the Neck By David Cairns
Designing for del Toro By Eric Skillman
For the past couple of months, critics and movie lovers have been madly assessing the first decade of film of the twenty-first century, offering lists of its best movies—and we’re happy to report that many of Criterion’s contemporary titles have been making the cut. Sight & Sound is the latest to join in the celebration, with a best-of-the-decade retrospective in its new February issue. Editor Nick James introduces the list—determined collaboratively by the S&S editorial team—by considering “the directors, the countries, the trends and technological changes that are shaping the new global cinema.” The final lineup of thirty films, featured along with excerpts of pieces on them from the magazine’s archives, includes the Criterion releases Colossal Youth (“Surely destined to have a resounding influence on the future of European independent filmmaking,” writes Jonathan Romney), In the Mood for Love (which Amy Taubin calls “exquisite, fragile”), and Yi Yi (Tony Rayns: “No narrative outline can hope to convey anything of the novelistic density of character and incident in Edward Yang’s wonderful film, or the richness”).
Wide-ranging decade wrap-up polls have also recently appeared in Film Comment (which mentioned, in addition to those above, The Royal Tenenbaums, In Vanda’s Room, Summer Hours, and Fat Girl) and on indieWIRE.com (vote-getters there also included A Christmas Tale, Hunger, George Washington, Ratcatcher, and Traffic). Meanwhile, the Cinematheque Ontario is holding an ongoing film series titled The Best of the Decade: An Alternative View. As chief curator James Quandt explains on the Cinematheque’s site, to arrive at the final program, “we surveyed a deluxe panel of over sixty film curators, historians, archivists, and programmers.” Unsurprisingly, these selections include In the Mood for Love, Colossal Youth, In Vanda’s Room, and Yi Yi. The series runs through February 23.