Movies 2006: No Time! There's Never Enough Time!

Jessie: "No time! No time! There's never enough time!"
Zack: "C'mon Jessie! You have to sing!"
Jessie: "Sing? Sing? I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so...scared!"

Time's been a bitch this year, and based on seeing others' lists/commentary/etc., I think I missed a lot. In lieu of using some sort of back-in-time powers, here's a few I liked this year.

Best Movie I Never Want to See Again
United 93

Best Movie That Fucks the Cynicism Away
Dave Chappelle's Block Party

Best "Thinking Sucks" Movie
Miami Vice

Best French Movie That Looks Like it Came Out in the 1960s (No, not you - have a seat Mr. Army of Shadows)
13 (Tzameti)

Best Movie That Will Be Remembered As Scorsese's Scent of a Woman
The Departed

Best Clint Eastwood Movie Since Unforgiven
Letters from Iwo Jima

Best Laugh-Out-Loud-And-I-Don't-Mean-Just-a-Smile-With-An-Appreciation-For-Wit Movie

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Cinema Twilight: The Best of 2006

I title this column "Cinema Twilight" because it is my reluctant acknowledgment that movies seem very well to be in the twilight of their relevance. As Cosmodrome's panel extrapolates on the cinematic year that was, starting with a declaration of our Top Ten lists, I suspect what might drive some of our arguments will be what role films should play in an age when they can no longer lay a claim on the title of most cutting edge art form.

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The 15 Best Films of 2006

2006 was a great year for film, as has been every year since 1878. In my opinion, if the year sees just one great film released, that makes it a great year for film.

Drum roll, please...

The 15 Best Films of 2006

15. Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (Albert Brooks, U.S.A.)

14. Dreamgirls (Bill Condon, U.S.A.)

13. Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck, U.S.A.)

12. Volver (Pedro Almodovar, Spain)

11. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom)

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The Death of Airplanes, Babies, Leftism, French Aristocrats, Ancient Mayans and, of course, Mr. Lazarescu

A year in cinema is only as good as the movies one gets to see. And this year I saw more movies than I have since 1996 (when I think I might have seen every movie that was released, including Sgt. Bilko, The Pallbearer, Celtic Pride and I'm Not Rappaport).

But here are the ones that made the top of my list ten years later, most of which are about death in one way or another...

1. United 93
2. The Proposition
3. Old Joy
4. L'Enfant
5. Battle in Heaven

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So Much Dancing and Singing in the Streets - World Cup Soccer on US TV

Can we talk about the TV coverage of the World Cup for a moment?

The World Cup, as it seems, is a pretty big deal, and TV is a big part of why it’s great. Germany’s fairly hospitable time zone for US viewing (in comparison to those nightmarish early-AM matches from the Far East in ’02) and the fact that the Teutonic sun stays out until about 9:45PM this time of year means that live games can be seen all day on the ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 family.

We all know about the difficult time soccer/football has had here in the US for any number of reasons (Is it OK to call it soccer? Too pretentious to call it football?) and I’m not even going to get into that discussion. But as a casual fan and admirer of the beautiful game who has watched something like 12 hours of soccer on TV in the last three days, I’ve noticed a few things about how this game is presented to the US.

As Bono (of course) so eloquently puts it in ESPN’s promotional spots for the Cup, “It’s a simple thing, a ball and a goal.” He then reminds us that once every four years, this simple thing closes shops, stops wars, changes the world, does more than politicians ever could, and so on. These spots were the opening salvo in ABC/ESPN’s campaign to bludgeon its viewers repeatedly with soccer’s profound importance in the world. ...more

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Lars' Dogmas

Dogma 95 is nothing if not enigmatic. Among its contradictory elements are Dogma 95’s simultaneous rejection and embodiment of auteurism and its inconsistent and confusing attitude towards democracy and the public.

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The Simpsons Movie? How About The Simpsons Cinema!

"For the average consumers such as ourselves, television is virtually an anonymous medium."

Rosalind Coward

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Will Reggaeton Find a New Beat?

The weather around Cosmodrome HQ has been getting warmer as of late and that means only one thing: Reggaeton. Apartment windows open up, car windows roll down, and soon all the streets are filled with crashing waves of Latin dance music that had been formerly concealed by winter weather. Don't get us wrong, we're into Reggaeton - it makes us feel all woozy inside.

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Harvey Scissorhands

If there has been one ego to overshadow those of recent American film directors it is that of Harvey Weinstein.

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The 9/11 Trope

I have seen very few of my favorite movies in the theater. This is just one of the realities that young cinephiles must accept. Even when I go see Chinatown or Blue Velvet in repertory cinemas, it isn't the first time I'm seeing those films. A lot of the magic happens on DVD.

United 93 gave me a magical theatrical experience, the likes of which I can only remember feeling twice in recent memory (Requiem for a Dream and Birth).

Going in to the Tribeca premiere, my expectations were occupied by the questions the trades have all been asking about the film: "Are audiences ready for a movie about 9/11?" and "How tasteful will the film be?" For me, the answer to both of these questions has to do with how "definitive" the film attempts to be - if it achieves the status of being the "definitive" 9/11 movie, then audiences are probably more likely to accept it. At the same time, it is precisely that aim for "definitiveness" that strikes me as distasteful.

Though the extra-textual United 93 marketing campaign will self-righteously try and paint the film as "the definitive 9/11 movie" (as Paramount will try to do later this year for Oliver Stone's World Trade Center), United 93 itself manages to avoid such self-importance in at least three ways. Read on...

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