Ten, Schmen!

Fellow Cinephiles!

I respectfully disagree that ten is the definitive number we should use in making our lists. Yes, listmaking is about many of the things mentioned in the previous post. But don't forget that it should also be fun! Dictating to colleagues how to express themselves just ain't my idea of fun. I thought that kind of rigid cinephile negativity died with Susan Sontag.

Another thing: listmaking in its own right is subjective, of course, so the number of films we put on our list—ten, fifteen, even forty (as Jonathan Rosenbaum did in both 2000 and 2002)—is also merely a subjective decision. In other words, the number we choose is ultimately arbitrary. But the content of our lists is anything but.

My friends, it is my belief that listmaking—however silly or annoying some think it to be—is most importantly about RAISING AWARENESS OF GREAT ART. We must motivate and challenge people to see all the titles on our lists so they can form their own opinions about the films. Sorry, but for me that includes fifteen, not ten, films. How could I ever let anyone tell me I have to deny a place for my dear Jafar Panahi, or the little-seen non-fiction gem Helvetica, or the return to form of the great Alan Menken? Not this year, baby. Not ever.

Here were my favorite films from 2007, the best year for film since 1999:

1. RATATOUILLE

2. KNOCKED UP

3. THERE WILL BE BLOOD

4. NO END IN SIGHT

5. TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM

6. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

7. LAKE OF FIRE

8. JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN

9. AWAY FROM HER

10. ONCE

11. OFFSIDE

12. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

13. SUPERBAD

14. HELVETICA

15. ENCHANTED

And my first annual Katz & Harris Award for Film Restoration goes to THE CHARLES BURNETT COLLECTION, a 2-disc DVD set containing the gloriously restored 1977 masterpiece Killer of Sheep; several of the director's short films, and both the original and director's cuts of 1983's My Brother's Wedding. Congratulations to the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Milestone Films!