Monday, January 4, 2010

My Favorite Film of the Last Ten Years...


yup. no description needed.


ok. i guess i can write SOMETHING.

thinking back over my life watching films from this decade, ive been drawn to the macabre movies that tend to make me feel empty inside. why do i do this to myself? as ive said before, i watch movies to feel extremes and it might be because im so cynical and embittered with life that its hard for me to experience something that makes me feel good about life and humanity. dont get me wrong, there have been quite a few films i loved that genuinely made me feel happy throughout the years like that over the years. as i discussed earlier in the list, harold and kumar go to the white castle is one of them. the scene in which they finally got their burgers made me feel great to be alive as it was seeing two people struggle and then get exactly what they want. that is something i can relate to and something i have experienced- a struggle and an inevitable pay-off though not all conflicts end that way.

with wall-e, the struggle was the loss and eventual redemption of humanity. the character of wall-e, the last garbage collection bot on earth, through years of mindless work discovered humanity and finds joy and pleasure in the smallest details and minutiae we all take for granted. meanwhile, the actual human race has lost all the things that made themselves unique. they relied on machines for everything -- food, movement, reproduction and while excretion was not covered in the film, we can make a wager as to some other things those chairs did. in short, human beings could barely be classified as living things and certainly not unique. also, at any point in the movie, it doesn't show humans loving anything (love being perhaps one of the most important feelings of the human spirit). though wall-e, one of millions of similarly produced beings, alone on the planet discovered all these things and more and sought the one thing that humanity neglected: real physical contact. wall-e wanted to hold eva's hand (eva of course being another scouting droid robot sent to recover hints of plant life on earth) which he understood as the ultimate sign of love. when eva is struck down, wall-e nurses her(/it?) back to health and shelters her from rain and other elements, again something that humanity has forgotten.

without giving away spoilers (though i think we all know how it ends) the pay-off of the film is epic and consistently drives me to tears. the message for me is not that love conquers all, which im not sure i actually believe in life, but that nothing is as worse of as it appears. in the beginning of the movie, humanity seemed worse for the wear but there was a spark still alive in the form of wall-e. in that spark, there was hope, and eventually, humanity did survive and for me, knowing that seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome is an invigorating feeling.

on a side note, to anyone who has seen the film and not paid close attention to the credits, i suggest you do so. it traces the future of the human race of when they leave the ship to a recovery of their culture and it does so through art movements in history. in other words, earliest images of humans leaving the ship are cave paintings than go to ancient egyptian-->medieval-->renassaince-->impression etc. in fact, here it is:

so there ya go. my favorite movies of the last 10 years. that only took me about 30 hours to do.