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Industry and Blogger Top 10s for 2006: “Borat,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Departed,” and “Jesus Camp”

Industry and Blogger Top 10s for 2006: "Borat," "Pan's Labyrinth," "The Departed," and "Jesus Camp"

Another look back at 2006… this time featuring top ten lists from industry insiders and bloggers. Participants were invited to include films released theatrically this year, but each person devised their own criteria. We also encouraged participants to consider adding a sidebar of a few favorite undistributed films, to help us when we determine the participants in our next Undiscovered Gems series. indieWIRE solicited lists from an assortment of folks and in the spirit of the season, decided to include one joint list and another from an insider who asked if he might be included. indieWIRE readers are encouraged to post their own top ten list for 2006 in the comments section below (and don’t forget to include your name).

Liza Bear, blogger

Best Ten List 2006 (no particular order)
The Queen
Jesus Camp
The Lives of Others
The Host
The Road to Guantanamo
Iraq in Fragments
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Marie Antoinette

Best Unreleased
From Dust” by Dhruv Dhawan
“Syndromes and a Century”
Voices of BAM
Duck Season
La Moustache
Poison Friends

Best Re-releases
Fanfan La Tulipe
Antonio Gaudi

Liza Bear’s blog Squaring Off, is available on Blip.tv

Liesl Copland, Red Envelope Entertainment

Top Ten Films + my own mini awards ceremony (or: “The Oscars in My Dreams”)

1. “Tristram Shandy” (Best Comedy, and the most fun I had at the movies this year outside of…)
2. “Borat” (Best Romp)
3. “Trials of Darryl Hunt” (Best Epic)
4. “Jesus Camp” (Best Horror Film)
5. “The Puffy Chair” (Best New Voice, Best Production, Best Ensemble, Fiction – keep your eye on that Katie Aselton)
6. “Wordplay” (Best Ensemble, Doc)
7. “Sherrybaby” (Best Performance)

And my three most favorite undistributed films still make my top ten…
8. “Lake of Fire” (Best Doc)
9. “The Golden Door” (Best Foreign Language Film)
10. “This Is England” (Best Direction, Best Picture)

Haven’t seen: “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “The Lives of Others,” “L’Enfant” or “51 Birch Street” – all of which may belong on this list.

Liesl Copland is Head of Acquisitions & Distribution, Red Envelope Entertainment (A Netflix Company)

Matt Dentler, SXSW

1. “Babel” (“So epic and yet so simple, like any of the best films.”)
2. “Pan’s Labyrinth” (“Without a doubt, one of the most imaginative and poetic monster movies ever made.”)
3. “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story” (“You could watch this five times, and still discover hidden and hilarious gems. Woefuly underrated.”)
4. (a three-way tie) “Iraq in Fragments“; “My Country, My Country“; “The War Tapes” (“Unlike any other Iraq docs of our time, because they artfully asked the question, ‘What next?'”)
5. “The Departed” (“I was the last person in the world who expected this to be good… let alone, one of the best crime thrillers of the last decade. A remake that is better than its source material, Scorsese is best when he’s not fishing for Oscars. And, in a twist of fate, that’s when he seems likely to earn one.”)
6. “A Scanner Darkly” (“Isn’t it great when friends end up making a movie you truly love? In this case, it’s a science-fiction crime film that’s as airtight as its mind-being animation.”) 7. Half Nelson (“The performances are obviously massive highlights, but they float atop a narrative and style that redefine the ‘junkie genre.'”)
8. “United 93” (“You can’t ignore the massive accomplishment that is this respectful and engrossing drama. We know the ending all too well, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re on the edge of our seat the entire time.”)
9. “Our Brand is Crisis” (“The American political process gets a well-deserved lesson in global trends. An old-fashioned election doc, revitalized by disturbing, international reality.”)
10. “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (“At times, even more subversive and hilarious than ‘Borat.’ Thanks to a stellar supporting cast including John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole, and others, Will Ferrell’s latest featured some of the loudest laughs I found in 2006. Plus, it managed that delicate balance between parody and respect, to make it a well-rounded comedy classic.”)

My 5 Best Undistributed Films of 2006:
1. “Jam,” directed by Mark Woollen
2. “The Last Romantic,” directed by Aaron & Adam Nee
3. “Apart From That,” directed by Jennifer Shainin & Randy Walker
4. “Gretchen,” directed by Steve Collins
5. “Eve and the Fire Horse,” directed by Julia Kwan

Matt Dentler is the Film Conference & Festival Producer, South by Southwest (SXSW) and he writes a blog that is hosted by indieWIRE

Jeff Deutchman, IFC Films

1. “United 93
2. “The Proposition
3. “Old Joy
4. “L’Enfant
5. “Battle in Heaven
6. “Miami Vice
7. “13 (Tzameti)
8. “Marie Antoinette
9. “Apocalypto
10. “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

Climates,” “A Prairie Home Companion,” “Three Times,” “Gabrielle,” “Bubble,” “4,” “Half Nelson,” “The Descent,” “Mutual Appreciation,” “Dance Party USA,” “Requiem,” “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Least Convenient Truth
1. “Why We Fight
2. “Deliver Us From Evil
3. “Borat
4. “Jesus Camp
5. “An Inconvenient Truth

Jeff Deutchman works in acquisitions at IFC Films

Peter Goldwyn, Samuel Goldwyn Films

Ten Films (in no particular order)
Borat“: I know it’s obvious but….It’s nice
Last King of Scotland“: Forest Whitaker is just amazing.
The Departed“: A no brainier, pure filmed entertainment
The Queen“: Acting and writing working together perfectly
Jesus Camp“: I was really scared for the future of this country when I saw this film…but then the Democrats won, however I am still cautious
The Descent“: This was great. So was the one sheet.
Dreamgirls“: And I don’t like musicals.
Take My Eyes“: I don’t usually like such harsh subject matter but his was a really incredible film, amazing performances really make this a gut wrenching film
Calivare” (the Ordeal): Its deliverance meets misery with a lounge singer
The Last Kiss“: This one was under appreciated in my opinion. Really interesting look at modern day relationships.

Movies that I think would be on this list if I had made this list after the holidays
Letters from Iwo Jima
Children of Men

Interesting Undistributed films of the year
Oil Crash“: I can’t help thinking about this film every time I get in to a car or a plane.
You’re Gonna Miss Me“: A look into the life of Rocky Erickson
Bittersweet Life“: Was this last year or this year no matter still a great gangster movie?
I Do“: A really fun French comedy
Darkon“: An in depth look at a subculture
The Elementary Particles“: I don’t really know how to explain this one
Cashback“: A new talent that I am sure we will see more from
Time“: Yet another demented classic from Kim ki duk

Peter Goldwyn is Vice President-Acquisitions at Samuel Goldwyn Films

Tom Hall, Sarasota Film Festival/The Back Row Manifesto blog

My list in alphabetical order…I should mention that one of the best movies I saw in 2006 was “Lake of Fire,” Tony Kaye‘s documentary about the battle over abortion rights in the USA, which should be seeing a theatrical release in 2007, so I am sure you’ll be seeing that film and other great 2006 viewings on the 2007 list.

Top 10
Army of Shadows
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Marie Antoinette
Old Joy
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Puffy Chair
Pusher I, II, and III
The Science Of Sleep
The Wild Blue Yonder

Best Undistributed Top 10
Cocaine Angel” by Michael Tully
Ecoute Le Temps” (Fissures) by Alante Kavaite
Find Love” by Erica Dunton
The Journals of Knud Rasmussin” by Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk
Monkey Warfare” by Reg Harkema
A Perfect Couple” (Un Couple Parfait) by Nobuhiro Suwa
The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema” by Sophie Fiennes
Still Life” by Jia Zhang-ke
Woman on The Beach” by Hong Sang Soo
Wristcutters: A Love Story” by Goran Dukic

Tom Hall is the Director of Programming for The Sarasota Film Festival and he writes The Back Row Manifesto, a blog that is hosted by indieWIRE

Tamara Lecker, Applehead Pictures and Dana O’Keefe, Cinetic Media

Apocalypto” – Most Awesome
Blood Diamond
Army of Shadows
Casino Royale
Children of Men
The Departed
Pan’s Labyrinth
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
United 93

Mutual Appreciation
Little Miss Sunshine
The Puffy Chair
I Am A Sex Addict

Tamara Lecker works in development at Applehead Pictures and Dana O’Keefe works at Cinetic Media.

Michael Lerman, Woodstock Film Festival/Philadelphia Film Festival

1. “United 93
2. “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story/The Road to Guantanamo” (tie)
3. “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
4. “Children of Men
5. “Lady Vengeance
6. “Jesus Camp“/”Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (tie – the two most eye opening documentaries about America this year)
7. “Mountain Patrol: Kekexili
8. “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints
9. “Thank You For Smoking
10. “A Prarie Home Companion

Haven’t seen: “The Illusionist,” “The Last King of Scotland,” “Fast Food Nation,” “Happy Feet,” “Blood Diamond,” “Apocalypto,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “Dreamgirls,” “Notes on a Scandal

Top 10 Films With No distributor, to the best of my humble knowledge (this was hard, buyers did a good job this year):
1. “Day Night Day Night
2. “Cages
3. “Lake of Fire
4. “Bunny Chow: Know Thyself
5. “These Girls
6. “Blue Blood
7. “Big Bang Love, Juvenille A
8. “Summercamp!
9. “The Bothersome Man
10. “Big Dreams, Little Tokyo

Michael Lerman is programmer of the Woodstock Film Festival and General Curator of the Philadelphia Film Festival

Jared Moshe, Sidetrack Films/blogger

Here is my list in no particular order.

1. “The Wire” Season IV – Better than any movie this year.
2. “Pan’s Labyrinth
3. “The Departed
4. “Letters From Iwo Jima“/”Flags of Our Fathers
5. “Little Children
6. “Little Miss Sunshine
7. “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
8. “Inside Man
9. “The Proposition
10. “The Queen

(Having not yet seen: “Children of Men,” “Notes on a Scandal,” or “Volver”. I think this list might best be described with a big * next to it as I’m sure at least one of them would make it)

Best Undistributed films: “Dance Party USA” and “In Between Days”

I’d also like to mention “Miami Vice,” which I found strangely haunting despite the incomprehensible plot.

Jared Moshe works for Sidetrack Films and writes a blog that is hosted by indieWIRE

Brian Newman, Renew Media

Top Ten:
The Departed
Battle in Heaven
Half Nelson
In The Pit
The Proposition
Thank You For Smoking
A Lion in the House
Wassup Rockers
Old Joy

Best Undistributed
When the Levees Broke
The Hawk is Dying
What is It

Above and Beyond the Top Ten:
Talladega Nights
Casino Royale

Didn’t see yet, but wish I had, as they supposedly beat them all:
Death of Mr. Lazarescu

Best Web Videos:
Four Eyed Monsters” – “indieWIRE Invitation Podcast” From June, 2006 at iTunes, A must watch primer on audience building for any indie filmmaker

Submedia – “George Bush Don’t Like Black Peoplehttp://submedia.tv/

Judson Laipply – “Evolution of Dance” (Ok, this may be quantity (most viewed) over quality)

CalTV, “Imagine This” – mash ups of Lennon and Bush

Chocolate Cake City, “Brokeback to the Future”

Brian Newman is Executive Director of Renew Media

David Nugent, Newport International Film Festival

In no particular order:
Jesus Camp
United 93
Iraq in Fragments
Marie Antoinette
Half Nelson
En Soap
Miami Vice
Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple

I also really liked:
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Casino Royale
The Bridge
Le Petit lieutenant
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Colma: The Musical
Elementary Particles
Private Fears in Public Places” (Couers)

I still have not seen:
The Queen,” “Little Children,” “Childen of Men” and others

David Nugent is programmer of the Newport International Film Festival

Basil Tsiokos, NewFest

(all lists below alphabetical)

Top 10:
Brothers of the Head
The Devil Wears Prada
Inland Empire
The Science of Sleep
Tristram Shandy

And 10 more, just because:
20 Centimeters
Broken Sky
Duck Season
Iraq in Fragments
Little Miss Sunshine
The Puffy Chair
Sir! No Sir!
Superman Returns
Two Drifters

Sidebar: 10 undistributed* docs:
Air Guitar Nation
Beyond the Call
Camp Out
The Chances of the World Changing
Clear Cut
Cruel & Unusual
In the Pit
The Life of Reilly
The Refugee All Stars
Wide Awake

5 undistributed* narratives:
Forgiving the Franklins
The Gymnast
The King and the Clown
Long-Term Relationship
Whispering Moon

(*at least I don’t think these have distribution at this point…)

Basil Tsiokos is Executive Director of NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival (and US Documentary Programming Consultant, Sundance Film Festival)

Michael Tully, filmmaker/blogger
1. “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” (Cristi Puiu)
2. “The New World” (Terrence Malick)
3. “United 93” (Paul Greengrass)
4. “Children of Men” (Alfonso Cuaron)
5. “Half Nelson” (Ryan Fleck)
6. “The Science of Sleep” (Michel Gondry)
7. “Pan’s Labyrinth” (Guillermo del Toro)
8. “A Lion In The House” (Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert)
9. “Duck Season” (Fernando Eimbcke)
10. “Jackass Number Two” (Jeff Tremaine)

Best Undistributed Films (in alphabetical order):
Find Live” (Erica Dunton)
The Guatemalan Handshake” (Todd Rohal)
The Last Romantic” (Aaron Nee)
Running Stumbled” (John Maringouin)
Syndromes and A Century” (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

Michael Tully directed “Cocaine Angel” and he writes “Boredom at Its Boredest, a blog hosted by indieWIRE

Christine Vachon, Killer Fims

No particular order:
Talladega Nights: The ballad of Ricky Bobby
Little Miss Sunshine
Jesus Camp
Suely in the Sky
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Notorious Bettie Page
Half Nelson
The Fountain

Christine Vachon is a partner at Killer Films

John Vanco, IFC Center

(all lists alphabetical)

The top six:
Deliver Us From Evil
Drawing Restraint 9
Forsaken Land
La Moustache

The next five:
The Departed
*”Inland Empire
Pan’s Labyrinth
Three Times
Wassup Rockers

Honorable mentions:
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Duck Season
Mutual Appreciation
Old Joy
The Puffy Chair

Already vying for my best-of-2007 list:
Black Book
*”Bothersome Man
Coeurs“/”Private Fears in Public Places”
Dans Paris
*”Golden Door
*”Last Romantic
Page Turner
*”Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
Red Road
Regular Lovers
Rescue Dawn
*”Still Life
*”Suely in the Sky
The Wind That Shakes the Barley

*While I find iW’s ‘Undistributed’ label a bit to imprecise to throw around as shorthand, none of the titles in my ‘might-be-best-of-2007’ list have been commercially distributed in the U.S. thus far, and all the *starred* titles are without a conventional theatrical distributor. (There’s a whole other set of complications on what qualifies as ‘Undistributed’ when you consider split-rights deals, service deals and the wide array of self-distribution situations, but at least it’s not as tired a discussion as the whole ‘indie’ vs. ‘non-indie’ thread.)

John Vanco is Vice President & General Manager of IFC Center

Gabriel Wardell, IMAGE

Top Ten for 2006:

Awesome, I Fuckin’ Shot That!
Casino Royale
Children of Men
Friends With Money
Inside Man
I Am A Sex Addict
The Queen
The Road to Guantanamo
United 93

Gabriel Wardell is Executive Director, IMAGE producers of the 31st Atlanta Film Festival and he writes Gabe’s Declaration of Principles, a blog hosted by indieWIRE

Ryan Werner, IFC Entertainment

1. “Borat
2. “Inland Empire
3. “L’Enfant
4. “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
5. “Climates“/”Three Times
6. “Half Nelson
7. “Old Joy
8. “Little Miss Sunshine
9. “United 93“/”The Queen
10. “The Descent“/”The Departed

Honorable Mention: “Battle In Heaven

Notables: “Casino Royale,” “Gabrielle,” “The Aura,” “Mutual Appreciation,” “Miami VIce,” “Jesus Camp,” “Marie,” “Talladega Nights,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Shut Up and Sing,” “Wordplay,”13 Tzameti,” “Shortbus,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” “Why We Fight,” “Volver,” “The Lives of Others

FIlms I did not see yet: “Children of Men,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Fast Food Nation

Ryan Werner is head of marketing for IFC Entertainment

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