Why ten years?
The idea of doing a retrospective survey of art, literature or film is nothing new. I have selected ten years as a duration that allows me to add some perspective to the films discussed and yet have them still be fresh enough that many readers will have seen them.
In addition, I have been doing regular film related writing for about twelve years or so (not counting the film column I had on the college newspaper in the mid-80s), so going back a decade allows me to discuss films about which I wrote about when they originally appeared.
I have long held that film writing reveals as much about the author as the subject. How have my tastes changed? How much can changing the context change the experience of the film? Do some films hold up better to second (or in some cases third, fourth, or twentieth) viewings, and, if so, is that an important descriptor of quality? Where was I right? Were there places where I was wrong? And if I now think I was wrong, do I understand what caused me to be wrong?
I shall try, in a monthly installment, to write about the films of ten years ago that, at that time, I thought the best or worst the cinema had to offer. In some cases, I may write about films that I did not write about at the time but which have garnered a strong reputation. Each column should have a snippet of what I said–who knows, maybe I will re-post the original review–and comments based on a revisiting of the film in question.
What were the films that fit the category above? I’m glad you asked! Check back during 2011 for retrospective looks at: Monsters, Inc.; The Royal Tenenbaums, Memento, Wit, In the Bedroom, Gosford Park, Moulin Rouge, A Beautiful Mind, The House of Mirth, The Mummy Returns, and Swordfish. January’s installment (coming soon): The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.