Monday, June 20, 2011

Closing Night of the SFF/Top 10 Films

Well, the 2011 Sydney Film Festival is over, with the event concluding tonight at the State Theatre with a screening of Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. I instead watched the Takashi Miike bloodbath, 13 Assassins, which was totally bad-ass and the perfect way to end the journey.

While the last 12 days have sped by, The Troll Hunter sure seems like months ago. The winner of the Official Competition Prize of $60,000 dollars was Asghar Farhadi's wonderful film A Separation. I think the Jury, led by Chen Kaige, got it right. It would have been my choice too.

Well, as I set out to do, I did manage to see 20 films throughout the duration of the Festival (including a screening of Super 8), and I have been working through reviews on each of them. You will notice that I missed Tree of Life. I will complete an extensive review of that film following a second screening of the film following its June 30 Australian release. But, reviews of Jane Eyre, The Beaver, Senna, Armadillo and 13 Assassins will be posted over the next two/three days or so, so keep checking in to see my thoughts on them.

What a treat it was to experience some of these films amongst sell-out crowds. While there were a few disappointments, nearly every film met or exceeded my expectations. Likely to be amongst the best films I see all year, here are my 10 Favourite Films from the SFF:

10. 13 Assassins
9. The Guard
8. Win Win
7. Take Shelter
6. Cave of Forgotten Dreams
5. Martha Marcy May Marlene
4. Project Nim
3. A Separation 
2. The Tree of Life
1. Senna


  1. The great thing about Senna is how it brings formula 1 and non-formula 1 racing fans into the story. I think this film will be ranked amongst the best of the year.

  2. what about the short films? any stick out?

  3. So, are we going to wait for your review of The Tree of Life in a few days?

  4. @ Dan - Absolutely. Summons nearly every emotion, and entirely through edited archival footage. It's not just a compelling story about a dangerous sport influenced by politics, but also an inspirational and tragic human one. There was a sense of dread present throughout the film, knowing his untimely fate.

    @ Anonymous - I only saw one short film before a feature and it was bad. I don't even remember what it was called. But Spike Jonze's 'Scenes from The Suburbs' played before 'LBF', and a film called 'Bear' by Nash Edgerton (brother of Joel) was quite well received I believe.

    @ Steven - Yeah, I want to see it again, but it's not released until the 30th. I wasn't happy with my experience of the film. I had worked a long day before, I had a crappy seat, and limited time to digest it before my next film. I did love it. I thought it was a monumental achievement. But another viewing will help me decide how much.

  5. Nice. I'm pretty sure we're getting all of these films at the NZFF next month. Can't wait to see Martha Marcy May Marlene!